This Month in Queer History: March 2012

1649 – Sarah White Norman is the first known woman to be convicted for lesbian behavior in North America. Her partner in the crime of “lewd behaviour each with other upon a bed,” is not prosecuted on account of being under 16. [“Same-sex desire in the English Renaissance: a sourcebook of texts,” via Wikipedia]

1656 – New Haven Colony becomes the only English colony to make sex between women punishable by death. [Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific NW]

1842 – Florida passes a law mandating execution for those convicted of sodomy. [GLAPN]

Oscar Wilde.

1895 – The Marquess of Queensberry is arrested on charges of criminal libel for calling Oscar Wilde a sodomite. The tables are eventually turned, and Wilde is convicted of “gross indecency.” []

1969 – Jim Morrison (The Doors) is arrested for allegedly mimicking fellatio and exposing himself on stage. []

1975 – The U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania rules against spying on individuals in public restrooms without a warrant. [GLAPN]

1991 – Montana law bans using a person’s HIV-status to initiate a sodomy case. [GLAPN]

1996 – The California Supreme Court rules that gay men who are selectively prosecuted for solicitation have a right to challenge that prosecution. []

2004 – Oregon’s attorney general issues an opinion stating that issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates state law, while anticipating that the Oregon State Supreme Court would rule against those statutes. []

2008 – Homosexuality is legalized in Panama and in Nicaragua (for the second time). []

2009 – Denmark legalizes adoption by same-sex couples. []

2009 – Argentina and The Phillipines end their bans on gays and lesbians in the military. []

2010 – Marriage equality takes effect in Mexico City. []

2010 – Congress passes a law making same-sex marriage legal in the District of Columbia. []