December 21 in LGBTQ History
1917: In Russia, the Bolsheviks repeal the entire criminal code in favor of “revolutionary justice.” Among the laws nullified are those relating to sex acts between men.
1969: In New York City, Jim Owles and Marty Robinson leave the Gay Liberation Front to form a group exclusively dedicated to the pursuit of gay rights. The new organization is called Gay Activists Alliance.
1973: A United States federal judge issues a bulletin stating that the federal civil service may not terminate an employee based on sexual orientation alone.
1981: Time and Newsweek run their first major stories about AIDS.
1988: The Chicago City Council votes 28-17 to approve a bill banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
1993: The Department of Defense issues a directive prohibiting the U.S. Military from barring applicants from service based on their sexual orientation. “Applicants… shall not be asked or required to reveal whether they are homosexual, ” states the new policy, which still forbids applicants from engaging in homosexual acts or making a statement that he or she is homosexual. This policy is known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
2001: Larry Kramer survives a lifesaving liver transplant. While he’s in surgery, bloggers erroneously report the 70-year-old is dead.
2004: Newfoundland and Labrador becomes the eighth Canadian province to legalize same-sex marriage after a Supreme Court judge approves the licences for two lesbian couples.
2006: New Jersey governor Jon Corzine signs the bill establishing civil unions in the state. The first civil union licenses become available on February 20, 2007.