Stonewall Riots of 1969

Date: June 28th, 1969

Overview: The Stonewall in was typical for a gay bar in New York City in that it was run by the mafia and regularly raided by the police, it was different, however, in that when it was raided on June 28th, 1969, its customers fought back. It is unclear how the riot began but once it did it quickly spread, attracting support from dozens of blocks arround. When the police attempted to break up the riot with the TPF (Tactical Patrol Force), they were simply taunted by the unrelenting numbers of gay rights supporters. The outcome of the riot required many people to be hospitalized, mostly civilians, but also prompted the formation of one of the first gay rights groups, the Gay Liberation Front, which was quickly immitated in countries arround the world.

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Gay Rights Movement
Overview: Gay Rights didn't take off in America until the Stonewall riots when the issue became greatly more public, at that point gay sex was still illegal not to mention marriage and public opinion did not look very kindly on homosexuality. In 1993 Hawaii became the first state to repeal bans on gay marriage, a choice which is still not looked well upon by much of America, and it wasnt untill 2003 that the supreme court ruled against anti-sodomy laws which still stood in 14 states. Other battles for gay rights were won in 1998 when President Clinton signed exectutive order 13087 which banned the government from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and in 2004 when Massachusetts became the first state to fully legalize gay marriage.
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Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Overview: In 1993 president Clinton brought into effect the U.S. Army's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy which meant that millitary superiors were forbiden from investigating the sexual orientation of people serving in the armed forces but those people were frobidden from engaging in homosexual relationships or disclosing their gay status which was grounds for dismissal from the millitary. In March 2010 the pentagon released new policies which altered the execution of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, making it more difficult for people to be banned from the millitary through this policy.

Key Players: President Bill Clinton


Sources:

http://www.socialismtoday.org/40/stonewall40.html
http://civilliberty.about.com/od/gendersexuality/tp/History-Gay-Rights-Movement.htm
http://gaylife.about.com/od/dontaskdonttell/i/dontaskdonttell.htm
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/26/nation/la-na-military-gays26-2010mar26