Today in LGBT History – August 9

Kelly and I are reading On Tyranny yesterday by Timothy Snyder (2017). Snyder presents twenty lessons from the 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today’s politics. On this blog, I’ll present one lesson each day for the next 20 days (though I may insert a personal thought among the days). Kelly is posting them on our FB page called Resist with Kelly and Ronni. I hope you’ll read this little but powerfully inspirational book.

Lesson 3. Beware of the one-party state. The parties that re-made states and suppresed rivals were not omnipotent from the start. They Exploited an historic moment to make political life impossible for their opponents . So support the multiparty system and defend the rules of democratic elections. Vote in local and state elections while you can. Consider running for office…The Russian oligarchy established after the 1990 elections continues to function, and promotes a foreign policy designed to destroy democracy everywhere. We believe we have checks and balances, but have rarely faced a situation like the present.

Today in LGBT History – August 9

1858, Ottoman Empire – The Ottoman Empire decriminalizes consensual homosexuality.

1858 – Raphael Gallenti, a sailor from Malta, is thought to be the first person to be arrested for sodomy in California. He served a five-year prison sentence and was released on this day.

1967, UK – English playwright Joe Orton is murdered by his lover Kenneth Halliwell. John Kingsley “Joe” Orton (1 January 1933 – 9 August 1967) was an English playwright and author. His public career was short but prolific, lasting from 1964 until his death three years later. During this brief period he shocked, outraged, and amused audiences with his scandalous black comedies. The adjective Ortonesque is sometimes used to refer to work characterized by a similarly dark yet farcical cynicism. On 9 August 1967, Kenneth Halliwell bludgeoned 34-year-old Orton to death at their home at 25 Noel Road, Islington, London, with nine hammer blows to the head, and then committed suicide with an overdose of 22 Nembutal tablets washed down with the juice from canned grapefruit. Investigators determined that Halliwell had died first, because Orton’s sheets were still warm.

1972 – The Ohio Secretary of State refuses to grant articles of incorporation to the Greater Cincinnati Gay Society. Two years later, the Ohio Supreme Court upholds the decision, stating that even though homosexual acts are now legal in Ohio, “the promotion of homosexuality as a valid life style is contrary to the public policy of the State of Ohio.”

1973 – Donald Cawley, NYC police commissioner, issues a directive prohibiting police officers from using derogatory terms to refer to homosexuals.

1977 – Gay community leaders in Toronto hold a press conference to deplore press coverage of Manuel Jaques murder which implicates entire gay community.

1986 – Gay Games II opened in San Francisco. The games ran until August 17, 1986. The games were billed as “3482 Athletes (40% women), from 251 Cities in 17 Countries, participating In 17 Sporting Events.”

1996 – Oregon judge Stephen Gallagher Jr. rules that the state must offer benefits to the partners of gay state employees. Lon Mabon, director of the anti-gay Oregon Citizens Alliance which challenges the governor’s executive order to grant benefits, said the ruling aids in the systematic destruction of the whole notion of family.

1998, UK – Dr. George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, issues an apology to GLB Anglicans for the pain they experienced as a result of the Lambeth Conference of Bishops resolution against homosexuality.

2000 – Dr. Saul Levin was appointed president of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality (GLMA) is an international organization of approximately 1,000 lesbiangaybisexualtransgender, and ally (LGBT) healthcare professionals and students of all disciplines, including physicians, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, nurses, behavioral health specialists, researchers and academicians, and their supporters in the United States and internationally. Founded in 1981 as the American Association of Physicians for Human Rights, GLMA “came out of the closet” and changed its name in 1994 to the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. GLMA changed its name again in 2012 to GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality.

2004 – Domestic partner registry opens in Miami Beach, Florida.

2005 – Nepal police begin rounding up transsexuals in a sweep of the capital, Katmandu.

2007 – Democrat presidential candidates appear at a forum organized by the gay community. It was televised on LOGO and streamed online. Most candidates said they approved civil unions but not gay marriage. Republican homophobe candidates would not agree to a similar forum. Six Democrats participate in the forum, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, while all Republican candidates decline.

Consider running for office! 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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