June 28, 1969:

Stonewall Riots, take place in Greenwich Village in New York City.


First gay pride marches are held in major cities throughout the United States on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.


John Stout forms Gay and Lesbian Student Union at Hope College.


The national organization, Parent, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is formed.

October 14, 1979:

  Over 100,000 people participate in the National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian rights.


Sexual Orientation added to Hope College’s sexual harassment policy.

The US Department of Defense issues the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy.

April 1995:

LesBiGay issues week held at Hope College.

September 1995:

Hope College’s Dean’s Council responds to LesBiGay issues week.


President Clinton signs the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law, defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Spring 1996:

Acceptance of homosexuals discussed at third conversation of human sexuality entitled Sexual Ethics and Community held at Hope College.

November 1996:

Visiting scholar, Yoshimi Kaji, speaks at Hope College on AIDS in the LGBT community.

Fall of 1997:

Openly gay student at Hope College reports death threats and  was beaten.

March 1998:

Two workshops entitled Confronting Homophobia presented at Hope College by alumni Jerry Kassuba.

Openly gay female Bible study leader at Hope College has position revoked due to her sexual orientation.

February 1999:

Hope Campus Ministries presents Hope College Chapel Series; Setting Love in Order: A Series on Human Sexuality.

March 1999:

In response to the Setting Love in Order  series Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Equality (GLOBE) sponsor presentation by gay minister Mel White.

“Human Clothesline” formed in Pine Grove to show support of LGBTQ students at Hope College.

October 1999:

Gay Encounter in the Pine Grove held by GLOBE on National Coming Out Day.

Fall 1999:

Metrosource Magazine lists Hope College in top five questionable schools for gays.

February 2000:

Hope College gay student has car vandalized for having a rainbow painted on it.

September 2000:

Gay/Lesbian Film Series organized by Hope College student Blithe Davis delayed by Hope administration task force, established to examine series.

January/February 2001:

Blithe Davis’s Gay/Lesbian Film Series; A life, Not Just an Issue: A Lens for Understanding Homosexuality, held in Maas Auditorium at Hope College.

March 2001:

Gay-Straight Alliance formed at Hope College.

April 2001:

Hope College Campus Life Board denies recognition of GSAA.

July 2001:

Local chapter of Parent, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); PFLAG Holland/Lakeshore formed by founding members Don and Carmen Bergman, Dean and Mary DeRidder, Fred and Joan Hamlin, Nelson and Peg Hart and Jack and Jo VandenBerg.

September 2001:

Gay-Straight Alliance not allowed to meet on Hope College campus.

 Hope College gay and lesbian alumni organization host first meeting during homecoming.

November 2001:

Task force on homosexuality formed at Hope College.

December 2001:

Take Back the Campus posters with anti gay statements appear on Hope College campus.

June 2003:

The United States Supreme Court strikes down the “homosexual conduct”, decriminalizing same-sex conduct.

June 2005:

PFLAG Holland/Lakeshore holds Holland’s First PRIDE event at Grace Episcopal Church featuring author Melanie Morrison speaking on “Telling the Truth about Our Live.”

Fall of 2005:

Hope College Professor Dr. Dave Myers speaks about homosexuality on campus.

Spring of 2006:

Mark Yarhouse speaks in response to Dr. Myers.


Holland Sentinel publishes articles by Professor Miguel De La Torre; one challenging focus on families anti gay stances and one apologizing to gays and lesbians on how they are treated in Holland. De La Torre is later denied a merit raise by Hope College Administration.  He accepts a job elsewhere and leaves the Holland area. Student organize a rally in support of De La Torre.

Openly gay professor of Art History, John Hanson refused tenure by Hope College President despite being supported by the faculty committee.

 Openly gay Hope College student, Jason Burns is harassed and has car vandalized.

June 2006:

Holland’s 2nd PRIDE event held, featuring Hope College professor Miguel De La Torre speaking about “What Timmy Taught Me”, about a gay friend opened De La Torre’s eyes regarding homosexuality.

 June 2007:

Holland’s 3rd PRIDE event is held at Grace Episcopal Church, featuring author David G. Myers speaking on how a Christian social psychologist came to be an active supporter of same sex marriage.

June 2008:

Holland’s 4th PRIDE event held at Grace Episcopal Church, featuring Sean Kosofsky from the Triangle Foundation, speaking on “Why We are Winning.”


President Obama signs the Matthew Shepard and James Bryd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, expanding the federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

June 2009:

Holland’s 5th PRIDE event held at Grace Episcopal Church, featuring Reverend Jim Lucas speaking about “Gay Life: A Pastor’s Journey Toward Shalom.”

Fall of 2009:

Hope College administration bans filmmaker Dustin Lance Black from hosting a discussion on his Academy Award winning film , Milk , at a sexuality forum held on Hope College campus. In response to the ban students form Hope is Ready.


The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is repealed by US Senate vote.

January 2010:

Community group Holland is Ready hold its first meeting, more than 150 people gather to discuss what can be done to make Holland more accepting of  LGBTQ people.

February 2010:

Holland is Ready holds first steering committee and focus group meetings.

Spring 2010:

Holland is Ready petitions Hope College’s Board of Trustees to change its policies to become more accepting of LGBTQ people.

May 2010:

Minister Bill Freeman asks the Holland City Council to adopt an ordinance that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, employment and education.

June 2010:

Holland’s 6th PRIDE event is held at Grace Episcopal Church, featuring Seven Passages: The Stories of Gay Christians.

July 2010:

Hope College’s Board of Trustees states that while they “support fair and kind treatment for people of homosexual orientation” they will not change their 1995 policy that condemns homosexual acts.

Full page ad, paid for by the Family Research Council and Request Foods runs in the Holland Sentinel.  Among other things the ad claims homosexuality can be changed and homosexuals have higher levels of mental illness and substance abuse than heterosexuals, it urges readers “Let’s not grant special protection to voluntary sexual behaviors that are actually harmful to individuals and to society.”

October 2010:

 The Holland Human Rights Commission votes unanimously to recommend that the Holland City Council add anti-discrimination language protecting LGBTQ people to the city’s fair housing ordinance, the human relations ordinance and the equal opportunity policy.

Fall 2010 –Spring 2011:

Holland is Ready holds an informative film series highlighting LGBTQ issues.  


The Obama Administration announces they will no longer support DOMA.

January 2011:

Following protest the Hope College Board of Trustees announces a new statement on Human Sexuality.

June 15, 2011

Holland City Council rejects a proposal to amend the city’s ordinances and policies to grant anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, by a vote of 5-4.

June 16, 2011:

Until Love is Equal, a Grand Rapids based group forms to raise awareness of the moral and economic value of equality in West Michigan.

June 2011:

Holland 7th PRIDE event presented by ollanHH  PFLAG Holland/Lakeshore and Holland is Ready.

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association and the Campaign for Michigan Families, vows that his organization will financially support candidates who run against any of the Holland City Council members who voted for providing anti-discrimination measure for LGBTQ people.

August 2011:

More than 150 people march on Holland City Hall, demanding that the city changes its anti-discrimination ordinance to protect LGBTQ people.

October 2011:

Minister of Interfaith Congregation, Bill Freeman is arrested after he refuses to leave Holland City Hall following a Holland City meeting  where he urged council to expand anti-discrimination protections to included LGBTQ people.

November 2011:

Wayne Klomparens, who is supportive of anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people is elected to the Holland City Council despite his opponent receiving finical assistance from the American Family Association.

January 2012:

Holland is Ready is awarded the Holland Human Relation Commission’s Social Justice Award for its efforts to make the city more welcoming, friendlier community for LGBTQ people.

Plaintiff’s April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, file a lawsuit challenging Michigan’s ban on adoption by same-sex couples. At the invitation of District Court Judge Benard Friedman the Plaintiffs amend their complaint to challenge the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

June 2012:

Holland’s 8th PRIDE event is presented by PFLAG Holland/Lakeshore and Holland is Ready.

Michigan Department of Civil Rights holds a public hearing in Holland on expanding civil right laws to include protections for LGBTQ people.

December 2012:

Bill Freeman, gay rights advocate receives the Holland Human Relation Commission’s Social Justice Award.

April 2013:

Hope is Ready holds a fundraiser masquerade ball, “Silence Isn’t Always Golden.”

June 26, 2013:

In United States v. Windsor, the United States Supreme Court rules that DOMA is unconstitutional and same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits.

June 2013:

Holland’s 9th PRIDE event-First outdoor celebration of Holland Area Pride held in Centennial Park.

November 2013:

Holland Sentinel publishes first same-sex marriage announcement.

March 21, 2014:

Judge Friedman rules that Michigan’s same-sex ban on marriage is unconstitutional and violates the right to equal protection of the law.  The state appeals the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, staying Judge Friedman’s ruling pending appeal.

June 2014:

Holland’s 10th PRIDE event.


Holland is Ready and Holland Area Pride collaborate with PFLAG Holland/Lakeshore to form Out On The Lakeshore.

June 2015:

Holland’s 11th PRIDE event.

 June 26, 2015:

The United States Supreme Court rules 5-4 rules in favor of same-sex marriage.

June 2016:

Out On The Lakeshore presents Holland’s 12th Pride event; Holland Pride Film Festival.

June 30, 2016:

US Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter announces the Pentagon is lifting the ban on transgender people openly serving in the military.

November 11, 2016:

Holland Pride Host’s One Nation a demonstration of Unity at Holland’s Unity Bridge.

January 2017:

Jesse Lynn, a West Ottawa High School student receives Holland’s Human Relation Commission Youth 2016 Social Justice Award for organizing a peaceful protest at Centennial Park in November.

May 2017:

Out On The Lakeshore Community Center Opens.

June 23rd, 24th & 25th, 2017:

 Holland’s 13th PRIDE event.