On this day in 1993, Rev. Billy Graham apologized for calling the AIDS epidemic an act of divine judgement during a sermon in Columbus, Ohio. He reportedly recanted the statements by saying, “I don’t believe that, and I don’t know why I said it.”
Additionally, Following his retirement in 1993, Episcopal Bishop E. Otis Charles became the first Christian bishop to come out of the closet at the age of 67. He served as a bishop of Utah from 1971-1986. He went on to marry Dr. Felipe Sanchez-Paris and become a prominent gay rights activist.
Five years later in 1998, South Africa officially repealed its sodomy law, residual legislation from former Colonial British rule. Originally ruled unconstitutional in May 1998, South Africa’s highest court confirmed the ruling on this date.