back to top

60 Powerful Steps Forward For Equality

A time line of the most moving moments and photos of the year for gay rights. 2013 is going to be a great year.

Posted on

1. Jan. 4: Olympia, Washington

Elaine Thompson / AP

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire announces that she wants Washington to become the seventh state in the nation to make gay marriage legal. Gov. Gregorie had previously supported efforts to expand domestic partner rights for gay couples but had not come out in favor of full marriage rights.

2. Jan. 12: Orlando, Florida

Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP

Tim Galatas and Giulio Giunta embrace after officially registering as a domestic couple during the launch of the Orlando, Florida, new domestic partner registry. The registry gives non-married couples, both gay and heterosexual, some of the same rights as married couples in matters such as hospital visitation and health-care decisions.


4. Jan. 26: Augusta, Maine

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Ali Vanderzanden, the political director for Equality Maine, celebrates with a friend after collecting 105,000 signatures, which was enough to force a second referendum on gay marriage in the state.

5. Jan. 28: Mumbai, India


Indian supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community participate in the Queer Azadi March in Mumbai. In July 2009, the Delhi High Court decriminalized gay sex between consenting adults by declaring a colonial-era ban on homosexuality unconstitutional.

6. Feb. 1: Seattle, Washington

Joushua Trujillo / AP

Kara Haney and her partner of eight years react as they find out the Washington State Senate passed a bill that would legalize gay marriage in their state.

7. Feb. 7: San Francisco, California

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Frank Capley-Alfano and Joe Capley-Alfano kiss as they celebrate the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that the voter-approved Proposition 8 measure violates the civil rights of gay men and lesbians.


13. Feb. 22: Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

David Lewis / AP

Sgt. Brandon Morgan hugs his partner, Dalan Wells, in a helicopter hangar at a Marine base in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, upon returning from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. This photo is among the first showing a gay active duty serviceman in uniform kissing his partner at a homecoming.


16. April 29: Tokyo, Japan

TORU YAMANAKA / Getty Images

Gay people carry a rainbow flag as they march on the street during the Tokyo Rainbow Pride. Some 1,000 gays, lesbians, and their supporters took part in the parade.

17. May 9: Valparaiso City, Chile

Eliseo Fernandez / Reuters

A gay couple, Maximiliano Hott and Jorge Aravena, kiss after the Chilean Senate approved an anti-discrimination bill in Valparaiso city. According to local media, the new law establishes that every Chilean, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, will be guaranteed protection under the law.


21. May 10: New York City

Seth Wenig / AP

Whitney Holt talks with her pregnant partner just before getting married at the city clerk's office in New York. Both traveled to New York from Tennessee to get married one day after the president announced his support for gay marriage.

23. May 12: Sydney, Australia

Greg Wood / Getty Images

Participants in a pro-marriage equality rally march through the streets of Sydney. Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the "time is coming" for change, as protesters marched across the nation.


24. May 19: Harare, Zimbabwe


Members of a gay rights organization in Zimbabwe make a poster to celebrate the International Day Against Xenophobia and Transphobia. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has often called for gays and lesbians to be punished for their behavior, which he said was worse than pigs and dogs.

26. May 20: Ukraine

Anatolii Stepanov / Reuters

A group of unidentified people beat Svyatoslav Sheremet, the head of gay rights group. Sheremet was attacked after meeting with members of the media to inform them that a scheduled gay parade was canceled due to threats of violence from neo-Nazis and other hate groups. The attackers ran off when they realized members of the media were documenting the attack.


31. June 2: Riga, Latvia


People hold signs during the Baltic Gay Pride parade. The annual event is meant to promote gay rights in this ex-Soviet state, now a member of the European Union, where negative views of homosexuality are common.


33. June 20: New York City

Andree Lateef / Reuters

Jason Welker and Scott Everhart kiss during their wedding ceremony at a comic book shop in Manhattan. The couple was celebrating the first gay nuptials in the superhero world in a new edition from Marvel Comics.

34. June 23: Berlin, Germany

John Macdougal / Getty Images

A man take part in Berlin's annual Christopher Street Day in Berlin. Russia has been in the news in 2012 for their laws banning "gay propaganda."


37. June 30: Singapore

Suhaimi Abdullah / Getty Images

A female participant holds up sign during a demonstration to increase awareness and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Singapore. The event was the fourth annual gathering held in support of the freedom to love.


40. Aug. 3: Decatur, Georgia

Phil Skinner / AP

Jim Fortier and Mark Toomajian kiss as they join about two dozen members of gay rights groups protesting outside the Decatur, Georgia, Chick-fil-A restaurant.

41. Aug. 11: Port Orchard, Washington

Peter Haley / AP

Derrick Peacock and Pablo Monroy row away after their wedding ceremony. Monroy, 24, a cavalry scout with the Army National Guard, and Peacock, 25, are the faces of a new generation of gays and lesbians entering a world that has radically changed in the quarter-century span of their lives.

43. Aug. 11: Taoyuan, Taiwan

SAM YEH / Getty Images

Fish Huang and her partner You Ya-ting pose for a photo during their same-sex Buddhist wedding ceremony in Taoyuan. The two women tied the knot in Taiwan's first same-sex Buddhist wedding, a move rights groups hope will help make the island the first society in Asia to legalize gay marriage.


47. Sept. 13: Golden, Colorado


Ricky Watson of Littleton, Colorado, wipes tears from his eyes after he thanked President Obama for repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" at a campaign rally in Golden, Colorado. Watson was kicked out of the Air Force 25 years ago for being gay.


49. Nov. 6: Chicago, Illinois

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Keesha Patterson of Ft. Washington, Maryland, proposes to her girlfriend, Rowan Ha, during the election night victory rally at President Barack Obama's headquarters in Chicago. Maryland became one of the first states to ever vote in favor of gay marriage.

51. Nov. 7: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Jean Pieri / AP

Anthony Streiff, Alex Sand, and Nam Dorjee burst into tears after it was announced that voters had rejected a proposed amendment to Minnesota's Constitution to ban gay marriage.


55. Dec. 6: Seattle, Washington

David Ryder / Getty Images

Jane Abbott Lighty (who we saw earlier this year) and Pete-e Petersen embrace after receiving the first same-sex marriage license in Washington state at 12:01 a.m.



Zachary Kaufman / AP

Paul Harris wipes away a tear as he and his partner of 39 years speak to the media after being the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in Clark County, Washington.