60 Powerful Steps Forward For Equality

1. Jan. 4: Olympia, Washington

Elaine Thompson / AP

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire announces that she wants Washington to become the seventh state in the nation to make gay marriage legal. Gov. Gregorie had previously supported efforts to expand domestic partner rights for gay couples but had not come out in favor of full marriage rights.

2. Jan. 12: Orlando, Florida

Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP

Tim Galatas and Giulio Giunta embrace after officially registering as a domestic couple during the launch of the Orlando, Florida, new domestic partner registry. The registry gives non-married couples, both gay and heterosexual, some of the same rights as married couples in matters such as hospital visitation and health-care decisions.

3. Jan. 23: Olympia, Washington

Ted S. Warren / AP

Jane Abbott Lighty greets Sen. Ed Murray after finding out they had enough votes in the state Senate to legalize gay marriage.

4. Jan. 26: Augusta, Maine

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Ali Vanderzanden, the political director for Equality Maine, celebrates with a friend after collecting 105,000 signatures, which was enough to force a second referendum on gay marriage in the state.

5. Jan. 28: Mumbai, India


Indian supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community participate in the Queer Azadi March in Mumbai. In July 2009, the Delhi High Court decriminalized gay sex between consenting adults by declaring a colonial-era ban on homosexuality unconstitutional.

6. Feb. 1: Seattle, Washington

Joushua Trujillo / AP

Kara Haney and her partner of eight years react as they find out the Washington State Senate passed a bill that would legalize gay marriage in their state.

7. Feb. 7: San Francisco, California

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Frank Capley-Alfano and Joe Capley-Alfano kiss as they celebrate the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that the voter-approved Proposition 8 measure violates the civil rights of gay men and lesbians.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Opponents of Proposition 8 break down in tears as they celebrate outside of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

9. Feb. 8: Olympia, Washington

Elaine Thompson / AP

Rep. Jamie Pedersen is congratulated by his colleagues after the House voted to legalize gay marriage in Washington state.

10. Feb. 13: Olympia, Washington

Elaine Thompson / AP

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire raises her arms after she signed into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington state.

11. Feb. 17: Annapolis, Maryland

Patrick Semansky / AP

Openly gay legislators Rep. Maggie McIntosh and Rep. Anne Kaiser hug after the Maryland House passed a gay marriage bill.

Patrick Semansky / AP

Rep. Luke Clippinger reacts alongside fellow delegates after the House passed Maryland’s gay marriage bill.

13. Feb. 22: Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

David Lewis / AP

Sgt. Brandon Morgan hugs his partner, Dalan Wells, in a helicopter hangar at a Marine base in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, upon returning from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. This photo is among the first showing a gay active duty serviceman in uniform kissing his partner at a homecoming.

14. March 1: Annapolis, Maryland

Patrick Semansky / AP

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signs the Civil Marriage Protection Act into law, making Maryland the eighth state to legalize gay marriage.

15. March 2: Bremerton, Washington

Joe Dyer / AP

Sean Sutton greets his boyfriend of two years with a kiss after Jewell, a sailor, returned from a seven-month deployment aboard the USS Stennis.

16. April 29: Tokyo, Japan

TORU YAMANAKA / Getty Images

Gay people carry a rainbow flag as they march on the street during the Tokyo Rainbow Pride. Some 1,000 gays, lesbians, and their supporters took part in the parade.

17. May 9: Valparaiso City, Chile

Eliseo Fernandez / Reuters

A gay couple, Maximiliano Hott and Jorge Aravena, kiss after the Chilean Senate approved an anti-discrimination bill in Valparaiso city. According to local media, the new law establishes that every Chilean, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, will be guaranteed protection under the law.

18. May 9: Washington, D.C.

The White House / Getty Images

President Barack Obama comes out in support for gay marriage. President Obama is the first U.S. president in history to support the issue.

19. May 9: New York City

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Patrons walk by the Stonewall Inn, a historic gay bar in Greenwich Village, after President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage.

20. May 9: San Francisco, California


A man raises a glass of champagne for a celebratory toast to President Barack Obama’s support of same-sex marriage.

21. May 10: New York City

Seth Wenig / AP

Whitney Holt talks with her pregnant partner just before getting married at the city clerk’s office in New York. Both traveled to New York from Tennessee to get married one day after the president announced his support for gay marriage.

22. May 12: Havana, Cuba

STR / Getty Images

Two Cuban men kiss during a march against homophobia.

23. May 12: Sydney, Australia

Greg Wood / Getty Images

Participants in a pro-marriage equality rally march through the streets of Sydney. Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the “time is coming” for change, as protesters marched across the nation.

24. May 19: Harare, Zimbabwe


Members of a gay rights organization in Zimbabwe make a poster to celebrate the International Day Against Xenophobia and Transphobia. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has often called for gays and lesbians to be punished for their behavior, which he said was worse than pigs and dogs.


26. May 20: Ukraine

Anatolii Stepanov / Reuters

A group of unidentified people beat Svyatoslav Sheremet, the head of gay rights group. Sheremet was attacked after meeting with members of the media to inform them that a scheduled gay parade was canceled due to threats of violence from neo-Nazis and other hate groups. The attackers ran off when they realized members of the media were documenting the attack.

27. May 23: Tbilisi, Georgia

VANO SHLAMOV / Getty Images

Christian activists led by Orthodox priests attack participants during a gay rights parade.

28. May 27: St. Petersburg, Russia


A man protesting against a gay pride parade attacks a gay rights activist in Russia.


A man attacks a gay rights activist during a gay pride parade in St. Petersburg.

30. June 2: Ljubljana, Slovenia


A group of people take part in a pride parade in Ljubljana, the biggest city in Slovenia.

31. June 2: Riga, Latvia


People hold signs during the Baltic Gay Pride parade. The annual event is meant to promote gay rights in this ex-Soviet state, now a member of the European Union, where negative views of homosexuality are common.

32. June 18: Sao Paulo, Brazil


About 3 million people (!!!!!) took part in this year’s gay pride parade in Sao Paulo. This year’s theme was “Homophobia has cure.”

33. June 20: New York City

Andree Lateef / Reuters

Jason Welker and Scott Everhart kiss during their wedding ceremony at a comic book shop in Manhattan. The couple was celebrating the first gay nuptials in the superhero world in a new edition from Marvel Comics.

34. June 23: Berlin, Germany

John Macdougal / Getty Images

A man take part in Berlin’s annual Christopher Street Day in Berlin. Russia has been in the news in 2012 for their laws banning “gay propaganda.”

35. June 23: Santiago, Chile

Martin Bernetti / Getty Images

A gay couple holds a sign that says “I am not gay, my boyfriend is” during a demonstration for a law for equal rights in Santiago, Chile.

36. June 24: New York City

TIMOTHY A. CLARY / Getty Images

A protestor holds signs against gay marriage during the 2012 New York Gay Pride parade in New York.

37. June 30: Singapore

Suhaimi Abdullah / Getty Images

A female participant holds up sign during a demonstration to increase awareness and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Singapore. The event was the fourth annual gathering held in support of the freedom to love.

38. June 30: Madrid, Spain

Dominique Faget / Getty Images

A participant takes part in the gay and lesbian pride parade Spain. The sign says: “Luke, I’m…your mother.”

39. July 21: San Diego, California

Gregory Bull / AP

For the first time ever, U.S. service members had march in a gay pride event decked out in uniform.

40. Aug. 3: Decatur, Georgia

Phil Skinner / AP

Jim Fortier and Mark Toomajian kiss as they join about two dozen members of gay rights groups protesting outside the Decatur, Georgia, Chick-fil-A restaurant.

41. Aug. 11: Port Orchard, Washington

Peter Haley / AP

Derrick Peacock and Pablo Monroy row away after their wedding ceremony. Monroy, 24, a cavalry scout with the Army National Guard, and Peacock, 25, are the faces of a new generation of gays and lesbians entering a world that has radically changed in the quarter-century span of their lives.


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