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Recalling reason for LGBT Pride Month, right here in Middletown: Letter to the Editor

Posted 7/5/17

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month was celebrated in June because of the Stonewall Riot that took place at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village part of Manhattan in New …

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Recalling reason for LGBT Pride Month, right here in Middletown: Letter to the Editor

Posted

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month was celebrated in June because of the Stonewall Riot that took place at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village part of Manhattan in New York City during the early hours of June 28, 1969.

The Stonewall Riot, also referred to as the Stonewall Uprising or the Stonewall Rebellion, had happened because police had raided the Stonewall Inn. Police, armed with a warrant, had found that the employees of the Stonewall Inn were distributing alcohol without a license to do so and arrested them.

Patrons who had become angry and were fed up with constant harassment and discrimination had grouped outside instead of leaving and were becoming more and more angry as everything happened. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when the patrons watched a police officer hit a lesbian woman over the head while trying to force her into the officer’s car and she had shouted to the groups to act. They had begun to throw anything they could find at the police and soon a full-on riot had begun.

The officers, few prisoners, and a writer from the Village Voice had retreated to the bar, which patrons had tried several times to set fire to after breaching the barricade.

Shortly after the riot had begun, fire departments and riot squads had extinguished the flames, gotten everyone out of the building, and dispersed the crowds. Though that riot had ended, many more were to come over the course of five days, each involving thousands of people. Riots had flared up more after the Village Voice reporter published their account of the riots.

The Stonewall Riots had not started the gay rights movement, but it had led to many LGBT organizations being formed, including but not limited to: Gay Liberation Front; Human Rights Campaign; Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD); and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

In 2016, former President Barack Obama had designated where the riots took place — the Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park, and the surrounding streets and sidewalks — a national monument to recognize the contribution to gay and human rights.

During Pride Month, those who are part of the LGBT community can fully embrace their sexualities and genders and can meet others who do as well.

Today in Middletown borough the council is trying to pass an ordinance that states that you can not or should not express judgement toward someone based on their sexuality and gender preferences.

Michael Woodworth of the Human Relations Commission was interviewed about the council and their decision. The borough council ordinance on anti-discrimination was discussed. Woodworth had stated that everyone had seemed very supportive about it, but there was some negativity about the ordinance.

At the next borough council meeting there will be a vote determining whether the proposal to renew this ordinance will be passed or declined.

It has been discussed that pride rallies and meetings are a definite possibility in the future.

Kailis Woodworth

Middletown

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