Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Stonewall Uprising

PBS has an excellent documentary on the Stonewall Uprising in 1969. What is often forgotten is that millions of gay people were regularly and horribly oppressed by the state. So-called sodomy laws were selectively enforced against blacks and gay people according to the biases of the police. What happened in 1969 was the police once agains raided a gay bar and started hassling, harassing and attacking patrons. This time patrons fought back, which had never happened before. As the police gathered outside to counterattack they found themselves surrounded by hundreds of other angry people who were also tired of how the State treated the LGBT community.

That night changed modern society because the patrons were joined by hundreds of others, then thousands. The gay liberation movement that was born grew to tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands, then millions. While a gay rights movement later formed, the early gay liberation movement was essentially a libertarian uprising against big government. It was a defense of the individual against the state. Like abolitionism, and the civil rights movement, what started that night pushed forward the cause of liberty and all libertarians ought to applaud it. The following video is about 90 minutes.

. See more American Experience.

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