Today in LGBT History – February 28

When the center moves, a counter-culture of opposition and imagination is produced. And this is where the real business of a paradigm shift is created.    —Sarah Schulman

Learning our history is resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!

Today in LGBT History – February 28

1656 – The New Haven Colony, now Connecticut, mandates the death penalty for both women and men for acts “against nature,” as well as for masturbation and anal sex among heterosexual couples. The New Haven Colony also applied the death penalty for adultery. These laws remained in effect for the next ten years until 1665 when the New Haven Colony joined Connecticut and came under Connecticut law which specified the death penalty for “man lying with man” and adultery.

1950 – Testifying before the US Senate Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Department, whose members include Joseph R. McCarthy, Undersecretary of State John Peurifroy reveals that the majority of dismissals of State Department employees are based on accusations of homosexuality. Over the next few months, McCarthy and other conservatives accuse the administration of laxity in rooting out homosexuals in government, bringing the Mccarthy Era into high gear.

1971 – The New York Times publishes a front-page story with the headline “More Homosexuals aided to become Heterosexual,” by JANE E. BRODY.

1975, Canada – The first public hearing of a gay civil rights case under British Columbia’s provincial human rights legislation is heard in Vancouver. 

1993 – Founded as FireFLAG by Gene Walsh, New York City’s first openly gay FDNY firefighter, this LGBT organization was formally incorporated on February 28, 1992. It was later renamed FireFLAG/EMS to include emergency medical services personnel, and has achieved official FDNY fraternal organization status. Under retired FDNY Firefighter Tom Ryan, President Emeritus, former President retired FDNY Capt. Brenda Berkman, and the organization’s current President, FDNY Firefighter Mike Vissichelli, FireFLAG/EMS works tirelessly for the rights of LGBT fire and emergency service personnel as well as the rights of the LGBT community.

2008, Venezuela – The Supreme Court issues a statement saying that “while same-sex partners enjoy all the rights, they do not have special protection similar to concubinage or marriage between a man and a woman, that is, in the same terms that heterosexual partners have.”

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(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at,, Lavender Effect,, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, Amara Das Wilhelm,, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at Thanks!)


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