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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 5, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 27
Sen. Tammy Baldwin introduces resolution commemorating Stonewall uprising
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Sen. Tammy Baldwin introduces resolution commemorating Stonewall uprising

WASHINGTON, DC (June 28, 2019) - Today, a resolution introduced by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall uprising passed the US Senate by unanimous consent. Stonewall was led by LGBTQ people of color, particularly trans people of color, and is credited with launching the modern movement for LGBTQ equality.

We offer this comment from David Stacy, HRC Director of Government Affairs:

'Fifty years after a crowd of primarily LGBTQ people of color fought back against harassment, intimidation, and violence, launching the modern movement for LGBTQ equality, it is gratifying to see the US Senate recognize the importance of that moment in our nation's history. We are thankful to Sen. Baldwin and her colleagues for their honoring this milestone for equality. There is still so much work left to be done in ensuring that all people, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, are treated with dignity and respect in our country, which is why it's imperative that Sen. McConnell finally bring the Equality Act to a vote on the floor of the Senate and let the voices of the American people be heard.'

'When we look back at the Stonewall uprising and activism that grew out of that moment, even the most basic progress seemed like it would take a revolution to achieve. So we had one,' Baldwin said in a statement shared with NBC News. 'And that's how we've made such enormous progress over the last 50 years. Today, we should remain inspired by the courage of the story of Stonewall.'

The now-iconic Stonewall uprising, which started in the early hours of June 28, 1969, began as a routine police raid on a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village. But unlike the many previous raids gay and gender-nonconforming people were subjected to, the patrons decided to fight back this time. The multiday rebellion is widely credited with igniting the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

Baldwin's resolution states that 'the neighborhood of Greenwich Village, and establishments like the Stonewall Inn, served as a sanctuary for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (referred to in this preamble as 'LGBTQ') community from persecution by police and society at large.'

When the Stonewall Inn opened in 1967, the resolution continues, 'many state and local governments, including New York City, criminalized how LGBTQ individuals express their identities and relationships.'

The resolution says 'no individual in the United States should have to fear being the target of violence because of who they are or who they love.'

The resolution also acknowledges LGBTQ protests that occurred prior to Stonewall, including those at the Los Angeles restaurant Cooper Do-nuts in 1959, San Francisco's Compton's Cafeteria in 1966, and the Black Cat Tavern in Los Angeles in 1967.

'The Stonewall uprising empowered thousands of LGBTQ individuals to emerge from the shadows and come out publicly as they stood up for their community the night of June 28, 1969, and beyond, putting their lives and safety at risk,' the resolution states, noting that hate crimes, violence, and discrimination continue to disproportionately affect the LGBTQ community, particularly transgender people, 'not less than 100' of whom were murdered since 2015.

Courtesy of the HRC

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