Tag Archives: PRIDE MONTH

#PRIDE2021 – June 28, 1969: The True and Unadulterated History of the Stonewall Riots

In 1969 the world was a very different place. 

The Vietnam war was in full swing and its bloody images were televised into peoples living rooms each night on the nightly news. Over 45,000 american soldiers were dead. The counterculture of hippies, yippies, and anti-war protestors mostly young people flocked to major  cities like San Francisco and New York City to escape the draft, their parents,  and moral contructs.

New York City itself was a melting pot of millions of different kinds of people.  But none were looked down upon as much and had to hide than  gay men, lesbians, and other so-called “sexual deviants” of that era.

Greenwich Village at that time was a haven for outcasts in 1969 and was home to  thousands of  artists, actors, bohemians, beatniks, runaways, and mostly blue collar workers.

The original Stonewall Inn was located at 51 and 53 Christopher Street. (Only 53 Christopher Street is used today and the other side of the original bar sits vacant.)  And what many people do not know is that it was owned by the infamous Genovese mafia crime family.

In 1966, three members of the Genovese family invested $3,500 to turn the Stonewall Inn into a gay bar after it had been a restaurant and a nightclub for heterosexuals. Once a week a NYPD police officer from the 6th Precincts would collect envelopes of cash as a payoff for “protection” to keep the The Stonewall open.  The bar had no liquor license and no running water behind the bar—used glasses were run through tubs of water and immediately reused. There were no fire exits, and the bathrooms were filthy and toilets overran consistently. It was the only bar for gay men and lesbians in New York City where dancing was allowed and that was its main draw since at that time same-sex dancing was illegal and those who were caught doing it were subject to arrest.

in 1969 visitors to the Stonewall Inn were greeted by a bouncer who inspected them through a peephole in the door. The legal drinking age at that time in New York was 18 years old. To avoid unwittingly letting in undercover police who were called “Lily Law”, “Alice Blue Gown”, or “Betty Badge” at the time, visitors would have to be known by the doorman, or be friends with someone who did.  The entrance fee on weekends was $3, for which the customer received two tickets. Patrons were required to sign their names in a book to prove that the bar was a private “bottle club”.  Needless to say customers rarely signed their real names.

A color digital illustration of the station layout of the Stonewall Inn in 1969: a rectangular building with the front along Christopher Street; the entrance opens to a lobby where patrons could go to the larger part of the bar to the right that also featured a larger dance floor. From that room was an entrance to a smaller room with a smaller dance floor and smaller bar. The toilets are located near the rear of the building
                                    Stonewall Inn layout 1969

 

There were two dance floors in the Stonewall Inn and the interior was painted black including the windows making it very dark inside. The only real electrical lights that were on during business hours was a dim light behind the bar and the rest were pulsing gel and black lights. If police were spotted, the bar’s regular white lights were turned on signaling that everyone should stop dancing or touching and that same sex couple should break-up and pair up as male-female couples to avoid arrest.  In the rear of the bar was a smaller room frequented by the few “queens” that were allowed inside; it was one of two bars where effeminate men who wore makeup and teased their hair (though dressed in men’s clothing) could go. Very few transvestites or drag queens were allowed in in by the bouncers. The average age of the bar’s clientele ranged between 18 years old and many closeted gay men in their forties and fifties.  

Police raids on gay bars in the late 1960’s were frequent, but bar management usually knew about the raids in advance due to bribes made to certain police officers. The raids usually occurred early enough in the evening that business could commence after the police had finished.  During a typical raid, the lights were turned on, and customers were lined up and their identification cards checked. Those without identification or dressed in full drag were arrested and others were allowed to leave. Lesbian patrons were required to wear three pieces of feminine clothing, and would be arrested if found not wearing them all

At 1:20 AM on the night of  Saturday, June 28, 1969, four plainclothes policemen in dark suits, two patrol officers in uniform along with Detective Charles Smythe and Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine arrived at the Stonewall Inn’s double doors and announced “Police! We’re taking the place!”  Stonewall employees do not recall being tipped off that a raid was to occur that night, as was the usual custom.

Some have said that one of the reasons that the bar was raided unannounced was that the Mafia owners of the Stonewall and the manager were blackmailing some of their wealthier customers, particularly those who worked in the Financial District and that they were  making more money from extortion than they were from liquor sales in the bar. With the police were unable to receive kickbacks from blackmail and the theft of negotiable bonds (facilitated by pressuring gay Wall Street customers), so the NYPD decided to close the Stonewall Inn permanently. But again this is conjecture and not a proven theory as our history has not been very well documented.

Once inside, the NYPD called for backup from the Sixth Precinct using the bar’s pay phone. The music was turned off and the main lights were turned on. Approximately 205 people were in the bar that night. Patrons who had never experienced a police raid were confused. A few who realized what was happening began to run for doors and windows in the bathrooms, but police barred the doors.

Michael Fader who was at the Stonewall that night:

Things happened so fast you kind of got caught not knowing. All of a sudden there were police there and we were told to all get in lines and to have our identification ready to be led out of the bar.”

Standard procedure was to line up the patrons, check their identification, and have female police officers take any customers dressed as women to the bathroom to verify their sex, upon which any men dressed as women would be arrested.

But things that night did not go exactly as the NYPD had planned.

The story goes that those dressed with pieces of female attire that night refused to go with the female officer and that men in line-up began to refuse to produce their identification. The police decided to take everyone present to the police station. After separating those in drag in a room in the back of the bar. Maria Ritter, who was known as Steve to her family, recalled, “My biggest fear was that I would get arrested. My second biggest fear was that my picture would be in a newspaper or on a television report in my mother’s dress! Both patrons and police recalled that a sense of discomfort spread very quickly, spurred by police who began to assault some of the lesbians by “feeling some of them up inappropriately” while frisking them.

The police were to confiscate and transport the bar’s alcohol in patrol wagons. Twenty-eight cases of beer and nineteen bottles of liquor were seized but the patrol wagons had not yet arrived, so patrons were required to wait in line for about 15 minutes.  Those who were not arrested were released and let out the front door, but they did not leave the area quickly as usual. Instead, they stopped outside and a crowd began to grow and watch. Within minutes, between 100 and 150 people had congregated outside. Some after they were released from inside the Stonewall, and some after noticing the police cars and the crowd. Although the police forcefully pushed or kicked some patrons out of the bar, some customers released by the police performed for the crowd by posing and saluting the police in an exaggerated campy fashion. The crowd’s applause encouraged them further: “Wrists were limp, hair was primped, and reactions to the applause were classic.”

When the first patrol wagon arrived the crowd had grown to at least ten times the number of people who were arrested, and they all became very quiet. Confusion over radio communication delayed the arrival of a second wagon. As the police began escorting those from within the bar outside a bystander shouted, “Gay power!”, someone began singing “We Shall Overcome”.  It was then said some pennies, and beer bottles, were thrown at the wagon as a rumor spread through the crowd that patrons still inside the bar were being beaten.

*NOTE: This is where the legend of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha Johnson comes in.  It must be stressed that it has never been proven or documented by any of those arrested at the Stonewall Inn, Marsha P. Johnson herself  has claimed that she was the one who told Sylvia about the raid after it started and that neither were at the bar when the riot started and joined in much later.    Sylvia never mentioned being at the Stonewall Inn until well after 20 years after the riot.   In an interview with this website Miss Major Griffin-Gracy a community leader for transgender rights has gone on record as saying that she saw neither Rivera or Johnson in attendance at the bar.  In the face of such evidence and the  lack of any real proof it does make Rivera’s claim about being at the Stonewall Inn at the time of the raid and “throwing the first heel” , brick, pennies, etc. more of the stuff of legends than true historical fact. 

Stonewall 1

It’s been reported that while the NYPD began escorting those arrested out of the bar a scuffle broke out when a lesbian in handcuffs was escorted from the door of the bar to the waiting police wagon. She escaped repeatedly and fought with four of the police, swearing and shouting, for about ten minutes. She had been hit on the head by an officer with a baton for, as one witness claimed for complaining that her handcuffs were too tight. Bystanders recalled that the woman, whose identity remains unknown, (some attribute it to lesbian cross-dresser Stormé DeLarverie)  sparked the crowd to fight when she looked at bystanders and shouted, “Why don’t you guys do something?” When  an officer picked her up and heaved her into the back of the paddy wagon  the crowd went “berserk”:

It was at that moment that the scene became explosive and the fight for our right and freedom

The crowd outside the Stonewall Inn  started to push back at the police who tried to restrain them, the police fought back and  knocked a few people down.  It’s rumored that Storme DeLaverie, a lesbian crossdresser was observed throwing the first punch after being pushed around by a policeman which incited bystanders even more. Some of those handcuffed in the wagon escaped when police left them unattended  As the crowd tried to overturn the police wagon, two police cars and the wagon left immediately, with Inspector Pine urging them to return as soon as possible. The commotion attracted more people who learned what was happening. Someone in the crowd declared that the bar had been raided because “they didn’t pay off the cops”, to which someone else yelled “Let’s pay them off!”  Beer cans were thrown and the police lashed out, dispersing some of the crowd, who found a construction site nearby with stacks of bricks. The few police at that point were surrounded by between 500 and 600 people, and grabbed grabbed several people, in the crowd including folk singer Dave Van Ronk —who had been attracted to the commotion from a bar two doors away from the Stonewall.  Though Van Ronk was not gay, he had experienced police violence when he participated in antiwar demonstrations: “As far as I was concerned, anybody who’d stand against the cops was all right with me” .”Ten police officers—including two policewomen—barricaded themselves, Van Ronk, Howard Smith (a writer for The Village Voice), and several handcuffed detainees inside the Stonewall Inn “for their own safety”.

There are multiple accounts of the riots that night but the one thing that everyone agrees on is what happened from this point was raw, powerful and spontaneous.

Michael Fader:

We all had a collective feeling like we’d had enough of this kind of shit. It wasn’t anything tangible anybody said to anyone else, it was just kind of like everything over the years had come to a head on that one particular night in the one particular place, and it was not an organized demonstration…. Everyone in the crowd felt that we were never going to go back. It was like the last straw. It was time to reclaim something that had always been taken from us…. All kinds of people, all different reasons, but mostly it was total outrage, anger, sorrow, everything combined, and everything just kind of ran its course. It was the police who were doing most of the destruction. We were really trying to get back in and break free. And we felt that we had freedom at last, or freedom to at least show that we demanded freedom. We weren’t going to be walking meekly in the night and letting them shove us around—it’s like standing your ground for the first time and in a really strong way, and that’s what caught the police by surprise. There was something in the air, freedom a long time overdue, and we’re going to fight for it. It took different forms, but the bottom line was, we weren’t going to go away. And we didn’t.

Bob Kohler:

And nobody knows who started it and nobody can [know] because you don’t know a riot is going to start, so therefore you’re not looking to see anybody start anything. You hear something. Maybe it’s a bottle break. Maybe it’s a fire in the trashcan and then it’s a riot. So all these bullshit people who are ‘I saw this. I saw that.’ You didn’t see nothing. Well, one thing you didn’t see was drag queens in high heels. I can tell you that. They weren’t there. It was the kids who started it and then the whole street erupted. But it was just – the kids had the best time of their lives. That was fun. And that broke up the week and they were glad when it happened on Wednesday night. And glad when it happened again. And by Saturday night, they still, none of those kids knew because they didn’t have that kind of a mind”.

Garbage cans, garbage, bottles, rocks, and bricks were hurled at the building, breaking the windows.  A parking meter was wretched free from the ground and used as a battering ram on the doors of the Stonewall Inn.  The mob lit garbage on fire and stuffed it through the broken windows as the police grabbed a fire hose. Because it had no water pressure, the hose was ineffective in dispersing the crowd, and seemed only to encourage them.  When demonstrators broke through the windows—which had been covered by plywood—the police inside un-holstered their pistols. The doors flew open and officers pointed their weapons at the angry crowd, threatening to shoot. The Village Voice writer Howard Smith, in the bar with the police, took a wrench from the bar and stuffed it in his pants, unsure if he might have to use it against the mob or the police. He watched someone squirt lighter fluid into the bar; as it was lit and the police took aim, sirens were heard and the  Tactical Police Force (TPF) of the NYPD and firetrucks arrived to free the police trapped inside the Stonewall Inn.

One officer’s eye was cut, and a few others were bruised from being struck by flying debris. Bob Kohler, who was walking his dog by the Stonewall that night, saw the TPF arrive: “I had been in enough riots to know the fun was over…. The cops were totally humiliated. This never, ever happened. They were angrier than I guess they had ever been, because everybody else had rioted … but the fairies were not supposed to riot … no group had ever forced cops to retreat before, so the anger was just enormous. I mean, they wanted to kill.” 

When extra NTPD officers arrived the TPF formed a phalanx and attempted to clear the streets by marching slowly and pushing the crowd back. The mob openly mocked the police. The crowd cheered, started impromptu kick lines, and sang to the tune of The Howdy Doody Show theme song: “We are the Stonewall girls/ We wear our hair in curls/ We don’t wear underwear/ We show our pubic hairs”. Just as the line got into a full kick routine, the TPF advanced again and cleared the crowd and sent them screaming down Christopher to Seventh Avenue.

One participant who had been in the Stonewall during the raid recalled, “The police rushed us, and that’s when I realized this is not a good thing to do, because they got me in the back with a night stick”. Another account stated, “I just can’t ever get that one sight out of my mind. The cops with the [nightsticks] and the kick line on the other side. It was the most amazing thing…. And all the sudden that kick line, which I guess was a spoof on the machismo … I think that’s when I felt rage. Because people were getting smashed with bats. And for what? A kick line?”

Craig Rodwell, the once owner of the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop, reported watching police chase the crowds through the crooked streets, only to see them appear around the next corner behind the police. Members of the mob stopped cars, overturning one of them to block Christopher Street. Jack Nichols and Lige Clarke, in their column printed in Screw, declared that “massive crowds of angry protesters chased for blocks screaming, ‘Catch them!’ 

By 4:00 in the morning the streets had nearly been cleared. Many people sat on stoops or gathered nearby in Christopher Park throughout the morning, dazed in disbelief at what had transpired. Many witnesses remembered the surreal and eerie quiet that descended upon Christopher Street, though there continued to be “electricity in the air”. One commented: “There was a certain beauty in the aftermath of the riot…. It was obvious, at least to me, that a lot of people really were gay and, you know, this was our street.” Thirteen people had been arrested. Some in the crowd were hospitalized, and four police officers were injured. Everything in the Stonewall Inn was broken.  Pay phones, toilets, mirrors, jukeboxes, and cigarette machines were all smashed, possibly in the riot and possibly by the police. But despite everything, the Stonewall Inn would open for business again the very next night.

All three New York City newspapers covered the riots; The New York Daily News placed coverage on the front page. News of the riot spread quickly throughout Greenwich Village, All day Saturday, June 28, people came to stare at the burned and blackened Stonewall Inn. Graffiti appeared on appeared on the walls of the bar “They invaded our rights”, “Support gay power”, and “Legalize gay bars”

The next night, rioting again surrounded Christopher Street; participants remember differently which night was more frantic or violent. Many of the same people returned from the previous evening. but they were joined by “police provocateurs”, curious bystanders, and even tourists.  Remarkable to many was the sudden exhibition of homosexual affection in public, as described by one witness: “From going to places where you had to knock on a door and speak to someone through a peephole in order to get in. We were just out. We were in the streets.

Thousands of people had gathered in front of the Stonewall, which had opened again, choking Christopher Street until the crowd spilled into adjoining blocks. The crowd surrounded buses and cars, harassing the occupants unless they either admitted they were gay or indicated their support for the demonstrators. As on the previous evening, fires were started in garbage cans throughout the neighborhood. More than a hundred police were present from the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth Precincts, but after 2:00 a.m. the TPF arrived again. Kick lines and police chases waxed and waned; when police captured demonstrators, whom the dallies described as “sissies” or “swishes”, the crowd surged to recapture them. Street battling ensued again until 4:00 a.m

Allen Ginsberg who lived on Christopher Street, but missed the first night of the riot  stated, “Gay power! Isn’t that great!… It’s about time we did something to assert ourselves”, and that night visited the re-opened but in shambles  Stonewall Inn for the first time.”You know, the guys there were so beautiful”said Ginsberg —”they’ve lost that wounded look that fags all had 10 years ago”.

Nothing much happened the next two days, Monday and Tuesday, partly due to rain. Police and Village residents had a few altercations, as both groups antagonized each other. Craig Rodwell and his partner Fred Sargeant took the opportunity the morning after the first riot to print and distribute 5,000 leaflets, one of them reading: “Get the Mafia and the Cops out of Gay Bars”. The leaflets called for gays to own their own establishments, for a boycott of the Stonewall and other Mafia-owned bars, and for public pressure on the mayor’s office to investigate the “intolerable situation”.

On Wednesday, however, The Village Voice ran reports of the riots, written by Howard Smith and Lucian Truscott that included unflattering descriptions of the events and its participants: “forces of faggotry,” “limp wrists” and “Sunday fag follies” just to name a few which rekindled the anger all over again.  A mob descended upon Christopher Street once again and threatened to burn down the offices of The Village Voice. Also in the mob of between 500 and 1,000 were other groups that have had unsuccessful confrontations with the police in the past and were curious how they were defeated in this situation. Another explosive street battle took place, with injuries to demonstrators and police alike, with looting in local shops, and arrests of five people. The incidents on Wednesday night lasted about an hour, and were summarized by one witness: “

The word is out. “Christopher Street shall be liberated. The fags have had it with oppression.”

You can read the surviving Stonewall Riots Police Reports HERE

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Gay History – READ: The Gay Revolutionary a.k.a. The Gay Manifesto by Michael Swift – 1987

In February of 1987, a satirical article by Michael Swift appeared in New York City’s Gay Community News titled “The Gay Revolutionary” which describes a scenario in which homosexual men dominate American society and suppress all things heterosexual.

Since then the radical Religious Right has repeatedly referenced the article calling it the “Gay Manifesto” which it is not.  The original “A Gay Manifesto” written by Carl Witman is an important part of LGBT history was written in 1970. (I will be posting it later this week.)

Swift’s satirical “The Gay Revolutionary” has been used by a veritable Who’s Whos of LGBT hate groups over the years as “proof” of the “gay agenda” and their nefarious plot to take over America.

But when the religious right cites Swifts text, they always omit the vital first line, (much like the cherry picking they do with the Bible) which sets the context for the piece. EVERY version of Swift’s piece found on the net that’s referenced by the anti-gay religious right omits the first sentence  making it part of the greatest lie about gay people since 1987.

The line reads:

This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor.”

So to set the record ehm’….straight.  Without  further adiue may we present Micheal Swifts 1987 satrical article “The Gay Revolutionary” in its entirity.

“The Gay Revolutionary”  – First Published in Gay Community News, Feb. 15-21, 1987

This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor.

We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theater bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together. Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us.

Women, you cry for freedom. You say you are no longer satisfied with men; they make you unhappy. We, connoisseurs of the masculine face, the masculine physique, shall take your men from you then. We will amuse them; we will instruct them; we will embrace them when they weep. Women, you say you wish to live with each other instead of with men. Then go and be with each other. We shall give your men pleasures they have never known because we are foremost men too, and only one man knows how to truly please another man; only one man can understand the depth and feeling, the mind and body of another man.

All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Instead, legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men.

All homosexuals must stand together as brothers; we must be united artistically, philosophically, socially, politically and financially. We will triumph only when we present a common face to the vicious heterosexual enemy.

If you dare to cry faggot, fairy, queer, at us, we will stab you in your cowardly hearts and defile your dead, puny bodies.

We shall write poems of the love between men; we shall stage plays in which man openly caresses man; we shall make films about the love between heroic men which will replace the cheap, superficial, sentimental, insipid, juvenile, heterosexual infatuations presently dominating your cinema screens. We shall sculpt statues of beautiful young men, of bold athletes which will be placed in your parks, your squares, your plazas. The museums of the world will be filled only with paintings of graceful, naked lads.

Our writers and artists will make love between men fashionable and de rigueur, and we will succeed because we are adept at setting styles. We will eliminate heterosexual liaisons through usage of the devices of wit and ridicule, devices which we are skilled in employing.

We will unmask the powerful homosexuals who masquerade as heterosexuals. You will be shocked and frightened when you find that your presidents and their sons, your industrialists, your senators, your mayors, your generals, your athletes, your film stars, your television personalities, your civic leaders, your priests are not the safe, familiar, bourgeois, heterosexual figures you assumed them to be. We are everywhere; we have infiltrated your ranks. Be careful when you speak of homosexuals because we are always among you; we may be sitting across the desk from you; we may be sleeping in the same bed with you.

There will be no compromises. We are not middle-class weaklings. Highly intelligent, we are the natural aristocrats of the human race, and steely-minded aristocrats never settle for less. Those who oppose us will be exiled.

We shall raise vast private armies, as Mishima did, to defeat you. We shall conquer the world because warriors inspired by and banded together by homosexual love and honor are invincible as were the ancient Greek soldiers.

The family unit-spawning ground of lies, betrayals, mediocrity, hypocrisy and violence–will be abolished. The family unit, which only dampens imagination and curbs free will, must be eliminated. Perfect boys will be conceived and grown in the genetic laboratory. They will be bonded together in communal setting, under the control and instruction of homosexual savants.

All churches who condemn us will be closed. Our only gods are handsome young men. We adhere to a cult of beauty, moral and esthetic. All that is ugly and vulgar and banal will be annihilated. Since we are alienated from middle-class heterosexual conventions, we are free to live our lives according to the dictates of the pure imagination. For us too much is not enough.

The exquisite society to emerge will be governed by an elite comprised of gay poets. One of the major requirements for a position of power in the new society of homoeroticism will be indulgence in the Greek passion. Any man contaminated with heterosexual lust will be automatically barred from a position of influence. All males who insist on remaining stupidly heterosexual will be tried in homosexual courts of justice and will become invisible men.

We shall rewrite history, history filled and debased with your heterosexual lies and distortions. We shall portray the homosexuality of the great leaders and thinkers who have shaped the world. We will demonstrate that homosexuality and intelligence and imagination are inextricably linked, and that homosexuality is a requirement for true nobility, true beauty in a man.

We shall be victorious because we are fueled with the ferocious bitterness of the oppressed who have been forced to play seemingly bit parts in your dumb, heterosexual shows throughout the ages. We too are capable of firing guns and manning the barricades of the ultimate revolution.

Tremble, hetero swine, when we appear before you without our masks.

Pride Anthem 1980 - The Story of "I'm Coming Out" sung by Diana Ross

Pride Anthem 1980 – The Story of “I’m Coming Out” sung by Diana Ross

In 1979, Diana Ross commissioned Chic founders Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards to create material for a new album after taking her daughters to see the band in concert.  Rodgers got the idea for “I’m Coming Out” after noticing three different drag queens dressed as Diana Ross at a Gay/Drag/Trans New York club called the GG Barnum Room that had a trapeze with flyers soaring over the dance floor. 

Thus, ever since the song has bee interpreted as a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, identity and the encouragement of self-disclosure.

Today in Gay - June 1st. 2018: Happy PRIDE Month!

June 1, 2019: Happy PRIDE Month!

PRIDE Month is celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. As many know the Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States and this year is the 50th. Anniversary of the historic event.

In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the “day” soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBT Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

All month long we will be spotlighting individuals, groups, events,movies, contests and of course our usual dose of gay history to celebrate being out, proud, and FABULASH!

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH EVERYONE!

Exxon/Mobile Bans on LGBT Rainbow Pride Flags

California City Bans Flying of Rainbow Pride Flag At City Hall After Bigoted Residents Descend On Council Meeting

Dublin, California a suburban city east of the gay mecca of San Francisco has decided it will not fly the Rainbow Pride flag over city hall after it was proposed by a gay city council member and then contested by a a group of bigoted residents.

At a city council meeting the bigots spoke loudly, asking if the city then has to fly the Confederate flag or the Black Lives Matter flag, or a communist flag.

Dublin resident Josh Rodriguez wearing a MAGA cap stated that the rainbow flag “ was not all inclusive” because the LGBT acronym doesn’t include the letter “S” for Straight. And another bigot spewed even worse anti-gay propaganda saying: “At the end of the day, I believe there is another letter that to the end that is being propagated actually at our state capital right now and that is “P” for pedophile.”

Councilmember Shawn Kumagai who proposed the flying of the rainbow flag to celebrate Pride Month said : “As a gay man and growing up through the marriage equality fight and serving in the military under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, I know we have some work to do in this area.”

Dublin has a population of about 46,036 residents and 28,798 registered voters with 12,071 (41.9%) registered as Democrats, 5,044 (17.5%) registered as Republicans, and 10,505 (36.5%) decline to state voters.[

Ironically since 1992, Dublin has been a Democratic stronghold in presidential elections. 

READ: President Obama’s Remarkable Final LGBT Pride Month Proclamation for June 2016

READ: President Obama's Final LGBT Pride Month Proclamation for June 2016

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2016

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Since our founding, America has advanced on an unending path toward becoming a more perfect Union.  This journey, led by forward-thinking individuals who have set their sights on reaching for a brighter tomorrow, has never been easy or smooth.  The fight for dignity and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people is reflected in the tireless dedication of advocates and allies who strive to forge a more inclusive society.  They have spurred sweeping progress by changing hearts and minds and by demanding equal treatment — under our laws, from our courts, and in our politics.  This month, we recognize all they have done to bring us to this point, and we recommit to bending the arc of our Nation toward justice.

Last year’s landmark Supreme Court decision guaranteeing marriage equality in all 50 States was a historic victory for LGBT Americans, ensuring dignity for same-sex couples and greater equality across State lines.  For every partnership that was not previously recognized under the law and for every American who was denied their basic civil rights, this monumental ruling instilled newfound hope, affirming the belief that we are all more free when we are treated as equals.

LGBT individuals deserve to know their country stands beside them.  That is why my Administration is striving to better understand the needs of LGBT adults and to provide affordable, welcoming, and supportive housing to aging LGBT Americans.  It is also why we oppose subjecting minors to the harmful practice of conversion therapy, and why we are continuing to promote equality and foster safe and supportive learning environments for all students.  We remain committed to addressing health disparities in the LGBT community — gay and bisexual men and transgender women of color are at a particularly high risk for HIV, and we have worked to strengthen our National HIV/AIDS Strategy to reduce new infections, increase access to care, and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV.

Despite the extraordinary progress of the past few years, LGBT Americans still face discrimination simply for being who they are.  I signed an Executive Order in 2014 that prohibits discrimination against Federal employees and contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  I urge the Congress to enact legislation that builds upon the progress we have made, because no one should live in fear of losing their job simply because of who they are or who they love.  And our commitment to combatting discrimination against the LGBT community does not stop at our borders:  Advancing the fair treatment of all people has long been a cornerstone of American diplomacy, and we have made defending and promoting the human rights of LGBT individuals a priority in our engagement across the globe.  In line with America’s commitment to the notion that all people should be treated fairly and with respect, champions of this cause at home and abroad are upholding the simple truth that LGBT rights are human rights.

There remains much work to do to extend the promise of our country to every American, but because of the acts of courage of the millions who came out and spoke out to demand justice and of those who quietly toiled and pushed for progress, our Nation has made great strides in recognizing what these brave individuals long knew to be true in their hearts — that love is love and that no person should be judged by anything but the content of their character.  During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, as Americans wave their flags of pride high and march boldly forward in parades and demonstrations, let us celebrate how far we have come and reaffirm our steadfast belief in the equal dignity of all Americans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2016 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.  I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

 

BARACK OBAMA

White House Releases 2013 Presidential​ Proclamation​ for LGBT Pride Month – Meh.

For Immediate Release  

May 31, 2013

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2013

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

 

A PROCLAMATION

For more than two centuries, our Nation has struggled to transform the ideals of liberty and equality from founding promise into lasting reality.  Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans and their allies have been hard at work on the next great chapter of that history — from the patrons of The Stonewall Inn who sparked a movement to service members who can finally be honest about who they love to brave young people who come out and speak out every day.

This year, we celebrate LGBT Pride Month at a moment of great hope and progress, recognizing that more needs to be done. 

Support for LGBT equality is growing, led by a generation which understands that, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  In the past year, for the first time, voters in multiple States affirmed marriage equality for same-sex couples.  State and local governments have taken important steps to provide much-needed protections for transgender Americans.

My Administration is a proud partner in the journey toward LGBT equality.  We extended hate crimes protections to include attacks based on sexual orientation or gender identity and repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  We lifted the HIV entry ban and ensured hospital visitation rights for LGBT patients.  Together, we have investigated and addressed pervasive bullying faced by LGBT students, prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Federal housing, and extended benefits for same-sex domestic partners.  Earlier this year, I signed a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the implementation of any VAWA-funded program.  And because LGBT rights are human rights, my Administration is implementing the first-ever Federal strategy to advance equality for LGBT people around the world.

We have witnessed real and lasting change, but our work is not complete.  I continue to support a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, as well as the Respect for Marriage Act.  My Administration continues to implement the Affordable Care Act, which beginning in 2014, prohibits insurers from denying coverage to consumers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which addresses the disparate impact of the HIV epidemic among certain LGBT sub-communities.  We have a long way to go, but if we continue on this path together, I am confident that one day soon, from coast to coast, all of our young people will look to the future with the same sense of promise and possibility.  I am confident because I have seen the talent, passion, and commitment of LGBT advocates and their allies, and I know that when voices are joined in common purpose, they cannot be stopped.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2013 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.  I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

Barack Obama

Nice proclamation and some serious self-serving plugs.  But really Barack , what have you done lately?

Have you signed the Executive Order banning LGBT discrimination in companies that hold Federal contracts?  No you refuse to.

Did you insist that LGBT immigrants were protected and added to the Immigration Reform Act? No you were the first to sacrifice LGBT immigrants and bi-national couples instead of fighting the GOP.

Are you actively working Congress and pushing Senators to sign on and pass ENDA quickly?  The Magic 8 Ball says NO.  And so does the news from Washington.

And by the way.  Not only are LGBT rights human right.  They are also civil rights.  You seemed to accidentally leave that out.

So thanks for the pretty words…….  AGAIN.

But now that you’ve done all the easy things in your first term, you’ve still YET to stand up and do anything substantial.

SIGN THE EXECUTIVE ODER TO END LGBT FEDERAL CONTRACTOR DISCRIMINATION NOW!