Today In Gay History – June 5th: RFK, Andy Warhol,, Sodomy, and Ronald Reagan Dies
1883 – Birth date of John Maynard Keynes, economist and mathematician.
1898 – Birth date of gay Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca.
1968 - Artist Andy Warhol was shot by Valerie Solanis, founder and only member of SCUM (Society to Cut Up Men), whose screenplay he had recently rejected.
1968 – William Weisel of ABC News was shot in the stomach by Sirhan Sirhan during the assassination of Robert Kennedy in Los Angeles. During the 1970s Weisel owned a popular gay dance club in Washington, DC.
1969 – The “Committee for Homosexual Freedom” newsletter announced that after two weeks of picketing, Frank Dennaro, who was fired from his job at Tower Records because he was gay, was re-hired.
1974 – Out actor and activist Chad Allen was born in Cerritos, California. First gaining attention as an autistic child in the T.V. drama St. Elsewhere, Allen appeared in nearly a dozen shows during the 1980s and 90s, including Our House, Webster, My Two Dads, and Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman. Allen came out in an interview in The Advocate in 2001, after pictures of a same-sex kiss appeared in a tabloid in 1996. When Allen appeared in The End of the Spear, playing a conservative missionary who was murdered by natives in South America the role angered many KKKristians who viewed Allen’s activism as being against the principles of their faith.
1981 – In Edmonton three employees and customers, charged after police raided the Pisces Spa, plead guilty in Provincial Court. The owners receive heavy fines.
1983 – Harvey Fierstein’s play “Torch Song Trilogy” won the Tony Award for Best Play of the 1982-83 season.
1989 – Congressional Republicans began circulating a memo that Democratic House Speaker Thomas Foley was a homosexual. The memo compared Foley’s voting record to openly gay Rep. Barney Frank. Those responsible for the memo apologized after Frank threatened to start outing Republican members of congress.
1997 – Colorado governor Roy Romer vetoed a state measure seeking to ban same-sex marriage for the second time. He instead appointed a commission to investigate the rights and responsibilities of same-sex relationships.
1997 – Former Georgia Attorney General Michael Bowers, who fought to have the US Supreme Court uphold Georgia’s sodomy law, admitted to having had an adulterous affair that lasted over a decade. Georgia’s sodomy law carries penalties for adultery.
1999 – “Time” magazine placed Harvey Milk alongside Mother Theresa and Rosa Parks as one of the Heroes of the Century.
2003 – A federal judge rejected a Christian hate group’s attempt to remove a no-fly zone around Disney World so it could fly planes trailing anti-gay banners over the resort during the annual Gay Days event.
2003 – California’s Assembly passed legislation giving gay and lesbian domestic partners many of the rights of marriage.
2004 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan died from Alzheimer’s disease. Ironically, this was also the date in 1981 when the AIDS virus was first identified (although under another name: GRID – Gay Related Immune Deficiency). It was during Reagan’s term in office that the AIDS crisis started. Although AIDS was discovered in 1981, President Reagan did not mention the illness publicly until October 1987. By that time, there were nearly 60,000 cases of the disease with almost 28,000 deaths.
2005 – LGBT groups demanded an apology from Texas Gov. Rick Perry after he suggested that gay veterans returning from Iraq should leave Texas. During a controversial bill-signing ceremony at a Fort Worth church, Perry signed a proposed amendment banning same-sex marriage. Gay rumors have swirled around Perry for several years.