2013 National Year in Review
2013 was one of the most eventful years in recent memory. From the Supreme Court rulings against Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, to marriage equality spreading to 16 states and the District of Columbia, 2013 broke down many barriers.
We earned such role models and future leaders as Wentworth Miller, Steve Grand, Jason Collins, and Jack Andraka; likewise, we lost pioneers such as Jeanne Manford, José Sarria, and Sean Sasser. Television arguably entered a "post-gay" era, all the while a majority of Americans continued to support marriage equality and a record eight out of ten Americans said they had a gay friend or acquaintance. 2013 was a year that people will keep in their minds for a very long time.
Here’s a rundown of national events that we were talking about this year.
January 1 - Gay and lesbian couples start marrying in Maryland.
January 2 - Illinois Republican Party chairman Pat Brady implores his colleagues to support marriage equality. He would later be forced to resign after backlash results due to his pro-equality stance.
January 7 - Matt Dallas, former star of "Kyle XY," comes out as gay via Twitter and introduces the public to his fiancé, Blue Hamilton.
January 8 - Jeanne Manford, founder of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), dies at the age of 92.
January 10 - The dean of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. announces that gay and lesbian couples are welcome to be married there.
January 13 - Jodie Foster comes out to the public on the live telecast of the Golden Globe Awards. Foster said, "I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the Stone Age. In those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family, coworkers, and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her."
January 20 - President Barack Obama says the word "gay" and mentions the topic of gay rights for the first time ever in a presidential inaugural address.
January 20 - Richard Blanco becomes the first openly gay poet to read his poems at a presidential inauguration.
February 20 - Former First Lady Laura Bush appears in a pro-marriage equality advertisement created by the Respect for Marriage Coalition. One day after it airs, she requests that she be removed from the ad.
February 21 - For the first time, the Associated Press Stylebook allows legally married same-sex couples to be referred to with words such as "husband" and "wife."
February 27 - Many prominent Republican politicians and pundits back a legal brief asking the Supreme Court to rule on the side of marriage equality.
February 27 - Marco McMillian, the first openly gay candidate for public office in Mississippi, is found dead beside a levee near the Missisippi River.
February 27 - Phoenix, Arizona, the nation’s sixth-largest city, expands its anti-discrimination ordinance to include LGBT people.
March 5 - Fallon Fox comes out as the first transgender mixed martial arts fighter in the sport’s history.
March 15 - Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) becomes the first sitting Republican senator to support marriage equality. He had a change of heart after the coming out of his son, Will.
March 17 - The Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, refuses to marry any straight couples until gay couples can marry in North Carolina.
March 21 - Governor John Hickenlooper signs a civil unions bill into law in Colorado.
March 26-27 - The U.S. Supreme Court debates the issue of gay marriage for the first time ever.
March 30 - Singer Marie Osmond tells ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an interview that her choice to support marriage equality was a direct result of supporting her daughter, who is a lesbian. "I think my daughter deserves everything that she desires in life. She’s a good girl. She’s a wonderful child. I don’t think God made one color flower. I think he made many," Osmond said.
April 2 - New Jersey college student Cason Crane becomes the first gay man to scale Mount Everest, and he brings a rainbow flag.
April 12 - According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, eight out of ten Americans know or work with someone who is gay or lesbian, the largest number in the poll’s history.
April 25 - John Paulk, an "ex-gay" spokesman who sparked controversy by participating in a 1998 Newsweek cover story on "ex-gays," comes out as gay and apologizes to those he deceived and hurt.
April 26 - Bradley Manning (since renamed Chelsea Manning) is named San Francisco Gay Pride Grand Marshal. After a heavy backlash, the decision is reversed a day later.
April 26 - Philip Frank, husband of Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), is the first same-sex spouse to receive a congressional spouse identification card.
April 29 - Jason Collins becomes the first professional athlete in a major U.S. sport to come out as gay.
May 1 - Gay and lesbian couples are allowed to apply for civil unions in Colorado.
May 1 - Robbie Rogers joins the Los Angeles Galaxy and becomes the first openly gay player in American major league soccer. Rogers, an American, had previously come out while playing in Britain.
May 2 - Governor Lincoln Chafee signs a marriage equality bill into law in Rhode Island.
May 7 - Governor Jack Markell signs a marriage equality bill into law in Delaware.
May 13 - Minnesota votes to legalize same-sex marriage. Governor Mark Dayton signs the bill into law the next day. St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman renames the Wabasha Street Bridge for one week to the "Freedom to Marry Bridge."
May 23 - The Boy Scouts of America’s national council votes to allow openly gay youth. The ban on openly gay troop leaders is left uncontested.
May 26 - "Behind the Candelabra," the film about Liberace’s love affair with the much younger Scott Thorson, debuts on HBO. The film later wins the Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie.
May 29 - Jallen Messersmith, of Kansas’ Benedictine College, comes out and becomes the first openly gay male U.S. college basketball player.
May 30 - Puerto Rico passes employment non-discrimination and domestic violence protection laws that include LGBT people.
May 31 - Rev. Guy Erwin becomes the first openly gay elected bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
June 3 - Kristin Beck becomes the first former U.S. Navy SEAL to come out as transgender in her autobiography, "Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s Journey to Coming out Transgender."
June 16 - Chandler Massey wins his second Outstanding Young Actor Daytime Emmy for his role as young gay man Will Horton on the soap opera "Days of our Lives."
June 18 - The American Medical Association takes an official stand against the Food and Drug Administration’s lifetime ban on blood donations from gay men.
June 19 - Exodus International, the largest "ex-gay" Christian ministry, closes its doors and issues an apology to the gay community.
June 19 - Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) becomes the 51st U.S. Senator to publicly support marriage equality.
June 21 - Under-Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, Eric Fanning, is temporarily promoted to Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, becoming the first gay person to head a branch of the U.S. armed forces.
June 26 - In a 5 to 4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. The Court rules that DOMA violates the rights of gays and lesbians and also interferes with states’ rights to define marriage.
June 26 - The U.S. Supreme Court removes the last legal battles that blocked gay couples from marrying in California.