39 years ago today, the American gay rights movement began in earnest. Ari Kelman links to a fascinating Charlie Rose discussion from the riots’ twenty-fifth anniversary:

The middle debate puts in stark relief the progress made in the past fourteen years, not just in legal reform but in unifying the movement. While the arguments Tony Kushner and Donna Minkowitz make here – particularly those about intersectionality and the need to work for gay dignity in concert with other social justice movements – are not gone, the organized gay movement is more focused on the political goals Andy Sullivan and Bruce Bawer mention. There’s broad agreement that the focus has to be on fighting for full legal equality, through marriage equality, repealing DADT, passing ENDA, etc., rather than the cultural efforts Minkowitz and Kushner emphasize. And it’s worked; 12 states have at least civil unions today, 12 more than when this discussion took place, and the legal precedents are in place for complete national marriage equality. Sullivan and Bawer have won the argument, in practice at least, and millions of couples are better off for it.

4 thoughts on “Stonewall

  1. Maybe I’m just pessimistic, but it seems to me that things are moving in the opposite direction, with more anti-marriage measures being pushed. Florida has an amendment on the ballot, and just as I predicted, they’ve become even more hysterical about it since California legalized same sex marriage. To top things off, our good friend Larry Craig is trying to revive the Federal Marriage Amendment.

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