The first Pride march in New York City was held on June 28, 1970, on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Primary sources available at the Library of Congress provide detailed information about how this first Pride march was planned and the reasons why activists felt so strongly that it should exist. Looking through the Lili Vincenz and Frank Kameny Papers in the Library’s Manuscript Division, researchers can find planning documents, correspondence, flyers, ephemera and more from the first Pride marches in 1970. This, the first U.S. Gay Pride Week and March, was meant to give the community a chance to gather together to "...commemorate the Christopher Street Uprisings of last summer in which thousands of homosexuals went to the streets to demonstrate against centuries of abuse ... from government hostility to employment and housing discrimination, Mafia control of Gay bars, and anti-Homosexual laws" (Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee Fliers, Franklin Kameny Papers). The concept behind the initial Pride march came from members of the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO), who had been organizing an annual July 4th demonstration (1965-1969) known as the "Reminder Day Pickets," at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. At the ERCHO Conference in November 1969, the 13 homophile organizations in attendance voted to pass a resolution to organize a national annual demonstration, to be called Christopher Street Liberation Day.
As members of the Mattachine Society of Washington, Frank Kameny and Lilli Vincenz participated in the discussion, planning, and promotion of the first Pride along with activists in New York City and other homophile groups belonging to ERCHO.
By all estimates, there were three to five thousand marchers at the inaugural Pride in New York City, and today marchers in New York City number in the millions. Since 1970, LGBTQ+ people have continued to gather together in June to march with Pride and demonstrate for equal rights.
In this case, several plaintiffs who were fired after their employers learned of their membership in the LGBTQ+ community claimed they had been subjected to discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (2 U.S.C. § 2000e–2(a)). The conflict centered around the language of Title VII of the Act, which makes it “unlawful...for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual...because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." Specifically, the Court was asked to rule on whether the "sex" component of Title VII protected people who were discriminated against by their employer due to their "homosexuality or transgender status." In a majority opinion written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, the Supreme Court determined that Title VII did, stating: "The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids."
In this video, Jim Obergefell and Debbie Cenziper discuss their new book, "Love Wins." Obergefell was the named plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 landmark marriage equality ruling that the Supreme Court issued just a year prior. The opinion in the Obergefell case can be found on the Supreme Court website.
In this agency decision, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held for the first time that someone's claim of employment discrimination based on their gender identity or transgender status is cognizable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Ms. Macy was represented by attorneys from the Transgender Law Center, which is mentioned in the "Online Resources" section of this guide.
As described by the ACLU, "[O]n September 19, 2008, a federal district judge ruled that the Library of Congress illegally discriminated against Schroer, in a groundbreaking decision that found that discriminating against someone for changing genders is sex discrimination under federal law."
This case overturned two men's convictions for "deviate sexual intercourse, namely anal sex, with a member of the same sex (man)," finding that such laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Justice Kennedy stated in the opinion, "The State cannot demean [Lawrence and Garner's] existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government....The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual." This case overruled a prior U.S. Supreme Court case, Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986).
In this decision by the Nebraska Supreme Court, Richardson County Sheriff Charles B. Laux was found liable for his abusive conduct toward, and "fail[ure] to protect," a transgender man, Brandon Teena, who was ultimately murdered.
Derek Henkle sued his school district under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.), claiming that it was liable for failing to protect him against discrimination "on the basis of sex," as school administrators and resource officers did not defend him as his fellow students "harassed and intimidated him during school hours and on school property" for being "out" as a gay person.
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down an amendment to the Colorado State Constitution ("Amendment 2"), which would not allow any statute, regulation, or executive action that would protect "homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships," finding that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Court ruled, in an opinion drafted by Justice Kennedy, that Amendment 2 "is a status-based enactment divorced from any factual context from which we could discern a relationship to legitimate state interests; it is a classification of persons undertaken for its own sake, something the Equal Protection Clause does not permit. '[C]lass legislation . . . [is] obnoxious to the prohibitions of the Fourteenth Amendment . . . .' Civil Rights Cases, 109 U. S., at 24."
While the decision itself is not self-explanatory, this was the first U.S. Supreme Court ruling to deal with homosexuality and to address free speech rights with respect to homosexuality. The Supreme Court held that writings that supported a homosexual lifestyle were not inherently "obscene," and thus could be protected speech under the First Amendment. The decision in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which was overturned by the Supreme Court, is One, Inc. v. Olesen, 241 F.2d 772 (1957) External.
In this executive order, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, claiming national security interests, effectively banned homosexuals from working for the federal government.