40 Years Later, Stonewall Uprising Given Role in Tourism Campaign

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The Stonewall rebellion of 1969, in which protesters clashed with the authorities after a violent police raid on a Greenwich Village bar, is a defining moment in the history of the gay rights movement. Now New York City officials hope to capitalize on the 40th anniversary of the uprising, this June, by promoting the city as a gay tourist destination.

Announcing a new marketing campaign under the slogan “Rainbow Pilgrimage,” tourism officials said Tuesday that they would seek to portray a visit to New York “as a ‘rite of passage’ for the gay and lesbian traveler.”

City officials found little remarkable in using an event associated with violence and resistance as the centerpiece of a marketing campaign.

“I don’t think it’s ironic, I think it’s significant,” said Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, who is openly gay, at a news conference announcing the campaign. “You know, 40 years ago a group of people said enough was enough. And they struck back against police officers. They struck back against unfair treatment.”

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