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.

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  1. “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.”

    And then came Joseph Stalin who set the revolution back to the repression of the Czars, political reaction and worse. The Bolsheviks suppressed the more liberal and open Menshevik revolution. – Gary

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