(CNN)Here is a look at LGBTQ milestones in the United States. LGBTQ is an acronym meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning. The term sometimes is extended to LGBTQIA, to include intersex and asexual groups. Queer is an umbrella term for non-straight people; intersex refers to those whose sex is not clearly defined because of genetic, hormonal or biological differences; and asexual describes those who don’t experience sexual attraction.
Timeline:1924 – The Society for Human Rights is founded by Henry Gerber in Chicago. It is the first documented gay rights organization.1950 – The Mattachine Society is formed by activist Harry Hay and is one of the first sustained gay rights groups in the United States. The Society focuses on social acceptance and other support for homosexuals.April 1952 – The American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual lists homosexuality as a sociopathic personality disturbance.Read MoreApril 27, 1953 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an executive order that bans homosexuals from working for the federal government, saying they are a security risk.September 1955 – The first known lesbian rights organization in the United States forms in San Francisco. Daughters of Bilitis (DOB). They host private social functions, fearing police raids, threats of violence and discrimination in bars and clubs. July 1961 – Illinois becomes the first state to decriminalize homosexuality by repealing their sodomy laws.September 11, 1961 – The first US-televised documentary about homosexuality airs on a local station in California.June 28, 1969 – Police raid the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Protests and demonstrations begin, and it later becomes known as the impetus for the gay civil rights movement in the United States.1969 – The “Los Angeles Advocate,” founded in 1967, is renamed “The Advocate.” It is considered the oldest continuing LGBTQ publication that began as a newsletter published by the activist group Personal Rights in Defense and Education (PRIDE).June 28, 1970 – Community members in New York City march through the local streets to recognize the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall riots. This event is named Christopher Street Liberation Day, and is now considered the first gay pride parade.1973 – Lambda Legal becomes the first legal organization established to fight for the equal rights of gays and lesbians. Lambda also becomes their own first client after being denied non-profit status; the New York Supreme Court eventually rules that Lambda Legal can exist as a non-profit.January 1, 1973 – Maryland becomes the first state to statutorily ban same-sex marriage.March 26, 1973 – First meeting of “Parents and Friends of Gays,” which goes national as Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in 1982.December 15, 1973 – By a vote of 5,854 to 3,810, the American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in the DSM-II Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 1974 – Kathy Kozachenko becomes the first openly LGBTQ American elected to any public office when she wins a seat on the Ann Arbor, Michigan City Council. 1974 – Elaine Noble is the first openly gay candidate elected to a state office when she is elected to the Massachusetts State legislature. January 14, 1975 – The first federal gay rights bill is introduced to address discrimination based on sexual orientation. The bill later goes to the Judiciary Committee but is never brought for consideration. March 1975 – Technical Sergeant Leonard P. Matlovich reveals his sexual orientation to his commanding officer and is forcibly discharged from the Air Force six months later. Matlovich is a Vietnam War veteran and was awarded both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. In 1980, the Court of Appeals rules that the dismissal was improper. Matlovich is awarded his back pay and a retroactive promotion. Photos: Transgender identity in the news Photos: Transgender identity in the newsIt was rare for black models like Tracey “Africa” Norman to break into the cutthroat lily-white world of modeling in the 1970s. Norman, who had exclusive contracts for Avon skin care and Clairol’s Born Beautiful hair color, didn’t tell anyone she was also transgender and had been born male. Once her secret was out, the work dried up. Here are some other notable moments in the recent history of transgender identity.Hide Caption 1 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsRaffi Freedman-Gurspan is the first openly transgender White House staff member. She will serve as an outreach and recruitment director in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. Hide Caption 2 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsThe Girl Scouts of the United States of America now welcomes transgender girls, a stance that was made public several years ago but attracted controversy from conservative groups when it became widely known in May. Hide Caption 3 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsOlympic gold medalist and reality TV star Bruce Jenner told ABC’s Diane Sawyer, “Yes, for all intents and purposes, I’m a woman,” during an interview that aired April 24. She has now made a highly publicized transition from male to female as Caitlyn Jenner.Hide Caption 4 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsRenee Richards, here in 2011, made headlines for undergoing a sex change while a professional tennis player in the 1970s. She was barred from playing as a woman in the 1976 U.S. Open but played in the tournament the next year after the New York state Supreme Court ruled in her favor and overturned the ban.Hide Caption 5 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsBorn female, Brandon Teena was living as a man in Nebraska when he was raped and killed by two men in 1993. Teena was 21. His case inspired the 1999 drama “Boys Don’t Cry” starring Hilary Swank, who won an Oscar for her performance. Hide Caption 6 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsThe 2006 indie film “Transamerica” starred Felicity Huffman as a transgender woman taking a road trip with her long-lost teenage son. Huffman was nominated for an Academy Award for the role.Hide Caption 7 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsChaz Bono, the only child of entertainers Cher and Sonny Bono, arrives at a “Dancing With the Stars” special in May 2013. Bono was named Chastity at birth but came out as a lesbian in 1995 and later transitioned to living as a man. His transformation was chronicled in a book and a documentary feature, “Becoming Chaz.”Hide Caption 8 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsFilmmaker Lana Wachowski attends a tribute to the late film critic Roger Ebert in October 2013 in Chicago. Born Larry Wachowski, he made the “Matrix” trilogy with brother Andy Wachowski before transitioning to living as a woman. Wachowski is the first major Hollywood director to come out as transgender.Hide Caption 9 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the news”Orange Is the New Black” actress Laverne Cox attends an August 2014 event for Emmy nominees. Cox became the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine.Hide Caption 10 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsTransgender model and reality TV personality Carmen Carrera attends a fashion show in September 2013 in New York. That year, thousands of fans signed a petition requesting that she be a model during the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, but the campaign was unsuccessful.Hide Caption 11 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsActor Jeffrey Tambor portrays a divorced father who begins transitioning to a woman in the Amazon series “Transparent,” which debuted in February 2014. For his performance, Tambor won a Golden Globe for best actor in a TV musical or comedy series.Hide Caption 12 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsTransgender activist and author Janet Mock attends the eighth annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards in New York in September 2014. Her 2014 memoir, “Redefining Realness,” was a best-seller.Hide Caption 13 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsOn January 20, 2015, President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to mention the word “transgender” in a State of the Union address. Transgender activists hailed his speech.Hide Caption 14 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsAfter years as an androgynous male model, Australian Andrej Pejic underwent sex-reassignment surgery in 2014 and is now Andreja Pejic.Hide Caption 15 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsJoshua Alcorn voiced a desire to live as a girl, but the Ohio teenager’s parents said they wouldn’t stand for that. In December 2014, Alcorn, 17, was fatally struck by a tractor-trailer on an interstate after leaving a suicide note that said in part, “To put it simply, I feel like a girl trapped in a boy’s body.” It was signed “Leelah.” The case drew national attention to the plight of misunderstood transgender youth.Hide Caption 16 of 17 Photos: Transgender identity in the newsJazz Jennings became famous at age 6 when Barbara Walters interviewed her for a “20/20” segment about transgender children. Now 14, she hosts a popular series of videos on YouTube and is starring this summer in a TLC reality show about her life.Hide Caption 17 of 171976 – After undergoing gender reassignment surgery in 1975, ophthalmologist and professional tennis player Renee Richards is banned from competing in the women’s US Open because of a “women-born-women” rule. Richards challenges the decision and in 1977, the New York Supreme Court rules in her favor. Richards competes in the 1977 US Open but is defeated in the first round by Virginia Wade.1977-1981 – Billy Crystal plays one of the first openly gay characters in a recurring role on a prime time television show in “Soap.”January 9, 1978 – Harvey Milk is inaugurated as San Francisco city supervisor, and is the first openly gay man to be elected to a political office in California. In November, Milk and Mayor George Moscone are murdered by Dan White, who had recently resigned from his San Francisco board position and wanted Moscone to reappoint him. White later serves just over five years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.1978 – Inspired by Milk to develop a symbol of pride and hope for the LGBTQ community, Gilbert Baker designs and stitches together the first rainbow flag.October 14, 1979 – The first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights takes place. It draws an estimated 75,000 to 125,000 individuals marching for LGBTQ rights.March 2, 1982 – Wisconsin becomes the first state to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.1983 – Lambda Legal wins People v. West 12 Tenants Corp., the first HIV/AIDS discrimination lawsuit. Neighbors attempted to evict Dr. Joseph Sonnabend from the building because he was treating HIV-positive patients.November 30, 1993 – President Bill Clinton signs a military policy directive that prohibits openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the military, but also prohibits the harassment of “closeted” homosexuals. The policy is known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”November 1995 – The Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act goes into effect as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The law allows a judge to impose harsher sentences if there is evidence showing that a victim was selected because of the “actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.”September 21, 1996 – President Clinton signs the Defense of Marriage Act, banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage and defining marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.”December 3, 1996 – Hawaii’s Judge Chang rules that the state does not have a legal right to deprive same-sex couples of the right to marry, making Hawaii the first state to recognize that gay and lesbian couples are entitled to the same privileges as heterosexual married couples.April 1997 – Comedian Ellen DeGeneres comes out as a lesbian on the cover of Time magazine, stating, “Yep, I’m Gay.” Photos: Coming out in Hollywood Photos: Coming out in HollywoodWhile accepting a humanitarian award in 2012, “White Collar” star Matt Bomer said he “especially” wanted to thank “my beautiful family: Simon, Kit, Walker, Henry. Thank you for teaching me what unconditional love is.” The actor married publicist Simon Halls in 2011, and the pair had their three children via surrogacy. Hide Caption 1 of 36 Photos: Coming out in Hollywood”House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey came out via a statement on Twitter after he was accused of alleged sexual misconduct in 1986 by actor Anthony Rapp when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. Spacey apologized to Rapp in the statement and also said, “I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man.”Hide Caption 2 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodAaron Carter shared a note with fans on Twitter in August saying that when he was around 13 years old he “started to find boys and girls attractive.” The singer went on to say that at the age of 17 he had his first experience “with a male that I had an attraction to who I also worked with and grew up with.” Hide Caption 3 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodActress Kristen Stewart referred to herself as “so gay” during her monologue when she hosted “Saturday Night Live” in February. In August she opened up more about her sexuality in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar U.K.Hide Caption 4 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodActor Thomas Dekker, known for his roles in “Heroes” and “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” came out publicly via a tweeted statement in July after he said “a prominent gay man used an awards acceptance speech to ‘out’ me.” Dekker also revealed that he had married in April.Hide Caption 5 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodSinger Barry Manilow married longtime partner and manager Garry Kief in a secret ceremony in 2014. Manilow came out after news of the marriage was made public in 2015.Hide Caption 6 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodActor Colton Haynes attends the 2015 March Of Dimes Celebration Of Babies at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on December 4.Hide Caption 7 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodJussie Smollett’s character, Jamal Lyon, on the Fox TV show “Empire” came out, and so did the actor. Smollett confirmed that he is gay during a chat with Ellen DeGeneres. Earlier, his co-star Malik Yoba had been quoted saying that “I know Jussie; he is gay, and he’s very committed to issues around the LGBT community.” Yoba later said he had been misquoted. Hide Caption 8 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodJoel Grey told People magazine that he doesn’t like labels, but “if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.” The Oscar winner and Broadway star is in his 80s. Hide Caption 9 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodCountry singer Ty Herndon says he started revealing his sexuality to friends and family years ago, but he came out publicly in 2014 in an interview with People magazine.Hide Caption 10 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodAnother country singer, Billy Gilman, also came out after being inspired by Herndon, posting a message to YouTube.Hide Caption 11 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodRaven-Symone was in a relationship with a woman at the time, but the actress told Oprah Winfrey in 2014 that she doesn’t want to be labeled as gay. “I want to be labeled as a human who loves humans,” she said. Hide Caption 12 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodWriter Lauren Morelli said that working on “Orange Is the New Black” helped her realize that she was gay. In March 2017 she married one of the show’s stars, Samira Wiley. Hide Caption 13 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodAnna Paquin celebrated LGBT Pride Month in June 2014 by proudly declaring her status as a “happily married bisexual mother.” The “True Blood” actress has been wed to her co-star Stephen Moyer, right, since 2010, the same year she initially shared her sexual orientation with the public. “Marriage is about love,” Paquin tweeted on June 8, “not gender.” Hide Caption 14 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodActress Ellen Page announced she is gay at a Human Rights Campaign event in February 2014. “I am tired of hiding, and I am tired of lying by omission,” Page told the crowd. Hide Caption 15 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodIn December 2013, “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts came out as a lesbian in a Facebook post reflecting on the past year and thanking fans for their support after her bone marrow transplant. It was also the first public acknowledgment of her partner, Amber Laign. “I am grateful for my entire family, my longtime girlfriend Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together,” Roberts wrote.Hide Caption 16 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodIn a column in the New York Times, Maria Bello described the process of falling in love with her female best friend, Clare, and how that affected her relationship with her 12-year-old son. Hide Caption 17 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodBob Harper’s confirmation that he’s gay came about as a desire to comfort a “Biggest Loser” contestant. On a November 2013 episode, personal trainer Harper, 48, talked about his sexuality for the first time on the reality weight loss competition in an effort to show the contestant that he doesn’t have to be ashamed. “I’m gay,” Harper said. “I knew a very long time ago that I was gay. … And being gay doesn’t mean that you are less than anybody else. It’s just who you are.” Hide Caption 18 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodMaulik Pancholy’s sexuality wasn’t a secret, but he did take the extra step of going on the record about it in November 2013 — just in case someone out there wasn’t clear. The actor, who memorably portrayed the obsessive and loyal assistant Jonathan on “30 Rock,” told Out magazine that he’s been in a relationship for nine years. “It feels like a nice time to be celebrating something like that, especially on the heels of the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions,” the actor said.Hide Caption 19 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodEllen DeGeneres came out shortly after her character Ellen, on an ABC sitcom, came out on-air amid controversy in 1997. “I never wanted to be the lesbian actress,” DeGeneres told Time magazine. “I never wanted to be the spokesperson for the gay community. Ever. I did it for my own truth.” DeGeneres’ wife, Portia de Rossi, also kept her sexuality a secret for many years.Hide Caption 20 of 36 Photos: Coming out in Hollywood”Fast & Furious” star Michelle Rodriguez told EW, “I’ve gone both ways. I do as I please,” while discussing how many have assumed she is gay. Hide Caption 21 of 36 Photos: Coming out in Hollywood”Prison Break” star Wentworth Miller came out after he withdrew from the St. Petersburg International Film Festival in protest of Russia’s anti-gay policies. Hide Caption 22 of 36 Photos: Coming out in Hollywood’NSync singer Lance Bass appeared on the cover of People in August 2006 with the headline “I’m Gay.” “I knew that I was in this popular band and I had four other guys’ careers in my hand, and I knew that if I ever acted on it or even said (that I was gay), it would overpower everything,” Bass told the magazine in explaining why he didn’t come out sooner. Hide Caption 23 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodCNN’s Anderson Cooper came out publicly as gay in an e-mail message to the Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan, which was posted to the site in July 2012.Hide Caption 24 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodIn May 2012, a New York Times story about “The Normal Heart’s” Jim Parsons revealed that the “Big Bang Theory” actor is gay and in a 10-year relationship.Hide Caption 25 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodActor Zachary Quinto said he was inspired to acknowledge his homosexuality in October 2011 after a 14-year-old, who was apparently being harassed over his sexuality, killed himself. “In light of Jamey’s death, it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.”Hide Caption 26 of 36 Photos: Coming out in Hollywood”There had never, ever been a country music artist who had acknowledged his or her homosexuality,” Chely Wright told People when she came out in 2010.Hide Caption 27 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodPop singer Ricky Martin declared publicly in March 2010 what he avoided discussing for years. “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man,” Martin wrote on his official website. “I am very blessed to be who I am.”Hide Caption 28 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodIn April 1998, British pop star George Michael told CNN that he was gay. “This is as good of a time as any,” the Wham! singer said. “I want to say that I have no problem with people knowing that I’m in a relationship with a man right now. I have not been in a relationship with a woman for almost 10 years.” The pop star died in December 2016.Hide Caption 29 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodAfter years as a stand-up comedian and actress, Rosie O’Donnell came out two months before her talk show went off-air in 2002. The announcement came during a comedy routine at the Ovarian Cancer Research benefit at Carolines Comedy Club in New York. “I don’t know why people make such a big deal about the gay thing,” she said during her act. “People are confused, they’re shocked, like this is a big revelation to somebody.” Hide Caption 30 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodBritish singer Elton John discussed his bisexuality for the first time in a 1976 Rolling Stone interview. “There’s nothing wrong with going to bed with somebody of your own sex,” he said. “I think everybody’s bisexual to a certain degree. I don’t think it’s just me. It’s not a bad thing to be.” John married David Furnish in December 2005.Hide Caption 31 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodStand-up comedian and actress Wanda Sykes announced her sexual orientation — and her marriage — in 2008 at a rally for gay marriage. “You know, I don’t really talk about my sexual orientation,” Sykes said. “I didn’t feel like I had to. I was just living my life, not necessarily in the closet, but I was living my life. … But I got pissed off. They pissed me off. I said, ‘You know what? Now I gotta get in your face.’ ” Sykes was referring to the passage of Proposition 8, banning gay marriage, in California days after her wedding.Hide Caption 32 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodReports of “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon’s relationship with Christine Marinoni surfaced in 2004, six years after the television show’s premiere. Nixon discussed her relationship with New York Magazine in 2006, saying, “I never felt like there was an unconscious part of me around that woke up or that came out of the closet; there wasn’t a struggle; there wasn’t an attempt to suppress. I met this woman, I fell in love with her, and I’m a public figure.”Hide Caption 33 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodOnce known best as the TV character he played during childhood, Doogie Howser, Neil Patrick Harris has continued his successful acting career as an adult. Harris often walks the red carpet with partner David Burtka and starred in the hit sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.” He told People magazine in 2006 that he is, in fact, gay. “I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man.”Hide Caption 34 of 36 Photos: Coming out in Hollywood”Family Ties” actress Meredith Baxter confirmed in December 2009 rumors that she is a lesbian. “Anyone who’s a friend of mine, anyone who knows and cares about me, knows,” the actress explained to Matt Lauer on the “Today” show. “It’s no secret that I’m gay, but it has been to the greater world.” Baxter is in a long-term relationship with a building contractor, Nancy Locke.Hide Caption 35 of 36 Photos: Coming out in HollywoodHe had an 11-year run on “Frasier,” but it wasn’t until he returned to Broadway in 2007 that David Hyde Pierce confirmed his sexuality. The actor is married to writer/producer/director Brian Hargrove. Pierce first talked about his partner in an Associated Press interview about his Tony-nominated performance in “Curtains.”Hide Caption 36 of 36April 30, 1997 – DeGeneres’ character, Ellen Morgan, on her self-titled TV series “Ellen,” becomes the first leading character to come out on a prime time network television show.April 1, 1998 – Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow, Coretta Scott King, asks the civil rights community to help in the effort to extinguish homophobia.October 6-7, 1998 – Matthew Shepard is tied to a fence and beaten near Laramie, Wyoming. He is eventually found by a cyclist, who initially mistakes him for a scarecrow. He later dies due to his injuries sustained in the beating.October 9, 1998 – Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney from Laramie, Wyoming, make their first court appearance after being arrested for the attempted murder of Shepard. Eventually, they each receive two life sentences for killing Shepard.April 26, 2000 – Vermont becomes the first state to legalize civil-unions between same-sex couples.June 2003 – The US Supreme Court strikes down the “homosexual conduct” law, which decriminalizes same-sex sexual conduct, with their opinion in Lawrence v. Texas. The decision also reverses Bowers v. Hardwick, a 1986 US Supreme Court ruling that upheld Georgia’s sodomy law.May 17, 2004 – The first legal same-sex marriage in the United States takes place in Massachusetts.September 6, 2005 – The California legislature becomes the first to pass a bill allowing marriage between same-sex couples. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes the bill.October 25, 2006 – The New Jersey Supreme Court rules that state lawmakers must provide the rights and benefits of marriage to gay and lesbian couples. May 15, 2008 – The California Supreme Court rules in re: Marriage Cases that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is unconstitutional.November 4, 2008 – Voters approve Proposition 8 in California, which makes same-sex marriage illegal.August 12, 2009 – Milk is posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.October 28, 2009 – Obama signs the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. August 4, 2010 – Proposition 8 is found unconstitutional by a federal judge.September 20, 2011 – “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is repealed, ending a ban on gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military. May 9, 2012 – In an ABC interview, Obama becomes the first sitting US president to publicly support the freedom for LGBTQ couples to marry. September 4, 2012 – The Democratic Party becomes the first major US political party in history to publicly support same-sex marriage on a national platform at the Democratic National Convention.November 6, 2012 – Tammy Baldwin becomes the first openly gay politician and the first Wisconsin woman to be elected to the US Senate. June 26, 2013 – In United States v. Windsor, the US Supreme Court strikes down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that legally married same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits. The high court also dismisses a case involving California’s proposition 8.October 6, 2014 – The United States Supreme Court denies review in five different marriage cases, allowing lower court rulings to stand, and therefore allowing same-sex couples to marry in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana and Wisconsin. The decision opens the door for the right to marry in Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming. June 9, 2015 – Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announces that the Military Equal Opportunity policy has been adjusted to include gay and lesbian military members. April 28, 2015 – The US Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the question of the freedom to marry in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan. On June 26 the Supreme Court rules that states cannot ban same-sex marriage. The 5-4 ruling had Justice Anthony Kennedy writing for the majority. Each of the four conservative justices writes their own dissent.July 27, 2015 – Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates announces, “the national executive board ratified a resolution removing the national restriction on openly gay leaders and employees.”May 17, 2016 – The Senate confirms Eric Fanning to be secretary of the Army, making him the first openly gay secretary of a US military branch. Fanning previously served as Defense Secretary Carter’s chief of staff, and also served as undersecretary of the Air Force and deputy undersecretary of the Navy.June 24, 2016 – Obama announces the designation of the first national monument to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) rights. The Stonewall National Monument will encompass Christopher Park, the Stonewall Inn and the surrounding streets and sidewalks that were the sites of the 1969 Stonewall uprising. June 30, 2016 – Secretary of Defense Carter announces that the Pentagon is lifting the ban on transgender people serving openly in the US military. August 5-21, 2016 – A record number of “out” athletes compete in the summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The Human Rights Campaign estimates that there are at least 41 openly lesbian, gay and bisexual Olympians — up from 23 that participated in London 2012.November 9, 2016 – Kate Brown is sworn in as governor of Oregon, a day after she was officially elected to the office. Brown becomes the highest-ranking LGBTQ person elected to office in the United States. Brown took over the governorship in February 2016 (without an election), after Democrat John Kitzhaber resigned amidst a criminal investigation. April 4, 2017 – The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the Civil Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination against LGBTQ employees, after Kimberly Hively sues Ivy Tech Community College for violating Title VII of the act by denying her employment. June 27, 2017 – District of Columbia residents can now choose a gender-neutral option of their driver’s license. DC residents become the first people in the United States to be able to choose X as their gender marker instead of male or female on driver’s licenses and identification cards. Similar policies exist in Canada, India, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal.June 30, 2017 – The US Department of Defense announces a six-month delay in allowing transgendered individuals to enlist in the United States military. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis writes that they “will use this additional time to evaluate more carefully the impact of such accessions on readiness and lethality.” Approximately a month later, President Donald Trump announces via Twitter that the “United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military…”November 7, 2017 – Virginia voters elect the state’s first openly transgender candidate to the Virginia House of Delegates. Danica Roem unseats incumbent delegate Bob Marshall, who had been elected thirteen times over 26 years. Roem becomes the first openly transgender candidate elected to a state legislature in American history.February 26, 2018 – The Pentagon confirms that the first transgender person has signed a contract to join the US military. March 4, 2018 – Daniela Vega, the star of Oscar-winning foreign film “A Fantastic Woman,” becomes the first openly transgender presenter in Academy Awards history when she introduces a performance by Sufjan Stevens, whose song “Mystery of Love” from the “Call Me By Your Name” soundtrack, is nominated for best original song.March 23, 2018 – The Trump administration announces a new policy that bans most transgender people from serving in military. After several court battles, the Supreme Court allows the ban to go into effect in January 2019.November 6, 2018 – Democratic US Representative Jared Polis wins the Colorado governor’s race, becoming the nation’s first openly gay man to be elected governor. June 30, 2019 – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs a law banning the use of the so-called gay and trans panic legal defense strategy. The tactic asks a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for a defendant’s violent reaction. New York follows California, Rhode Island, Illinois, Nevada and Connecticut as the sixth state to pass such a law. September 22, 2019 – Billy Porter becomes the first openly gay black man to win the Emmy for best lead actor in a drama series.