The composite designation “LGBT” functions as an acronym to describe lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Milwaukeeans who, since the 1960s, have challenged the city and metropolitan region to end gender and sex based forms of discrimination. In the process, they have demonstrated vibrant activism and artistry bifurcated by the politics of gender and race. By the time of the uprising at New York’s Stonewall Inn in June 1969 and the formation of gay liberation groups across the country, reports from small group discussions that prefigured the women’s liberation movement had been circulating for two to three years. Feminists therefore, had a significant edge when it came to building a movement; from the beginning, women’s liberation in Milwaukee included many lesbians who became increasingly visible as members of lesbian feminist groups.
Early efforts to organize gay men and women in Milwaukee included the formation of the Gay Liberation Organization (GLO) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and two attempts to open feminist centers, in 1970 and 1971, neither of which lasted. By 1971, Kaleidoscope, Milwaukee’s “underground press,” reported that it had “both a women’s liberation and a gay liberation collective, made up of people on the staff.” In May 1970, GLO student activists joined a massive protest against the Vietnam War, shutting down UWM. Some members of GLO, however, objected to the militancy of the action and as a result, the more militant members withdrew from the organization, aligning themselves with the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), “a mixed-gender, gender-bending group of radicalized men and women” with roots in the protest movements of the 1960s. In September 1971, members of GLF/Milwaukee marched openly for the first time in an anti-war protest, reflecting GLF’s policy of “taking sexuality to the streets.” Within a year, GLF/Milwaukee had disbanded and GLO, now renamed Gay People’s Union (GPU), with Alyn Hess as its chairperson, had moved from UWM into the community.
With the formation of GPU in 1971 and the opening of the Women’s Coalition in 1972, Milwaukee activists forged ahead with wide-ranging efforts on behalf of women, lesbians, and gay men, the impact of which were felt throughout the city and beyond. GPU’s focus was homophobia, uninformed by the radical politics of the gay liberation movement with its indictment of sexism and sex roles. As a result, lesbian activists in Milwaukee tended to work with feminists on issues affecting all women while also generating their own lesbian-oriented projects.
While GPU looked to the political process to end discriminatory practices against gay men, calling for the repeal of Wisconsin’s sex laws, the organization favored a program of education, social events and community building. Nevertheless, GPU’s concerns often lent themselves to direct action, most noticeably around issues of venereal disease and police harassment. In late 1971 and early 1972, GPU News, which had recently begun publication, ran a series of articles on VD and in 1974, following an outbreak of syphilis among gay men, GPU opened the Exam Center for VD. Initially located in the Farwell Center, 1568 N. Farwell Avenue, the clinic offered testing and counseling. Among the founders was GPU News editor Eldon Murray, whose later activism included working on behalf of gay elders. In 1982, the clinic moved to its current location and was renamed the Brady East Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic (BESTD). The clinic played a crucial role in AIDS work when it joined with other gay and lesbian groups in 1984 to form the Milwaukee AIDS Project (MAP). Ongoing legislative efforts to reform Milwaukee’s sex laws notwithstanding, local police continued to harass and entrap gay men. In summer 1978, GPU vigorously protested when the police conducted a series of raids on gay baths; patrons were charged with lewd and lascivious behavior.
Meanwhile, local feminists and lesbians were protesting sexism, targeting unfair business practices and challenging Wisconsin’s abortion laws. Not infrequently, these actions were initiated by the local chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). Despite Betty Friedan’s aversion to lesbians in NOW as a “lavender herring,” NOW’s national organization had in 1971 adopted a resolution supporting lesbian rights. At the urging of Milwaukee NOW, the Women’s Coalition opened at 2211 E. Kenwood Boulevard in 1972. Local writer and activist Jamakaya notes: “The informal committee of NOW members and other activists decided the [Coalition] should serve as…a center where all feminist groups could meet to pool resources and coordinate activities.” The Coalition’s goals of education, advocacy, and activism called for the creation of “alternative institutions.” Their first program, the Women’s Crisis Line, a feminist phone service geared to the needs of local women, began operations in January 1973 with lesbian counselors among its trained volunteers. Much feminist activism in Milwaukee was generated by the diverse groups meeting at the Women’s Coalition during its 15-year history.
Lesbian feminists sought to create a culture responsive to their feminist politics and their lesbian identities. Foremost among these endeavors was Amazon, Milwaukee’s Feminist Press. While not exclusively lesbian, Amazon was from its inception an important site for information sharing, networking, and organizing among local lesbians. From 1972-1984, Amazon was the source for local and national news of interest to feminists and a forum for a developing political culture of poets, writers, artists, performers, and musicians who were unapologetically lesbian-centric. In February 1974, Amazon featured an ad for Paid My Dues, “a new quarterly journal of women and music” founded by Dorothy Dean; it was the first feminist publication in the US devoted solely to women’s music. Together with Debbie St. Charles, Dean started “Woman’s Soul Productions,” which brought many lesbian feminist musicians to Milwaukee. Benefitting from early efforts to promote women’s music, Hurricane Productions, founded in 1980, provided yet another opportunity for the diffusion of women’s culture, making lesbian performers and women-only dances widely available to appreciative audiences. The opening of SisterMoon Feminist Bookstore & Art Gallery (1976-1983) gave Milwaukee lesbians “an unofficial cultural center” for the enjoyment of music, art, and poetry by women.
The gay bar has played a central role in the lives of gay men and women for decades. With the end of WWII and the urban migration of American men and women, including those with homoerotic preferences, bars sprang up to meet their needs. During the early years of gay organizing, gay bars continued to play a vital role in the lives of gay men and lesbians—as even a cursory glance at GPU News demonstrates. And more recently, during the years of a worsening AIDS crisis, gay bars teamed up with AIDS service organizations to provide education, testing, and fundraising opportunities.
Drag has been pivotal to the bar scene in Milwaukee, both before and after Stonewall. Josie Carter and Jaime Gays, two long-time Milwaukee drag queens interviewed by Dr. Brice Smith in 2011, discussed appearing in drag at 1950s bars, including the Phoenix and Castaways, when cross-dressing was illegal and one had to wear at least three pieces of “appropriate” clothing. They also mentioned a lesbian bar, Wildwood, where, they swear, the butches “loved drag queens.” In 1970, MGM Productions began the Miss Gay Milwaukee Contest in local bars. Popular drag competitions continued in the 1980s, in different iterations, with production control shifting to the Entertainers Club of Milwaukee in 1976 and to Pageant Productions in 1983. In 1986, InStep featured an ad for the “1st Annual Danceteria Pageant” with prizes for Miss Gay Black Wisconsin, Mr. Gay Black Wisconsin, and Ms. Danceteria. Carter and Gays spoke about the fierce competitive nature of the contests; to enhance their chances, they sought out and used hormones, quitting when they saw others becoming sick. The roster of drag performers well-known to Milwaukeeans in the 1970s and 1980s included Rona, Abbey Rhodes, BJ Daniels, Tina Capri, and the “219 Girls”—Daniels, Capri, Ginger Spice, and Holly Brown.
Into the 1980s, gay bars in Milwaukee were secretive operations, their existence confirmed by word-of-mouth only. Describing the bar, This Is It, during the 1970s, Joe Brehm states, “not all patrons were out to the public, so regulars sipped cocktails at the back door. From there they could see who might come in the front door and make a hasty retreat if necessary.” Carter and Gays agree that “straight” men who, they claim, covertly desired sex with men, were more dangerous than police officers who, for a pay-off, provided “protection” and a warning when a raid was planned.
By the end of the 1970s, gay men and women had developed a presence, albeit not always a welcome one, in the city. GPU continued to put pressure on the Milwaukee Police Department for its harassment of gay men and in 1979, Milwaukee feminists, with lesbians in the forefront, held their first Take Back the Night event to protest violence against women. Together, gay men and feminists called for the ouster of Police Chief Harold Breier for his dismissive attitudes toward rape and his relentless raids on gay businesses. In 1979, GPU was again thwarted in its efforts to meet with the Police Chief to discuss the creation of a liaison between the police and gay men. It was not until 1984 that members of gay and lesbian groups met with Breier’s successor, Robert Ziarnik, in an attempt to mitigate police harassment of and insensitivity to gay men and women.
In 1981, State Representative David Clarenbach introduced AB 70-Wisconsin’s Gay Rights Bill, authored by Leon Rouse, a student at UWM, active in the gay student organization, and Katherine Curran of the Legislative Reference Bureau. The Bill, which prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, employment, and public accommodations, was signed into law by Governor Lee Dreyfus on February 25, 1982, according Wisconsin the distinction of being the first state to offer protection to lesbians and gay men. Following the passage of AB 70, Governor Dreyfus’s successor, Anthony Earl, created the Council on Gay and Lesbian Issues to implement the law. In the next four years, the work of the Council focused increasingly on HIV/AIDS, urging funding for research, treatment, and care.
The first case of AIDS in Wisconsin was reported in August 1983. Following identification of the virus and the development of a diagnostic blood test, free and confidential HIV testing and counseling became available at BESTD Clinic. As AIDS gathered momentum in the US, anti-gay sentiment, sexual stigma, racism, and recalcitrant local, state, and federal systems combined to render AIDS profoundly political. In Milwaukee, lesbians and gay men mobilized to care for their own. In 1984, BESTD Clinic formed a committee to address the effects of HIV/AIDS, from which emerged the Milwaukee AIDS Project (MAP). In 1985, having outgrown BESTD, MAP came under the auspices of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW) and continued to provide invaluable programs and direct support for persons living with AIDS, including the popular annual fundraiser MAPfest, which some consider the forerunner to PrideFest. Under director Sue Dietz, MAP’s many volunteers developed a variety of resources, including multi-faceted life care services and a street outreach program for IV drug users, prostitutes and the homeless. Responding to the needs of a broad constituency, MAP boasted a Minority Advisory Council and a women’s committee.
In stark contrast to MAP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), a direct action group known for its confrontational tactics, formed a chapter in Milwaukee in 1989. Frustrated by the government’s inability to end the crisis, ACT UP took its cue from gay liberation with its focus on sexual liberation, and from the feminist women’s Do-It-Yourself health movement of the 1970s. ACT UP/Milwaukee initiated or participated in numerous actions during its 6-year existence, including picketing the Wisconsin Dental Association for its refusal to treat HIV+ individuals, distributing safer sex materials to high school students, protesting the mistreatment of prisoners with AIDS, and targeting City Hall to protest the Mayor’s inadequate AIDS budget. ACT UP’s defiance, its refusal of “business as usual” and its contention that people with AIDS should control the course of their own treatment inaugurated a new era of activism among gay men and lesbians. Taken together, MAP and ACT UP drew attention to the ways lack of health care contributed to the devastation of HIV/AIDS in Milwaukee, reconfiguring the debate over service vs. activism that vexed an earlier political generation.
From November 10-12, 1978, UWM hosted a state-wide convention of the National Lesbian Feminist Organization (NLFO), sponsored by the campus Feminist Center. When plans to found local NLFO chapters throughout the state floundered, Milwaukee lesbian feminists remained without a political organization of their own until 1989 and the founding of the Lesbian Alliance of Metro Milwaukee (LAMM). The impetus for LAMM came in 1989 when the Milwaukee County Board adopted a resolution honoring Lesbian and Gay Pride Week, which it retracted due to reaction from the Christian Right. While the County Board eventually reaffirmed the resolution, some lesbians who had closely monitored the controversy argued that lesbian issues and voices had not been equally represented in coverage of this and other issues jointly affecting gay men and lesbians, and they discussed forming their own organization. Under the leadership of early chairs, Susan Cook and Karen Gotzler, membership in LAMM grew to more than 300, and the group gained a reputation as an effective advocate for the rights of lesbians and the empowerment of women.
Increased visibility for LAMM came with the formation of the Mayor’s Blue-Ribbon Panel on Police-Community Relations following the discovery of the mutilated bodies of several victims of serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer, in July 1991. A coalition of groups, including representatives from LAMM, the Lambda Rights Network, the Milwaukee Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee, and Milwaukee Associates in Urban Development convened to monitor the activities of the Panel. Suggestions from the group were incorporated into the final report of the Police and Fire Commission. Major reporting of the Dahmer case was entrusted to Jamakaya, whose articles in the Wisconsin Light drew attention to the racism and homophobia characterizing mainstream press coverage of the murders. Jamakaya’s reporting gained her national recognition; in 1992, she was honored by the Gay and Lesbian Press Association.
FORGE, an organization whose mission is to support and advocate for female-to-male transgender individuals, friends, and family, formed in Milwaukee in 1994. However, the trajectory of gender crossing in Milwaukee can be traced back to the figure of Louis Sullivan and the early days of GPU. “Looking toward Transvestite Liberation” appeared in GPU News in 1974 under the name of Sheila Sullivan, one of a handful of female contributors to the publication. Asserting that transvestism was one response to sex role oppression, Sullivan, employing the rhetoric of gay liberation, argued that “‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’ are not natural to anyone.” Moving from Milwaukee to San Francisco in 1975, Sullivan who until then, had presented as a female, masculine-identified person whose desire was directed toward gay men, began hormone treatment. As Louis Sullivan, he was instrumental in the formation of the first organized FTM community in the US.
In a 2011 interview with Dr. Brice Smith, michael munson (sic), FORGE’s founder, remembers his own experience seeking out local resources for “female-born, masculine-identified people.” In the early days, he notes, people attracted to FORGE tended to be genderqueer—interested in challenging the norms of binary gender. Lamenting what he sees as the current fragmentation of Milwaukee’s LGBT “community” into separate gender and sexual categories, munson’s remarks recalled other gender disparities, never reconciled, which imperil the very idea of “community.”
Like gender, the status of “race” within Milwaukee’s LGBT movement has been problematic. While opportunities for gay men and women have increased since the 1970s, the movement has been neither anti-racist nor anti-sexist in approach. Slow to grasp the interdependence of sexuality, race, and gender, LGBT organizing remains fundamentally segregated.
An editorial in GPU News in 1979 argued for “gay” as an inclusive term and that adding “lesbian” to GPU’s name would be a “cop out.” It is interesting to revisit that assertion in light of an opinion piece written by Maria Cadenas in 2010. Cadenas, Latina, lesbian, and at the time, executive director of Cream City Foundation, wrote: “If we’re honest, the LGBT movement has not done a good job of being inclusive.” Cadenas, addressing both race and gender, challenged the movement to build bridges across identities. Nevertheless, in spite of the work of such groups as Lesbians of Color/LOC, Black and White Men Together, and more recently, Diverse and Resilient, to raise awareness of and increase services to LGBT people of color, as michael munson admonished, LGBT politics in Milwaukee remain stubbornly single issue.
In 1975, Louis Stimac offered a 10-part course in Gay Studies through Milwaukee’s Free University. More recently, major contributions to the quality of LGBT life in Milwaukee have come from UWM. In April 1991, “more than 300 students from the US and Canada gathered at UWM to participate in ‘Flaunting It,’ the first national graduate student conference in lesbian and gay studies.” Organized by two graduate students, Cheryl Kader and Thomas Piontek, and a crew of tireless student volunteers, the conference produced a collection of papers and was the impetus for the 18-credit, interdisciplinary certificate program in LGBT Studies currently offered at UWM. Officially approved in 1995, not without controversy, UWM’s Certificate in LGBT Studies was the first of its kind in the state university system. The program has benefitted over the years from the support of Women’s and Gender Studies and works closely with UWM’s Women’s and LGBT Resource Centers.
The rich history of LGBT life in Milwaukee is being preserved and made accessible to the public through the LGBT Collection in UWM Libraries-Archives and Special Collections. The Collection is one facet of a larger GLBT History Project in the city and state, whose website is organized into five categories—people, organizations, businesses, the media, and events—that have impacted Milwaukee’s LGBT population. The catalyst for this coordinated effort was PrideFest, where in 2001 and 2002 displays of local LGBT life and culture attracted wide interest. Recognizing the vulnerable nature of LGBT materials, interested persons began meeting with the intent to save these documents. Artifacts from the LGBT Collection continue to be displayed at PrideFest—testimony to the rich tapestry of LGBT politics and culture in Milwaukee and to the individuals, organizations and events that have shaped the social life of the city.
Milwaukee’s LGBT population has come a long way since Stonewall, with an annual Pride celebration, a community center, a thriving newspaper, a bookstore, an annual film and video event, and an LGBT Studies Program. And, following an unsuccessful campaign in 2006 against an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution banning same-gender unions, marriage equality as guaranteed by the United States Supreme Court in 2015. It remains to be seen whether these dynamic advances can be translated into equal opportunity for all.
- ^ Martin Duberman, Stonewall (New York, NY: Dutton, 1993), 219-221.
- ^ Descriptive Finding Aid, Gay Peoples Union Records, 1971-1984, Manuscript Collection 240, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Archives and Special Collections, UWM Libraries.
- ^ Kaleidoscope (Milwaukee), March 20-April 2, 1970 (for Westside Women’s Center); Kaleidoscope, May 10-16, 1971 (for Non-Violent Feminist Center).
- ^ “Women’s Lib. Column,” Kaleidoscope (Milwaukee), June 12-25, 1970.
- ^ Michael Doylen, “GLF and a World Re-Eroticized,” Q Life News, March 2005.
- ^ Doylen, “GLF and a World Re-Eroticized.”
- ^ “Committee Says ‘Change Law,’” GPU News, January 1977.
- ^ “Venereal Diseases and You,” GPU News, December 1971 (part I); GPU News, January 1972 (part II); GPU News, February 1972 (part III).
- ^ Clinic History, BESTD (Brady East Sexually Transmitted Diseases Clinic) website, accessed June 2015.
- ^ Editorial, GPU News, July 1978; Editorial, GPU News, August 1978.
- ^ Rebecca Davis, “The Women’s Movement,” Bugle American: History of the Counterculture in Milwaukee, 1960-1975, November 5, 1975.
- ^ Alice Echols, Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America 1967-1975 (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1989), 214-220.
- ^ Jamakaya (J.M. Dombeck), “The Women’s Coalition of Milwaukee, 1972-1987: Feminist Activism at the Local Level” (M.A. thesis, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1987), 16
- ^ Jamakaya, “The Women’s Coalition of Milwaukee, 1972-1987,” quoting from “Bylaws,” 17.
- ^ Statement by the Amazon Collective, Amazon: Milwaukee’s Feminist Press 1, no 6.
- ^ Dorothy Dean, “Old Amazons,” Amazon: Milwaukee’s Feminist Press, August/September 1982.
- ^ Karen Voltz Brelle announced Sistermoon (then 13th Moon) grand opening, Sunday December 5, 1976, Amazon: Milwaukee’s Feminist Press, December 1976/January 1977.
- ^ John D’Emilio, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940-1970, 2nd edition (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1983), 32-33.
- ^ Ad for BESTD conducting anonymous HIV testing at M and M Club Oct./Nov. 1989, InStep 6, Issue 19, September 28-October 11, 1989.
- ^ Josie Carter and Jaime Gays, interviewed by Dr. Brice Smith, 2011, box 1, folder 2, Manuscript Collection 302, Transgender Oral History Project, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Archives and Special Collections, UWM Libraries.
- ^ “A History of the Pageant,” InStep 5, Issue 19, October 27-November 9, 1988.
- ^ “A History of the Pageant.”
- ^ Ad for 1st Annual Danceteria Pageant, InStep 3, Issue 19, October 2-15, 1986.
- ^ Carter and Gays, interviewed by Dr. Brice Smith.
- ^ Kathy Flanigan, “Time Alters Gay Bar Scene,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 10, 2012.
- ^ Cover, Common Ground: Newsletter of the Women’s Coalition, September 1979; follow-up coverage, one year later, Common Ground, October 1980.
- ^ Miriam Ben-Shalom, “Meeting with the Chief,” InStep 1, Issue 14, November 22-December 5, 1984.
- ^ “AB70—Wisconsin’s Gay Rights Law,” Wisconsin GLBT History Project website, accessed July 2015.
- ^ “Governor’s Gay/Lesbian Council Resigns and Issues Final Report,” InStep 4, Issue 1, January 15-February 4, 1987.
- ^ “Wisconsin AIDS Toll Now at 17,” InStep 2, Issue 1, June 10-23, 1985, reprinted from Milwaukee Journal.
- ^ Clinic History, BESTD website, accessed June 2015.
- ^ “Come to MAPfest 1986—A Celebration of Lesbian and Gay Pride,” ad for Mapfest, MAP Rap 2, no 8, August 1986.
- ^ “Services Offered by Life Care Services” and “Street Outreach Program off to Good Start,” MAP Rap, August 1989.
- ^ “AIDS Activists ACT-UP in Downtown Milwaukee” and letter to the editor from Daniel G. Trzebiatowski, InStep 6, Issue 17, August 31-September 13, 1989.
- ^ Jennifer Brier, Infectious Ideas: U.S. Political Responses to the AIDS Crisis (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2009), 159-177.
- ^ “History of ACT UP Milwaukee,” 1992, box 1, folder 21, Records of ACT UP, Milwaukee, Mss. 203, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Archives and Special Collections, UWM Libraries.
- ^ Brier, Infectious Ideas, 4.
- ^ Stephanie Lee, “Wisconsin Lesbian Feminists Plan Lobbying Efforts,” Gay Life: The Midwest Gay Newsleader, Friday, November 17, 1978.
- ^ Cheryl Kader, “Lesbian Organizing in Milwaukee,” program notes: Lesbian Alliance 20th Anniversary Celebration, Italian Community Center, Milwaukee, WI, Saturday, October 10, 2009.
- ^ Jamakaya, “Lavender Network’s Proposals Adopted by Commission Report,” Wisconsin Light, October 17-October 30, 1991.
- ^ Terry Boughner and Jamakaya, “Community Stunned by Murders, Angered by Press Coverage,” Wisconsin Light, July 25-August 7, 1991; Jamakaya, “Anatomy of a Mass Murder and Community Mobilization,” Wisconsin Light, August 1-August 7, 1991, Special Edition on the Dahmer Murders.
- ^ Sheila Sullivan, “Looking toward Transvestite Liberation,” GPU News, February/March 1974. Other female contributors included Miriam Ben-Shalom, Jai Brett, and Donna Utke, writing as Donna Martin.
- ^ Sullivan, “Looking Toward Transvestite Liberation.”
- ^ Susan Stryker, “Portrait of a Transfag Drag Hag as a Young Man: The Activist Career of Louis G. Sullivan,” in Reclaiming Genders: Transsexual Grammars at the Fin de Siecle, ed. Kate More and Stephen Whittle (New York, NY: Cassell, 1999), 67.
- ^ Stryker, “Portrait of a Transfag Drag Hag as a Young Man,” 72.
- ^ michael munson, interviewed by Dr. Brice Smith, 2011, Manuscript Collection 302, Transgender Oral History Project, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Archives and Special Collections, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.
- ^ michael munson, interviewed by Dr. Brice Smith.
- ^ Editorial, GPU News, May 1979.
- ^ Maria Cadenas, “Yes, Race Matters: On Creating a Strong LGBT Social Change Movement,” Wisconsin Gazette, June 3, 2010.
- ^ Diverse & Resilient website, last accessed July 4, 2017.
- ^ Announcement of a 10-lecture course in Gay Studies, beginning February 11, 1975, GPU News, January/February 1975.
- ^ “Conference Attracts 300 Graduate Students to UWM,” UWM Report, May 8, 1991.
- ^ Cheryl Kader and Thomas Piontek, guest editors, “Essays in Lesbian and Gay Studies,” Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 15, no. 1 (Fall 1992).
- ^ LGBT Certificate Program website, last accessed August 17, 2017.
- ^ “Documenting LGBT History,” brochure: The LGBT Collection, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Archives and Special Collections.
- ^ Wisconsin GLBT History Project website.
- ^ “Gay Women Plan Marriage Fight,” GPU News, November 1971. In the same year that Rep. Lloyd Barbee introduced an amendment to the state marriage law to permit ‘same sex’ marriage, two women, Donna Burkett and Manonia Evans, applied for and were denied a state marriage license.
For Further Reading
Jamakaya (J.M. Dombeck). “The Women’s Coalition of Milwaukee, 1972-1987: Feminist Activism at the Local Level.” M.A. thesis, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1987.
Rottmann, Andrea. “God Loves Them as They Are: How Religion Helped Pass Gay Rights in Wisconsin.” Wisconsin Magazine of History 99 no. 2 (Winter 2015-2016): 2-13.
Smith, Brice D. Lou Sullivan: Daring to Be a Man among Men. Oakland, CA: Transgress Press, 2017.