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.
John Bercow's coat of arms.
The coat of arms, developed by the College of Arms, depicts Bercow's climb from humble beginnings as the son of a taxi driver to become one of the most senior commoners in the United Kingdom.
Bercow's upward mobility is represented by a ladder, while four rondels (or circular figures) signify his interest in tennis and curved notched blades of seaxes (scimitars) represent the University of Essex, which he attended.
The Speaker's commitment to equal rights is signified by the motto "All Are Equal," the individual words of which are framed by pink triangles. The ends of the scroll holding the motto are rolled under to reveal the colors of the rainbow flag.
Although the new coat of arms has attracted some indignant comment, more negative reaction has been visited upon the official portrait of the Speaker by Brendan Kelly, which depicts Bercow standing in front of the Speaker's chair issuing instructions to Members of Parliament. Most of the criticism has centered on the cost of the portrait rather than its quality.
In explaining the portrait, Kelly said: "I wanted to capture the day to day reality of a Speaker mid-action at work in the Chamber. This meant black robes and a House of Commons tie, the iconic Speaker's chair prominent in the composition, books and papers on the shelves and the Speaker himself, shown animated in the midst of conducting the daily business of the House of Commons."
Bercow has served in Parliament since 1997. He was a Conservative "frontbencher" being groomed for leadership until he defied his party in 2002 to support a Labour bill that allowed unmarried gay and heterosexual couples to adopt children.
He was elected Speaker of the House in 2009. He is the first Jewish Speaker of the House.
The Speaker presides over debates in the House, determining which members may speak. The Speaker is also responsible for maintaining order during debate, and may punish members who break the rules of the House.
Unlike presiding officers of legislatures in many other countries, including the United States, the Speaker of Britain's House of Commons is expected to remain strictly non-partisan. Upon assuming office, the Speaker renounces affiliation with his or her former political party.
The Speaker is one of the highest-ranking officials in the United Kingdom. By an Order in Council issued in 1919, the Speaker ranks in the order of precedence above all non-royal individuals except the Prime Minister, the Lord Chancellor, and the Lord President of the Council.
The official portrait and the coat of arms will hang in the Speaker's apartment in the Palace of Westminster, where Bercow resides with his wife Sally and their three children.
The incorporation of gay symbolism into the official coat of arms of a Speaker of the House of Commons is concrete evidence of the growing acceptance of gay rights in the United Kingdom.