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Milestones in the American Gay Rights Movement

  • The Society for Human Rights is founded

    Henry Gerber in Chicago founded the society.It is the first gay rights organization as well as the oldest documented in America.
  • Homosexuality as a sociopathic personality

    The American Psychiatric Association lists homosexuality as a mental disorder.
  • First National Gay Rights Organization

    n Los Angeles, gay rights activist Harry Hay founds America’s organization in an attempt to change public perception of homosexuality,
  • Repeal of Sodomy laws

    Illinois repeals its sodomy laws, becoming the first U.S. state to decriminalize homosexuality.
  • Removal of homosexuality as a mental illness

    Removal of homosexuality as a mental illness by the board of the American Psychiatric Association.
  • National March

    An estimated 75,000 people participate in the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
  • No discriminatation against homosexuals.

    At their National Convention on August 11-14, the Democrats become the first major political party to endorse a homosexual rights platform.
  • AIDS Crisis March

    Hundreds of thousands of activists take part in the National March on Washington to demand that President Ronald Reagan address the AIDS crisis.
  • Don't ask, Don't tell

    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,
  • First State to legalize partnerships between same sex

    Vermont becomes the first state in the U.S. to legalize civil unions and registered partnerships between same-sex couples.
  • First State to Legalize Gay Marriage

    Massachusetts becomes the first state to legalize gay marriage. The court finds the prohibition of gay marriage unconstitutional because it denies dignity and equality of all individuals.
  • The Matthew Shepard Act is passed

    Was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on October 28th. The measure expands the 1969 U.S. Federal Hate Crime Law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
  • Same-Sex Marriage legal

    With a 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court declares same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.