June 28th Events

June 28th

06-28-1969 Stonewall Rebellion In the early hours of this day in 1969, the Stonewall riots broke out in New York City, marking the beginning of the gay rights movement. The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village was a popular hangout for gays, lesbians, and drag queens in the late 1960s. On June 28, police raided the bar on the premise that they were selling alcohol without a liquor license. It was the third raid on a Greenwich Village gay bar in a short period of time, and this time when the cops cleared the bar, the patrons didn’t disperse but milled around outside. When three drag queens and a lesbian were forced into the paddy wagon, the crowd began hurtling insults and bottles at the police. The officers called for reinforcements and barricaded themselves inside the bar. The riots lasted five days; they galvanized and unified smaller gay rights movements and led
In David Carter’s book Stonewall (2004), he quotes witness Michael Fader: “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.” It should also be noted that the day before the riots, Judy Garland’s funeral was held in New York City. Time magazine wrote decades later: “The uprising was inspired by a potent cocktail of pent-up rage (raids of gay bars were brutal and routine), overwrought emotions (hours earlier thousands had wept at the funeral of Judy Garland) and drugs.”

06-28-2013 Proposition 8 Gay marriage hold lifted by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Michael Daly Hawkins, and Randy Smith decided to lift the stay. Its order read simply, “The stay in the above matter is dissolved effective immediately.” The four plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case were married within hours. Attorney General Kamala Harris presided at the San Francisco City Hall wedding of Kris Perry and Sandy Stier. Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo married in Los Angeles with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presiding. California becomes the 13th state to legalize same-sex marriages and is the largest in population.

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