50th Anniversary of Stonewall Riots and Pride Month is Here


Jessamyn Allen, Senior Contributor

The Stonewall Riots are on the verge of hitting their 50th anniversary (June 28, 1969).This will be followed with much joy and contentment because the nation has come so far in acknowledging LGBTQ+ rights. But what is the history behind the Stonewall Riots? We start out at the Stonewall Inn, which was suspectedly run by the mafia. So this place being on police officers’ watchlists wasn’t all that surprising, but the raids in the early morning hours of the Stonewall Inn weren’t because of mafia ties. There was significant anti-gay sentiment in the legal system going on in the 1950s to 1960s. It is still unknown if someone tipped off the Stonewall Inn as a gay bar, or if the officers found out by their own merit, but nonetheless they discovered its underground identity. Over the course  of the riots it’s unknown how many people taken to jail, but at the beginning of the police raid, 13 people were arrested. Out of all my sources I could not find a single account of how many total arrests or deaths there were after the first arrests were made. There were a lot of people hospitalized, and there is no exact number for that either. Prior to the riots, there was one death per day, which can be seen as a reason on why the uproar took place. The death of Judy Garland, a singer who was loved by the LGBTQ+ community, had her funeral on the day of the upheaval. As of today, there are numerous memorials for the Stonewall Riots, including a plaque on the building where Stonewall Inn once stood, and a statue nearby. The memorials remain there to signify the cause behind the riots, and a fight for rights that didn’t come until the 21st century.


Same-sex marriage has been legally performed and recognized in the United States since 2014. Some separate states recognized it but others did not until it was ruled “law of the land” by the Supreme Court. Countries that have also legalized gay marriage are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay. There are also other countries that recognize same-sex marriage, but it’s not fully legal. The most recent country to recognize gay marriage is Taiwan, which can be seen as somewhat controversial since China still believes that Taiwan is a part of their country. The Stonewall Riots were, and continue to be, an important part in not only the LGBT community, but the whole world.