1983: Mel Brook’s To Be or Not To Be, a remake of the Ernst Lubitsch classic becomes the first mainstream Hollywood film to not only acknowledge Nazi persecution of homosexuals, but also makes it a key plot element.
1924: Henry Gerber, a German-born immigrant, receives a charter from the state of Illinois for a nonprofit corporation in Chicago named the Society for Human Rights. It becomes the earliest documented gay rights organization in the United States. Though the organization was intended to be an American equivalent of contemporary German LGBTQ emancipation groups, Gerber is arrested soon after and the society falls apart.
1975: The Washington Star begins a series on homosexuality in American Sports. Inspired, Washington Redskins linebacker Dave Kopay agrees to come out to the series’ author, Lynn Rosellini.
1642: A Massachusetts Bay servant is sentenced to be whipped for “unseemly practices” with another woman in the first documented example of legal prosecution in North America for same-sex relations between women.
1989: Alvin Ailey dies from AIDS-related complications.
1636: The Plymouth Colony (present-day Massachusetts) issues the first complete legal code in the colonies. “Sodomy, rapes, buggery” constitute one of eight categories of crimes punishable by death.
1983: Through a spokesperson, the Orthodox Eastern Churches in the United States threaten to withdraw from the National Council of Churches if the predominantly gay and lesbian Metropolitan Community Church is allowed to join. In response, the council decides to table the group’s application for membership.
2011: California Governor Jerry Brown announces the signing of the Gender Nondiscrimination Act (AB 887) and the Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 443). AB 887 makes illegal discrimination based on gender identity or expression in employment, education, housing, and other public settings and AB 443 allows transgender people to obtain a court order to protect their gender.
1926: The Captive, a melodrama about a young woman seduced by an older woman (her “shadow”), creates a sensation on Broadway for its lesbian undertones. 1991: California Governor Pete Wilson vetoes AB 101 a gay and lesbian employment rights bill, inciting what some call Stonewall II, a month of marches and angry protests across the state….
1676: Governor Edmond Andros of New York issues an order extending the 1665 sodomy law of New York into what now are Pennsylvania and Delaware. 1965: Emmy winning actor, producer and writer, Scandal‘s Dan Bucatinsky is born in New York CIty. 2002: In Switzerland, voters in the canton of Zurich vote 63% to 37% to give…