History at Luther

Here's a timeline of LGBTQIA+ events at Luther College:

  • 1972 - the Human Relations Committee of the Community Assembly (a governing body on campus) created the Human Sexuality Subcommittee. The subcommittee's ultimate goal was "to make it possible for every person on this campus to look at every other person not as male or female, not as homosexual or heterosexual, but as a human being."
  • 1979 - the LGBT support group AWARE was first organized quietly in 1979 to be a support group for gay and lesbian students.
  • 1984 - AWARE becomes more publicly known, although it is not recognized as an official student organization; initially they applied to be one, but ultimately withdrew their application because student orgs were required to produce lists of officers and members, and AWARE wanted to protect the privacy of its members. 
  • 1988 - Members of the Human Relations Committee become aware of gay students being harassed and work on developing strategies to combat this. Panels and discussions on human sexuality, including discussions of homosexuality, are held to educate campus, as well as sessions about AIDS; the committee recommended these panels be held on an annual basis. Other recommendations the committee makes include better interpersonal training for RA's, harassment guidelines, and appointing a faculty advisor to AWARE. 
  • Spring 1993: AWARE is finally given a charter and becomes an official student organization.
  • 1993 - AWARE sponsors the trip of 40 Luther students and staff to Washington D.C. for the March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation. After the march, the student organization FLAG (Friends of Lesbians and Gays) was founded on campus to serve as an educational resource for all interested in promoting equal rights.
  • Fall 1993: FLAG submits two proposals to the Luther College Student Congregation: first, that the congregation's constitution be amended so that the statement of welcome included a specific reference to sexual orientation; and second, to propose joining the roster of Reconciling in Christ congregations, extending full participation to LGBTQIA+ individuals.
  • Spring 1994: The Luther Student Congregation votes to adopt the amended welcome statement in their constitution.
  • May 1995: The Luther College Student Congregation votes to become a Reconciling in Christ Congregation.
  • 1995 - Alumni magazine announces that AWARE is working with the Alumni office to create the AWARE Alumni Resource Network (AARN), to put current students in AWARE in contact with alumni.
  • 1996: AWARE and FLAG sponsor the first drag ball, held in Dante's (now Marty's). 
  • 1997: Luther College Homecoming festivities include "Homecoming Out," the first public reception for AWARE alumni.
  • 1999 - FLAG changes its name to GLBTA (Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender Allies).
  • October 2004: GLBTA officially changes its name to PRIDE (People for Rights, Inclusion and Diversity of Expression).
  • 2006: PRIDE co-sponsors "Making Our Schools Safe for GLBT Youth" at Decorah High School.
  • 2010: PRIDE helps sponsor the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) conference "Achieving Marriage Equality in the Heartland" at Luther College.