News of the year. (2002 Time Line).
Three Saudi Arabian men are beheaded for homosexuality. According to a government press release, the men were killed because they "committed acts of sodomy, married each other, seduced young men, and attacked those who rebuked them."
Acting Massachusetts governor Jane Swift, a Republican, names Patrick Guerriero as her running mate. The first openly gay candidate to be selected to run with a sitting U.S. governor, Guerriero drops out of the race in April, soon after Swift decides she won't run.
AIDS activist and author Larry Kramer is released from a Pittsburgh hospital two weeks after undergoing a successful liver transplant.
New York governor George Pataki calls for the passage of the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act at his state of the state address, receiving a standing ovation.
Cable networks MTV and Showtime announce that they are developing a gay and lesbian cable channel. No date is set for its launch.
Nearly 140 gay and lesbian couples in California register as domestic partners when a new law takes effect that gives registered same-sex couples many of the same benefits as married couples.
A California judge rules that the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, non-profits that were former beneficiaries of the Pallotta TeamWorks--organized California AIDS Ride, can hold their own ride separate from Pallotta's for-profit ride.
Maggie McIntosh, a 10-year Maryland state delegate and the majority leader of the house of delegates, becomes the state's first legislator to come out of the closet.
A Georgia appellate court rules that a Vermont civil union does not create a legal partnership in Georgia.
President Bush appoints former Oklahoma U.S. representative Tom Coburn, who often has challenged the effectiveness of condom use as a strategy for fighting AIDS, as cochair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
The American Academy of Pediatrics officially endorses adoption by gay people.
A Montana lesbian couple's home is gutted by fire, most likely as retribution for their fight for health benefits at the University of Montana. By year's end the police investigation suggests that the women themselves are considered among the suspects in the arson.
The 2.6 million-member National Education Association adopts a policy asking school districts to protect gay and lesbian students and staff members.
Former movie leading man George Nader, who came out in 1986, dies at age 80. Nader starred in Six Bridges to Cross and Lady Godiva.
After spending 73 days in a San Francisco jail on charges of harassing, stalking, and making criminal threats to researchers, public health officials, and journalists, controversial AIDS activists Michael Petrelis and David Pasquarelli are released.
In the unanimous Alabama state supreme court decision against a lesbian mother's attempt to gain custody of her children, chief justice Roy Moore writes that homosexuality is "an inherent evil" and shouldn't be tolerated.
Antigay Oregon activist Lon Mabon is arrested for contempt of court after failing to attend two court hearings related to a 10-year-old case involving a gay activist who was attacked by a former employee of Mabon's Oregon Citizens Alliance. He spends 42 days in jail.
The Massachusetts supreme court refuses to throw out two antigay sodomy laws that date back to colonial times. However, the court did say that district attorneys have agreed not to prosecute anyone under the laws unless the sexual acts are conducted in public or are not consensual.
Clinton Scott Risetter, 37, of Santa Barbara, Calif., dies after being doused with gasoline and set on fire. Martin Thomas Hartmann, who confesses to setting Risetter on fire, says he did it because Risetter was gay.
Jerold Krieger, a Los Angeles municipal and superior court judge who helped found what is believed to be the world's first gay and lesbian synagogue, dies of cancer at 58.
A law legalizing gay partnerships goes into effect in Finland.
Pope John Paul II's spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls tells The New York Times that "people with [homosexual] inclinations just cannot be ordained" as priests.
Nine former Florida state legislators who helped pass the state's ban on adoptions by gay men and lesbians in 1977 say their support for the bill was wrong.
Will Young, a singer who was the winner of the U.K. reality show Pop Idol, comes out.
Seven gay couples go to court in Massachusetts to force the state to issue them marriage licenses. Less than two months later the court rules that the matter should be decided in the legislature.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network releases a report showing that 1,250 U.S. service members were discharged in 2001 because of their homosexuality. It's the highest number of gay-related discharges since 1987.
The Kansas supreme court rules that only marriages between "two parties who are of the opposite sex" are recognized by the state legislature. The case involves J'Noel Gardiner, a transgendered woman who was seeking access to part of her late husband's estate. The court says Gardiner is not legally a woman and therefore cannot be married to a man.
Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel, the owners of two dogs that killed lesbian Diane Whipple in San Francisco in 2001, are found guilty on all counts facing them.
The Louisiana supreme court refuses to overturn the state's 200-year-old ban on sodomy.
After accepting an award for his government's successful campaign against AIDS, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni declares that his country has no gay people.
Broward County, Fla.'s teacher of the year, Connie Hines, comes out during her speech accepting the award. "Sometimes the gay issue is used against us," she says. "If my being out helps another teacher come out, it's worth it."
Darrell David Rice is indicted for the 1996 slayings of two female hikers in a federal park in Virginia. Already in prison on other charges, Rice tells authorities that Julianne Williams and Laura "Lollie" Winans "deserved to die because they were lesbian."
A Mississippi judge, Connie Glenn Wilkerson, writes a letter to his local newspaper, stating, "In my opinion, gays and lesbians should be put in some type of mental institute instead of having a [domestic-partnership] law like this passed for them." Wilkerson was referring to a recent news article about the ability of gay survivors to sue for the wrongful death of their partners.
Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter, Mary Cheney, who has declined to discuss her sexual orientation since her father's election, joins the board of the Republican Unity Coalition, a gay-straight political alliance.
The Tacoma, Wash., city council passes a ban on discrimination against gay, lesbian, and transgendered people. This amendment to the city's antidiscrimination law is upheld by voters on November 5.
The Reverend Paul Shanley, a gay man and one of the priests embroiled in the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal, is arrested on three counts of child rape. He pleads innocent to all charges.
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg signs a bill outlawing discrimination against transgendered people.
Pim Fortuyn, 53, an openly gay populist leader who was making a spectacular run for the Dutch parliament, is murdered by an environmental activist.
Renowned openly gay makeup artist to the stars Kevyn Aucoin, 40, dies of complications relating to a metabolic disorder.
The Dallas city council passes an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
A group calling itself the Alliance for Marriage introduces to Congress a proposed constitutional amendment declaring that marriage "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."
The Ohio supreme court rules that a state law criminalizing expressions of sexual interest between people of the same sex is unconstitutional.
Ford Motor Co. pulls openly gay former executive Allan Gilmour, 67, out of retirement and appoints him as vice chairman and chief financial officer.
The Indiana court of appeals rules that judges in the state cannot deny custody or visitation to gay parents simply because they live with a partner of the same sex.
German lawmakers pardon about 50,000 gay men who were convicted in Naziera Germany and sent to concentration camps.
New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza announces that he is straight, in response to rumors that one of the team's members is gay. "I can't control what people think," Piazza says. "I date women."
Alan P. Bell, a researcher at the Kinsey Institute who assisted in the groundbreaking study that countered the idea that gay people were maladjusted, dies at age 70.
A judge in Ontario, Canada, rules that Marc Hall (right), a 17-year-old student at a Roman Catholic high school in Oshawa, cannot be barred from bringing his 21-year-old boyfriend to prom.
Whitman-Walker Clinic and Food and Friends, the beneficiaries of the Washington, D.C., AIDS Ride, announce that they will no longer participate in the Pallotta TeamWorks event.
The U.S. Supreme Court rules that Calvin Burdine, an openly gay convicted murderer whose lawyer slept through much of his trial in Texas, must be set free or be given a new trial. Texas prosecutors decide to retry Burdine.
Connecticut governor John G. Rowland signs a bill extending certain legal rights to same-sex couples, and he orders the legislature to study the policy issue of marriage and civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.
Shaun Murphy, 19, who had pleaded guilty to the 2001 murder of transgendered teenager Fred Martinez in Cortez, Colo., is sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Swedish legislators vote to allow same-sex couples to adopt children. The policy goes into effect in October.
The Canadian province of Quebec legalizes civil unions for same-sex couples and gives gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children.
A San Francisco judge overturns the second-degree murder conviction of Marjorie Knoller in the 2001 dog mauling that resulted in the death of her lesbian neighbor Diane Whipple. He says the evidence does not support a murder conviction because Knoller had no way of knowing her dogs would kill someone. She is later sentenced to four years in prison on charges of manslaughter and having a mischievous dog that killed a person.
President Bush signs legislation allowing death benefits for public safety officers killed on September 11 to go to a beneficiary other than an immediate family member, including a same-sex partner.
Seven same-sex couples file suit in New Jersey state court to gain full marriage rights.
The Egyptian government decides to retry 50 of the 52 men who were originally tried in 2001 for allegedly having sex on a Nile River boat club.
Hollywood mogul Michael Ovitz tells Vanity Fair that the "gay mafia" is to blame for his career's collapse.
A gay Idaho man who is told to stop living with his partner or lose the right to have visits with his children takes his case to the state supreme court. Theron McGriff's partner moves into a mobile home parked outside the couple's home so McGriff's children can visit their father.
The Arkansas supreme court overturns the state's antigay sodomy law.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 75% of young urban gays in the United States who are infected with HIV do not know they carry the virus.
After a decade of congressionally imposed barriers, Washington, D.C., begins issuing certificates of registration to same-sex domestic partners.
A three-judge panel of Ontario, Canada's superior court rules that the province must begin to recognize same-sex partnerships.
The German supreme court upholds the country's law recognizing same-sex partnerships.
Lawmakers in Massachusetts kill a citizen-initiated ballot question that aimed to ban recognition of same-sex marriages.
President Bush's openly gay AIDS czar, Scott Evertz, is replaced by physician Joseph O'Neill. Evertz stays in the administration, however, overseeing global AIDS initiatives.
Gay-friendly Rowan Williams is named the next archbishop of Canterbury, replacing George Carey, who retires in October.
Beneficiaries of the Heartland AIDS Ride in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois announce they will no longer participate in the Pallotta TeamWorks event.
The Fayetteville Observer in North Carolina starts running same-sex union announcements, sparking a new trend among newspapers nationwide, including, most significantly, The New York Times.
Westbrook, Maine, becomes the 12th city in the state to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. The ordinance is later upheld by voters on November 5.
A surrogate mother gives birth to quadruplets for a Kentucky gay couple, Thomas Dysarz (left) and Michael Meehan. Meehan is the biological father to the three boys--Michael, Jacob, and Tristan--and one girl, Taylor.
Texas Rangers pitcher John Rocker finds himself in another scandal after calling a male couple sitting next to him at a Dallas restaurant "fruitcakes." He later issues a written apology.
Pat Williams, a senior vice president of the parent company of the WNBA's Orlando Miracle, upsets fans--especially the team's lesbian fans--when he sends a letter to the Orlando city council in opposition to a proposal that would ban antigay discrimination in the city.
The Washoe County, Nev., school district unanimously endorses a settlement with gay former student Derek Henkle, who sued the district for failing to protect him from antigay harassment. The settlement includes $451,000 and changes to the district's antiharassment policies to better protect gay and lesbian students.
Openly gay Boston surgeon David Arndt has his medical license suspended when, in the middle of performing surgery, he leaves the hospital for 35 minutes to make a bank deposit.
Yeshiva University in New York City changes its housing policy to allow same-sex couples to live in on-campus housing. The policy change follows a suit filed by two lesbian students in 1998.
Two transgendered teens, Ukea Davis and Stephanie Thomas, are gunned down in Washington, D.C., while sitting in the front seat of Thomas's car. There are at least 10 bullet wounds in each of their bodies, prompting police to suggest the murder is bias-motivated.
The Visalia, Calif., school district announces a settlement with gay former student George Loomis, who sued the district in 2000 for not protecting him from harassment. The settlement includes significant changes in the district's policies regarding sexual orientation and $130,000 for Loomis.
After accepting an award from the state's council of the Boy Scouts of America, Hawaii first lady Vicky Cayetano writes a letter to a Honolulu paper taking on the Scouts' antigay policy.
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg signs a law extending city same-sex domestic-partner benefits to visiting gay and lesbian couples who are registered partners in their home areas.
The Pennsylvania supreme court rules that a child may be adopted by a parent's legal partner in cases where the partners are of the same sex. The decision means children in gay families now qualify for health insurance, inheritance rights, and other benefits.
Openly gay former Enron executive Michael Kopper pleads guilty to money laundering and wire fraud. He is the first to admit guilt in the aftermath of the former energy behemoth's implosion in 2001.
Three Indiana gay and lesbian couples file lawsuits pressing the state to recognize the same-sex unions they had performed in Vermont.
A new New York state law allows the lesbians and gay men whose partners were killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks to receive spousal benefits from insurance companies.
Threatened by political smears regarding her sexual orientation, Colorado state representative Jennifer Veiga comes out as a lesbian. She is reelected in November.
AIDS Ride organizer Pallotta TeamWorks shuts its doors, laying off more than 250 employees.
Harvard Law School, which banned visits by military recruiters because of antigay military policies, allows recruiters back on campus after the federal government threatens to cut funding to the school. Law schools at other prominent U.S. universities, including Yale, are pressured to allow recruiters back on campus as well.
Gay Republicans in California release a questionnaire with Bill Simon, the GOP candidate for governor, showing that the previously antigay Simon has softened his position on gay issues. After an outcry from his supporters, Simon says he never saw the questionnaire and that it was signed by automation. The debacle deals one of several critical blows to the Simon campaign.
A Pennsylvania court overturns a 1998 Philadelphia ordinance that recognizes same-sex partnerships, saying the law usurps the power of the state to regulate marriage. City officials promise to fight the ruling and say they will continue to recognize same-sex partnerships.
China's most prominent AIDS activist, Wan Yanhai, is taken into custody by government authorities on suspicion that he leaked state secrets. He is detained for close to a month.
A West Hollywood, Calif., gay man, Trey Broudy, 33, and his friend Edward Lett, 22, are beaten by a trio in an apparent antigay attack, Broudy is knocked into a coma and spends more than a month in the hospital. Two more gay men are attacked in a similar manner over the next two weeks. The Los Angeles County district attorney sparks loud protests when the three men charged in the attacks do not end up facing hate-crime charges.
Boston University chancellor John Silber orders the headmaster of the Boston University Academy to disband a gay-straight alliance at the school, sparking loud protests from BU students.
Voters in Florida's Miami-Dade County reject a bid to overturn a 1998 gay rights ordinance.
Openly gay reverend Mel White and his partner, Gary Nixon, rent a home across the street from the Reverend Jerry Falwell's church in Lynchburg, Va., to show congregants that gay people can live Christian lives.
An Oklahoma City ordinance that kept a gay pride group's banners off city light poles is struck down by a federal judge, who says it is an infringement of free speech rights.
California passes a law allowing registered domestic partners to inherit one another's property when partners die without leaving a will. The measure was championed by Keith Bradkowski, a hospital administrator whose partner, flight attendant Jeff Collman, died on American Airlines Flight 11 on September 11, 2001.
Movie star Ben Affleck announces that he will appear alongside his gay cousin in a new ad for Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
California becomes the first state in the nation to pass a gay-inclusive paid family leave program.
Douglas Faneuil, an openly gay assistant at Merrill Lynch & Co., pleads guilty to misdemeanor charges in the ImClone-Martha Stewart stock scandal and agrees to tell prosecutors what he knows about the stock sale.
Bertrand Delanoe, the openly gay mayor of Paris, is stabbed in the stomach during an all-night party at Paris City Hall.
Lesbian serial killer Aileen Wuornos is executed in Florida, more than a decade after she murdered six men along central Florida highways while working as a prostitute.
Tom Cruise drops his lawsuit against Kristina Ann Kirstin, who claimed in a National Enquirer article that the movie star had had an affair with her ex-husband, gay-porn star Chad Slater (a.k.a. Kyle Bradford).
The Michigan court of appeals throws out a jury's $29.3 million award against the Jenny Jones show, saying the talk show had no legal duty to protect a guest who was murdered in 1995 after revealing he had a crush on another man.
Sen. Paul Wellstone, one of the staunchest supporters of gay rights in Congress, is killed in a plane crash. The 58-year-old had been accompanied by his wife, Sheila, and their daughter, Marcia, along with five other people.
Harry Hay, founder of the Mattachine Society and the Radical Faeries, dies at 90.
Defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo, who played for five National Football League teams during his nine years as a pro, comes out.
Transgendered teenager Eddie "Gwen" Araujo is murdered in Newark, Calif., and buried in a shallow grave; police are led to the site two weeks later. Police say she was murdered after boys with whom she'd allegedly had sex discovered she was a biological male.
Voters in Sarasota, Fla.; Westbrook, Maine; Ypsilanti, Mich.; and Tacoma, Wash., support gay rights initiatives at the ballot box. The only Election Day ballot measure defeat comes in Nevada, where voters support a constitutional amendment banning recognition of same-sex marriage.
David Cicilline is elected mayor of Providence, R.I., becoming the first openly gay mayor of a U.S. state capital and making Providence the largest U.S. city with an openly gay mayor.
Almost 13,000 participants from 83 countries descend on Sydney for the 2002 Gay Games.
The Chicago city council passes an ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression. Cook County then follows the city's lead and passes the same protections.
More than 2,000 people stage a protest against a gay-straight alliance at a Boyd County, Ky., high school. The religious-themed demonstration follows an earlier protest in which more than 40% of the school's students stayed home from class to show their opposition to the GSA's formation.
Out lesbian Bonnie Dumanis is elected San Diego County district attorney, becoming the first openly gay district attorney in the country.
Benjamin Williams, 34, a white supremacist who is awaiting trial along with his brother for the 1999 murder of a Northern California gay couple, commits suicide in the Shasta County, Calif., jail.
The Baltimore city council passes a bill outlawing discrimination based on gender identity or expression--making the city the 53rd in the nation to prohibit such discrimination.
Rich Tafel resigns as executive director of the gay group Log Cabin Republicans after more than a decade at the post. Patrick Guerriero, a former candidate for Massachusetts lieutenant governor and former mayor of Melrose, Mass., takes Tafel's place.
Lockheed Martin Corp., the nation's largest defense contractor, adds sexual orientation to its antidiscrimination policy and begins offering health benefits to the domestic partners of its gay employees.
Uzi Even is sworn in as the first openly gay member of Israel's parliament, the Knesset. "My joining the Knesset [is] a very important step for every gay," he says. "The message is that you no longer have to be ashamed."
The U.S. Supreme Court announces that it will hear a challenge to Texas's antigay sodomy law. It will be the first time the court considers laws banning same-sex sexual activity since 1986, when it upheld Georgia's law in Bowers v. Hardwick. The Texas case involves two gay men who were arrested in one of the men's apartments while engaging in private, consensual sex.
The Orlando, Fla., city council adds sexual orientation to the city's antidiscrimination law.
The board of the corporation that owns Cracker Barrel restaurants announces that it is adding sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy, more than a decade after instituting a policy of firing employees who fail to "demonstrate normal heterosexual values."
Officials in Sydney announce that the company that ran the 2002 Gay Games is in debt by more than $2.5 million. The October terrorist bombing on the Indonesian island of Bali is blamed for lower-than-expected turnout at the Gay Games.
Vatican official Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez publishes a letter calling the ordination of gay men as priests "inadvisable," "imprudent," and "very risky."
Murdered openly gay Dutch maverick Pim Fortuyn is named the European Union's politician of the year.