Please see this blog post for important information about this wiki.





  • January 1
    • Same-sex marriage in Australia:
      • Tasmanian laws come into effect recognising civil unions between same-sex couples. Tasmania becomes the first Australian state to enact such laws.
  • January 7 - Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, releases a total of $3.7 million in state grants to Chicago's under-construction Center on Halsted LGBT community center. [1]
  • January 8
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States:
      • The New Jersey legislature passes a bill creating a domestic partnership status for same-sex couples, with many of the same legal rights as marriage. Governor James McGreevy signs the bill into law four days later and New Jersey becomes the fifth U.S. state to offer such a status to same-sex couples. The law officially takes effect 180 days later.



  • February 4
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States
      • The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court answers the state's Senate that the proposed civil unions will still violate the constitution by maintaining an inferior status of same-sex couples. [3] [4] White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan states that the Bush administration is reviewing the legal decision. The spokesman also states that the court's findings are "deeply troubling" and that the president is "firmly committed to protecting and defending" marriage (as being defined between a man and a woman).[5] [6] [7]
  • February 6
  • February 10
  • February 12
  • February 14
  • February 15
  • February 16
  • February 17
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States:
      • San Francisco Superior court Judge James L. Warner postpones any decision to block the city and county of San Francisco, California from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to void the 2,464 same-sex marriages that were performed in the city since February 12. This was on the grounds that the Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund's order for San Francisco to "cease and desist issuing marriage licenses to and/or solemnizing marriages of same-sex couples; to show cause before this court..." had an improper semicolon; to do both, rather than one or the other, would have exceeded the judge's jurisdiction. [23]
  • February 18
  • February 19
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States:
      • Chicago, Illinois Mayor Richard M. Daley said he had "no problem" with the concept same-sex marriage licenses issued in Cook County, Illinois, where his city is located.
      • The White House reserves judgement on the Federal Marriage Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as a "union of a man and a woman," until Massachusetts legislature and San Francisco courts take further action. Media reports speculate that the White House will probably also keep their opinion quiet until Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry takes a stand on the issue. [25]
      • San Francisco sues California to force the state to accept marriage licenses it altered to remove reference to bride and groom and recognize same-sex marriage. [26]
      • Laura Bush states that homosexual marriage is "a very, very shocking issue" for some people. She hopes the subject can be debated by Americans together, rather than it be settled by a Massachusetts court or the mayor of San Francisco.
    • Gay adoption:
      • The ACLU says it will appeal to U.S. federal court to overturn Florida's laws banning adoption by GLBT families.[27]
  • February 20
    • Same-sex marriage:
      • King Norodom Sihanouk, the constitutional monarch of Cambodia, states that he believes his country ought to allow same-sex marriage. He says he decided this upon seeing footage of same-sex couples marrying in San Francisco. He also says that transvestites ought to be well-treated in Cambodia.
      • Same-sex marriage in the United States:
        • San Francisco judge denies request to immediately stop same-sex weddings. [28] Homosexual couples win reprieve when the judge declines to stop San Francisco from granting them marriage licenses. [29]
        • Victoria Dunlap, the Republican county clerk of rural Sandoval County, New Mexico, starts issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, citing lack of legal grounds for denial.[30] Republican state Senator Steve Komadina, criticizes the decision and urges state Attorney General Patricia Madrid to issue a prompt opinion. [31]
        • California Democratic leaders try to withdraw from the divisive political issue of same-sex marriage. A Public Policy Institute of California poll indicates that half of Californians oppose homosexual marriage. Some California Democratic officeholders were discontented over the matter becoming a national political issue. [32]
        • California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger writes to Attorney General Bill Lockyer telling him to take legal action to stop the city from granting marriage licences to homosexual couples, saying the practice presents "an imminent risk to civil order". [33]
        • A proposed amendment to the state constitution of Oklahoma to outlaw same-sex marriage dies in Senate Human Resources Committee; the Republican leader of the Oklahoma Senate criticizes the Democratic Senate leadership for killing the proposed ban. [34] [35]
  • February 22
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States:
      • Saying he will defend California's laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples, state attorney general Bill Lockyer dismisses California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's "order" in the San Francisco marriage licenses debate, saying his office is independent of gubernatorial power. [36]
  • February 24
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States:
      • U.S. President George W. Bush announces his support for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Bush did not explicitly endorse the Federal Marriage Amendment, proposed by Representative Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colorado), which has been criticised for potentially also denying states the ability to recognise same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships. However, he said that the FMA "meets his principles" in protecting the "sanctity of marriage" between men and women.[37] [38] [39]
  • February 26
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States:
      • The mayor of New Paltz, a village in New York State, announces that the town will start performing civil marriages for same-sex couples. It will not attempt to issue marriage certificates, but married couples in New York State have six months from the date of their wedding to seek a certificate. [40]
      • Rosie O'Donnell marries her partner Kelli Carpenter at San Francisco City Hall.
  • February 27
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States:
      • The California Supreme Court refuses a petition by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer asking for an immediate ruling on the constitutionality same-sex marriage laws and a Cease and desist order against San Francisco's granting of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. [41]
      • Missing the 2004 deadline for new bill introduction because of legal maneuvering by Democrat leadership, Indiana House of Representatives Republican lawmakers fail to introduce legislation for a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. [42]


  • March 2
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States:
      • Jason West, mayor of New Paltz is charged with 19 criminal counts of "solemnizing" marriages without a license after officiating same-sex marriage unions. He faces up to a $500 fine and a year in jail on each count.
  • March 3
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States:
      • Multnomah County, Oregon, which includes the city of Portland, becomes the second county in the United States where same-sex marriages are legally performed after four county commissioners decide the current state law banning marriage from same-sex couples is against the Oregon constitution. Couples lined up, and clergy performed ceremonies for 3,022 gay couples, mostly from Oregon, over the next month and a half. Couples from throughout the country, flocked to Portland to obtain a license and marry legally. See April 20 for a continuation of the story.
  • March 5
  • March 10 - Indianapolis, Indiana mayor Bart Peterson issues an executive order that prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in city and county employment as well as city contractors and vendors.
  • March 11
    • New Jersey's Seton Hall University, a Roman Catholic institution is sued by 19-year-old student Anthony Romeo and 16 other students for violating the state's sexual orientation anti-discrimination law and the university's own policies after the university denied the formation of an LGBT student organization.
  • The California Supreme Court orders San Francisco officials to stop performing same-sex marriages. San Francisco officials comply with this order and, for the first time since February 12, refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. At the same time, the City Attorney of San Francisco sues the State of California on the grounds that prohibiting same-sex marriages is unconstitutional (on a state level). [43]
  • March 12
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States:
      • Oregon's attorney general issues his opinion on same-sex marriage within Oregon. He concludes that current state law prohibits issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but that the Oregon Supreme Court is likely to conclude those statutes violate the state's constitution.
      • The Wisconsin State Senate approves state constitution amendment (voted 20-13) to ban same-sex marriages or civil unions, to counter efforts elsewhere to legalize such partnerships.
  • March 15
  • March 16 - Rhea County, Tennessee commissioners vote 8-0 to ask that state law be changed to allow county officials to effectively ban homosexuals from the county by being able to charge them with "crimes against nature." After a community uproar, the resolution is withdrawn two days later.
  • March 19
    • Same-sex marriage in Canada:
      • Quebec joins Ontario and British Columbia in legalizing same-sex marriage after the Quebec Court of Appeals upholds Hendricks and Leboeuf v. Quebec. More than two-thirds of the Canadian population now live in provinces that recognize same-sex marriage. [44]
  • March 31
    • The British government announces the details of the new Civil Partnerships Bill. This would give legal recognition to same sex couples. [45]


  • April 1
  • April 20
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States
      • Oregon Circuit Court Judge Frank Bearden ruled that the state must "accept and register" marriages of same-sex couples. He then ordered a temporary stop to issuing new licenses, but gave the Oregon Legislative Assembly 90 days from the start of its next session to write a law that ensures identical rights for same-sex couples, which could happen through civil marriage or civil union. If the legislature fails to act on the issue within the 90 days, licenses to same-sex couples will resume. The order has been appealed by both proponents and opponents of same-sex marriage, in hopes of the issue making a fast track to the Oregon Supreme Court, which may rule the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. A ruling upheld by the state supreme court in 1999 says government officials must meet an extraordinary burden to treat gays and straights differently — the same high burden required to justify disparate treatment of blacks and whites, or men and women. Opponents hope to change the Oregon constitution to define marriage as restricted to one man and one woman through a vote on the November 2004 ballot.
  • Rio Grande do Sul is the first Brazilian State to legalize Civil unions.


  • May 17
  • May 29 - U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner (in Massachusetts) rules that stating that someone is homosexual does not libel or slander them, saying that "a finding that such a statement is defamatory requires this court to legitimize the prejudice and bigotry that for too long have plagued the homosexual community". The ruling came in a lawsuit of James Albright against the singer Madonna: Albright's name had appeared in a photo caption in a book by Andrew Morton about Madonna. Gertner said previous rulings that stating someone is homosexual is defamatory had relied on laws criminalizing same-sex sexual acts, and had to be reevaluated in light of more recent rulings that such laws are Constitutionally suspect. [46]


  • June 3
    • The first civil union is realized in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
  • June 24
    • the United Kingdom government suffers a defeat in the House of Lords as they approve a wrecking amendment to the Civil Partnership Bill
  • June 30
    • The Spanish minister of justice, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, announces a number of social bills to be introduced, including one that will legalize same-sex marriage in Spain, one that will introduce rights for common-law couples, and one that will allow transsexual and transgendered people to legally change their name and sex designation without the requirement of surgery.



  • August 9
    • Appointed by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Rudy Serra was sworn in as a judge in the state's District 36, serving Detroit, becoming the first openly gay judge in the state.
    • Authorities in Nepal raid bars and clubs to arrest 39 members of the Blue Diamond Society, a gay rights and AIDS education organization and charged them with "spreading perversion."
  • August 12
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States
      • In a 5-2 vote, the California state supreme court voids the almost 4,000 same-sex marriages performed in San Francisco between February 12 and March 11 after another, unanimous decision that the city's officials overstepped their legal rights in ignoring state laws in issuing marriages licences to same-sex couples.
    • Governor James McGreevey of New Jersey becomes the first openly-gay chief executive of a U.S. state when he discloses an extramarital affair with another man and announces his resignation effective November 12.
  • August 13
    • Same-sex marriage in Australia
      • The Australian Senate passes legislation by a 38-7 vote that defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman, granting prime minister John Howard a victory in is campaign to outlaw same-sex marriage in the country.
  • August 16
    • Same-sex marriage in Canada
      • Federal justice minister Irwin Cotler announces that the federal government will no longer resist court proceedings aiming to require provincial governments to issue same-sex marriage licences.
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States:
      • Ohio election officials approve the wording to be placed on the state ballot for the proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and extension of marriage rights to the non-married to read as follows:
"Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions. This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage."
  • August 17
    • UNAIDS and Human Rights Watch call on the government of Nepal to release the 39 members of the Blue Diamond Society imprisoned August 9.


  • September 16
    • Same-sex marriage in Canada: Manitoba becomes the fifth of Canada's provinces or territories to have legal same-sex marriage. Neither the federal nor provincial governments opposed the lawsuit filed by three couples, one of whom had previously filed suit for same-sex marriage in 1974. See Same-sex marriage in Manitoba.
  • September 23
    • California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs "SB 1234," a bill that defines the legal term "hate crime" (which includes LGBT-motivated violence) for all state and local agencies, encourages the creation of local law enforcement hate-crime protocols and increased hate crime awareness training for law enforcement officers.
  • September 24
    • Same-sex marriage in Canada: Nova Scotia becomes the sixth of Canada's provinces or territories to have legal same-sex marriage. Neither the federal nor provincial governments opposed the lawsuit filed by three couples, one of whom had already been married in Ontario and sought recognition for their marriage in their home province. See Same-sex marriage in Nova Scotia.
  • September 25
    • California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs "AB 2900," a bill to unify all state anti-discrimination codes to match the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. In essence it adds "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" anti-discrimination protections to the California government, labor, military and veterans, public utilities, unemployment and insurance, and welfare and institutions codes.
  • September 27
    • California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs "SB 1193," a bill to provide a $10,000 death benefit to the surviving spouse or designated beneficiary of a member of on of the state military reserves (California National Guard, State Military Reserve, or Naval militia). The bill, retroactive to March 1, 2003 allows LGBT partners of military personnel be listed as "designated beneficiary."
  • September 30


  • October 1
    • Same-sex marriage in Spain: The cabinet of Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero approves a bill to legalize same-sex marriage; the government believes that it will pass the full parliament.
  • October 29
    • Germany expands the rights of same-sex couples, allowing registered domestic partners to adopt each other's children.


  • November 2
    • As George W. Bush is reelected, voters in 11 states pass amendments to their state constitutions banning same-sex marriage, and in most of those states, civil unions and domestic partnership as well.
  • November 5
  • November 18
    • In the United Kingdom, the Civil Partnership Act receives royal assent.
  • November 29
    • Same-sex marriage in the United States: Without comment, the Supreme Court of the United States refuses to hear arguments appealing the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that same-sex marriage must be allowed in that state, in essence letting the ruling stand.


  • December 9
    • New Zealand Parliament passes the Civil Union Bill, establishing the new institution of civil union, available to same-sex and de facto couples. The Civil Union Bill has been described as a copy of the Marriage Act with "marriage" replaced by "civil union". Its companion bill, the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill, was to remove discriminatory provisions from a large number of pieces of legislation, but has run into stumbling blocks in Parliament and has been shelved until 2005.
    • The Supreme Court of Canada rules in its reference on same-sex marriage that altering the legal definition of marriage to include same-sex couples is within the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada. Prime Minister Paul Martin indicates that his government will introduce such a bill early in the new year.
  • December 21
    • Canada:
      • Newfoundland and Labrador becomes the seventh province to legalize same-sex marriage after a Supreme Court judge approves the licences for two lesbian couples.


External links

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