02-11-1967 The Black Cat protest – Almost 2 years before Stonewall. On New Year’s Eve, 1966/1967, at midnight, as traditional New Year’s kisses were exchanged in the LGBT bar, the Black Cat, undercover cops started arresting people without identifying themselves. Fourteen people were dragged to waiting patrol cars. The cops then raided the New Faces bar, where other LGBT people were arrested. The raids sparked anger and fear in the gay community. At the time, it was the bars that were the only relatively safe place for gay people to gather. Six of the men arrested for kissing at the Black Cat were convicted of lewd conduct and required to register as sex offenders. Lawyer Herbert Selwyn argued for the first time on the basis of equal protection under the law. The US Supreme Court declined to hear the case. Two LGBT organizations came together — Personal Rights in Defense and Education (PRIDE) and The Southern California Council on Religion and Homophile (SCCRH) to stage an unprecedented protest. A legal defense fund was set up and the media was contacted. On February 11, 1967, in response to the harassment and unprovoked police attack, nearly 600 people gathered in a peaceful demonstration in front of the Black Cat. There was some television coverage of the protest and the only print coverage was by the L.A. Free Press. In 2008, the Black Cat was designated as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #939 for its early and significant role in the LGBT civil rights movement. It’s the first building in Los Angeles to be landmarked solely for its LGBT history. The Black Cat is located at 3909 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, California.
02-11-2013 The Pentagon extends benefits to same-sex couples. The move was one of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s last moves as a member of Pres. Obama’s Cabinet.