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Stonewall Riot Anniversary
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June 28, 2013
Commemorates the anniversary of the June 28, 1969, Stonewall riot in New York City, the incident that initiated the modern gay rights movement in the United States.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, law enforcement officials kept track of suspected homosexuals and places that catered to them. Police regularly raided gay bars, seizing alcohol, shutting down establishments and arresting patrons. It wasn’t uncommon for gay men and lesbians to be exposed in newspapers, fired from their jobs, jailed or sent to mental institutions.
On that June night, police entered the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village, at 1:20 a.m. and launched a raid. While the police waited for patrol wagons to cart away the arrested suspects and the seized alcohol, the bar’s patrons began to resist. They refused to follow police orders. Men refused to show their IDs, and men dressed as women refused to accompany female officers to the bathroom to have their gender confirmed. Thirteen people were arrested, and four police officers were injured at Stonewall. The riots continued for six nights. The resistance wasn’t planned, nor were the riots that followed. The Stonewall riots sparked the gay liberation movement.—Source: PBS "Religion & Ethics" Multifaith Calendar
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