Stonewall Commemoration: History of Past, Present & Must-See Details

New York City will host the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and a half-century of LGBTQIA liberation on Friday, June 28, 2019. Many tourists have been joining New Yorkers and attending the numerous activities the city has prepared for them for the commemoration of Pride Month.

Back in the 60’s, homosexuality was prohibited largely in the United States. However, the closure of that decade would change the lives of many. Late June in 1969, the police department attacked the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, which was very trendy at that time. On June 28, 1969, people started protesting and engaging in violent behaviors for the next six days in the reaction to the previous attacks. These disturbances marked the beginning of a new era for the LGBTQIA society in America and around the globe. This will mean outsiders would have to respect them and recognize them as a community.

To learn more visits PBS Stonewall website.

This year’s Stonewall commemoration will take place on Friday, June 28, 2019, from 6-9p.m., @Christopher Park, 38-64 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014. This will be a free-ticket event. Do not miss it. Come and make your voice heard!

Here is a timeline pre and post the Stonewall Uprising:

1924: the first legal gay rights organization, The Society for Human Rights is created by Henry Gerber in Chicago.

1950: activist Harry Hay founds The Mattachine Society, one of the first sustained gay rights groups in America, which focuses on social acceptance and other support for homosexuals.

April 1952: the American Psychiatric Association diagnoses homosexuality as a sociopathic personality disturbance.

April 27, 1953: president Dwight D. Eisenhower bills an amendment banning homosexuals from persuing politician careers.

September 1955: the first recognized lesbian rights organization, Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), is created in San Francisco, California. They dealt with injustices committed by authorities against this community. 

July 1961: Illinois is the first state to legitimate homosexuality.

September 11, 1961: the first documentary about homosexuality airs in California.

June 28, 1969: police assaults the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Protests and demonstrations start and this will signify the begging of a new era for gay civil rights.1969: the enduring LGBT publication by Personal Rights in Defense and Education (PRIDE), “Los Angeles Advocate,”  is renamed “The Advocate.”

June 28, 1970: the first gay pride parade happens in New York City as a commemoration for the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

1973: Lambda Legal becomes the first non-profit organization that fights for the equal rights of gays and lesbians.

January 1, 1973: Maryland is the first state which prohibits same-sex marriage.

December 15, 1973: the American Psychiatric Association disregards homosexuality as a Mental Disorder.

1974: Kathy Kozachenko is the first openly LGBT American elected to work for the federal government.

1974: Elaine Noble becomes the first openly gay candidate elected for public office.

March 1975: Technical Sergeant Leonard P. Matlovich is re-hired and promoted after having been discriminated for disclosing his sexual orientation to his commanding officer and forcibly dismissed from the Air Force.

1977-1981: Billy Crystal plays one of the first openly gay characters on a prime time television show.

1978: activist and fashion designer Gilbert Baker pulls up together the first rainbow flag.

October 14, 1979: the first national protest for Lesbian and Gay Rights happens in Washington.

November 30, 1993: president Bill Clinton bills a military regulation banning openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the army. It was repealed on September 20, 2011.

November 1995: the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act is enacted and protects members of the LGBTQ community.

September 21, 1996: president Clinton bans same-sex couples from getting married through the Defense of Marriage Act.

December 3, 1996: Hawaii’s Judge Chang legalizes homosexual marriages in Hawaii.

April 1997: comedian Ellen DeGeneres comes out as a lesbian on the cover of Time magazine.

April 26, 2000: Vermont is the first state to legitimize civil unions between same-sex couples.

June 2003: the US Supreme Court removes the “homosexual conduct” bill, permitting same-sex sexual conduct.

May 17, 2004: the first legal same-sex marriage in the United States occurs in Massachusetts.

May 15, 2008: the California Supreme Court determines that prohibiting homosexual weddings is unconstitutional.

August 12, 2009: first openly gay politician Milk Harvey is awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

May 9, 2012: Obama becomes the first US president to officially support the LGBTQ Community right to marry.

September 4, 2012: the Democratic Party is the first major US political party to candidly protect same-sex marriages.

November 6, 2012: Tammy Baldwin is the first openly gay Senate member.

July 27, 2015: Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates disregards the national restriction on openly gay leaders and employees.

June 24, 2016: Obama announces the formation of the first national monument devoted to the LGBTQ community; The Stonewall National Monument.

August 5-21, 2016: 41 openly gay athletes are to compete in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

November 9, 2016: Kate Brown becomes the highest-ranking LGBTQ person elected for public office in the United States.

April 4, 2017: Civil Rights Act outlaws workplace discrimination against LGBTQ employees.

November 7, 2017: Danica Roem becomes the first openly transgender aspirant appointed to a state legislature in American history.

February 26, 2018: the Pentagon confirms that the first transgender person will join the US military.

November 6, 2018: Democratic US Representative Jared Polis is to be the first openly gay man to be elected governor.

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