The birth of LGBT movement: Stonewall Riots
- The Stonewall riots that broke out as a result of fight between the police and gay people became the catalyst for the LGBT movement for civil rights in the United States.
- The riots inspired LGBT people throughout the country to organize in support of gay rights.
- As a result, gay rights groups started in nearly every major city in the United States.
America's first gay pride parade
On the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, America saw the first gay pride parades in four cities – New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles on 27 June 1970.
Small victories for the gay movemnt
- In 1973, the American Psychological Association's Board of Trustees voted to remove homosexuality from its diagnostic manual of mental disorders
- In 1978, Harvey Milk became the first openly gay man elected to office in a major U.S. city.
- Rep. Barney Frank became the first openly gay member of Congress in 1987.
A series of setbacks for the gay community
- In 1986, SC criminalised oral and anal sex between consenting homosexuals.
- President Bill Clinton's government enacted a "don't ask, don't tell" policy preventing gays from openly serving in the military. Under it, an estimated 13,000 people were expelled from the U.S. Armed Forces.
- In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act. Section 3 of the statute barred the recognition of same-sex marriages.
First state to legalize gay union
Vermont became the 1st state to allow "same sex couples to join their lives via civil unions." The state approved same-sex marriage in 2009.
Obama ushers in the Hate Crime Prevention Act
- President Barack Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, named for two victims of hate crimes.
- The law required the FBI to track hate crimes based on gender and gender identity.
- It also gave the Department of Justice the power to prosecute criminals if their crimes were motivated by victim's race, religion or sexual orientation.
LGBT movement scores some historic wins
- Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to back marriage for gay and lesbian couples in 2012, giving the movement a certain novelity.
- On 23 May 2013, members of the Boy Scouts of America's council vote to remove the ban against gay scouts.
- Exodus International, a group that claimed it could cure same-sex attraction via therapy closed down on 20 June 2013.
Supreme Court lifts DOMA
- On 26 June 2013, in a 5-4 ruling, the United States Supreme Court justices struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) terming it as unconstitutional.
- The court invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to gay couples who were legally married in their states, including social security survivor benefits, immigration rights and family leave.
USA Supreme Court de-criminalizes gay marriages
- In a landmark opinion, the USA Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples can marry nationwide (which was legal in 37 states), establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a historic victory.
- In the 5-4 ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority with the four liberal justices.
- The White House was lit in rainbow colors to commemorate the Supreme Court decision.
Obama's tweet about the historic victory
President Obama tweeted in the ruling's support saying "Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins".