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This Month In LGBTQ History: September

Remembering where we've come from, so that we can decide where we're going.
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Today, I can proudly kiss my girlfriend in public. Forty years ago, I would have been convicted for that. That’ s what happened to two men who kissed in public at a California rest stop in 1976; they were arrested, convicted and forced to register as sex offenders.

I’m so grateful every day for the progress that the LGBT movement has made in America. We still have a long way to go, but we’ve come so far.

With help from LavenderEffect.org, I’d like to remember some major LGBT landmarks that happened in September.


September 28, 1292:

In what is now Belgium, a man is convicted of sodomy and burned to death at the stake – unfortunately, this is the first of many executions for “homosexual acts” in Western Europe.


September 25, 1791:

Leaders of the French Revolution create a new law code that decriminalizes consensual gay sex (by not mentioning it).


September 2, 1907:

Dr. Evelyn Hooker is born, and will go on to empirically prove that homosexuality isn’t a mental illness. Because of her research, homosexuality will be removed from the DSM.


 September 29, 1926:

An older woman seduces a younger woman in The Captive, a lesbian melodrama that creates an uproar on Broadway.


September 6, 1935:

An NYU professor is the first to use electric shock therapy, AKA aversion therapy, to “cure” gay people.


 September 11, 1961:

A San Francisco news station broadcasts The Rejected, the first made-for-TV documentary about contemporary gay life.


September 15, 1969:

New York’s first gay and lesbian newspaper, Gay Power, prints its first issue.


September 26, 1970:

After protests by the Gay Liberation Front, gay men are allowed to hold hands inside L.A. bars.


September 6, 1971:

The National Organization for Women publicly acknowledges that discrimination against lesbians is antifeminist.


September 1, 1977:

The Gay Republicans club is founded.


September 5, 1987:

The Homomonument is dedicated in the Netherlands; this monument honors LGBT victims of the Nazis.


September 10, 1996:

The US Senate passes the Defense of Marriage Act, banning gay marriage.


September 10, 2002:

Same-sex couples in South Africa receive the right to jointly adopt children.


September 8, 2008:

Rachel Maddow premieres The Rachel Maddow Show and becomes America’s first openly gay prime-time news anchor.


September 9, 2010:

A California court rules the “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy as unconstitutional based on the first and fifth amendments.


What will your role in history be?

 

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