April 8th People

April 8th

04-08-1942 Robin Tyler – Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She has been an LGBT activist for decades. Tyler was the first out gay or lesbian comic on stage, records, and television. She was the main stage producer of the 1979, 1987, and 1993, Marches on Washington for LGBT rights. On February 2001, after they had been together for nine years, Tyler and her wife, Diane Olson, demanded the County of Los Angeles grant them the right to marry. They were the first lesbian plaintiffs in a California Supreme Court lawsuit that challenged the ban on same-sex marriage (Tyler et al v County of LA). The suit became a crucial part of what has been called “the Second Stonewall.” She and Olson won their case in May 2oo8 when the California Supreme Court granted equal rights to same-sex couples and for the first time LGBT people were granted status as a “suspect class”: we were finally recognized as a legitimate minority and entitled to equal protection under the law. The County of Los Angeles recognized Robin and Diane as leaders in the marriage fight and allowed them to receive a marriage license on June 16, 2008 — the evening before licenses were available to same-sex couples throughout the state.

04-08-1943 – 07-02-1987 Michael Bennett – Born in Buffalo, New York. He was an American musical theatre director, writer, choreographer, and dancer. Bennett won seven Tony Awards for his choreography and direction of Broadway shows and was nominated for an additional eleven. In July 1975, A Chorus Line debuted off-Broadway. Bennett co-choreographed and directed the production. The musical won nine Tony Awards and the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Bennett had another hit in 1981 with Dreamgirls. Bennett was bisexual, having numerous affairs with both men and women. He had a relationship with Larry Fuller, dancer, choreographer and director. He also had a long professional and personal relationship with dancer, Donna McKechnie, who danced his choreography in both Promises, Promises and Company and won the 1976 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in the role he had created for her in A Chorus Line. Bennett and McKechnie married in 1976, but separated after a few months and eventually divorced in 1979. Bennett’s last lover was Gene Pruitt. In 1986, both Pruitt and friend Bob Herr lived with Bennett for the last eight months of his life in Tucson, Arizona. He died from AIDS-related lymphoma at the age of 44.

04-08-1969 Kelvin Atkinson -Born in Chicago, Illinois. He is a Democratic member of the Nevada Senate, representing District 4. He previously served in the Nevada Assembly from 2002 to 2012. On April 22, 2013, during a debate on repealing Nevada’s gay marriage ban, he announced on the Senate floor that” “I’m black. I’m gay.” It was the first time he had publicly identified as gay. He became the fifth out LGBT member of the Nevada legislature. On October 9, 2014, Atkinson and his partner Sherwood Howard were the first same-sex couple to marry in Nevada.

04-08-1979 Erika Holst – Born in Varberg, Sweden. She is a Swedish Olympic ice hockey player. She won a silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Holst came out as lesbian in 2006, along with fellow hockey player Ylva Lindberg.

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