LGBTQ+ Rights—Milestones and Events
1969: A police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City ignites protests and begins the gay civil rights movement in the U.S.
1970: The first gay pride parade takes place in New York City to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
1973: Lambda Legal is the first legal organization established to fight for equality for gays and lesbians.
1974: Kathy Kozachenko is the first openly LGBTQ+ American voted into public office after being elected to City Council in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
1978: Gilbert Baker designs the first rainbow flag to symbolize pride and hope for the LGBTQ+ community.
1982: Wisconsin is the first state in the U.S. to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.
1993: President Bill Clinton signs a military policy directive known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
1997: Ellen DeGeneres comes out as a lesbian on the cover of Time magazine and stars in the first prime network television series, “Ellen,” in which the leading character comes out as gay.
1998: Matthew Shepard is beaten to death in Laramie, Wyoming. Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney are charged with the murder and subsequently receive two life sentences each.
2000: Vermont is the first state to legalize civil unions between same-sex couples.
2004: The first legal same-sex marriage in the U.S. takes place in Massachusetts.
2008: In California, voters approve Proposition 8, making same-sex marriage illegal.
2009: President Obama signs the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law.
2010: Proposition 8 is found unconstitutional by a federal judge.
2011: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is repealed, allowing gay men and lesbians to serve the military openly.
2012: President Obama publicly supports the freedom for LGBTQ+ couples to marry.
2015: Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announces an adjustment to the Military Equal Opportunity policy to include gay and lesbian military members.
2017: Virginia elects Danica Roem to its House of Delegates; she is the first openly transgender candidate to be elected to a state legislature in U.S. history.
2018: According to the Pentagon, the first openly transgender person signs a contract to join the U.S. military.
2019: 50 years of pride is celebrated across the world!
LMI has also evolved over the last 50 years. The firm has several affinity groups run entirely on volunteer hours; these groups are open to all employees, regardless of identity. Established in 2017 as the company’s first affinity group, LMI Alliance embraces, promotes, and supports diversity and inclusion within the firm. The group’s mission is to assist LMI in fostering an inclusive workplace for all employees regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Alliance members are passionate about empowering LMI's LGBTQ+ community to bring their true selves to work every day.
According to Jennie Morris, affinity group liaison and human resources senior analyst, “LMI has always been a company that expects colleagues to treat each other with professionalism, dignity, and respect. With the advent of our affinity groups, starting with the Alliance, LMI is unequivocally welcoming and truly valuing the full expression of its diverse staff.” Jennie continued by explaining that LMI Alliance plans and participates in activities to promote pride and community engagement throughout the year, especially during the month of June.
LMI is committed to ensuring all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are treated with respect and dignity. Celebrate LGBTQ+ history and recognize how pride has evolved over time. And enjoy the celebrations in your area!