Today in LGBT History – January 23

We may one day thank Trump and the GOP for calling the question and forcing us to take a clear stand for the values of honesty and justice, a resetting of sexual norms away from women as possession, and a true democracy with liberty and justice for all. But today is not that day. Today we resist and fight back.    —Nadine Smith, Equality Florida

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

Today in LGBT History – January 23

1893 – Franklin Pangborn (January 23, 1889 – July 20, 1958) is born in Newark, New Jersey. He was an American comedic character actor. Pangborn was famous for small, but memorable roles, with a comic flair. He appeared in many Preston Sturges movies as well as the W.C. Fields films International HouseThe Bank Dick, and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break. For his contributions to motion pictures, Pangborn received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1500 Vine Street on February 8, 1960. Pangborn lived in Laguna Beach, California in a house with his mother and his “occasional boyfriend” according to William Mann in Behind the Screen. He died on July 20, 1958.

1974, Canada – The first lobbying effort on part of an alliance of Quebec gay groups, to include sexual orientation in a proposed provincial human rights charter, culminates in appearance before Justice Committee of Quebec’s National Assembly. It becomes the first appearance of the Canadian gay movement before a legislative body. 

1976, Canada – Police raid the Club Baths of Montreal on the eve of the Montreal Olympics. Thirteen people are arrested and charged as found-ins in a common bawdyhouse, a charge usually reserved for prostitution in Canada. 

2008, Azerbaijan, Iran – Hamzeh Chavi, 18, and Loghman Hamzehpour, 19, are arrested for homosexuality. They confessed that they were in love which prompted the court to charge them with “waging a war against God” and sodomy. An online petition garnered over 20,000 signatures calling for their release. They may have been executed.

2009, France – Roger Karoutchi (born 26 August 1951), French Secretary of State, comes out and is the first openly gay member of the French government.

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