DC March for Equality, 2009 / Image: Flickr
1967: The earliest gay rights protests took a leaf from the civil rights' playbook. At this protest in Philly, men wore conservative suits and ties and women wore feminine dresses, heels, and pantyhose.
1965: Gay service in the military was an issue from the beginning. This image shows the first gay rights protest at the Pentagon.
1972: Jeanne Manford, founder of PFLAG, marches with her son after he was beaten for being gay.
1982: Still in the dark days when attacks on gays and lesbians were common enough to warrant a huge banner at San Francisco's gay pride march.
1989: Furious protests attacked NYC Mayor Ed Koch for failing to inform gays about AIDS. Artist Keith Haring is pictured protesting at City Hall.
1993: A service member gets painted to protest "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the policy that banned gays from openly serving in the military.
2008: This is how you know gay marriage has won: the protest signs start poking fun at straight marriage.
2009: Some of the best signs hijack anti-gay demonstrations.
2010: Another popular gay sign meme: take your opponents' gay stereotypes and have fun with them. This sign featured at Jon Stewart's 'Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.'
2011: Gay marriage is clearly mainstream when big brands start endorsing it. This Kenneth Cole ad is in the "witty protest sign" tradition.
June 26, 2013: "Love Wins!" On the day SCOTUS struck down DOMA, this couple carried four slogans to the rally outside the court.
2011: This chalkboard was photographed in downtown Indianapolis.
March 2013: Comparisons to the ban on inter-racial marriage are still powerful. This sign was carried outside the Supreme Court's DOMA and Prop 8 hearings.
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