One of Heritage of Pride's 2013 Grand Marshals, Edie Windsor brings her fight against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) all the way to the US Supreme Court and wins! The Federal Government now recognizes same-sex marriages in states where they are legal. The fight doesn't stop here, as the list of states still banning same-sex marriages is long.
State lawmakers vote to make New York the sixth state in the nation, and the most populous thus far, to legally recognize same-sex marriages. The Big Apple joins Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia. The vote comes on the eve of Pride weekend, making the victory ever sweeter.
The past few years have seen several important victories for gay marriage. A federal court declared California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional, while Washington State, New Hampshire, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and - closest to home - New York all recognized same sex marriage. Though the struggle for gay marriage rights in all 50 states continues, progress is being made more quickly than ever before.
In California, another victory for same sex marriage is swiftly struck down several months later when voters pass ballot initiative Proposition 8.
For the first time, same sex marriage laws are officially passed in the state of Massachusetts. Laws continued to ban same-sex marriage in Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, and Utah. Further, Civil Unions were banned in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Vermont passes first laws allowing for Civil Unions and Registered Partnerships among LGBT couples. Locally, Heritage of Pride struggles with the city over permit renewals for the banners that had been hung across Christopher Street for a decade. The conflict resolves in vertical streetlight banners along the entire route of the March as an alternative.
Obstacles, like the Defense of Marriage Act, continued to get in the way, but the community marched on. In 1997, Heritage of Pride hosted the 16th annual International Association of Lesbian & Gay Pride Coordinators conference, the first to have substantial participation from international committees.
With a full decade of AIDS awareness and more than two decades since Stonewall, there was much to be thankful for, and yet, still so much to be done. For one, the U.S. Government had just passed Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The good news was that Gay Rights remained front and center at Capitol Hill. And on the streets of New York? Heritage of Pride took over the Christopher Street Festival, renaming it PrideFest.
Pride celebrations commemorating Stonewall had been established in many major cities in the U.S. as well as around the world. Heritage of Pride was founded in 1984 to take over the planning of New York City Pride events from the disbanded Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee, former organizers of the March and Rally, and the Christopher Street Festival Committee, former.
June 5th saw the first official documentation of AIDS, the disease which had come to be known as GRID5 (gay-related immune deficiency), 'gay cancer', 'community-acquired immune dysfunction' and 'gay compromise syndrome'. In September 1982, the CDC reported an average of one to two AIDS diagnoses in America every day. AIDS had struck the community hard and would continue to decimate the pioneers into the unforseeable future. But the struggle had already begun and the fight for civil liberties went on.
In 1979, following the ten-year anniversary of Stonewall and the assassination of Harvey Milk, thousands took to the streets for the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. For ten years the struggle had been a collection of local ones, but for the first time, it garnered major national attention.organizations forming in other major cities throughout the U.S. to remember Stonewall and continue its aim.
One of the first major successes of the movement came when the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the DSM-II, where it had up until then been listed alongside pedophilia and zoophilia. The struggle continued, with Pride
A year after Stonewall, the first Gay Pride March was held by the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee to commemorate the riots.
Early in the morning of June 28, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police, a then common occurrence at the Greenwich Village bar that had become a staple of New York City's underground gay community. But this time its members, tired of the ongoing raids, fought back, striking what would become known as The Stonewall Riots.