LGBTQ rights have come a long way. As everyone is focused on the issues the community faces currently and looking to address them, it’s important to remember where we’ve come from. Looking back, you will notice that the rights accorded to the community were once a daydream. Here are the key historical milestone achievements of the LGBTQ rights movement.
1924 – The first gay rights group is established
Henry Gerber, world war I veteran, established the Society for Human Rights in Chicago. The group was the first organization to ever champion gay rights in America. It ran a newsletter titled “Friendship and Freedom,” the first-ever recorded gay rights publication.
1958 – The Supreme Court rules in favor of gay rights
A court case was launched against the US Post Office after it refused to deliver America’s first widely distributed pro-gay publication, ONE: The Homosexual Magazine porno xxx. The Post Office and FBI had declared the magazine as obscene material. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of homosexuals, it was a significant stride for the community.
1973 – Homosexuality is no longer considered a mental illness
Following years of studies and changes in cultural perceptions, the American Psychiatric Association’s board of directors removed homosexuality from the official list of mental illnesses.
2000 – Vermont makes a massive stride towards legalization of same-sex marriages
Vermont was the first state to offer same-sex couples the right to enter civil unions. The legal partnerships allowed gay couples the same rights and benefits as heterosexual marriages.
2013 – SCOTUS abolishes the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
The DOMA act, established in 1996, stated that the federal government did not recognize marriages between lesbian and gay couples. It meant that the couples couldn’t enjoy legal benefits like health insurance and social security. The abolishment of the DOMA act meant that same-sex couples married within their states could enjoy these federal benefits.
2015 – The death of conversion therapy
The tragic suicide of a transgender teenager forced to undergo Christian conversion therapy hit the nation hard. After this incident, President Obama called for an end of this practice. It was no longer okay for anyone to try changing a person’s gender identity through conversion therapy.
2015 – Love wins
The Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage as a constitutional right nationwide. Therefore, all states were required to permit Americans to get married irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender.
2015 – The military allows transgender Americans to serve openly
Ashton Carter, US Defense Secretary, announced that the army had lifted a ban that prevented transgender individuals from serving in the armed forces. Unfortunately, President Trump rescinded this right in 2019. As of 2021, however, transgender individuals are now allowed to work in the military again.
2019: New York City honors LGBTQ activists with monuments
New York City erected a monument in Greenwich dedicated to two LGBTQ activists, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. They both played a vital role in the Stonewall riots and the NYC queer scene.
2020: The Supreme Court expands the law to protect LGBTQ against workplace discrimination
After hearing three individual cases from two gay men and one transgender woman, the Supreme Court ruled 6:3 for expanding the 1964 civil acts law. The clause was amended to protect the rights of sexual minorities and transgender people from workplace discrimination.