How do you feel about Stonewall?

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    Feb 01, 2011 11:59 AM GMT
    How significant were the Stonewall riots?
    I never heard about this until I read about it on WP.
    On June 28, 1969, police raid the Stonewall Inn, a Mafia-owned gay bar in NYC, to confiscate booze.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots
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    Feb 01, 2011 2:34 PM GMT
    Stonewall is a seminal event for American gay rights. American gays magnify that to having some kind of global significance and think it is (and should be) revered everywhere even though it had nothing to do with the great advances made in gay rights around the world (as though gay rights eveywhere depended upon being "started" by a riot after a raid on New York bar.

    (It is offensive to those who really brought about those rights in Canada and other places) to have the credit for those long and hard-fought legal battles continually handed to an American event (when the U.S. is way behind the curve) .
    To celebrate Stonewall, yet to not even know the names of the first gay couple to legally marry in North America shows misplaced priorities.


    Joe Varnell and Kevin Bourassa, along with Anne and Elaine Vautour, were the first same-sex couples to be married in Toronto at Riverdale's Metropolitan Community Church on Jan. 14, 2001.

    Since then, same-sex marriage has been upheld as a constitutional right across Canada. It has also become legal in several other countries and states.



    Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2011/01/14/same-sex-marriage014.html#ixzz1CiebesZj

    (And no, not every Pride celebration is held around the date of those riots.

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    Feb 01, 2011 3:10 PM GMT
    I'm feeling so old all of a sudden!

    Dude, that's why Pride Day is in June. It commerates Stonewall.
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    Feb 01, 2011 3:11 PM GMT
    Caslon17000 saidI'm feeling so old all of a sudden!


    You are old, Blanche, you are old.
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    Feb 01, 2011 3:13 PM GMT
    UpperCanadian said
    Caslon17000 saidI'm feeling so old all of a sudden!


    You are old, Blanche, you are old.

    Caslon: And that's when I killed him, your Honor.

    His Honor: Justifiable homicide! Case dismissed! ...
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    Feb 01, 2011 3:26 PM GMT
    Caslon17000 saidI'm feeling so old all of a sudden!

    Dude, that's why Pride Day is in June. It commerates Stonewall.


    It's in August here and in Ottawa. It has nothing to do with Stonewall up here.

    (incomprehensible as it seems to you, Caslon, hon, we have our own cultural touchstones. Canadians REALLY don't care about Stonewall.

    "Little Sisters" is of far greater significance to Canadians knowledgable about gay rights.

    LITTLE SISTERS was a bookstore in BC that catered to lesbians. and fought a landmark case -starting in the 1980s - against Canada Customs for targetting "gay" literature as pornography. The case was funded by contributions from gay men and women all over the country - a truly national effort that involved MILLIONS of individual donors. It was finally ruled upon by the Supreme Court in 2000.


    Now if you pull in real close, I'll tell you another secret that will just shock and outrage you:

    We don't celebrate the 4th of July here either.icon_eek.gif
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    Feb 01, 2011 3:33 PM GMT
    Little Sister's Book and Art Emporium, also known as Little Sister's Bookstore, but usually called "Little Sister's," is an independent bookstore in the Davie Village / West End of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, a predominantly gay community. The bookstore opened in 1983.

    The bookstore is famous for being embroiled in a legal battle with the Canada Border Services Agency over the importation of what the agency has labeled "obscene materials". These materials, nearly all dealing with male-male or female-female sexuality, are routinely seized at the border. The same publications, when destined for other booksellers in the country, have often been delivered without delay or question (except see also Glad Day Bookshop).[1]

    Its travails were fictionalized as a subplot of the film Better Than Chocolate. "Little Sister's vs. Big Brother" (2002), is a feature length documentary film about the bookstore.

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    Feb 01, 2011 3:37 PM GMT
    Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium v. Canada (Minister of Justice)

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium v. Canada (Minister of Justice)

    Supreme Court of Canada

    Hearing: March 16, 2000
    Judgment: December 15, 2000

    Full case name: Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium,
    B.C. Civil Liberties Association,

    James Eaton Deva and Guy Allen Bruce Smythe v. The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Minister of National Revenue and the Attorney General of British Columbia

    History: Judgment for the Minister of Justice at the British Columbia Court of Appeal


    Court membership

    Chief Justice: Beverley McLachlin

    Puisne Justices: Claire L'Heureux-Dubé, Charles Gonthier, Frank Iacobucci, John C. Major, Michel Bastarache, Ian Binnie, Louise Arbour, Louis LeBel

    Reasons given

    Majority by: Binnie J. (paras. 1-161)
    Joined by: McLachlin C.J. and L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier, Major, and Bastarache JJ.
    Concurrence/dissent by: Iacobucci J. (paras. 162-283)
    Joined by: Arbour and LeBel J.


    Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium v. Canada (Minister of Justice) [2000] 2 S.C.R. 1120, 2000 SCC 69 is a leading Supreme Court of Canada decision on freedom of expression and equality rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

    . It was held that the Customs Act, which gave broad powers to customs inspectors to exclude "obscene" materials, violated the right to freedom of expression under section 2 but was justifiable under section 1.

    Little Sister's Book and Art Emporium is a bookstore in Vancouver, BC that sells gay and lesbian-related literature. It imports most of its material from the United States, which has often caused trouble at the border when the material would be refused entry as it was classified as obscene. The bookstore challenged the section of the Customs Act which prohibited the importation obscene material as well as a section of the Act that put the onus on the importer to disprove obscenity.

    At trial, the court found that the customs has targeted shipments to the bookstore and attempted to prevent them from getting in. Consequently, the government was found to have violated section 2 of the Charter. However, the violation was justified under section 1.

    In a 6 to 3 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the trial judge and found that though the law violated section 2, it was justified under section 1. The law was thus saved. However, they found that the way the law was implemented by customs officials was discriminatory and should be remedied, an opinion they suggested would avail the bookstore in any further legal battles. They also struck down part of the law that put the onus on an importer to prove material was not obscene.
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    Feb 01, 2011 3:43 PM GMT
    Totally not as flashy as a riot with drag queens. Where the US always does things flashy and with a lot of media potential, in Canada we plod along dull as dishwater Hard to come up with a parade float for a 20-year long Supreme Court case (although the wigs and robes are pretty gay, they are so drab.
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    Feb 01, 2011 3:55 PM GMT
    http://www.uwo.ca/pridelib/bodypolitic/gaylib/70stimeline.htm
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    Feb 01, 2011 4:06 PM GMT
    UpperCanadian said(And no, not every Pride celebration is held around the date of those riots.)

    We're having an area Pride Fest in March, to avoid the Florida Summer heat. There'll be another one in Wilton Manors in the traditional June time frame, haven't heard if they'll try to do it as a nighttime event, as we had one year, again because of the brutal heat & sun.

    Most US Prides are in June, and a great many of those in Canada are, as well. I commend your Canadian pride about Pride, and the greater advances you've made there than here. Still, I would contend that Stonewall got the ball rolling, even if the US has dropped it and fallen behind other parts of the world, including Canada.

    Oddly, I was in Manhattan during those very days, in midtown shopping for things I'd need for my voluntary Army enlistment, scheduled for a week later. I had no idea what was going on until I returned home and read the newspapers and saw the TV news from New York. I didn't realize I was gay myself yet, but I've always hated police brutality (despite a later career in military law enforcement), and was sympathetic to the gays being beaten & arrested.

    As for the Mafia ownership, my partner tells me that most of the gay bars where he went in Boston were also mob-owned. A gay bar wasn't reputable, little better than a brothel, and was frequently raided by the police for "vice" violations, and for purposes of simple harassment. The Mafia was the best at paying-off the police, and at ownership of such forbidden establishments.

    My older partner tells me how the police would make drag queens provide proof that they were going to appear at an actual stage performance, which was legal, and to raise their dresses on the sidewalk to show they were wearing men's underwear and not women's, which was illegal at all times. I understood that formed part of the reason for the police raid on Stonewall, not alcohol.

    Men could not legally dance with other men in gay bars & clubs, so guys would bring women "dates" with them, perhaps the origin of the fag-hag relationship with gay men. When a police raid happened, the gays on the dance floor grabbed their female escorts to avoid arrest, or appeared to be sitting with them at tables and the bar. But if the police caught 2 guys dancing together, they were arrested on public morals charges.

    This is what spurred the Stonewall Riots, over several days, and why it's such an important event, at least in the US. And it pleases me that what the police thought they were suppressing was in fact spread throughout the US because of their Gestapo actions. Unintended consequences can be so unpredictable, especially when it comes to imposing moral judgment on others. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 01, 2011 4:30 PM GMT
    the link MenInLove posted explained for me why Pride Week across Canada is in August., and the timeline shows me clearly why that is (so many of our milestones took place in an August.

    Conspicuous in the list is any reference at all to events in the USA influencing or inspiring our movement. There were raids in Toronto and Montreal which were protested (no rioting) but never anything protest about Stonewall. And why would there be? We were rightly reacting to events at home, that affected us.

    Art, I understand your pride too, but wouldn't you think it a bit self-aggrandising and mildly offensive if I were to insist gay rights in the USA owed it all to one Justice Minister named Trudeau saying "the government has no business in the bedrooms of the nation." You'd rightly think I was looking at he world through an absurdly egocentric perspective.


    Gay Rights in the UK Europe are more relevant to us (because so many of us came from there).

    Really, what went on in the US was only slightly more significant than events in Mexico or Russia.



    The list then coninues for the 80s at this link:

    http://www.uwo.ca/pridelib/bodypolitic/gaylib/80stimeline.htm
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    Feb 01, 2011 4:35 PM GMT
    The drinks are way overpriced. $10 for a Vodka and Redbull?! And I didn't even get laid that night!
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    Feb 01, 2011 5:26 PM GMT
    It is shocking for this Canadian to realise how much OUR gay pride movement was galvanized by opposition to Anita Bryant


    Her attempts to bring her message to Canada provoked many more protests and mobilized far more people than any police raids (domestic OR foreign).







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    Feb 01, 2011 7:40 PM GMT
    Of course it was important. Without Stonewall, homosexuality would still be considered criminal, anti-American, and a disease. I'm thankful that I don't live in a country where a gathering of gay people would be criminal.
  • timmytwister

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    Feb 02, 2011 5:18 AM GMT
    jprichva saidYeah, it's the only month your whole country isn't buried under nine feet of snow.
    Like, duh!


    Ha ha!! So true... but we get great glute and butt workouts walking through it!!
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    Feb 02, 2011 5:25 AM GMT
    If STONEWALL never happened, we All wouldnt be here.
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    Feb 02, 2011 5:41 AM GMT
    GigoloAssassin saidIf STONEWALL never happened, we All wouldnt be here.


    yes we'd all be spamming over at realjockshhhhh.com
  • TrentGrad

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    Feb 02, 2011 5:58 AM GMT
    serioushat saidHow significant were the Stonewall riots?
    I never heard about this until I read about it on WP.
    On June 28, 1969, police raid the Stonewall Inn, a Mafia-owned gay bar in NYC, to confiscate alcohol.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots


    I'm shocked that you never heard about it before that.

    There were two documentaries made on it ("Before Stonewall" and "After Stonewall," as I recall were the names), as well as a movie...which was pretty campy, but at least it didn't whitewash the role the more flamboyant members of the gay community played in beginning the struggle for our rights.

    The Stonewall riots mark the turning point in the gay community's struggle: no longer would we meekly and respectfully disagree with those who oppressed and abused us. No, the abuse and the denial of our rights didn't end following the Stonewall riots...but those riots inspired us to fight for equal rights. And though the riots are part of American history, gay communities around the world took note and began to organize for our own struggles.

    So in other words, it was the first steps of the LGBT's long road towards equality...a road that we still must continue marching along!

    I'm sure you're now familiar with who Harvey Milk is...but the White Night Riots were another pivotal moment LGBT rights history in the USA...so make sure, at the vary least, you read up on that as well.
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    Feb 02, 2011 6:19 AM GMT
    They took it to the street!

    [url][/url]
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    Feb 02, 2011 6:54 AM GMT
    Ah yes, a civil rights movement started after police raids at a bar... how admirable.

    Where is our Rosa Parks/MLK?
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    Feb 02, 2011 6:58 AM GMT
    GigoloAssassin saidIf STONEWALL never happened, we All wouldnt be here.


    You seriously believe WITHOUT Stonewall this country would be much farther behind on gay rights than it already is... that there would not have been another moment which jump-started the gay rights movement... that millenials would not have had as much impact ushering in change?
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    Feb 02, 2011 7:22 AM GMT
    conscienti1984 said
    GigoloAssassin saidIf STONEWALL never happened, we All wouldnt be here.


    You seriously believe WITHOUT Stonewall this country would be much farther behind on gay rights than it already is... that there would not have been another moment which jump-started the gay rights movement... that millenials would not have had as much impact ushering in change?


    I do believe there wouldve been another riot or movement that probably wouldve catapulted our cause for equal rights to the next level. As a matter of fact there were other rallies going on, Mattachine for example.
    But the Stonewall riots caused the most visibility, the news covered it, and the cops and the bystanders were forced to open their eyes and realized this struck a nerve amongst a lot to those who participated.
    It probably wouldve taken a longer while for the Gay rights movement to establish had the riot not taken place.
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    Feb 02, 2011 7:33 AM GMT
    serioushat saidHow significant were the Stonewall riots?


    I want to see Trannys and Drag Queens riot for three days that would be amazing. I mean when they did this during Stone Wall look at what resulted: a flooding of gay pride parades nationwide and now world wide. Because of Stone Wall, it single-handedly set off a tradition that is probably the most deeply rooted event in the advancement of gay civil rights.
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    Feb 02, 2011 7:35 AM GMT
    Wait, what? Gays have rights? Oh shit, when did this happen?