2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The Gay Liberation Front chose June to be pride month in commemoration of Stonewall. During this time of year, due to the commemoration, people often say that Stonewall was the first action of modern gay liberation. However, this isn’t entirely true. It kickstarted much of the modern American gay rights movement. But even in the US action groups like The Daughters of Bilitis and The Mattachine Society fought for gay rights a decade before Stonewall. Worldwide though, the modern gay liberation movement originated in Berlin with the action of Magnus Hirschfeld and his organization, the Scientific Humanitarian Committee.
It’s June! Not only is it the start of summer, but it’s also LGBT Pride Month! June was chosen as the month for Pride in commemoration of the Stonewall riots that took place in 1969. For gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and trans people, Pride is a time to celebrate how far the LGBT community has come in their pursuit of rights. It’s also a time to perform activism for the rights that gay people still don’t have worldwide. The Pride season is ushered in by rainbow decked city streets and flashy neon Pride Parades. Largely, it’s a fun time for all. Every year, however, the religious right and traditionalists come out of the woodwork to call pride events nothing more than degenerative uninclusive pedophilic sex festivals.
2018 marked the 150th anniversary of the Fourteenth Amendment. In part, it says that, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
That sentence appears to be pretty clear — not a single individual should be given preferential treatment in the eyes of the law.
Yet, someone recently told me that they believe being gay is a choice, and therefore, sexual orientation should not receive protection under the law. In short, I was asked, “Why should gay people be afforded the same benefits in marriage as heterosexual couples?”