24th/25th Century BC
Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum’s tomb
is built in Egypt during the fifth dynasty. It is believed that the two men may
have been lovers, making this the first recorded homosexual relationship.
7th Century BC
In 630 BC, Cretan aristocrats
institute formal relationship’s between adult princes and adolescent boys, with
the double aim to educate the boys and curb population growth. The practice,
associated with gymnasia and athletic nudity, is quickly adopted throughout
much of ancient Greece.
6th Century BC
In 600 BC, the term Lesbian and Lesbos is used for the first time.
4th Century BC
In 338 BC, the Sacred Band of
Thebes, an undefeated elite battalion made up of one hundred and fifty
pederastic couples (man boy couples) is destroyed by the forces of Philip II of
In the 54th year, Nero
becomes Emperor of Rome. Nero married two men in legal ceremonies, with at
least one spouse accorded the same honors as an empress.
In 342, the sons of Constantine,
Constans and Constantius II, pass a law read variously by historians as
In 529, Justinian’s code outlaws
homosexuality in the Byzantine Empire. The public resists attempts at
In 650, in early medieval
Visigothic Spain, homosexuality is criminalized. However, outside of Spain, homosexuality remains completely legal, and even relatively accepted, in almost all of Europe.
In 800-900, during the Carolingian
Renaissance, there is a large amount of complex gay poetry. There is no law
An eleventh century Byzantine
legal treatise makes it clear that homosexual unions are legal. In Scandinavia, pederasty was practiced as an institutionalized way of life. St. Peter Damian
composed the Book of Gomorrah, in a failed attempt to persuade his
contemporaries that homosexuality was a grave sin. Ivo of Chartes is
unsuccessful in his attempt to convince Pope Urban II of the dangers of homosexuality.
In 1102, the Council of London
took measures to ensure that the public knew that homosexuality was sinful,
marking a significant shift in church attitudes.
The first mention in English
common law of a punishment for homosexuality occurs in 1290.
King Edward III was unsuccessfully
petitioned to banish foreign homosexuals.
In 1533, King Henry VIII proclaims
sodomy a crime.
The first known conviction for
lesbian activity in North America occurs in March when Sarah White Norman is
charged with lewd behavior with Mary Vincent Hammon in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
France and Belgium decriminalize homosexuality.
The Netherlands and Italy legalize homosexual acts. Bavaria, Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast, and Japan, decriminalize homosexuality.
In 1869, the term “homosexuality”
was first used by Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, who attempted to publish the first gay
periodical “Urnings” in Germany. The English edition of the book “Sexual
Inversion” by Havelock Ellis and John Addington Symonds was published. It was
the first book in English to treat homosexuality as neither a disease nor
crime, and maintained that it was inborn and unmodifiable.
- Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru legalize homosexuality.
- The first gay rights organization in America is founded in Chicago, called The Society for Human Rights.
- Poland and Uruguay decriminalize
- The Netherlands organization, Center
for Culture and Recreation, a pro-homosexual group, is founded.
- The Denmark organization, League of
1948, a pro-homosexual group, is founded.
- Alfred Kinsey publishes “Sexual
Behavior in the Human Male,” in which he claims as many as 37% of men have
participated in homosexual behavior.
- Switzerland legalizes male
- Surinam and Sweden decriminalize
- The Mattachine Society, the first
pro-homosexual group in America, is founded in New York. They publish “One
Magazine: The Homosexual Viewpoint.”
- The Daughters of Bilitis, a
pro-lesbian organization, is formed in San Francisco.
- Arcadie, the first pro-homosexual
group in France, is formed.
- The Swedish Federation for Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights is formed in Sweden.
- The Homosexual Law Reform Society is
founded in the United Kingdom.
- Alfred Kinsey publishes “Sexual
Behavior in the Human Female,” in which he claims 13% of women have
participated in homosexual behavior.
- Greece and Thailand decriminalize
- The first United States homosexual
student groups are formed. FREE, is founded at the University of Minnesota, and the Student Homophile League, at Columbia University in New York City.
- And Australian arm of Daughters of
Bilitis is formed in Melbourne.
- The North American Conference of
Homophile Organizations is formed.
- England, Wales, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Israel, decriminalize homosexuality.
- The first gay rights demonstration in
the U.S. occurs in New York City.
- The Gay Liberation Front, and Gay
Activists Alliance, are founded in New York.
- The Campaign for Homosexual Equality
is formed in Britain
- Illinois becomes the first U.S. State
to remove sodomy laws from its criminal code.
- Burkina Faso, Poland, and Canada legalize homosexuality.
- The first lesbian and gay pride march
in the U.S. occurs in New York City
- The London Gay Liberation Front is founded.
- The first gay demonstration in the United Kingdom occurs.
- The first open gay dance in the United Kingdom, organized by the Gay Liberation Front,
was held at Kensington Town Hall.
- The first gay march through London occurs.
- Lesbians invaded the platform at the
Women's Liberation Conference, demanding recognition.
- The “Gay Liberation Front Manifesto” was
published, and the first national 'think-in' was held.
- Oberlin Gay Liberation, an early
lesbian, gay, and bisexual student organization in the United States was founded.
- Austria and Finland decriminalize
- Colorado and Oregon repeal sodomy
- The Netherlands lowers the age of
homosexual consent to 16.
- The first U.K. homosexual newspaper, “Gay News,” is founded.
It promptly started a “personals” advertisement column.
- The first Pride 'Carnival and March'
through London to Hyde Park was held.
- Sweden becomes the first country in
the world to allow transgendered people to legally change their sex, and
provided free hormone therapy.
- Ann Arbor, Michigan becomes the first
city in the U.S. to pass a homosexual rights ordinance.
- Hawaii legalizes homosexuality.
- The first national gay rights
conference is held by the Campaign For Homosexual Equality in Morecombe.
- Kathy Kozachenko is elected to the
City Council of Ann Arbor, Michigan, as the first openly homosexual
candidate to run successfully for elective office in the United States.
- The American Psychiatric Association
removes homosexuality from is Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
- West Germany reduces the age of
consent for homosexual acts to 18.
- The first national lesbian conference is
held in Canterbury.
- The London Lesbian and Gay
Switchboard is launched. It went 24 hours a day within a year.
- The first International Gay Rights
Conference is held in Edinburgh.
- The South London Gay Community Centre
opens in a Brixton squat.
- Ohio repeals sodomy laws.
- Robert Grant founds American Christian
Cause to oppose the “gay agenda.”
- Action for Lesbian Parents is founded.
- British Home Stores sacked openly homosexual
trainee Tony Whitehead; a national campaign picketed their stores.
- South Australia legalizes
- Panama allows transsexuals to get
their personal documents reflecting their new sex.
- The Gay Teachers group is founded in Australia.
- The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement
- Robert Grant founds The Christian
Voice to take his agenda national.
- Singer Tom Robinson released
'Glad To Be Gay' with the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard telephone
number on the sleeve. Switchboard telephones immediately went mad.
- Gay News was
prosecuted by Mary Whitehouse for 'blasphemy' after they had printed James Kirkup's poem
imagining a Roman centurion having gay sex with Jesus of Nazareth.
- In November Harvey Milk is elected
to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors as the first openly homosexual
candidate elected to public office in the state of California.
- Quebec prohibits discrimination based
upon sexual orientation.
- Montenegro legalizes homosexuality.
- Anita Bryant founds Save Our Children.
- James Dobson founds Focus on the
- The International Lesbian and Gay Association
- The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
is held for the first time.
- The rainbow flag is first used as a
symbol of homosexual pride.
- The Australian Capital Territory
Life, the first ever gay series, airs in London. One of
its presenters, Michael Attwell, goes on to commission BBC2's Gaytime TV.
first national gay rights march on Washington, DC is held.
Reverend Jerry Falwell founds the Moral Majority.
- Heaven, the first all-week gay
- The first black lesbian and gay groups
- The Democratic National Convention
becomes the first major political party to endorse homosexual rights.
- David McReynolds becomes the first
homosexual to run for U.S. President on the Socialist ticket.
- Male homosexuality is decriminalized
- The leader of the Greater London
Council (GLC) promises support to homosexuals, and the GLC gives the first
homosexual grant to the London Gay Switchboard.
- Victoria, Australia decriminalizes
- Norway becomes the first country in
the world to enact a law to prevent discrimination against homosexuals.
- Hong Kong’s first sex-change operation
- Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review
publishes a report of 5 male homosexuals, 2 of whom had died, with
pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, an opportunistic infection.
- The term “AIDS” is defined by the
Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- The Terrence Higgins Trust was
launched and named after the man who was thought to have been the first to
have died with AIDS in the U.K.
- Julian Meldrum started the first
regular column on AIDS in Capital Gay.
- The first Gay Games were held in
San Francisco in August and September.
- Male homosexuality is decriminalized
in Northern Ireland.
- Wisconsin becomes the first state to
outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
- New South Wales becomes the first
Australian state to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is
identified as the cause of AIDS.
- Gay News collapsed;
sales had plummeted after free newspapers had become available.
- The first national lesbian and gay
television series, One in Five,
was shown on Channel 4 in the U.K.
- United States Congressman Gerry E.
Stubbs publicly reveals his homosexuality on the floor of the House of
Representatives, becoming the first openly homosexual member of the U.S.
- Massachusetts re-elects Gerry E.
- Chris Smith, newly elected to the U.K., publicly proclaims his homosexuality.
- The homosexual association, Ten Percent Club, is formed in Hong Kong.
- New South Wales and the Northern Territory in Australia legalize homosexual behavior.
prohibits discrimination against homosexuality in employment and services.
A memorial to homosexual victims of the
Holocaust is dedicated.
- The Association of Gay and Lesbian
Psychiatrists presents a Distinguished Service Award to Barney Frank, a
homosexual U.S. congressman.
- New Zealand legalizes homosexual acts
between males over 16-years-old.
- ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash
Power) stages its first major demonstration.
- U.S. Congressman Barney Frank publicly
admits to his homosexuality.
- Homomonument, a memorial to persecuted
homosexuals, opens in Amsterdam.
- Greece lowers the age of consent in
homosexual behavior to 15.
- The Pink Paper is
- The City College of San Francisco
created the first gay and lesbian studies department at an American
institution of higher education.
- Sweden is the first country to pass
laws protecting homosexuals regarding social services, taxes, and
- Canada lowers the age of consent for
sodomy to 18.
- Canadian MP Svend Robinson publicly
announces his homosexuality.
- Denmark is the first country in the world to give legal
recognition to homosexual partnerships.
- Western Australia legalizes homosexuality.
- The direct action group OutRage! is founded in
- University of Colorado football coach
Bill McCartney founds Promise Keepers, which promotes traditional
- The red ribbon is first used as a
symbol of the fight against HIV/AIDS.
- OutRage! held a
kiss-in at Picadilly, London, and one man climbed the Eros statue.
- Washington, D.C. held its first Black
Lesbian and Gay Pride celebration.
- Ukraine, Hong Kong, and Queensland, Australia decriminalize homosexuality.
- Gay Men Fighting AIDS (GMFA) was
- The World Health Organization removes
homosexuality from its ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases).
- Australia allows homosexuals to serve
in the military.
- Isle of man, Estonia, and Latvia, legalize homosexuality.
The third gay rights march on Washington, DC is held.
“don’t ask don’t tell” policy is instituted.
The Republic of Ireland repeals sodomy
decriminalizes consensual male sodomy.
Lithuania legalizes homosexuality.
enacts registered partnership civil union laws that grant homosexuals the same
rights as married couples, except for the right to adoption and a church
- OutRage! 'outed' eight
bishops, and provoked debate within the Church of England.
- South Africa and Albania legalize homosexuality.
- The United Kingdom reduces the age of
consent for homosexual men to 18.
- Canada grants refugee status to
homosexuals fearing for their well-being in their home country.
- Israel’s supreme court defines
homosexual couple’s rights as the same as any common-law couple.
legalizes homosexual registered partnerships.
The Supreme Court of Canada rules that
sexual orientation is a prohibited ground of discrimination.
- Robert Runcie, ex-Archbishop of Canterbury, admits to having ordained known homosexual men.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina decriminalize
- The Supreme Court strikes down Colorado’s Amendment 2, which denied homosexual’s special rights.
Ellen DeGeneres’ character on the TV
sitcom “Ellen” comes out as a lesbian.
South Africa and Fiji amend their Constitutions to explicitly prohibit
discrimination against homosexuals.
The United Kingdom extends immigration
rights to homosexuals akin to marriage.
- A statue of Oscar Wilde,
a celebrated homosexual, is unveiled in central London.
- Sexual orientation is read into the
IRPA, Alberta, Canada’s human rights act.
- Equador explicitly prohibits
discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
- Chile decriminalizes homosexuality.
Vermont Democratic Governor, Howard
Dean, signs a law sanctioning homosexual civil unions, entitling homosexuals to
marital rights and benefits.
California adopts a homosexual domestic partnership law.
enacts homosexual civil union laws.
supreme court recognizes a lesbian partner as another legal mother of her
partner’s biological son.
- The British government lifts the ban
on homosexuals serving in the armed services.
- The United Kingdom, Belarus, Switzerland, and Israel reduce the age of consent in homosexual acts.
- Israel recognizes homosexual relations
for immigration purposes for a foreign partner of an Israeli resident.
- The first homosexual partnerships are
registered in London.
- Arizona repeals its sodomy law.
- Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Liechtenstein, Western Australia, Albania, Austria, and Hungary all lower the age of
consent for homosexual acts.
- The Netherlands legalizes homosexual
- Sweden legalizes adoption for
- Zurich extends marriage-like rights to
- Moldova and Romania lower the age of
consent for homosexual acts.
- China decriminalizes homosexuality.
- U.S. Supreme Court strikes down
remaining state sodomy laws.
- Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court votes in favor of homosexual marriage.
- Germany’s Supreme Court upholds the
country’s homosexual civil union laws.
- Armenia decriminalizes homosexuality.
- Lithuania, the Northern Territory and New South Wales all lower the age of consent for homosexual acts.
- San Francisco officials begin issuing
marriage licenses to homosexual couples.
- Homosexual marriage becomes legal in Massachusetts.
- Portugal amends its Constitution to
protect homosexuals from discrimination.
- Belgium legalizes homosexual marriage.
- New Jersey legalizes homosexual civil
- New Zealand passes a homosexual civil
- Cape Verde legalizes homosexuality.
- Puerto Rico repeals its sodomy laws.
- Rio Grande do Sul and Brazil accept homosexual civil unions.
- Luxembourg introduces homosexual civil
- New Zealand is the first nation in the
world to outlaw discrimination of the basis of gender identity or
- Hong Kong lowers the age of consent
for homosexual acts.
- Fiji invalidates its sodomy laws.
- Canada and Spain legalize homosexual
- Switzerland votes to extend rights to
registered homosexual couples.
- The United Kingdom introduces
homosexual civil partnerships with rights equal to marriage.
- Maine adds sexual orientation and
gender identity to its existing anti-discrimination laws.
- Connecticut legalizes homosexual
- South Africa legalizes homosexual
- Illinois outlaws sexual orientation discrimination.
- Washington adds sexual orientation to
its existing anti-discrimination laws.
- Missouri legalizes homosexual acts
between consenting adults.
- The first gay pride parade in Moscow ends in violence.
- The first regional Eastern European
Pride is held in Croatia.
- The United States Senate fails to pass
the Federal Marriage Amendment
- The Czech Republic and Slovenia introduce homosexual civil partnerships.
- Serbia, Kosovo, and Vojvodina lower
the age of consent for homosexual acts.
- Switzerland’s homosexual civil union
law to take effect on January 1st.
- CDC. Pneumocystis pneumonia – Los Angeles. MMWR 1981;30:250-2
- Reeder, Greg (Oct 2000). “Same-sex
desire, conjugal constructs, and the tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumjhotep”.
World Archaeology 32(2): 193-208.
- Devereaux, George, “Greek
Pseudo-homosexuality and the Greek Miracle”, Symbolae Osloenses, 13
(1967), pp. 70-92.
- William Armstrong Percy III, Pederasty
and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece, passim.
Report, Spring 2005
Power, The Pink Paper, 7/6/96, issue 437, pages 22-25.