Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Being Gay in the 70's

Yesterday we spent time in the 60's and learned a little about the gay rights movement. Today we move into the 70's to see how things progressed. The 70's were my coming of age years. This is when I realized I was gay and when I graduated from high school. I was still in the closet and scared to death of being found out. Let's see how our community handled this era.
"Burst down those closet doors once and for all, and stand up and start to fight."     ~Harvey Milk

  • Unitarian Universalist Association becomes first U.S. mainstream religious group to recognize LGBT clergy and laity within its ranks and to demand an end to anti-gay discrimination.
  • The Vatican issues a statement reiterating that homosexuality is a moral aberration.
  • The first Gay Liberation Day March is held in New York City.
  • The first LGBT Pride Parade is held in New York.
  • The film version of Mart Crowley's popular Broadway play "The Boys in the Band" premieres.  The film is one of the earliest to deal with homosexuality as the main topic.

  • Society Five (a homosexual rights organization) is formed in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Homosexuality is decriminalized in Austria, Costa Rica and Finland.
  • Colorado and Oregon repeal sodomy laws; Idaho repeals the sodomy law — Then re-instates the repealed sodomy law because of outrage among Mormons and Catholics.
  • The Netherlands changes the homosexual age of consent to 16, the same as the straight age of consent.
  • Dr. Frank Kameny becomes the first openly gay candidate for the United States Congress.
  • George Klippert, the last man jailed for homosexuality in Canada, is released from prison.
  • Jack Baker, 29,an openly gay law student at the University of Minnesota is elected student body president.  Baker and his lover, librarian James McConnell, also 29, unsuccessfully sue for a marriage license. They legalize their relationship when a judge allows McConnell to adopt Baker.
  • The Los Angeles Gay Community Services Center opens.

  • East Lansing, Michigan, becomes first city to ban anti-gay bias in city hiring.
  • The Rev. William R. Johnson became the first openly gay minister to be ordained in the United Church of Christ.
  • Sweden becomes first country in the world to allow transsexuals to legally change their sex, and provides free hormone therapy.
  • Hawaii legalizes homosexuality.
  • Norway decriminalizes homosexuality.
  • East Lansing, Michigan and Ann Arbor, Michigan and San Francisco, California become the first cities in United States to pass a homosexual rights ordinance.
  • Jim Foster, San Francisco and Madeline Davis, Buffalo, New York, first gay and lesbian delegates to the Democratic Convention, Miami.
  • "Stonewall Nation" first gay anthem is written and recorded by Madeline Davis and is produced on 45 rpm record by the Mattachine Society of the Niagara Frontier.
  • Jeanne Manford marched with her gay son in New York's Pride Day parade. This was the beginning of PFLAG - Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
  • Nancy Wechsler became the first openly gay or lesbian person in political office in America; she was elected to the Ann Arbor City Council as a member of the Human Rights Party and came out as a lesbian during her first and only term there.
  • Freda Smith became the first openly lesbian minister in the Metropolitan Community Church (she was also their first female minister).
  • Minnesota State Senator Allan Spear is elected.  He "comes out" in 1974.  Spear then serves 6 consecutive terms.
  • Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern endorses gay rights.  He is denounced by party stalwarts.
  • "That Certain Summer" a television portrayal of homosexuality shows an American housewife (Hope Lange) losing her husband (Hal Holbrook) to a young artist (Martin Sheen).

  • The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its DSM-II Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, based largely on the research and advocacy of Evelyn Hooker.
  • Malta legalizes homosexuality.
  • In West Germany, the age of consent is reduced for homosexuals to 18 (though it is 14 for heterosexuals).
  • New York City Parents of Gays holds its first meeting.  Nearly 20 people gathered in a Methodist church in Greenwich Village. Eight years later, with about 20 independent support groups nationwide, the group officially organizes as the national group Parents-FLAG.

  • Ohio Supreme Court rules that even though homosexuality is legal, the state can refuse to incorporate a gay organization because “the promotion of homosexuality as a valid life style is contrary to the public policy of the state.”
  • Kathy Kozachenko becomes the first openly gay American elected to public office when she wins a seat on the Ann Arbor, Michigan city council.
  • Elaine Noble becomes the second openly gay American elected to public office when she wins a seat in the Massachusetts State House.
  • Inspired by Noble, Minnesotta state legislator Allan Spear comes out in a newspaper interview.
    Ohio repeals sodomy laws.
  • Robert Grant founds American Christian Cause to oppose the "gay agenda", the beginning of modern Christian politics in America.

  • U.S. Civil Service Commission stops banning gay men and lesbians from federal jobs.
  • Homosexuality is legalized in California due to the Consenting Adult Sex Bill, authored by and successfully lobbied for in the state legislature by State Assemblyman from San Francisco Willie Brown.
  • South Australia becomes the first state in Australia to make homosexuality legal between consenting adults in private.
  • Panama is the second country in the world to allow transsexuals who have gone through gender reassignment surgery to get their personal documents reflecting their new sex.
  • Sergeant Leonard Matlovich appears on the cover of TIME with the words "I am a Homosexual" across his chest.  After a 5 year battle with the military, he accepts $160,000 and a promotion to the rank of Captain.  He will later die of AIDS-related complications.
  • Pro-football player David Kopay becomes the first major league athlete to come out as gay.
  • Pennsylvania Governor Milton Shapp signs an executive order banning antigay discrimination in state employment.

  • Tales of the City published by the “San Francisco Chronicle,“ includes LGB and T characters.
  • San Francisco Bisexual Center opens.
  • Robert Grant founds the Christian Voice to take his anti-homosexual-rights crusade national in United States.
  • Out Minnesota state legislator Allan Spear is reelected; and Denmark equalizes the age of consent.
  • Pope Paul VI publicly denied that he was a homosexual.
  • The owner of a New Jersey dinner theater canceled "The Boys in the Band" after he learned it was about homosexuality.
  • Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter announced that if he were elected he would issue executive orders banning discrimination against gays and lesbians in the military, housing, employment, and immigration.

  • The Rev. Anne Holmes became the first openly lesbian minister to be ordained in the United Church of Christ.
  • 80% of surveyed Oregon doctors say they would refuse to treat a known homosexual.
  • Arkansas recriminalizes gay sex after two years without such a law.
  • Harvey Milk is elected city-county supervisor in San Francisco, becoming the fifth out American elected to public office. 
  • Quebec becomes the first jurisdiction larger than a city or county in the world to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in the public and private sectors.
  • Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Vojvodina; legalise homosexuality.
  • Publication of the first issue of Gaysweek, NYC's first mainstream gay weekly.
  • Police raid a house outside of Boston outraging the gay community. In response the Boston-Boise Committee is formed, which would lead to the founding of NAMBLA.
  • Ellen Barrett became the first openly lesbian priest ordained by the Episcopal Church of the United States (serving the Diocese of New York).
  • The first lesbian mystery novel in America was published; it was Angel Dance, by Mary F. Beal.
  • The National Center for Lesbian Rights was founded.
  • Just 8 years after the Stonewall Riots, Studio 54 Opens in New York City.   The nightclub would become famous as the place to go for celebrities, drugs, gays, straights and everything in between.
  • "Dancing Queen" by ABBA hits #1 on the pop singles chart.
  • Gospel singing Florida orange juice queen Anita Bryant forms "Save Our Children Inc." against the gay movement.   Bryant, intending to take her campaign national retreats after she encounters gay protesters at every stop and a "pie in the face" in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • The Liberace Museum opens in Las Vegas.

  • San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone are assassinated by former Supervisor Dan White.
  • The first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is held, with 2000 people attending and 53 subsequently arrested and some seriously beaten by police.
  • The rainbow flag is first used as a symbol of homosexual pride.
  • The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) is established.
  • Robin Tyler became the first out lesbian on U.S. national television, appearing on a Showtime comedy special hosted by Phyllis Diller. The same year she released her comedy album, Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Groom, the first comedy album by an out lesbian.

  • The first national homosexual rights march on Washington, DC is held.
  • Harry Hay issues the first call for a Radical Faerie gathering in Arizona.
  • Cuba and Spain decriminalize homosexuality.
  • A number of people in Sweden called in sick with a case of being homosexual, in protest of homosexuality being classified as an illness. This was followed by an activist occupation of the main office of the National Board of Health and Welfare. Within a few months, Sweden became the first country in the world to remove homosexuality as an illness.
  • The New York Times runs a front page story showing six men being executed by firing squad in Iran for homosexuality.
  • The "White Night" Riots at City Hall, San Francisco follow the verdict of Harvey Milk killer Dan White's 5 to 8 year manslaughter sentence.  The 5,000 person march turns violent as police vehicles are overturned and set on fire.  Later in the evening, police retaliate in the Castro neighborhood, arresting and beating gay men. 
  • 4,000 people gather for a peaceful celebration of Harvey Milk's 49th birthday on May 22.
Original Gay Pride Flag
 The 70's saw a lot of action within the gay community, some good and some bad but there was still change. We are seeing positive results since the Stonewall Riots and we have a lot of people to thank for working so hard to make our lives easier. We will continue into the 80's tomorrow.

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