The Historic Landmarks Preservation Center’s (HLPC) “cultural medallion program” will today hold a ceremony and place a plaque at the site of the Stonewall Inm to commemorate the Stonewall Rebellion” of 1969 on Tuesday, July 16 at 3 p.m. outside the bar, but the plaque created for the occasion was not reviewed by anyone who participated in the June 1969 uprising nor were any of its veterans invited to speak.
The HLPC’s “cultural medallion program” – by a wealthy Democratic fundraiser, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, a former member of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Diamonstein-Spielvogel refused to discuss the event in advance of it or explain why Stonewall veterans were not invited to speak or involved in preparing the plaque’s text.
“It’s outrageous and unacceptable,” said Jerry Hoose, the veteran gay activist who fought every night in the riots –– all four from beginning to end.”
Hoose added, “I’m so tired of that bar being glorified. It was this horrendous place where something great happened.
The idea for a plaque at the Stonewall came from out gay State Senator Brad Hoylman, who represents the Village area where the uprising took place.
“It was obvious to me and others that you could walk right by the site of the rebellion and not know it happened there,” he said. (Despite the huge red neon Stonewall Inn sign in the window and rainbow flag?)
Jim Fouratt, one of the original members of GLF, wrote in an email, “I do not consider the Stonewall Inn a symbol of liberation but one of oppression. It remains in the same ‘family’ that it did in 1969… What needs to be memorialized is the sidewalk and part of Christopher St. that contained the human spark that made a rebellion that has fundamentally changed the lives of lesbian and gay people of all gender expression everywhere.”
Speakers listed in the release today include Jordan Roth, an out gay Broadway producer and NYC Landmarks50 Advisory Committee member; Roberta Kaplan , who successfully argued the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act’s denial of federal rights to married same-sex couples; Richard Socarides, a White House aide to President Bill Clinton, who signed DOMA into law in 1996 and whose father Charles Socarides in 1969 was a leader in the field of anti-gay therapy; and historian Martin Duberman, who wrote a 1993 book on the rebellion called “Stonewall.”
None were at Stonewall for the uprising.