Today in LGBT History – August 4


Steve Endean died on this day in 1993. He was a friend with whom I had the honor of working. I was one of the field people with the Gay Rights National Lobby inthe early 1980s and spent much time with Steve and his partner-in-crime Susan Green in Washigton DC. Susan and I used to laugh about how gay men “tricked” and lesbians “visited.” Susan died of breast cancer; Steve died of AIDS. Both were true heroes of the LGBT civil rights movement.

 Today in LGBT History – August 4

1826 – Thomas A. McKenny writes a letter describing the men-women of the Chippeway tribe. “…so completely do they succeed, and even to the voice, as to make it impossible to distinguish them from the women.”

1875, Denmark – Danish singer, actor, storyteller and playwright Hans Christian Andersen (April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875)  dies at age 70. Andersen authored, among many other works, The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes and, The Princess on the Pea. Many believe that rather than being heterosexual or homosexual, Andersen had romantic feelings for both genders but probably remained celibate his whole life.

1921, UK – The British House of Commons votes 148 to 53 to penalize lesbians in the same way as male homosexuals. The bill is sent to the House of Lords where it is rejected.

1982, France – In France, the age of consent for same-sex acts is lowered from 21 to 15, the same as for heterosexual acts.

1983 – The 8th Annual National Reno Gay Rodeo opens despite threats that snipers would shoot at spectators and claims by the Pro-Family Christian Coalition that the event was an orgy riddled with disease and that gays are un-American. 20,000 people attended the opening ceremonies.

1987 – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors votes unanimously to expand the use of involuntary detention for people with AIDS who knowingly expose others to infection. The vote was in response to Joseph Markowski who gave blood knowing he was infected with HIV.

1987 – Governor Mario Cuomo of New York announces a program establishing anonymous confidential HIV testing as an effort to get an idea of the prevalence of HIV infection in New York.

1988 – A sold-out gospel show organized by Dionne Warwick and Rev. Carl Bean draws 6,500 people and raises $150,000 for the Los Angeles Minority AIDS Project. Performers included Al Jarreau and Patti LaBelle.

1995 – U.S. President Bill Clinton signs an executive order forbidding the federal government from denying security clearances on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation. Administration spokespersons advise reporters, however, that individuals ought still be denied clearance if they are in the closet and fear exposure to family or friends.

1995 – Calvin B. Anderson, the first openly gay man to serve in the Washington Legislature, dies from complications related to AIDS.

1993 – Steven Endean (August 6, 1948 – August 4, 1993) dies of AIDS. Gay Rights National Lobby (GRNL)  and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) were among the earliest organizations to engage in lobbying legislators for lesbian and gay rights. Steve Endean, who was the one-time Director of GRNL, established the Human Rights Campaign Fund (now the Human Rights Campaign) in 1980 and served as its first Executive Director. In 1971, Endean founded the Minnesota Committee for Gay Rights (later Gay Rights Legislative Committee), and became the first gay and lesbian rights lobbyist in Minnesota a year later. Along with the Minnesota Committee for Gay Rights and Democratic legislators, Endean opposed trans-inclusion and public accommodations in a statewide gay rights bill, giving as the reason the belief that the bill would not pass with such inclusion. In the 1970s, he served as co-chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Gay Task Force.

2007 – Accountant Keith Durbin became Tennessee’s first out gay elected official by winning a seat on the Nashville City Council.

2007, Italy – Rome marks the opening of its first “Gay Street” with flags, banners and protests amid a row over a male couple who claimed they were detained by police for kissing near the Colosseum. Campaigners welcomed a 325-yard zone in the center of the city, filled with shops and bars, as an area where gays can “feel at ease,” after days of heated debate in predominantly Roman Catholic Italy over the kissing incident.

2010, Mexico – Mexico’s Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in an 8-2 vote

2010 – Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker (born 1944) served as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California from 1989 to 2011. Walker presided over the original trial in Hollingsworth v. Perry, where he found California’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional because it violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. On September 29, 2010, Walker announced he would retire at the end of 2010 and return to private practice. He retired at the end of February 2011. On April 6, 2011, Walker told reporters that he is gay and has been in a relationship with a male doctor for about ten years. He was the first known gay person to serve as a United States federal judge, though he did not publicly confirm his sexual orientation until after retiring from the federal bench.

Let your voice speak out and change the world! 




(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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