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.
Governor Chris Gregoire.
On January 4, 2012, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire announced plans to introduce legislation to authorize same-sex marriage in her state. "It's time, it's the right thing to do, and I will introduce a bill to make it happen," Gregoire told a crowd of supporters gathered in her office in Olympia.
The proposal to legalize same-sex marriage will be introduced during the legislative session that starts on January 9. If approved, Washington would become the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage.
In addition to endorsing marriage equality, the Governor also explained the evolution of her personal views of the issue. In 2004, when she first ran for governor, she endorsed equal rights for gay and lesbian couples, but declared that Washington state was not ready for same-sex marriage. In 2008, when she ran for re-election, she again declined to endorse marriage equality: "To me, the state's responsibility is to absolutely ensure equality. The other is a religious issue, and I leave it to the churches to make that call about marriage."
Now, however, her views have evolved: "I have been on my own journey. I will admit that. It has been a battle for me with my religion," the Catholic governor said, according to the Seattle Times. "I have always been uncomfortable with the position that I have taken publicly. And then I came to realize the religions can decide what they want to do, but it is not ok for the state to discriminate."
Here Governor Gregoire announces her support for marriage equality and rejects a "separate but equal" approach.
The prospects for the passage of the legislation are good but not certain. The Democrats hold majorities in both houses of the legislature, but some conservative Democrats have in the past voted against gay rights.
One of the leaders of the marriage effort, openly gay State Senator Ed Murray, said the legislation being developed would "amend the statutes to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry and to get a marriage license under Washington state law." It would not, he emphasized, require churches to perform marriages for gay and lesbian couples or anyone else.
He added that the supporters of the bill are currently a few votes short, but the Governor expressed confidence that the votes would be found in the upcoming legislative session.
If Governor Gregoire's position on same-sex marriage has evolved, so has the position of the state on gay rights also evolved.
In 2004, after several attempts, Washington state finally passed a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, lending, and insurance.
In 2007, in the aftermath of a bitterly divided Washington state supreme court ruling that gay and lesbian couples had no constitutional right to marriage, the Washington legislature adopted a relatively weak domestic partnership law. It provided hospital visitation rights, the ability to authorize autopsies and organ donations, and inheritance rights when there is no will.
In 2008, the legislature expanded that law to give domestic partners standing under laws covering probate and trusts, community property, and guardianship.
In 2009, the Democratic-controlled legislature expanded the domestic partnership law to confer on same-sex partners all the rights and responsibilities that Washington state offers to married couples. The bill passed the House by a vote of 62-35 and the Senate by a vote of 30-18.
After the passage of the legislation by the Senate on April 15, 2009, Governor Gregoire pledged to sign it as soon as it reached her desk, remarking, "Our state is one that thrives on diversity. We have to respect and protect all of the families that make up our communities."
However, a conservative organization announced that it would begin the process of gathering signatures to qualify a proposal repealing the new domestic partnership law. In September 2009, the Washington Secretary of State certified the signatures, despite irregularities in collecting and submitting them. The law thus was submitted to the voters in November 2009 for approval or rejection.
On November 3, 2009, voters in Washington, by a 53% to 47% margin, approved the domestic partner legislation, making Washington the first state in which gay and lesbian partnerships were affirmed by a popular vote.
It is anticipated that if the legislature passes a bill authorizing same-sex marriage, it too would face a referendum.
Other referenda concerning same-sex marriage and other glbtq issues are likely to be on the ballots in North Carolina and Minnesota, where constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage are pending; in Maine, where voters may be asked to reinstate a marriage equality law that was vetoed in 2009; and in California, where there may be amendments repealing Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, and SB48, which mandates the teaching of glbtq history.