1972 in LGBT rights

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List of years in LGBT rights (table)

This is a list of notable events in the history of LGBT rights that took place in the year 1972.


  • San Francisco prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation in the public sector. The city also prohibits companies that have contracts with the city from discriminating based on sexual orientation.[citation needed][when?]



  • 7 — East Lansing, Michigan, becomes the first United States city to ban discrimination against homosexuals in housing, public accommodation, and employment.[2]


  • 1 — U.S. state of Delaware decriminalizes consensual homosexual acts between adults.[1]




  • 10 — The United States Supreme Court issues its ruling in Baker v. Nelson, in which the plaintiffs sought to have Minnesota's restriction of marriage to different-sex couples declared unconstitutional. The Court dismisses the case "for want of a substantial federal question".[5]


  • August 2 — Paul Goodman, U.S. poet, writer, and public intellectual. The freedom with which Goodman revealed, in print and in public, his homosexual life and loves proved to be one of the many important cultural springboards for the emerging gay liberation movement of the early 1970s.
  • December 31 — Henry Gerber, German-born American LGBT rights activist. Founded the Society for Human Rights, the first LGBT organization in the United States.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b William N. Eskridge, Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Laws in America, 1861-2003 (NY: Penguin Group, 2008), 201, available online, accessed April 9, 2011
  2. ^ Faderman, p. 228; American Independent: Todd Heywood, "East Lansing celebrates nation’s oldest LGBT nondiscrimination law," March 6, 2012, accessed March 6, 2012
  3. ^ Bianco, p. 318
  4. ^ "Homosexual plans to run for seat on school board". Toronto Star, July 25, 1972.
  5. ^ Baker v. Nelson, 409 US 810 (United States Supreme Court 2010-10-10).
  6. ^ "Henry Gerber". Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 


  • Bianco, David (1999). Gay Essentials: Facts For Your Queer Brain. Los Angeles, Alyson Publications. ISBN 1-55583-508-2.
  • Faderman, Lillian (2007). Great Events From History: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Events, 1848-2006. Salem Press. ISBN 1-58765-264-1.