July 06, 2009

Stonewell Still Making a Difference Across the Pond

Plenty has been written about the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, commemorated last weeek, but I thought this article from the BBC was particularly interesting, reminding us that the impact of that event was felt far beyond American borders. Here's an excerpt:

It seems a world away from modern-day Westminster, where openly gay MPs and peers sit around the cabinet and shadow cabinet tables while politicians on all sides of the House profess their tolerance.

On 28 June 1969, following a campaign of police harassment, patrons of Greenwich Village's Stonewall Inn - mostly gay men, lesbians and transvestites - fought back following a raid.

The event prompted the first gay pride marches, inspired a new wave of the equality movement and eventually gave its name to the campaign group Stonewall.

The impact of this movement can be witnessed during the past dozen years when the age of consent was equalised, civil partnerships were permitted and the ban on gays in the military was overturned.

And another legacy has been to allow gay and lesbian politicians into the mainstream - not just demanding equal rights, but as representatives of the wider community.

Click here to read the rest of the BBC article.

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