Fifty-five hundred people assemble at Hollywood High School before marching through Hollywood to protest possible anti-gay legislation sparked by singer Anita Bryant.
June 13, 1977, LA Times/UCLA
Poster for the Department of Health and Human Services demonstration designed by ACT UP/DC WoMen’s Committee, 1990
In October 1990, ACT UP descended upon Washington and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, carrying signs that demanded the formal definition of AIDS change to include women. Excluded from the diagnosis of having AIDS, women could not access potentially lifesaving care and treatment, even as they died of the disease.
Courtesy National Library of Medicine
Protestors in front of the Department of Health and Human Services, during the national campaign to change the definition of AIDS, October 2, 1990
With chapters across the country, ACT UP held thousands of demonstrations between 1987 and 1996, including one at the Department of Health and Human Services to insist that women with AIDS receive care and treatment. Their actions transformed how scientists and politicians responded to the AIDS crisis.
Courtesy Donna Binder
June 29, 1986. Marchers carrying a banner and signs protesting California Proposition 64 — known as the LaRouche Initiative, after political activist Lyndon LaRouche, who proposed it — parade down San Francisco’s Market Street during the 17th annual Freedom Day Parade. The LaRouche Initiative, which was on the Nov. 4, 1986, ballot, proposed that all AIDS patients be quarantined and barred from school and food service jobs. It was rejected.
Photo: Jim Gerberich / The Associated Press
Le Journal de Montreal, October 1977, front page coverage of police raids on gay bars Truxx and Le Mystique.
About two thousand of Montreal’s gay community took to the streets and jammed downtown Ste. Catherine Street very early on Sunday morning shouting “fascist dogs” and “gestapo” at motorcycle police who were called to clear the area. The focus of the anger was the brutal “morality squad” raids early Saturday morning at Truxx and Le Mystique, two gay bars. Police barged in wielding machine guns and bullet-proof vests as they arrested 144 men for being in a “bawdy house” or for “gross indecency” — common charges for anyone who was thought to be gay.
Those raids capped two years of nearly constant police harassment and raids which had begun as a campaign to “clean up” the city in preparation for the 1976 Olympics. But with this latest raid, the gay community fought back in what was later dubbed, “Quebec’s Stonewall.” Also different this time, gays and lesbians had the news media’s support. By the end of the year, the Parti Québéois adopted Bill 88 which ensured that sexual orientation would be covered under the province’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms which prohibited all forms of discrimination. However, the change failed to have much of an appreciable affect, and police raids would continue until Montreal’s “other” Stonewall rebellion in 1990 following a riotous raid of a loft party.
Star-Phoenix Picketed. Gay Community Protests Ad Decision
An account of the first gay demonstration in Saskatchewan. In June 1975 a small group marched at the office of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix angered by the the newspaper’s decision not to accept an ad from the Gay Community Centre. The ad listed the positions of Saskatoon election candidates relating to human rights legislation. The protestors declared that the ad refusal was just “one example of how gay people were refused access to the press.”
The photo that began it all: Gale Whittington and Leo Laurence get close on camera for a March 24, 1969 Berkeley Barb story called “Homo Revolt: Don’t Hide It.” The result: both Whittington and Laurence lost their jobs, and the Committee for Homosexual Freedom (CHF) they had organized mounted the first demonstration in U.S. history challenging a private employer’s discrimination based on sexual orientation.
[Photo: Ron Hoffman. Courtesy Leo E. Laurence.]