1969: The Stonewall riots transformed the gay rights movement into a widespread protest for equal rights and acceptance. Patrons of a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village, the Stonewall Inn, fought back during a police raid on June 27, sparking three days of riots.

1973: Harvey Milk, a gay man, ran for city supervisor in San Francisco on a platform that opposed government involvement in personal sexual matters. He later was elected to the city's Board of Supervisors, co-founded the San Francisco Gay Democratic Club and in 1978 was assassinated by fellow supervisor Dan White.

1977: Activists in Miami successfully pushed for passage of a civil rights ordinance making discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation illegal in Dade County. Save Our Children, a campaign organized by a Christian fundamentalist group and headed by singer Anita Bryant, was launched in response to the ordinance. In a special election, 70% voted to overturn the ordinance. It was a crushing defeat for gay activists.

1978: State Sen. John Briggs vowed to continue the fight after California voters defeated a proposition, dubbed the Briggs Initiative, that would have barred gays and lesbians from working in the state's schools.

1979: About 75,000 gays and lesbians marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., to dramatize their plea for equal rights. It was the largest political gathering to date in support of gay rights.

1993: The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was proposed. It permitted gays to serve in the military but banned homosexual activity. President Clinton had planned to revoke the prohibition against gays; this compromise led to the discharge of thousands of men and women. It was revoked in 2011.

2003: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that same-sex couples were legally entitled to marry under the state Constitution. It was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. The court said that opponents had failed to identify any constitutional reasons why same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry.

2015: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 vote that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. "No longer may this liberty be denied," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the historic decision. "No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family." Amanda Quigley and Tami Manning were among the couples that got married Friday after the ruling.