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January 1, 1990

Iran: Short-wave radio broadcasts report that three gay men have just been beheaded and two lesbians stoned to death as part of an intensified campaign against "vice."

February 1990

Prague, Czechoslovakia: Activists organize the country's first public gay and lesbian rights demonstrations.

February 23, 1990

Taiwan: a group of women form Women Chih Chian (Women Among Us), the first lesbian organization for Chinese speaking women in Asia.

April 23, 1990

The Hate Crime Statistics Act, passed by the 101st Congress, is signed into law by President George Bush. The act requires the Department of justice to collect and publish statistics for five years on Hate Crime motivated by prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnic origin. It is the first law to extend federal recognition to gay men and lesbians.

April 28, 1990

New York City: Queer Nation stages its first public action. Almost 500 members of the recently formed organization march in Greenwich Village in protest of a pipe bomb attack on a local gay bar.

May 10, 1990

United Kingdom: Gay and lesbian activists found the Direct Action group OUTRAGE!, vowing to begin a campaign of civil disobedience unprecedented in the UK.

May 28-39, 1990

Tallinn, Estonia: The Estonian Academy of Sciences History Institute sponsors the first international conference on homosexuality and other sexual minorities to be held in the USSR. British historian Jeffrey Weeks and Dutch sociologist Gert Hekma are among the attendees.

June 23, 1990

Prague, Czechoslovakia: Activists organize SOHO, the country's first national network of lesbian and gay organizations.

June 24, 1990

Activists associated with Queer Nation distribute a manifesto emblazoned with the words "Queers Read This" at New York City's annual Pride Celebration march. Headlined "I Hate Straights" and signed "Anonymous Queers," the broadsheet is a harbinger of revitalized militancy among lesbian and gay activists.

October 1990

South Africa has its first lesbian and gay pride march. The event, held in Johannesburg, draws about 800 men and women, both black and white.

October 27, 1990

US restrictions against immigration of lesbians and gay men are rescinded.

December 1990

A reunited GERMANY abolishes Paragraph 175.

January 9, 1991

United Kingdom: An unprecedented number of prominent gay and lesbian artists come out in a public forum. Wishing to "respectfully distance" themselves from Derek Jarman's criticism of Ian McKellen's acceptance of a knighthood from the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher, they publish a widely discussed statement in support of McKellen in the Guardian. The signees are Simon Callow, Michael Cashman, Nancy Diuguid Simon Fanshawe, Stephen Fry, Philip Hedley, Bryony Lavery, Michael Leonard, David Lun, Tim Luscombe, Alec McCowen, Cameron Mackintosh, Pam St. Clement, john Schlesinger, Antony Sher, Martin Sherman, Ned Sherrin, and Nick Wright.

February 7. 1991

In an interview reported in the popular press, the president of the USSR, Academy of Medical Sciences asserts that homosexuality is a disease that must be fought by all legal means.

February 16, 1991

London: The Direct Action group OUTRAGE! organizes a gay and lesbian kiss-in at Piccadilly Circus in protest of a section of the Sexual Offences Act that makes public displays of affection between men illegal. Also this day in London, 7,000 demonstrators march to protest the recent arrest of gay male s/m devotees and other anti gay and -lesbian initiatives.

May 17 1991

Madonna’s Truth or Dare opens in movie theaters nationwide.

June, 1991

The first Black Lesbian and Gay Pride celebration is held in Washington, DC

September 1991

At a worldwide conference held in Yokohama, Japan, Amnesty International resolves to work to help persons imprisoned for consensual same-sex acts between adults or simply on account of their sexual orientation.

September 29, 1991

California Governor Pete Wilson vetoes AB 101 a gay and lesbian employment rights bill, inciting what some call Stonewall 11, a month of marches and angry protests across the state.

October 19, 1991

At least nine lesbian and gay employees of Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores have been fired as a result of the company's policy of supporting "heterosexual values." Queer Nation, among other activist groups, mounts a series of protests.

December 1991

Minnesota: Karen Thompson is named Sharon Kowalski's legal guardian. The decision, which comes eight years after a car accident left Kowalski paralyzed and speech impaired, is seen as a precedent-setting victory for the disabled as well as lesbian and gay couples.

February 1992

Levi Strauss & Co. makes domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees eligible for health insurance coverage. With 23,000 employees, Levi Strauss is the largest company in the US to do so to date.

February 27, 1992

Canada's Supreme Court resolves Butler v. Her Majesty the Queen by redefining "obscenity" as material that violates the civil rights of women. The decision, which reflects theories espoused by American anti-pornography activist Andrea Dworkin, results in the banning of a variety of lesbian and gay literature and films, including most literary and graphic depictions of s/m and anal eroticism.

April 1992

China: the Ministry of Public Security orders the release of two lesbians who have been imprisoned for two weeks on charges of "unruly behavior" - i.e., living together. The ministry announces that there is no legal basis for forbidding lesbians from cohabiting.

May 17, 1992

Switzerland: voters approve a wide-ranging reform of the country's laws, including the deletion of all discriminatory language related to homosexuality, with 73 percent voting in favor.

June 1992

The government of Nicaragua criminalizes same-sex acts for the first time in its history. Persons who "promote" same-sex acts "in scandalous form" as well as actual practitioners are liable to sentences of one to three years' imprisonment.

June 16, 1992

Popular singer K. D. LANG comes out in a cover story published in The Advocate, setting off a year of US. media reports on "lesbian chic."

July 3, 1992

Buenos Aires: An estimated 300 lesbians and gay men march in Argentina's first-ever Pride Celebration.

July 7. 1992

New York City: Some 50 activists attend the first public meeting of the Lesbian Avengers, a Direct Action group Conceptualized the previous spring.

August 19, 1992

Germany: Some 250 lesbian and gay couples all over the country try to register for MARRIAGE. The demonstration, organized by the Schwulerverband in Deutschland (Gay League of Germany), receives widespread media attention.

September 24, 1992

The Kentucky Supreme Court rules that the state's anti-sodomy laws violate the rights to privacy and equal protection as guaranteed by the state constitution.

September 26, 1992

Amid a bitterly contested campaign in Oregon for and against Measure 9, an anti gay rights initiative, a lesbian and a gay man are killed when local skinheads throw a Molotov cocktail into their apartment in Salem.

October 1992

The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt is displayed in Washington, DC, for the fourth time. More than 400,000 people come to the Washington Monument grounds to view the Quilt's 20,000 - plus panels, which extend over more than 13 acres.

November 1992

China: The national government reports that same-sex acts are no longer considered an offense against "social order."

November 3. 1992

Colorado: 53 percent of voters approve Amendment 2, an initiative banning state and municipal rights ordinances for lesbians and gay men. "Family values" organizations in more than 35 states begin campaigning for similar propositions. In Oregon, voters reject Measure 9, an initiative similar to Amendment 2.

November 23, 1992

Australia: Prime Minister Paul Keating revokes the country's restrictions on gay men and lesbians in the military.


Two years after his death, Yevgeny Kharitonov's openly homoerotic poetry and prose are published for the first time in Russia. Previously distributed via underground samizdat, Kharitonov achieved a reputation as the first major gay male writer in Russia since Mikhail Kuzmin, who died in 1936.

Netherlands: The government begins using advertising brochures to encourage lesbians and gay men in the country's navy to come out and be open about their sexuality.

January 1993

Representative Steve Gunderson (R-Wisc.), the third US. congressmen to come out, resigns the position of deputy whip in protest over intolerant statements made at last year's Republican National Convention.

January 1, 1993

The World Health Organization officially deletes "homosexuality" from its list of "diseases.

February 1993

Netherlands: The Second House of Parliament adopts the Equal Treatment Act, which forbids all discrimination based "on the sole ground" of homosexuality.

March 14, 1993

Brazil: Armed men abduct, torture, and behead Renildo Jose dos Santos, an openly bisexual local city councilor in the state of Alagoas. Santos, who had been under attack from the local mayor and the mayors allies, had repeatedly been denied police protection, despite a previous attempt on his life.

March 22, 1993

Lawrence Poirier comes out to his best friend Michael in cartoonist Lynn Johnston's popular comic STRIP For Better or for Worse. Some 40 newspapers in the US and Canada refuse to run the four-week story; thousands cancer subscriptions to papers that do; in the end, however, 70 percent of the more than 2,500 letters Johnston receives about the series are positive.

April 24, 1993

Washington, DC: The third gay and lesbian March on Washington is prefaced by a mass wedding ceremony held outside the Internal Revenue Service building. Metropolitan Community Church founder Reverend Troy Perry conducts the service, joining 1,500 lesbian and gay couples in marriage, just before midnight, Lesbian Avengers march on the White House in what organizers claim is the largest lesbian demonstration ever.

April 25, 1993

The third gay and lesbian March on Washington draws more than 1 million participants, according to organizers. Extensive television and newspaper coverage makes it the most widely publicized march yet.

May 7, 1993

The Hawaii Supreme Court rules that the state must prove a "compelling interest" for denying same-sex Partners a marriage license.

May 27, 1993

Russia: President Boris Yeltsin publishes a decree decriminalizing consensual adult male Sodomy.

June 30, 1993

Ireland decriminalizes same-sex relations for consenting adults and sets the Age Of Consent at 17 for all sexual activities.

July 1993

The United Nations grants the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) observer status. ILGA is the first gay or lesbian organization to be recognized by the UN.

US: The Clinton administration institutes new guidelines on homosexuality in the Military. Dubbed "don't ask, don't tell:' the policy in most instances prohibits military officials from investigating instances of homosexuality without prior cause while forbidding service members from expressing their sexuality openly.

July 28, 1993

New Zealand becomes the seventh country in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.

September 21, 1993

Amanda Bearse talks about being a lesbian in an Advocate interview. She is the first prime time television star to come out.

November 18, 1993

Romania: Marius Aitai, Ovidiu Chetea, and Cosmin Hutanu are sentenced to up to 2'/2 years in prison for same-sex acts in private. Amnesty International calls for their immediate release and protests the imprisonment of 54 other people on similar charges, as well as the reportedly widespread torture and sexual abuse of persons arrested on suspicion of homosexuality.

December 6. 1993

The Massachusetts state senate approves the first state Law to protect lesbian and gay public school students against discrimination.

December 7. 1993

Texas: Williamson County commissioners reverse last week's decision to deny Apple Computer tax breaks for a new facility in the county because of its policy of extending benefits to employees' same-sex domestic partners. Several of the commissioners, however, continue to express condemnation of "the gay lifestyle."

December 23 1993

Philadelphia starring Tom Hanks premieres.

February 1994

Ovett, Mississippi: Lovers Brenda and Wanda Henson draw national attention to a campaign of harassment and threats launched by local residents in protest of their 120-acre Camp Sister Spirit. Although the Hensons deny that their project, which they call a "feminist retreat," is part of the Lesbian Land movement, local residents call it a "lesbian colony" because about 70 percent of the membership of the nonprofit organization that supports the camp is lesbian. US Attorney General Janet Reno later dispatches two justice Department representatives to investigate charges that the Hensons' civil rights are being violated.

February 8, 1994

The European Parliament, meeting in Strasbourg, France, approves a resolution initiated by Claudia Roth, representing Germanys Green Party, that affirms a broadly defined gay and lesbian rights agenda, including the right to marry.

February 9. 1994

Pope john Paul 11 attacks the European Parliament resolution in favor of lesbian and gay rights.

April 12, 1994

In response to a Hawaii Supreme court decision questioning the state's right to bar same sex marriage, the state senate passes a bill declaring that the need to "foster and protect the propagation of the human " is justification for the ban.

April 24, 1994

Russia: Yaroslav Mogutin, the country's most visible openly gay journalist, makes headlines when he attempts to register his marriage to American artist Robert Filippini. The head of Moscow's Wedding Palace No. 4 politely refuses his application.

June 27, 1994

Deborah Batts becomes the first openly lesbian or gay US federal judge.

August 1994

Japan: More than 1,200 lesbians, gay men, and supporters gather on the streets of Tokyo for the country's first open lesbian and gay Pride Celebration.

August 23, 1994

Australia: The federal government acts to overturn Tasmania's anti-sodomy law. Tasmania's is the last Australian state to penalize same sex relations.

September 16, 1994

At the insistence of the US, the United Nations suspends the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) from observer status because of allegations that ILGA's members include groups that promote pedophilia.

September 27, 1994

Canada: Real Menard, a Montreal representative of the Bloc Quebecois, becomes the second MP to come out when he tells reporters that he is "speaking for the community" to which he belongs when he protests the televised statements of another member of Parliament, Roseanne Skoke of Nova Scotia, among which is the claim that "this [gay and lesbian] love, this compassion, based on an inhuman act, defiles humanity, destroys family ... and is annihilating mankind."

November 8, 1994

The Republican right sweeps elections across the US., but there are some gay and lesbian gains, including new state legislature representatives and senators in Arizona, California, and Rhode Island, and one reelected in Texas. An anti gay and -lesbian rights initiative, Proposition 1, is defeated in Idaho.

December 6, 1994

Delegates of the American Medical Association declare their opposition to medical treatments administered to "cure" lesbians or gay men, urging "nonjudgmental recognition of sexual orientation."

December 23, 1994

In a much publicized adoption case in Seattle, Washington, Ross and Luis Lopton win permanent custody of their four year-old foster son, Gailen. The child's birth mother had challenged the men's right to adopt him.

December 28, 1994

About 70 men from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka attend the first regional conference for gay rights in South Asia, a five day event organized in New Delhi by activist Ashok Row Kawi.

January 27, 1995

At a press conference in Washington, DC, the House majority whip, Dick Armey (R-Tex.), refers to Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) as "Barney Fag." He later apologizes, insisting it was a slip of the tongue.

March 18, 1995

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the chief primate of the Anglican Communion tells the press: "We reject homophobia in any form." He and the other 35 Anglican primates call for a Church-wide debate on issues of sexuality "at variance with the received Christian moral tradition."

March 22, 1995

The Montana state senate amends a bill mandating registration of persons previously convicted of "violent" crimes to include "deviate sexual conduct." The bill would require anyone convicted of oral or anal sex with a member of his or her own sex to register with the local Law Enforcement authority.

March 23, 1995

Threatened with an economic boycott and faced strong opposition from state and national lesbian and gay activists, the Montana Senate unanimously votes to delete same-sex acts from a list of crimes for which convicts have to register with local authorities.

April 15, 1995

Argentina: Buenos Aires police raid Boicot, a lesbian disco, and arrest 10 women ostensibly to check their police records. Lesbian activist Monica Santino obtains their release after three hours, during which time the women are subjected to verbal abuse and threats.

June 13, 1995

Following Attorney General Janet Reno's decision not to file a brief in the Colorado constitutional amendment case and protests over a meeting with elected lesbian and gay officials for which security guards wore rubber gloves out of fear of HIV infection, the Clinton administration attempts to smooth relations with activists by naming the first-ever White House liaison to the gay and lesbian communities.

August 1, 1995

After refusing to allow the Gay and Lesbian Association of Zimbabwe to exhibit at a human rights book fair, President Robert Mugabe opens the fair with an attack on lesbians and gay men, saying they are alien to African traditions and that he doesn't believe "they have any rights at all."

August 4, 1995

US President Bill Clinton signs an executive order forbidding the federal government from denying security clearances on the basis of a person's sexual orientation. Administration spokespersons advise reporters, however, that individuals Ought still be denied clearance if they were in the closet and feared exposure to family or friends.

August 11, 1995

South Korea marks its first Pride Celebration with a march and other events in Seoul.

August 26, 1995

Spokespersons for Republican presidential candidate Robert Dole announce that his campaign is returning a $1,000 donation from the Log Cabin Federation, saying the gay and lesbian Republican organization has "a specific political agenda that's fundamentally at odds" with the senator's.

October 16, 1995

Washington, DC: Nation Of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's Million Man March divides African-American gay men: some, disturbed by Nation of Islam homophobia, decide to stay home; others, viewing the march as an affirmation of the need for black unity, attend. No openly gay speaker is permitted to speak at the rally that follows the march.

October 17, 1995

For the first time in its history, the United Nations considers lesbian and gay rights abuses at its International Tribunal on Human Rights Violations Against Sexual Minorities. Following testimony from a number of women and men who have suffered abuse ranging from torture to forced institutionalization, the tribunal recommends that the UN document sexual orientation and gender identity issues around the world and integrate them into the organization's human rights agenda.

November 7, 1995

Maine voters reject the "Act to Limit Protected Classes," which would have outlawed anti discrimination ordinances for lesbians and gay men and nullified Portland's 1992 gay and lesbian rights ordinance.

November 30, 1995

The first US. government-sponsored advertising targeting gay men debuts on the eve of World AIDS Day when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases a public service television announcement cautioning men to have "smart sex."

March 7 1996

The Birdcage opened in theaters nationwide.

May 15, 1996

A US. Episcopal Church court rules that there is no "core doctrine" against ordaining a gay man as a deacon, the clergy rank below that of priest.

May 20, 1996

Ruling that "A State cannot so deem a class of person a stranger to its laws," the US. Supreme Court declares Colorado's Amendment 2 unconstitutional.

June 1996

Canada: A legislative measure guaranteeing civil rights protection for lesbians and gay men becomes law.

August 1. 1996

Representative Jim Kolbe of Arizona becomes the fourth congressman-and second Republican-to come out after an e-mail campaign launched by San Francisco activist Michael Petrelis and others protests his support of the Defense of Marriage Act. In Harare, Zimbabwe, gay and lesbian organizations succeed in opening a booth at Africa's largest annual human rights book fair, thanks to a favorable court ruling obtained after being barred from last year's fair. Since the Attorney General of Zimbabwe has appealed the decision to the country's Supreme Court, participants are careful to restrict their display to flowers, but they attract larger crowds than any of the other 300 booths at the fair.

September 13, 1996

In the US Congress, a bill that would ban employment discrimination against lesbians and gay men is defeated by one vote.

September 15, 1996

The European Parliament approves a resolution calling for an end to "all discrimination and/or inequality of treatment concerning homosexuals" in every country of the European Union.

September 20, 1996

President BID Clinton signs the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars same-sex partners from receiving federal spousal benefits marriage.

Saudi Arabia: 24 Filipino workers receive the first 50 lashes of their 200-lash sentence for alleged "homosexual behavior." Despite protests from Amnesty International, the government goes ahead with the sentence and later deports the workers.

October 1996

Washington, DC: 1.2 million people view The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

October 1, 1996

Argentina: Buenos Aires police begin a campaign of raids on gay and lesbian clubs and arrests of cross-dressing patrons and transsexuals in an apparent protest against impending gay and lesbian rights measures.

October 10, 1996

Argentina, the city of Buenos Aires enacts legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and repealing laws that allowed police to arrest lesbians and gay men and hold them without charge for 24 hours.

November 1996

San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown signs a bill that requires all companies doing business with the city to offer gay and lesbian employees Domestic Partnership benefits.

Feb 13 1996

Rent opens on Broadway.

April 7 1998

George Michael is arrested for lewd behavior in a Beverly Hills park men's room; he publicly comes out 3 days later.