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  WINDY CITY TIMES

What A Difference A Gay Makes
2001-03-07

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1996

U.S.: San Francisco becomes the first city in the world to begin wide-scale free distribution of internal "female" condoms to gay men. * In Seattle, U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly upholds the Navy's dismissal of a decorated submarine officer and rules that the Navy did not violate the constitutional rights of Lt. Richard Watson, who was ordered to be discharged after he notified his superiors of his "homosexual orientation." * The Georgia Senate passes a bill that bans gay marriages performed in other states. * At this time 17 states are facing legislation intended to ban same-gender marriage. Seven other states had anti-marriage legislation introduced that has since been withdrawn or blocked, and two states, Utah in 1995 and South Dakota in February '96, passed such measures into law. * The Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco celebrates 25 years of service, with the dedication of a 25 square-foot stained glass window called, A House of Prayer for All People, by artists Roy E. Little and Jim Raidl. * Tom Cunningham, an openly gay Vietnam veteran, is elected as mayor of South Beach, Fla., making him the second gay mayor of a Florida city and the seventh in the country. * Defense Secretary William Perry orders an investigation into charges of increasing harassment and "witch hunts" by the U.S. military against gays.

1991

U.S.: In Montana, the House Judiciary Committee endorses a bill that would decriminalize homosexual sex, and make "date rape" and sexual assault of a spouse a crime. However, it gets voted down in the House of Representatives. * In Columbus, Ohio, Russell A. Stalk, a gay-rights activist, resigns as president of the Columbus Chapter of the Stonewall Union, after being charged with raping a man at the adult bookstore he manages. * Chloe Liked Olivia by Two Nice Girls is in record stores. * Jeff Levi, former executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, joins the staff of the AIDS Action Council as director of government affairs. * In Minneapolis, the Star Tribune joins a handful of papers around the country who announce gay commitment ceremonies in their advertising columns.

1986

U.S.: The Atlanta City Council votes to protect lesbian and gay city employees from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation. * The 3rd Regional Conference on Bisexuality is held at the University of Southern Maine's Portland campus. * Canada: In Toronto, two female deacons in Canada's Anglican Church are suspended by the Archbishop of Toronto after they declare their relationship and announce that one is pregnant by artificial insemination.

1981

U.S.: A 20-year-old Kansas truck driver, David Groves, is found guilty of murder in the June 1980 shooting death of a gay man. Groves had told the police it was an honor to kill a homosexual. * Chicago's 1st Lesbian and Gay Film Festival begins. * Gay author, Daniel Curzon, tells The San Francisco Chronicle: "Doctors and pilots turn me on. In or out of uniform. I associate them with competence. Somebody who can land a plane or stitch up a wound gets me excited." * Faced with an alarming increase in injuries and deaths from sadomasochistic sex, the San Francisco coroner starts holding workshops in the gay community on "S&M safety," and how to avoid serious bodily harm or death while engaging in pain and bondage-type sex. Coroner Boyd Stephens claims that 10 percent of the city's homicides are S&M related. * A lesbian and gay anti-discrimination group in Denver boycott three bars—the 1942, David's, and Country—because of their allegedly racist door policies.


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