May 2 in LGBTQ History

1972: Edgar Hoover dies of a heart attack at the age of seventy-seven.  The main provision of his will — leaving the bulk of his $551,000 estate to his close companion of more than forty years, Clyde Tolson — renews longtime speculation over his sexuality.  “I was in love once when I was young,” Hoover…

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April 27 in LGBTQ History

1953: President Dwight Eisenhower signs Executive Order 10450, banning homosexuals from working for the federal government or any of its private contractors. The Order lists homosexuals as security risks, along with alcoholics and neurotics. 1972: Testifying before Congress, J. Edgar Hoover assures the House Appropriations Committee that there are no gay activists in the Bureau,…

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April 10 in LGBTQ History

1967: Loving v. Virginia is argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.  A Virginia law against interracial marriages would be struck down, with the Supreme Court declaring that marriage is a “fundamental civil right” and that decisions in this arena are not those with which the State can interfere unless they have good cause. 1972: The Missouri Supreme…

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April 3 in LGBTQ History

1972: The U.S. Supreme Court effectively upholds a lower court ruling giving state governments the right to refuse employment to gay men and lesbians. The court had refused to review the case of an openly gay man turned down for a job at a Minnesota university library because of his homosexuality. 1975: New Mexico becomes…

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April 1 in LGBTQ History

1970: The Advocate estimates there are approximately 6,817,000 gay men and lesbians living in the United States. 1971: The French leftist newspaper, Tout, edited by Jean-Paul Sartre, calls for complete  sexual liberation in France, including the right of individuals to be freely and openly homosexual.  French police begin massive seizures of the publication on the grounds that it is…

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March 22 in LGBTQ History

1972: The Equal Rights Amendment, banning discrimination on the basis of sex, passes the U.S. Senate.  Opponents of the amendment claim it will destroy the nuclear family, give broad civil rights to homosexuals, and even mandate unisex rest rooms in public.  Though by the end of 1972 twenty-two of the required thirty-eight states had ratified…

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March 7 in LGBTQ History

1967: CBS airs “The Homosexuals”, an episode of CBS Reports. This first-ever national television broadcast on the subject of homosexuality has been described as “the single most destructive hour of antigay propaganda in our nation’s history.” 1972: East Lansing, Michigan becomes the first U.S. City to ban discrimination in city hiring on the basis of sexual…

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March 4 in LGBTQ History

1971: Village Voice columnist Jill Johnston comes out in her article, “Lois Lane is a Lesbian,” sparking a controversy between feminism and lesbianism that results in various Johnston antics, including simulating an orgy during a panel discussion moderated by Norman Mailer. 1972: The California DMV reports that while the majority of the 65,000 vanity license plates…

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February 13 in LGBTQ History

1972: The film version of Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, based on Christopher Isherwood’s writings about his time in pre-WWII Berlin, has its world premiere in New York City. Unlike the stage version, the film version adheres slightly more closely to the source material and portrays Michael York’s character, Brian (based on Isherwood himself), bisexual. 1990: Thirteen…

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