Civil rights issues and police brutality have been in the media centerfold for quite some time now and many accounts about the civil rights movement discuss the challenges and struggles within the African American community. However, the difficult experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, is a subject that is less frequently discussed unless it pertains to a reality TV star changing genders.
During the 1960s, New York City had laws prohibiting homosexuality in public so a Greenwich Village bar called the Stonewall Inn opened its doors to the LGBT community providing a hangout spot for gays and lesbians during a time when serving alcohol to the LGBT community was banned.
During early morning on July 28, 1969, Stonewall Inn was raided by police but bar patrons refused to leave the premises. The patrons were joined by friends, strangers and members of the community to protest the treatment by police. These civil rights protests lasted a few days and paved the way for LGBT activist organizations such as the Gay Liberation Front, the Gay Activists Alliance, Radica Lesbians, and the Street Transvestites Action to emerge a few months later. This gay rights uprising is honored with annual gay pride parades in hundreds of cities. Heritage of Pride hosts New York City’s annual Pride Rally and it will take place this Friday at Hudson River Park.
The Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village, known as the birthplace for the modern gay rights movement was granted landmark status in a unanimous vote by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on Monday. This is the first time a site has been named a New York City landmark primarily because of its significance to LGBT history.
“There are few locations that can be cited as the birthplace of a global movement. One such location is the Stonewall Inn,” stated Corey Johnson, the City Council member whose district includes the Stonewall Inn