1969, a spark occurred at a New York night club, a spark one late summer evening which spread across the world. That club is the Stonewall Inn.
June 28th, 1969 was the day the LGBT+ community of New York took a stand. When police raided the popular LGBT bar full of hate and oppression the community pushed back, creating the Stonewall Riots, a key moment in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community history and the founding point of the modern LGBT+ rights movement.
50 years later, that riot and the actions of those inspiringly brave women and men are still influencing modern society across the globe.
In 2019, Angola, Botswana have decriminalised same-sex relationships, while Bhutan, Austria, Ecuador and Taiwan have removed anti-LGBT Marriage legislation.
LGBT+ activists in Hong Kong have recently won a High Court battle on laws discriminating on grounds of sexual orientation with the finding: “the absence of a majority consensus as a reason for rejecting a minority’s claim is inimical in principle to fundamental rights.”
Botswana’s statement about their “unnatural offences” laws, mentioned that any such laws “oppress a minority” amount to “discrimination against all.”
50 years on, it’s not all good news however, Kenya’s LGBT+ Activists lost their high court battle to remove legislation from the British Colonial era on the criminalisation of same-sex relationships. The USA has reversed it’s non-discrimination codes, Brunei adopting a cruel and abusive law, imposing the death penalty on sex between men. Homophobia related comments and hate crimes in the UK frequently are now being unchecked and unpunished.
The LGBT+ community, it’s integrity, it’s dignity and its fight for rights will not stop 50 years on from those landmark events. Governments must fully respect the ‘dignity’, the ‘equal and inalienable rights of all humans to a family’. -They have a duty to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – regardless of their gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
50 years ago a community grew tired of running away from the authorities. Bisexual people, lesbians, transgendered people, gay men, young people, homeless because of their sexuality people, youths who had left home due to intolerance and homophobia stood up against oppression at the Stonewall Inn. While we have won many battles, the future is not certain nor safe for all. Let the 50 year stand continue, not just in pride month, but until equality, safety, and dignity for all is achieved.