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30 Days Of Pride: Five Milestones On Our Journey

It's been 48 years since the patrons of Stonewall got off their bar stools, and took to the streets. The Lavender Line from then to now has some interesting milestones.

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Stonewall Revolts!

Stonewall Archives / Via thestonewallinnnyc.com

On a hot summer night in June, 1969, patrons of the now-iconic Stonewall Inn in New York City's Greenwich Village finally had enough of the constant raids by the NYPD and State Liquor Authority. It was illegal to be gay, and for bars to serve alcohol to "known homosexuals", among other things. When the Vice Squad burst into the club, the crowd of drag queens, transgender people, and ordinary gays and lesbians fought back, starting the Stonewall Rebellion. Demonstrations lasted for several days after the raid, giving birth to the modern LGBTQ-rights movement. Today, the Stonewall Inn and the adjacent park on Christopher Street are a national monument.

The First Pride March, 1970

CNN / Via cnn.com

One year after the Stonewall Rebellion, two gay men, Fred Sargeant and Craig Rodwell, joined a handful of others to organize the very first Pride March in New York City. On June 28, 1970, the march stepped off from Sixth Avenue and Waverly Place (just a block away from the Stonewall), with thousands of men jumping "out of the closet and into the street". Since then, the last Sunday in June has always seen an Anniversary March in Manhattan. Today, the route traverses Fifth Avenue from Midtown to the Village, and is attended by almost 2 million spectators.

Milk's Mandate

Milk NYC / Via iamharveymilknyc.com

Forty years ago, Harvey Milk, a San Francisco activist and businessman, was elected to that city's Board of Supervisors, making him the first openly gay man to achieve major public office. A Navy veteran, Milk worked tirelessly to advance the rights of the LGBTQ community through legislative action, successfully defeating California's Proposition 6, which would have forbidden gays and lesbians from working in the state's public schools. In City Hall, Milk enjoyed the support of both Mayor George Moscone and then- Presiding Supervisor (now Senator) Dianne Feinstein. Both Milk and Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, a homophobic fellow supervisor. Milk's legacy continues to this day, and in San Francisco, Moscone's gay son married his partner in 2013.

Obama Ends Don't Ask/Don't Tell

Andy Towle / Via towleroad.com

"As of September 20," President Barack Obama said in 2011, "our service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are, in order to serve our country." He then certified the repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell, the final iteration of centuries-old military laws and regulations forbidding gays and lesbians from wearing their country's uniform. Soldiers, sailors, and aviators in the armed forces faced dishonorable discharges or courts-martial for "homosexuality", up to 100,000 of them between World War II and Obama's repeal order 70 years later. Today, surviving veterans who were put out of the military can appeal and upgrade their discharges to reflect their service appropriately. In 2016, the Defense Department also opened the military to transgender individuals, completing the repeal of DADT.

Equality Ties The Knot

Politicus / Via politicususa.com

Love went to the US Supreme Court in 2015, and love won. Ending the separate-and-unequal attempts to recognize same-sex relationships with such inadequate "remedies" like "civil unions" or domestic partnerships, the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case made same-sex marriage legal nationwide, as a right conferred by the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. The 5-4 decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, also writ large the principle that love...is love.

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