Black text: National Events, Blue text: Washington State Events, Red text: Spokane Events

1869    “homosexuality” first appears in print (Prussia)

1870    “lesbianism” is used in the modern sense

1892    the modern understanding of “bisexual” first appears in print

1893    Washington state outlaws sodomy as a “crime against nature”

1903    the first known police raid on a gay bathhouse, at the Ariston Hotel Baths, New York

1909    Washington state outlaws anal and oral sex between any consenting adults

1914    “faggot” first used in print in reference to gays

1924    Henry Gerber founds the Society for Human Rights, the first American homosexual rights organization, in Chicago

1950    Mattachine Society, a homosexual rights organization, is formed by cross-dresser Harry Hay and others

1952    Christine Jorgensen becomes the first publicly known MtF

1955    Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon and others found The Daughters of Bilitis, the first national lesbian organization, in San Francisco

late 1950s?   The Casbah, a gay bar, opens at 909 W. First in Spokane (under various names, the bar continues to serve the LGBT community until 2011)

1956    the term “transsexual” is first used by Harry Benjamin

1958    the US Supreme Court determines freedom of speech applies to a gay magazine

1959    protests against police harassment of homosexuals at Cooper’s Doughnuts, Los Angeles

1961    José Sarria becomes the first openly-gay American to run for political office, San Francisco

1961    Illinois becomes the first state to decriminalize sodomy

1965    the first “Annual Rights” picket for gay rights, Philadelphia

1965    José Sarria founds the Imperial Court of San Francisco

mid ‘60s the Inland Empire Society of the Arts hosts drag balls in Spokane

1966    transgender protests against police harassment at Compton’s Cafeteria, Los Angeles

1967    The Advocate begins publication, Los Angeles

1967    the Dorian Society is founded to advocate for gay rights, Seattle

1969    demonstrations against a police raid at Stonewall Inn, New York

1970    a Pride parade is first held in New York

1970    the first “gay-in” held in San Francisco

1970    the Imperial Sovereign Court of Seattle is founded

1970    Gene Otto and Dr. Jim Edmonds establish a Dorian Group in Spokane

1970-72    Provincial Press collective publishes articles on gay rights

1970s  Spokane’s Gay Crisis Line becomes a source of information for gays in the Northwest

1971    the University of Michigan establishes the first LGBT office at an American college

1971    the Gay Liberation Front organizes a “gay in” at High Bridge Park

1972    the Imperial Sovereign Court of Spokane is founded

1973    East Lansing, Ann Arbor, and San Francisco become the first US cities to adopt homosexual rights ordinances

1973    the American Psychiatric Association decides to remove homosexuality from their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

1973    the first PFLAG meeting is held, New York

1973    Seattle city ordinance outlaws job discrimination based on sexual orientation

1974    Seattle’s first Gay Pride Week

1974    Kathy Kozachenko becomes the first openly-LGBT person elected to political office, Ann Arbor

1975    the Washington state criminal code is revised, repealing laws against sodomy

1975    discrimination based on sexual orientation prohibited in housing, Seattle

1976    after learning about a major drag ball, Spokane city councilman Wayne Guthrie says Spokane is “not the place” for homosexuals; he backs down after a public outcry

1977    formation of Log Cabin Republicans, to promote gay rights within the Republican Party

1978    assassination of Harvey Milk, an openly-gay city Supervisor, San Francisco

1978    the gay pride flag is first flown, San Francisco

1978    Initiative 13, which would have repealed Seattle’s anti-discrimination laws, is defeated      

1979    the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights

1979    the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care for transgender individuals first published

1980    gay rights included in the Democratic Party platform

early ‘80s the owner of Sonya’s Majic Inn has sexual reassignment surgery

1980s  publication of The Swan, an LGBT newsletter

1981    the first cases of what became known as AIDS appear in New York and Los Angeles

1981    PFLAG organizes on a national level, Los Angeles

1982    Wisconsin becomes the first state to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation

1982    Rev. Austin Amerine establishes Spokane’s Emmanuel Metropolitan Community Church

1983    Gerry Studds becomes first openly-gay member of Congress

1984    Berkeley becomes the first US city to adopt domestic partner benefits for city employees

1984    PFLAG’s Spokane chapter is established by Katie and Harry Urbanek

1984    first known case of AIDS in Spokane County

1985    due to fear of HIV/AIDS, the Food and Drug Administration bans men who have sex with men from donating blood

1985    actor Rock Hudson becomes the first prominent celebrity to die from AIDS

1985    Governor Booth Gardner’s executive order bans state agencies from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation

1985    the Pride Foundation is established

1985    Dr. Dan Coulston, Dr. Jeff Collins, and Tom Crowe establish the Spokane AIDS Network (SPAN/SAN)

1986    the US Supreme Court upholds Georgia’s anti-sodomy law

1986    Washington State Initiative 490, which would have allowed workplace discrimination against homosexuals, fails to get enough signatures for a ballot

1986    a bomb threat is made during PFLAG’s screening of a movie at the Spokane Public Library

1987    ACT UP is established to advocate greater federal attention to HIV/AIDS research

1987    the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, includes display of the AIDS quilt on the National Mall

1987    Cal Anderson is appointed, becoming the first openly-gay person to serve in the Washington State legislature

1988    National Coming Out Day and World AIDS Day begin

1989    Denmark becomes the first country to legalize same-sex partnerships

1989    Spokane jazz musician Billy Tipton dies and is revealed to be transgender

1990    passage of the Hate Crimes Statistics Act, which requires tracking crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation

1992    voters in Colorado pass Amendment 2, denying protected status to LGB people

1992    Spokane holds its first Pride March, marching on the sidewalks

1992    Stonewall News Spokane begins publication

1992    Odyssey Youth Group begins as a part of Spokane Regional Health District’s HIV/AIDS prevention efforts; learning its location required a screening

1993    the third March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation

1993    the Supreme Court of Hawaii rules that denying marriage to same-sex couples violates the state’s constitution

1993    Hands Off Washington is established to defeat Initiatives 608 and 610, which would have legalized discrimination based on sexual orientation, prevented schools from teaching that LGBT life was “appropriate,” and denied homosexuals custody of children; the measures fail to get enough signatures for a ballot

1993    HB 1443, to prevent discrimination against homosexuals in housing and employment passes the Washington State House of Representatives but dies in Senate

1993    Papillion, a Spokane transgender support group, is established by Marianne Dawson, Michelle Flynn, and Kim Winchester

1993    Spokane’s pride march is granted a permit to march in the street

1994    Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) prohibits discrimination or harassment of gay military personnel, while also preventing openly-gay individuals from serving

1994    the Inland Northwest Business Alliance, an LGBT chamber of commerce, is established

1994-96 Spokane County coroner Dexter Amend sparks controversy, partly due to homophobic actions; the Washington Supreme Court finds insufficient evidence of malfeasance to permit a recall vote

1995    a drug combination therapy is shown to be effective in treating HIV/AIDS

1995    Cal Anderson dies of AIDS

1996    the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage as between a man and a woman, denies federal benefits to same-sex spouses, and allows states to refuse recognition to same-sex couples married in other states

1996    the US Supreme Court overturns Colorado’s Amendment 2, thus affirming that protection for LGBT people does not constitute “special rights”

1997    Washington State Initiative 677, which would have prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation, is defeated

1997    Washington State’s DOMA is vetoed by Governor Gary Locke

1997    inauguration of the Rainbow Regional Community Center (now the Inland Northwest LGBT Center)

1998    Matthew Shepard is brutally murdered in Wyoming

1998    PFLAG officially affirms advocacy for transgender individuals

1998    US Representative Barney Frank establishes the Stonewall Democrats, to advocate for LGBT rights within the Democratic party

1998    the bisexual flag is developed

1998    overriding Governor Locke’s veto, the Washington state legislature establishes a DOMA

1999    Stonewall Inn becomes the first “gay” site on the National Register of Historic Places

1999    the Spokane City Council bans discrimination against LGB individuals in housing, employment, and public services; as part of a political compromise, similar provisions for transgender people were omitted; an initiative to repeal ordinance was defeated by a public vote

2000    Vermont becomes the first US state to legalize same-sex civil unions

2000    the Millenium March on Washington, for LGBT rights

2001    the Netherlands becomes the first country to legalize same-sex marriage

2001    Odyssey Youth Center becomes an independent non-profit organization

2001    Dean Lynch becomes the first openly-gay man to serve on the Spokane City Council

2003    the Supreme Court finds sodomy laws in US are an unconstitutional invasion of privacy

2004    measures against same-sex marriage or civil unions pass in several US states

2004    same-sex marriage is legalized in Massachusetts

2004    Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon become the first same-sex couple married in the US, San Francisco

2004    Spokane’s pride march becomes a parade

2004-05 discussion of a gay district in Spokane

2005    the Spokane City Council approves full benefits for city employees in committed same-sex relationships

2005    Spokane Mayor Jim West is publicly outed by the Spokesman Review

2006    Washington state bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing, lending, and insurance

2006    Odyssey Youth Center first publishes its location

2007    Washington state legalizes domestic partnership

2007    Stonewall News Northwest suspends publication

2008    the California Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples have a right to marry; in response, voters pass Proposition 8, restricting marriage to a man and a woman

2009    Congress passes the Matthew Shepard Act, expanding federal hate crimes to include crimes perpetrated against victims due to sexual orientation or gender identity

2009    Washington becomes the first state to vote for same-sex partners having the same rights as married couples

2010    Emmanuel Metropolitan Community Church in Spokane closes

2011    DADT is repealed

2012    Referendum 74, upholding same-sex marriage, is approved, making Washington one of three states to approve same-sex marriage by a vote of the people in the fall election cycle

2012     the Spokane City Council tables a non-binding resolution expressing support for marriage equality

2013    the US Supreme Court declares DOMA unconstitutional; it also allows the California Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling in favor of same-sex marriage to stand, effectively overturning Proposition 8

2014    Medicare’s ban on sexual reassignment surgery is lifted

2014    the Spokane City Council votes to add gender identity to the city’s non-discrimination ordinance