LGBTQ History in Minneapolis

Minneapolis has a long history of inclusion, forward thinking policy, and of being a pioneer in the LGBTQ community. Same-sex marriage became legal in Minnesota in 2013. We were the first state to reject a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage by a popular vote. Here are some other important events in Minnesota history.

Lgbt timeline
  • 1967: Bi Alliance began at the University of Minnesota, first national group
  • 1970: First same-sex marriage lawsuit in America filed by Minneapolis couple
  • 1970: First LGBT national gathering held in Minneapolis
  • 1971: First gay student body president in the country at the University of Minnesota
  • 1972: First local GLBT march held in 1972, at Loring Park in Minneapolis
  • 1974: Allen Spear, first openly gay man to serve in the state legislature
  • 1975: Minneapolis is the first city in the country to pass a non-discrimination ordinance
  • 1980: Rep. Karen Clark was elected into the House of Representatives and is currently the longest serving openly lesbian representative
  • 1988: Minneapolis hosted the International Gathering of GLBT Natives
  • 1991: Minneapolis created Minnesota’s first municipal domestic-partner registration ordinance
  • 2005: Minneapolis hired the first lesbian fire chief of a major city, Bonnie Bleskachek
  • 2010: Former Minneapolis Assistant Police Chief, Sharon Lubinski became the first openly gay U.S. Marshal for the District of Minnesota
  • 2011: Minneapolis named Gayest U.S. City by The Advocate
  • 2013: Same sex-marriage becomes legal in Minnesota. Held at city hall, then Mayor R.T. Rybak married two couples at midnight. He then took his Marry Me In Minneapolis campaign to other states in the Midwest who had not legalized same-sex marriage at that time. The story made national news
  • 2014: MN State High School League (MSHSL) passed a transgender student athlete policy
  • 2015: 400,000 people attended the Twin Cities pride parade. Minneapolis has the largest free pride event in the nation
  • 2016: Minneapolis given a perfect rating by LGBTQ Nation in 2016 for most LGBT-friendly city in the United States
  • 2017: Minneapolis establishes a Transgender Equity Council to advise City Council, and Park Board
  • 2017: Two transgender candidates run for the Minneapolis City Council 
  • 2018: Transgender candidates, Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham, were sworn onto the Minneapolis City Council, marking the first such victories for transgender people in a major American city council race. Jenkins serves Ward 8, which covers neighborhoods in south Minneapolis. Cunningham won in Ward 4 in north Minneapolis after a stunning victory over longtime incumbent and City Council president Barb Johnson
  • 2018: Minnesota allows an "X" sex descriptor on driver's licenses and identity documents