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Monday, 10 December 2012

December 10th in Queer History

Events this day in history:

1996 - South African constitution signed at Sharpeville by President Nelson Mandela, the first anywhere to include in its bill of rights protection from discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.

This clause was the basis of a series of landmark decisions on LGBT rights by the Constitutional Court, culminating in South Africa approving legislation for full marriage and family equality.

2010 - Monica Marie Márquez sworn in as first openly lesbian, and first Latina, judge for Colorado Supreme Court

Born this day

William Plomer (1903 – 1973) South African / British.
Author, known as a novelist, poet and literary editor. He became famous in South Africa with his first novel, Turbott Wolfe (1925), which had inter-racial love and marriage as a theme.
Although he never spoke openly about his sexuality, his biographers record that during a period when he lived in Japan, he was in a sexual relationship with a Japanese man. Although overt homosexuality is absent from William Plomer's novels and poems, the relevance of his sexuality to his work is evident. After settling in England in 1929, he associated with a circle of homosexual literary people, and for the last thirty years of his life, his devoted companion was Charles Erdmann.

William Armstrong Percy III (1933 – )  US
American professor, historian, encyclopedist, and gay activist. He taught from 1968 at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and started publishing in gay studies in 1985.

Scott Capurro (1962 – ) US
Stand-up comedian, writer and actor.[1] His comedy material is deliberately provocative, referring often to gay life and culture, politics, race and racism, and popular culture.

Cassia Eller (1962 – 2001) Brazilian
A Brazilian musician, who performed a fusion of rock and MPB.
After she died at the age of 39 in 2001, custody of her young son, Francisco, was assumed by her partner of 14 years, Eugênia, after an almost one-year legal battle against the child's grandfather, Altair Eller.

Jason Lorber (1966 –  ) US
A consultant, comedian and politician from Burlington, Vermont. A Democrat, he is a member of the Vermont House of Representatives, where he is one of five openly gay members. He is joined in a civil union with his partner Nathaniel G. Lew, an assistant professor at Saint Michael's College.

Brian Molko (1972 – ) Belgian
songwriter, lead vocalist, and guitarist of the band Placebo. He is known in particular for his high-pitched vocals, androgynous appearance, and unique, Sonic Youth-influenced guitar style and tuning.
Molko is openly bisexual.

Nicole Georges (1980 – ) US
An illustrator, pet portrait artist, zinester and educator living in Portland, Oregon. She is best known as the author of the autobiographical comic zine Invincible Summer. The zine has a queer and feminist slant, and provides crafting tips and simple vegan recipes.

Died this day

Henry Cowell (1897 - 1965 ) US
Composer, music theorist, pianist, teacher, publisher, and impresario.
Cowell, who was bisexual, was convicted in 1936 of "impairing the morals of a minor". He had been led to believe by the district attorney that, if he pleaded guilty to a limited offense, he would be sentenced to only a brief confinement in a sanatorium. He naively accepted that advice, but he was instead given the maximum sentence of up to 15 years incarceration in prison.[25] He would spend the next four years in San Quentin State Prison.

Thelma Wood (1901  - 1970) US

Dorothy Porter (1954 - 2008 ) Australian
Poet / Librettist / Author

Sodomy in history, December 10 th

1792 — Virginia eliminates its reliance on the English buggery statute by passing its own statute that retains the death penalty.

1828 — New York lowers the penalty for sodomy from life imprisonment to a maximum of ten years.

1957 — A New York appellate court overturns the sodomy conviction of two men for sex in a restroom stall because the arresting officer testified that he did not actually see an contact between them and because one man’s employment time card, verifying that he was at work at the time of the alleged offense, had been excluded from his trial.

1991 — A Missouri appellate court overturns a sodomy conviction because the defendant’s homosexuality was made an issue. The appellate court correctly notes that the homosexuality of a defendant is irrelevant.


On this gay day

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