Today in LGBT History – December 20

I have several writing works in progress. I could whip them out if time allowed but I’m a busy woman. Between my social commitments, my physical activities, and time with my wife and dog, I don’t write as often or as regularly as many writers. I have a good and busy life for which I’m grateful. Funny…one of the writing projects is a new memoir. But I can tell you that living life is much more fun than writing about it! But write we must. Me, you, all of us need to document our history and our existence. So find some time; I will, too, and let’s write!

Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!

Today in LGBT History – December 20

1955 – Frank Kameny (May 21, 1925 – October 11, 2011) is fired from his job as an astronomer in the United States Army’s Map Service in Washington, D.C. because of his homosexuality. A few days later he is blacklisted from seeking federal employment. These events spur Kameny into being a gay rights activist. He has been referred to as “one of the most significant figures” in the American gay rights movement. In 1961 Kameny and Jack Nichols (March 16, 1938 – May 2, 2005), fellow co-founder of the Washington, D.C., branch of the Mattachine Society, launched some of the earliest public protests by gays and lesbians with a picket line at the White House on April 17, 1965. In 1963, Kameny and Mattachine launched a campaign to overturn D.C. sodomy laws; he personally drafted a bill that finally passed in 1993. He also worked to remove the classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder from the American Psychiatric Association‘s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In 1971, Kameny became the first openly gay candidate for the United States Congress when he ran in the District of Columbia’s first election for a non-voting Congressional delegate. Frank Kameny was found dead in his Washington home on October 11, 2011 (National Coming Out Day). His death was due to arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease. In front of his headstone lays a marker inscribed with the slogan “Gay is Good”. Kameny coined that slogan, and in a 2009 AP interview said about coining it, “If I am remembered for anything I hope it will be that.”

1973 – For the second time in two years, the New York City Council rejects a proposed gay rights ordinance for the city.

1990, UK – OutRage! establishes the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights to address legal attacks against the GLBT community. OutRage! was a British LGBT rights group lasting for 21 years, 1990 until 2011. It described itself as “a broad based group of queers committed to radical, non-violent direct action and civil disobedience” and was formed to advocate that lesbiangaybisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have the same rights as heterosexual people, to end homophobia and anti-LGBT violence and to affirm the right of queer people to their “sexual freedom, choice and self-determination”.

1999 – In Baker v. Vermont, the Vermont Supreme Court orders the state legislature to devise a law to give same-sex couples identical rights to married couples. Baker v. Vermont, 744 A.2d 864 (Vt. 1999), was a lawsuit decided by Vermont Supreme Court on December 20, 1999. It was one of the first judicial affirmations of the right of same-sex couples to treatment equivalent to that afforded different-sex couples. The decision held that the state’s prohibition on same-sex marriage denied rights granted by the Vermont Constitution. The court ordered the Vermont legislature to either allow same-sex marriages or implement an alternative legal mechanism according similar rights to same-sex couples.

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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