Here are a few interesting facts from American history not found in our curriculum.
Richard Cornish of the Virginia Colony is thought to be the first Colonial to receive the death penalty for sodomy when he was tried and hanged for it in 1624.
Pennsylvania became the first state to repeal the death penalty for sodomy in 1786.
Kuilix of the Kalispel tribe was a Native American woman best known for dressing as a male warrior and successfully rescuing her People's captured warriors while fighting the Blackfeet tribe in 1832.
Jane Addams, Nobel laureate and social work pioneer who founded Hull House in 1889, one of the first U.S. institutions providing educational, recreational, and other social services to the urban poor, lived for over 30 years with her life partner Mary Rozet Smith.
Albert Cashier, born Jennie Hodgers, was a transgender Civil War veteran, who received a full military pension and burial, thanks to advocacy by his fellow vets after the US gov't tried to take away his benefits upon discovery of his gender assigned at birth when he went into a VA Hospital for end of life care in 1914.
While living openly with his life partner, Jimmie Shields, Hollywood film star William Haines was still one of the top box office draws throughout the 1920s, but was forced out of the movie industry in 1934 by his studio after refusing to end his relationship due to the 1930s era Hayes Codes' "morals clause."
An aide to Martin Luther King, Jr., Bayard Rustin was the prime architect of the 1963 March on Washington but due to being openly gay, his place in history was nearly erased by the leadership of the NAACP.
In 1976 same sex sexual activity was decriminalized in California.
In 1984, West Hollywood is founded and becomes 1st U.S. city to elect a city council with a majority of members being openly gay or lesbian.
Minnesota becomes the first state to enact a statewide gender identity protection law in 1993.
In 2003 California is the first state to adopt discrimination protections regarding sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
In 2009, BabsSiperstein became the first openly transgender member of the Democratic National Committee and served on the DNC's Executive Committee from 2011-2017.
In 2017 California adopted Senate Bill No. 219, a Long-term Bill of Rights for LGBTQ seniors in assisted living and nursing home residents.
Breaking News! On October 2, 2019 the Governor of California signed CA Assembly Bill No.241 requiring physicians, surgeons and nurses to demonstrate satisfaction of continuing education in the understanding of implicit bias treatment for licensure. The boards of physicians, nursing and physician assistants are required to include this education as part of its curriculum.
Currently the US has no Federal Law against LGBTQI discrimination. Some regulations exist by Executive Order of the President but are limited in scope and subject to reversal by the Executive Office. Discrimination for the LGBTQI community in housing, employment and services vary by jurisdiction. In 2015 the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow gender-based employment discrimination which is considered by some LGBTQI policy activists as a legislative opportunity for forwarding the rights of gender non binary or non-conforming persons. The LGBTQ community is not considered a protect class or group of people qualified for special protection under the law.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Attributed to philosopher George Santayana.