Have a Gay Old Time!
While people on both sides of the political divide continue to argue about such things as gay marriage, hate crimes legislation, sodomy statutes, and so forth, I think it is important to note that the"Gay Pride" parades during the month of June were born of an essentially libertarian historical moment.
On June 27, 1969, 35 years ago this very day, there began a series of riots in Greenwich Village, New York City, outside the famed Stonewall Inn, a gay bar. Bar patrons had had enough with regular police raids on—and legal harassment of—the establishment, and there followed nearly a week of unrest as gays took the streets, yelling"Gay Power," and fighting back the police. The New York Daily News' headline blared:"Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees are Stinging Mad."
The"gay liberation" movement that resulted had been a long time in the making; despite compromises along the way that have been symptomatic of the pressure-group mentality so ingrained in the body politic, the movement has been nothing less than a call for human liberation, one that tells the state to get the hell out of the way, so that people can pursue their own lives and their own personal conceptions of happiness, unencumbered by the regulations and prohibitions of an intrusive government.
Whatever one's views of any of the contentious issues of the day, that principle is one that should be celebrated, regardless of one's sexual orientation.
Today, in New York City, the streets of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan will be festive, but the parade will culminate, as it should, outside the old Stonewall, at 53 Christopher Street. Here's hoping the participants have a gay old time!
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