The Stonewall Inn Rebellion

A brief history on the Stonewall Inn uprising.

Frank Rich’s op-ed about the Stonewall Inn rebellion: 40 Years Later: Still Second Class Americans.

iggy donnelly


Filed under GLBT Rights, History, Marriage Equality, Political Reform

10 responses to “The Stonewall Inn Rebellion

  1. I did not know that DOMA came into being under Clinton! It sounds so Bushistic – I would have bet money that is where it came from.

    On gay issues, Clinton really was a buffoon, wasn’t he? Don’t ask, don’t tell & DOMA. Public opinion was on Clinton’s side too – even back in those days. No excuse for that shoddy performance.

  2. In the referenced Frank Rich article, I found this to be telling —

    “In conversations with gay activists on both coasts last week, I heard several theories as to why Obama has seemed alternately clumsy and foot-dragging in honoring his campaign commitments to dismantle DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The most charitable take had it that he was following a deliberate strategy, given his habit of pursuing his goals through long-term game plans. After all, he’s only five months into his term and must first juggle two wars, the cratered economy, health care and Iran. Some speculated that the president is fearful of crossing preachers, especially black preachers, who are adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage. Still others said that the president was tone-deaf on the issue because his inner White House circle lacks any known gay people.

    But the most prevalent theory is that Obama, surrounded by Clinton White House alumni with painful memories, doesn’t want to risk gay issues upending his presidency, as they did his predecessor’s in 1993. After having promised to lift the ban on gays in the military, Clinton beat a hasty retreat into Don’t Ask once Congress and the Pentagon rebelled. This early pratfall became a lasting symbol of his chaotic management style — and a precursor to another fiasco, Hillarycare, that Obama is also working hard not to emulate.”

  3. I’m going to admit that today is the first time I’ve heard the words ‘Stonewall Inn.’ I read what happened 40 years ago for the first time today. If a person (ME!) who thinks all humans should be equal, and abhors labels and boxes people are put in, doesn’t know anything about this, can we guess that national awareness is even less?

    • I’d never heard of it before. Thus my post here. I, too, think the national awareness might, unfortunately, be pretty low.

      These protestors were young folk, of whom many were kicked out of their parents’ home for being gay. That often happened in high school.

      My son goes to a pretty small high school – there around 100 in his class. There a good number of openly gay kids in his school. Where my daughter will be going to high school next year – a much larger school, there is even a gay club.

      Things are different now than when we were younger, fnord. The demographic data indicate a much greater acceptance of gay marriage among those younger than 40.

      As Rich alludes to, Obama likely doesn’t want to make the stumbles Clinton did, but it seems to me that he needs to start taking some risks. Marriage equality is a winning civil rights issue and one that is just the right thing to do, as well.

  4. I saw some documentary about this incident.
    Shortly after that, “MILK” came out on DVD.
    Good movie.

  5. tosmarttobegop

    I had heard of it, there actually was something like it here in Wichita too.
    The club was called the “Gay 90’s” I think it was on 47th passed Broadway.
    After several raid by Police finally the people stood up to the Police though it did not end like Stonewall inn. The Police did not want to admit the sole reason for the raid was because of it being a Gay club. Publicity had gone against these raids so the Police backed off.

  6. Trip to the Outhouse

    I remember when the police used to come into the gay club in Topeka on a regular basis. I never saw anything but an arrest or two of someone who was underage. But it was a kind of harassment; they’d hang around for awhile, make the club turn up the lights and turn off the music. Basically, it was a way of ruining the club’s business for a night and pushing the closeted people further back in for awhile.

    They used to do similar tactics here in the clubs in Houston, but not just gay clubs, but some clubs never got hit, so I always figured somebody was on the take. There were a few incidents here where they came in pretty heavy-handed, but over the years things have gotten much better. There was even a group of gay and lesbian police officers marching with the lead-off police car in the Gay Pride Parade last night.

    However, it seems like the police up in Ft. Worth might still have an “old-school” mindset as there was a raid last night at a new bar that seems to bring their intentions into question:

    Oh, by the way, in 1969, I was in school at Ft. Hays State, didn’t know I was gay, didn’t know anybody who was, maybe heard something about what happened in NYC, but the idea that it had any connection to me was not on my radar scope. About 10 years later, I experienced one of the early Gay Pride parades in Kansas City–one of those unforgettable moments in my personal history.

    What I’m saying is that it doesn’t surprise me that so many people have never heard about Stonewall.

    • I went to graduate school at Fort Hays State University in 1979. My undergraduate courses, in a private Methodist college, took a long and winding road… starting in 1973.

      I am chagrined that so few people ever heard of Stonewall. Me amongst those…

  7. Trip, just because it’s just now on the radar, doesn’t mean we won’t find a solution. I’m ashamed that my head has been in the sand for so many years. Long ago I man I loved with all my heart, who loved me with all his heart, discovered he was gay. He didn’t mean to hurt me, it hurt him too. I don’t know whether he is still hurting and I can’t tell him it’s OK, I’m OK. I wish I could.