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Baldwin, Frank, Polis, and Nadler Introduce Stonewall Resolution

StonewallReps. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Barney Frank (D-MA), and Jared Polis (D-CO), yesterday introduced a resolution recognizing the upcoming 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots late next month.

Wrote Baldwin in a press release: "Stonewall is an essential piece of American history that catalyzed the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement for equal rights. On June 28, 1969, during a climate of fear and terror against the LGBT community in New York and nationally, the New York Police Department conducted a raid of the Stonewall Inn, a bar in New York’s Greenwich Village frequented by the LGBT community. Bruised, shocked, angry and fed up, patrons of the bar organized spontaneous demonstrations outside the bar and onto the streets of New York City. Protests continued during the next few days. This watershed moment is the symbolic genesis of the gay rights movement in the U.S."

Read the full text of the resolution, AFTER THE JUMP...


Recognizing the 40th anniversary of Stonewall.

Whereas the Stonewall Inn opened on or about March 18, 1967, at 51-53 Christopher Street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, New York;
Whereas the Stonewall Inn was a bar primarily patronized by a diverse cross-section of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and it became a very popular institution;

Whereas at around 1:20 AM on June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, closing the bar and forcing patrons outside;

Whereas such raids were among the many ways in which government harassed and discriminated against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community during this period, which included, for example, prohibiting dancing with a person of the same sex or wearing clothing more typical for another gender, terminating one’s employment, and using entrapment to arrest people;

Whereas early on the morning of June 28, 1969, after the raid, years of frustration and anger among members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community at being harassed and unfairly targeted by government boiled over into a conflict with police;

Whereas thousands returned to the Stonewall Inn on the night of June 28, 1969, to express their support of basic freedoms, equality, and fair treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, chanting such slogans as “Gay Power”, “We Want Freedom Now”, and “Equality For Homosexuals”;

Whereas protests occurred again around the Stonewall Inn on the night of July 2, 1969;

Whereas the series of protests at the Stonewall Inn, often referred to as “Stonewall”, marked a watershed event in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans dramatically showed a growing determination to publicly resist government discrimination and harassment;

Whereas Stonewall sparked a remarkable increase in activism and action by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans across the country to advocate for equal rights;

Whereas on June 28, 1970, thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans took part in the Christopher Street Liberation Day march from Greenwich Village to Central Park to mark the first anniversary of Stonewall;

Whereas people in Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco also marched or gathered on June 27-28, 1970, to remember the first anniversary of Stonewall;

Whereas in 1989, the section of Christopher Street in front of the Stonewall Inn was renamed “Stonewall Place”;

Whereas in 1999, the building at 51-53 Christopher Street that used to be the Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park, and the immediately surrounding area were listed on the National Register of Historic Places;

Whereas in 2000, the building at 51-53 Christopher Street that used to be the Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park, and the immediately surrounding area were listed as a National Historic Landmark;

Whereas inspired by Stonewall, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride parades and festivals occur in cities across the country and the world every June;

Whereas in recognition of Stonewall, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month is celebrated every June; and

Whereas a great deal of progress has been made in achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans since Stonewall occurred 40 years ago, but much work remains to be done: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives –

(1) recognizes the 40th anniversary of Stonewall;

(2) honors those who participated during Stonewall and since that time in the civil rights struggle of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans; and

(3) recommits itself to protecting and providing equal rights for all Americans, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

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  1. So which one in the picture is Leland?

    Posted by: crispy | May 14, 2009 9:41:33 AM

  2. Does that mean that NYC Pride is on the actual anniversary of the riots this year? That's very cool.

    Posted by: MT | May 14, 2009 9:57:28 AM

  3. There are some not so flattering facts about the Stonewall Inn that got left out for good reason, but HOORAY for those who fought back and HOORAY for those submitting this resolution. No, the President doesn't have to sign such things, but how it fairs in votes, particularly for its closing "the House...recommits itself to protecting and providing equal rights," will be an informative canary in the mineshaft [no, Derrick, not THAT Mineshaft...remember how Crispy used to star in the human puppet show the puppet? Perhaps MARdonna can get her a Louis Vuitton colostomy bag.]

    Yes, NYC's Pride March will occur on the actual anniversary [I wonder what the First Lady will wear?]. The confusion often arises in references to the riot happening on "Friday night" which was June 27th, as in "I went to the Stonewall Friday night and you won't believe what happened." The raid that sparked the riot actually began around 1:20 a.m., Saturday, thus the 28th is the real date. For those interested in the most comprehensive study, see David Carter's "Stonewall." He clarifies some hallowed myths, including how little St. Judy might really have contributed. I'll always believe that there was some connection with some of the anger of some of the rioters. There were probably more gays among the 20,000 people who'd attended her funeral Friday than rioted; and the sound of her voice could still be heard from many open Village windows on those hot summer nights.

    Two issues I do have is that the resolution does not acknowledge, even generally, all those LGBTs who fought for years in their own way for rights and respect such as Henry Gerber, Harry Hay, Frank Kameny, Randy Wicker, Barbara Gittings, Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin, and those mostly transgender who literally fought the police at SF's Compton's Cafeteria three years before Stonewall.

    And, a week from today is the 30th anniversary of the White Night Riot at City Hall in San Francisco after Dan White got away with two premediated murders. Its thousands of more participants, its volcanic anger, the night illuminated by the flames of burning police cars, made Stonewall look like a gay-sponsored pancake breakfast for the Police Athletic League. And the vengeful police riot in the Castro afterward should be remembered as well.

    I'll always remember both and I'll never forgive the pansy/dyke peaceniks for quickly burying it in our history. Would that the words of Milk's annointed successor on the Board of Supervisor, Harry Britt, had been celebrated: "Harvey Milk's people do not have anything to apologize for. Now society is going to have to deal with us not as nice little fairies who have hairdressing salons, but as people capable of violence. We're not going to put up with Dan Whites anymore."

    Watch video of that night at the link below and then tell me again why I have no reason to be repulsed by Obama's retreat into silence and pulpit and Pentagon-generated excuses.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | May 14, 2009 12:08:21 PM

  4. I knew the guy in the extreme right corner of the photo. If you're still around, Tommy -- HI!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 14, 2009 12:56:13 PM

  5. When you post info about legislation, it would really help us if you included info about the bill number, so we can contact our respresntatives and express our support (or opposition, in some cases).


    Posted by: RDM | May 14, 2009 2:46:31 PM

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