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JackFTwist

The Stonewall Riots’ 49th Anniversary

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JackFTwist

Wikipedia provides a succinct summary of the significance of the 1969 Stonewall Riots:

  • The Stonewall riots (also referred to as the Stonewall uprising or the Stonewall rebellion) were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBT) community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. They are widely considered to constitute the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.  [Emphasis added. — JFT]

(According to news reports from the event, it was specifically a group of drag queens who led the initial resistance to harassment and arrest by the police, starting the first riot.  The wider LGBT community began to join the fray in the next night.  You go, girl!)

It’s a happy coincidence that this anniversary falls two days after the anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that recognized Gay marriage in the United States.  On the other hand, it’s an ironic and sad coincidence that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Court yesterday.  Kennedy was the “swing vote” between the liberal and conservative wings of the Court in its 5-4 decision and wrote the Majority Opinion in the Obergefell v. Hodges case.  If Justice Kennedy’s replacement on the Court has a different legal view on LGBT rights, and on Gay marriage in particular, future Supreme Court decisions might leave the basic marriage decison in effect but limit Gay rights in important marriage-related policies that weren’t a direct part of the Court’s 2015 opinion, such as parental rights, family leave, and entitlement to some pension benefits. 

Bottom line:  The struggle continues, and it’s likely to become even more difficult in the years ahead.  See:

https://www.hrc.org/blog/the-anniversary-of-stonewall-reminds-us-of-the-urgency-of-resistance

For more information about the Stonewall riots, see:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots

 

 

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