1983 – US Congressman Lawrence McDonald (D-GA) proposed that a “user-tax” be imposed on people with AIDS to finance research, saying that since they caused the epidemic they shouldn’t expect others to pay for the research necessary to find treatments.
McDonald, who considered himself a traditional Democrat “cut from the cloth of Jefferson and Jackson,” was known for his ultra-conservative views, even by southern standards and was more conservative than many members of the Republican Party at the time. In fact, one scoring method published in the American Journal of Political Science named him the second most conservative member of either chamber of Congress between 1937 and 2002.
McDonald sponsored amendments to stop government aid to homosexuals and also co-sponsored a bill “expressing the sense of the Congress that homosexual acts and the class of individuals who advocate such conduct shall never receive special consideration or a protected status under law”.
MacDonald was also the second president of the John Birch Society and opposed the establishment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day saying the FBI had evidence that King “was associated with and being manipulated by communists and secret communist agents.”
On September 1, 1983 Lawrence McDonald boarded Korean Air Lines Flight 007. to attend a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the United States–South Korea Mutual Defense Treaty. McDonald and the rest of the passengers and crew of KAL 007 were killed when Soviet fighters, under the command of Gen. Anatoly Kornukov, shot down KAL 007 near Moneron Island after the plane entered Soviet airspace. All passengers were lost.
1987 – “A Chorus Line” creator Michael Bennett passes away of complications from AIDS at age 44 in Tucson, Arizona.
Following several workshops and an Off-Broadway production, A Chorus Line opened at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway July 25, 1975, directed by Michael Bennett and co-choreographed by Bennett and Bob Avian. An unprecedented box office and critical hit, the musical received twelve Tony Award nominations and won nine, in addition to the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
The original Broadway production ran for 6,137 performances.
1989 – The first annual Lambda Literary Awards ceremony was held. The “Lammy” is the most prestigious, competitive, and comprehensive literary award offered specifically to LGBT authors writing about queer lives across multiple genres published by large and small presses.
1998 – The Rhode Island legislature voted to repeal the state’s sodomy law. The prison sentence under the law had ranged from 7-20 years.
2000 – Bill Clinton, is the first U.S. President to proclaim June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. Clinton took the occasion to renew his call for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
President Bill Clinton declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” in 1999 and 2000. Then from 2009 to 2016, each year he was in office, President Barack Obama declared June LGBT Pride Month. Later, President Joe Biden declared June LGBTQ+ Pride Month in 2021 and 2022 and LGBTQI+ Pride Month in 2023.
Four years earlier in 1996 Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act which prevents the Federal Government from recognizing same sex marriages in America.
2008 – Charges of crimes against nature were dropped against two men who were arrested for having consensual sex in Wake County, N.C. since it was in private. Though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003 that consensual gay sex is not a punishable offense, North Carolina still classified sodomy as an illegal activity. Raleigh police were told that they could continue to arrest gay men for having public sex, but not private sex.