Gay Marriage

Main

Human Rights

1924

The Society for Human Rights in Chicago became the country's earliest known gay rights organization.

Time for Homosexuality

1926

The New York Times becomes the first major publication to use the word "homosexuality."

Sexual Behavior

1948

Alfred Kinsey publishes Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, revealing to the public that homosexuality is far more widespread than was commonly believed.

Harry Hay

1951

The Mattachine Society, the first national gay rights organization, is formed by Harry Hay in Los Angeles, considered by many to be the founder of the gay rights movement.

First "Legalization"

1962

Illinois becomes the first state in the U.S. to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults in private.

Stonewall

June 27, 1969

Riots follow a police raid on the gay bar Stonewall Inn, in Greenwich Village, New York. It is seen as the start of the gay rights movement in the U.S and around the world.

Marriage in Minnesota

1970

Jack Baker and James Michael McConnell apply for a marriage license in Hennipen County, Minnesota.

Mental Disorder?

1973

The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders.

March on Washington

1979

About 75,000 people participated in the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Washington, D.C., in October.

Taking a Stance

1980

At the 1980 Democratic National Convention held at New York City's Madison Square Garden, Democrats took a stance supporting gay rights.

First Laws

1984

First domestic partnership laws are passed.

Denmark

1989

Denmark was the first in the world to enact registered partnership laws for same-sex couples, allowing most of the same rights as marriage.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

1993

If elected, Bill Clinton promised to reverse the executive order banning gays and lesbians from serving in the U.S. military.

Civil Unions

2000

Vermont becomes the first state in the country to legally recognize civil unions between gay or lesbian couples.

Good Start

2001

On February 14, same-sex couples from Marriage Equality USA began asking for marriage licenses in Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco.

Opposition in Massachusetts

2003

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that banning gays and lesbians from marrying violates the state constitution.

Marriage Certificates

2004

The newly-elected San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom issues the first same-sex marriage certificates in the U.S.

Legal in Massachusetts

2004

On May 17, same-sex marriage becomes legal in Massachusetts.

More Legalization

2008

California and Connecticut's Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage.

Legalization Today

2013

Twelve states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage at this point.

More Legalization Today

May, 2013

12 out of 194 countries allow same-sex marriage.