During the month of June, America celebrates Gay Pride Month, four weeks that commemorate the brutal police raids against LGBT patrons at Stonewall Inn, the famous New York City gay bar.
“The Stonewall riots were the beginning of our community fighting for an end to harassment and persecution by standing up for our human rights,” said Eric Sawyer, co-founder of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), one of the most famous HIV/AIDS and LGBT activist groups in American history.
The rioting that took place at Stonewall sparked several nights of protests and, ultimately, America’s gay rights movement. “Stonewall empowered the LGBT community to fight for its dignity, and AIDS then forced the LGBT movement out of the closets and into the streets, creating an LGBT army fighting for their rights and equality – a war that is not yet won,” Sawyer said.
Despite Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage nationwide, the LGBT community continues to battle for equal treatment under the law, including facing the new obstacle of so-called “religious freedom” bills, which critics say could allow business owners the right to refuse their services to gay people because of their religious beliefs. “The community continues to battle for an end to being treated differently simply based on whom we love, for our gender identity, and for trying to live our lives the way we were born, the way God intended us to be,” Sawyer said.
Msnbc invites you to learn more about Stonewall with this quiz.
Stonewall Inn remains an extremely important part of LGBT history.