LGBTQ+ life in Minnesota is a chronological collection of stories that provide a glimpse into the history and sometimes turbulent nature of the LGBTQ+ experience in the state. This curation is not to highlight individual Minnesotans based on their orientation, but rather to present voices of and on the LGBTQ+ community…as it relates to the enduring fight for civil rights, societal achievements, and the act of many in attaining acceptance and inclusion in towns, family, healthcare, church, education, politics, arts, and the workplace.
May 13, 1974 - MPR’s Connie Goldman profiles newly formed organization Minnesota Committee for Gay Rights. Report includes comments from visiting guests and Allan Spear, a co-chair of group, about purpose and goals of organization.
July 10, 1974 - MPR’s Sam Ford reports on the battle over proposed ordinance being reviewed by St. Paul City Council. The ordinance (commonly referred to as the “Gay Rights” ordinance) would ban discrimination because of affectional or sexual preference. Ford highlights two differing views towards ordinance…the opposition of St. Paul Firefighters Local 21 and support from the Minnesota Committee for Gay Rights.
March 31, 1975 - MPR’s Dulcie Lawrence reports on debate of gay rights bill being discussed in Minnesota judiciary subcommittee. Lawrence presents opposing views regarding bill from John Markert, attorney from Minnesota Catholic conference, and Tim Campbell, a gay educational consultant.
May 6, 1975 - Opponents to the Minnesota state legislature's gay rights speak out. The bill passed, despite the dissenting opinion. Featured are quotes and spoken testimony as to why some believed the bill is not in line with previous civil rights efforts in the country.
October 1, 1975 - MPR’s Terri Keefe reports on a speech by feminist author Kate Millett at the University of Minnesota about Millet talks about the rules of sexuality in classical literature, Oedipus and Medea, and about erotic literature.
April 7, 1976 - MPR’s Kate Williams profiles Sutton’s, a gay bar in downtown Minneapolis that relocated to a more prominent location. Sutton’s has been around for over a decade but it officially came out of the closet last week when it opened its doors to over 800 people at a new location…the old Elk’s Club on 5th street in downtown Minneapolis.
May 5, 1977 - MPR’s Debbie Gage reports on debate in Minnesota Senate chambers over gay rights bill, which would have given protection to gays in the areas of housing employment education and credit, but not sanction gay marriage or gay adoption. It also did not provide protection and public accommodations.
June 8, 1977 - MPR’s Rich Dietman reports on the fight over local laws protecting homosexuals from discrimination. Dietman talks Florian Chmielewski, DFL state senator of Sturgeon Lake; and Jack Baker, a Minneapolis attorney and a coordinator of the Target City Coalition.
August 23, 1977 - MPR’s Rachel Kranz profiles the Out and About Theatre Company, a gay and lesbian theatre which presents arts focused gay subject matter. Kranz interviews founder of theatre company about works and the public reception.
November 5, 1977 - As part of Home for the Weekend series, this program presents excerpts and highlights from a public session in Fargo, discussing homosexuality in society. Among the attendees were clergy, counselors and mental health officials. Program includes speeches, interviews and segments of music.