In conjunction with the celebration of October as LGBT History month, The Huffington Post will be providing you with "Know Your LGBT History" updates! Check back throughout the month for a brief overview of some of the landmark moments throughout the course of our journey as LGBT and queer-identifying individuals.
1971: Donna Burkett and Manonia Evans, a lesbian couple, attempted to apply for a marriage license at the Office of the Milwaukee County Clerk in Wisconsin, only to have their application denied by County Clerk Thomas Zablocki. The refusal sparked a historic lawsuit, Burkett vs. Zablocki, in which they claimed the denial of a marriage license deprived them of Constitutional due process and equal protection. Though the case was eventually dismissed, it was one of the first prominent battles in the war for same-sex marriage in America, a war LGBT people are still fighting today.
1994: A coalition of education-based organizations came together in the mid-1990s in order to officially identify October as "LGBT History Month," a period of celebration and remembrance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identifying individuals. It serves as a designated period of time in which we highlight the journey and progression of LGBT rights from the days of the Stonewall Rebellion through the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and beyond.
1999: Marta Alvarez was a lesbian inmate imprisoned in Colombia in the 1990s. She began petitioning for the allowance of same-sex conjugal visits in 1994, arguing that "her rights to personal dignity, integrity, and equality were being infringed upon by the denial to allow her conjugal visits in prison." The case initially went to trial on October 1, 1999. In a landmark decision for Latin America, the Interamerican Convention on Human Rights ruled that the denial of conjugal visits constituted discrimination based on sexual orientation.
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