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.
The flag of Uruguay.
On December 11, 2012, Uruguay's House of Representatives easily passed a marriage equality bill. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is also expected to pass in March 2013, and then to President José Mujica who has pledged to sign it. Uruguay is, thus, poised to become the twelfth country to legalize same-sex marriage nationally.
As Michael K. Lavers reports in the Washington Blade, the House approved the legislation by a lopsided vote of 81 to 6.
"We are ending decades of institutionalized discrimination from the state," Deputy Nicolás Núñez said as he spoke in support of the proposal.
"Today, we are a step further toward becoming a more democratic and just society," Álvaro Queiruga of the glbtq advocacy group Colectivo Ovejas Negras said. "The LGBT population will no longer be denied an essential right such as this one. We are very happy today, and this will empower us to continue our fight for a better Uruguay without second class citizens due to their sexual orientation or gender identity."
Most of the six-hour discussion of the bill was devoted to two other provisions, especially the provision that lets all couples, gay or straight, decide whose surname goes first when they name their children. This breaks with a tradition that has held for centuries across Latin America. In nearly every country, laws require couples to give their children two last names, with the father's coming first.
In addition, the legislation also replaces Uruguay's 1912 divorce law, which gave only women, and not their husbands, the right to renounce marriage vows without cause. In the early twentieth Century, Uruguay's lawmakers saw this as an equalizer, since men at the time held all the economic and social power in a marriage.
As Queiruga noted, Uruguay has been in the vanguard of progressive social legislation in Latin America. A nondiscrimination law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity and expression took effect in 2004; and in 2008 the country became the first Latin American country to adopt a national civil union law, the Ley de Unión Concubinaria.
The law permits both same-sex and opposite-sex couples to enter into a civil union after living together for at least five years. Couples in civil unions are entitled to most of the benefits that married couples are afforded, including social security entitlements, inheritance rights, and joint ownership of goods and property. In addition, same-sex couple are permitted joint adoption rights.
The marriage equality legislation "is the last major law that was needed to be approved for the LGBT population," Queiruga told the Blade. But he noted that some problems remain. "The trans population is most vulnerable. . . . This year five trans people were murdered because of their identity, so we are going to continue fighting for our rights."
Supporters of the marriage equality bill celebrated its passage in a square in front of the Uruguayan Congress in Montevideo, the country's capital.
If the bill is passed by the Senate in March, Uruguay will become the second South American country after neighboring Argentina to authorize same-sex marriage nationally.
Mexican gay and lesbian couples have been able to marry in Mexico City since 2010, while a recent ruling by the country's high court promises to establish marriage equality nationally there as well.
Same-sex couples in Colombia will automatically receive full marriage rights in June if the country's lawmakers do not act upon a court ruling that orders them to legislate the matter. A Colombian Senate committee last week approved a measure that would legalize nuptials for gays and lesbians.
Same-sex marriages have also been recognized in certain parts of Brazil.
The video below, from August 2011, reports on Uruguay's governing party's endorsement of marriage equality legislation.