USA: Forty Years On

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Image: Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America.

This week in 1973: 32 people died after an arson attack on a New Orleans building housing the UpStairs Lounge – a gathering place for gay people. Despite the death toll,  the incident received little news coverage and a local pastor who held a memorial service for the victims was chastised by his bishop and received hate mail.

This week in 2013: The US Supreme Court rules the Defence of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional, ensuring that  married same-sex couples receive the same rights to federal benefits as heterosexual married couples. The right to marry was also restored to gay couples in California.

You’ve come a long way, baby.