Today in LGBT History – December 12

Trans teen Brandon Teena was murdered in 1993, gay teen Matthew Shepard in 1998. As a professional in higher education, the deaths of these young men were among our worst nightmares. There have been far too many deaths of LGBT people over the years due to hate an d loathing and fear, all, I suspect, motivated by the internalized homophobia of the killers. Today white supremacists are calling for the murder of LGBT people in the U.S. Be aware, stand up, and stop the madness.

I invite you to go to Kelly’s and my Facebook page cleverly called Resist with Kelly and Ronni. Also, use Resistbot on your phones to text your legislators. Just text to 50409 and type resist. They’ll guide you through the rest.

Today in LGBT History – December 12

1704 – The Province of New Jersey adopts a statute issuing a general pardon for any pending prosecutions for same-sex intercourse; they were abandoned as of that date.

1714 – The Province of South Carolina adopts English common law and criminalizes buggery, punishing same-sex intercourse and zoophilia with the death penalty and forfeiture of property, for males only.

1969 – Police enter the Continental Baths and arrest three patrons and three employees, charging the patrons with lewd and lascivious acts and the employees with criminal mischief. The raid is the first of several on the Continental for the following weeks. The Continental Baths was a gay bathhouse in the basement of The Ansonia Hotel in New York City which was opened in 1968 by Steve Ostrow. It was advertised as reminiscent of “the glory of ancient Rome”. The documentary film Continental by Malcolm Ingram covers the height of the club’s popularity through the early 1970s.

1970 – A struggling young pianist and songwriter takes a day job performing at New York’s Continental Baths. His name is Barry Manilow (born June 17, 1943). He is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, musician and producer with a career that has spanned more than 50 years. His hit recordings include “Mandy“, “Can’t Smile Without You“, and “Copacabana (At the Copa)“.

1989 – Over 5,000 attend the “Stop the Church” protest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. The 100 activists who laid down in the aisles were arrested. They were protesting Cardinal John O’Connor’s influence on government policies relating to HIV and sexuality.

1990 – The Indiana state civil rights commission rules that the civil rights of Kenneth Westhoven (1954-1990) had been violated when his employer, after discovering he was HIV positive, reduced his health benefits cap from $1 million/lifetime to $50,000/lifetime.

1993 – The brutal murder of trans man Brandon Teena (December 12, 1972 – December 31, 1993) becomes a cause celebre and the subject of an influential 1999 feature film, Boys Don’t Cry, where the role of Teena is played by Hilary Swank. Brandon was an American trans man who was raped and murdered in Humboldt, Nebraska.  Teena’s murder, along with that of Matthew Shepard (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998), led to increased lobbying for hate crime laws in the United States.

1995 – A “Roseanne” episode portrays a same-sex wedding when character Leon marries his boyfriend Scott. ABC moves the episode from its 8:00 time slot to 9:30 because of the adult humor.

1997 – The Kentucky state Court of Appeals rules that gay men and lesbians are entitled to protection under the state’s domestic violence laws. 

2002, Argentina – Buenos Aires approves civil unions.

Stand up, speak out, share your story!




(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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