The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.
Formed soon after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the short-lived but influential Gay Liberation Front brought a new militancy to the movement that became known as gay liberation.
The sexual revolution of post-World War II America changed sexual and gender roles profoundly.
"Leather" is a blanket term for a large array of sexual preferences, identities, relationship structures, and social organizations loosely tied together by the thread of what is conventionally understood as sadomasochistic sex.
Although best known for her crusade for women's suffrage, Susan B. Anthony spoke out on a range of feminist issues.
With reports from hundreds of sub-Saharan African locales of male-male sexual relations and from about fifty of female-female sexual relations, it is clear that same-sex sexual relations existed in traditional African societies, though varying in forms and in the degree of public acceptance
Androgyny, a psychological blending of gender traits, has long been embraced by strong women, soft men, members of queer communities, and others who do not easily fit into traditionally defined gender categories.
A cultural crossroads between Asia and Europe, Russia has a long, rich, and often violent heritage of varied influences and stark confrontations in regard to its patterns of same-sex love.
Stephanie Figarelle and Lela McArthur tied the knot at 8:00 a.m. at the Empire State Building.
Fresh off a legislative victory for marriage equality in Washington state, Valentine's Day 2012 was celebrated in a variety of ways, from the inclusiveness of a Google video, to direct action in Texas, to the first same-sex weddings atop the Empire State Building in Manhattan, and to a decision by an American man to leave the country so he can be with his husband in Israel.
The day began with a Google Doodle Valentine's Day video which included a same-sex couple.
In Texas, members of the direct action group GetEqual allowed themselves to be arrested during an annual Valentine's Day marriage equality protest at the Travis County Clerk's office.
According to the Austin, Texas news site Raw Story, instead of the usual parade of same-sex couples applying for marriage licenses on Valentine's Day, about 40 people representing both GetEqual and Occupy Austin decided to occupy the Clerk's office.
As couples walked up a pair at a time to have their requests for marriage licenses denied, County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir "faithfully carried out her legal duty of denying the requests." She apologized to the couples for having to deny them licenses, even putting an arm around one woman who began to cry.
In an unplanned action, three activists decided to lock arms and sit down, staging their own occupation in the name of love and equality, singing, "I'm gonna stand at the marriage counter / I'm gonna stand at the marriage counter, one of these days / I'm gonna stand at the marriage counter / I'm gonna stand at the marriage counter, one of these days. I'm gonna slow dance at my wedding / I'm gonna slow dance at my wedding, one of these days / I'm gonna slow dance at my wedding / I'm gonna slow dance at my wedding, one of these days."
They were soon joined in singing by the entire group of activists.
When the women told Clerk DeBeauvoir that they planned to stay until closing time or later, she explained that they were welcome to stay until closing, at which point they would be removed--or, she said, "we could just do this thing right now while the reporters are still here."
DeBeauvoir explained, "what I'm suggesting is, why don't you do it now and get it on camera? I mean, I'm trying to have . . . . For you to get the maximum message here. So, what I'm thinking is, maybe we need to do it now?"
With this encouragement, the activists agreed, so the county clerk called the police, but asked them to give them "the least charge possible."
As the police removed the three women to police cars waiting outside the County Clerk's office, they passed a symbolic commitment ceremony between two men that was being performed in the parking lot.
County Clerk DeBeauvoir told Raw Story, "We wish the law was different, but until it is I'm bound by the laws of the state and will not break the law. One of these days, I hope that all couples have the same civil rights."
Below is a video of the occupation.
In New York, where same-sex couples now do have the same civil rights as opposite-sex couples, for the first time in history a gay male couple and a lesbian couple were married atop the Empire State Building.
Although the top of the iconic building has become a romantic place for lovers to meet, weddings are permitted there only on Valentine's Day. This year four couples received permission to wed, and two of the couples were of the same sex.
As reported by the website Gothamist.com, the first couple to wed this year were Stephanie Figarelle and Lela McArthur, who tied the knot at 8:00 a.m. They may be seen in the video below.
At 11:00 a.m., Shawn Klein and Phil Fung became the first same-sex couple from New York State to wed atop the Empire State Building.
Another Valentine's Day video was posted by Immigration Equality, a national organization fighting for equality under U.S. immigration law for glbtq and HIV-positive individuals. The video tells the story of Matt Conley and Yoav Schlezinger, a married, U.S.-Israeli couple who have been separated as a result of DOMA and our country's discriminatory immigration laws.
In the video, Conley reveals that he has decided to move to Tel Aviv so he can be with his husband.