This week in LGBT History From Quist — May 14- 20

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May 14, 1974 — First National United States Gay Civil Rights Bill Introduced

Congress members Bella Abzug and Ed Koch introduce a bill that is the predecessor to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

May 15, 1871 — Paragraph 175 Enacted

Paragraph 175 is added to the German Criminal Code. It makes homosexual acts between males a crime, and in early revisions the provision also criminalized bestiality. The Nazis used Paragraph 175 to prosecute homosexuals extensively.

May 16, 218 — Elagabalus Is Declared 25th Emperor of Roman Empire

It appears Elagabalus married and divorced five women and one man during his eighteen-year life. The man was an athlete named Zoticus, and they wed in a public ceremony in Rome. According to Cassius Dio, despite these marriages, his most stable relationship was with his chariot driver, a blond slave named Hierocles, whom he referred to as his husband. Cassius Dio also reported that Elagabalus would paint his eyes, epilate his hair and wear wigs before prostituting himself in taverns, brothels, and even in the imperial palace. Herodian commented that Elagabalus enhanced his natural good looks by the regular application of cosmetics.

May 17, 2004 — First United States State to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

After the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court rules that same-sex marriage is legal in the state, it gives the Legislature 180 days to "take such action as it may deem appropriate." On this day, the Goodridge decision goes into effect and same-sex couples across the state begin to marry.

May 18, 1970 — First Time Two Men File for a Marriage License in the United States

Richard Jack Baker and James M. McConnel hold a press conference announcing their plans to marry and go to the Minneapolis city clerk's office. The clerk asks a lawyer's opinion and hears that issuing the license would "result in an undermining and destruction of the entire legal concept of our family structure in all areas of law."

May 19, 2011 — First Openly Lesbian Rabbi Ordained in the Jewish Conservative Movement

Rachel Isaacs, an out lesbian woman, becomes the first openly gay rabbi of either sex to be ordained by the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary. Isaacs began her studies at the Reform movement's Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and then transferred once the Conservative movement changed their stance on ordaining LGBTQ clergy.

May 20, 1996 — Romer v. Evans Decision

Amendment 2 to the Colorado Constitution specifies that homosexual and bisexual individuals are not a protected class. After these arguments, the Supreme Court goes on to strike Amendment 2 down in its decision the next year, because "it was not rationally related to a legitimate state interest."

 All of the information above has been reprinted with permission from Quist, an LGBT mobile history app that can be found on iOS and Android devices. Visit HYPERLINK "http://www.quistapp.com/"www.Quistapp.com for more information. The app was created by Sarah Prager and launched in July of 2013.


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