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Major events in the U.S. gay rights movement

June, 1969: Gays in New York City riot to protest police raids of the Stonewall Inn, a bar in Greenwich Village. Event is considered the birth of the gay rights movement in America.

December, 1973: The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.

November, 1978: America’s first openly-gay elected official, San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Harvey Milk, is assassinated.

December, 1993: The Pentagon implements “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, a policy that allows gay military service as long as a member’s homosexuality remains secret.

September, 1996: President Bill Clinton signs the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage and stipulates that no state must honor a same-sex marriage performed in another state.

June, 2003: The U.S. Supreme Court rules anti-sodomy laws are unconstitutional.

May, 2004: Massachusetts becomes the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.

November, 2008: California voters approve Proposition 8, which strips gay couples of marriage rights in the state.

December, 2010: President Barack Obama signs the repeal of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell".

May, 2012: President Obama announces his personal support for same-sex marriage.

November, 2012: Maryland, Maine, and Washington become the first states to affirm same-sex marriage by popular vote.

December, 2012: The U.S. Supreme Court announces it will hear appeals of lower court rulings striking down both the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.