Talk:Stonewall riots/Archive 7

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Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8

Good stuff

Well done article, folks. Ingolfson (talk) 09:46, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

It was mostly Moni's doing, but I'll say "thanks" anyway. - Dank (push to talk) 15:08, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Legacy: AIDS

The AIDS epidemic isn't discussed as a legacy of Stonewall. But see "The AIDS epidemic: Social dimensions", chapter "High-risk groups in the United States", starting at p. 21, which starts at Stonewall and goes on to bathhouse infection rates. Even And the Band Played On and Sexual Ecology cover this. --John Nagle (talk) 19:27, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

If you think it should be in this article then put it in yourself with a reliable source. It might get reverted by a regular of this article, but at least you can't be accused of just being lazy then. LonelyMarble (talk) 23:45, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
OK, maybe next week. --John Nagle (talk) 02:26, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
While I think an entire article should be constructed about the American cultural response to AIDS, with particular emphasis on the gay community, I do not think that this article should be the starting point. I understand that there are sources that assert that some gay men employed sex as a political expression with greater freedom, but even the source you give does not say a direct result of the Stonewall riots was a sharp increase in sexual activity. Promiscuity in some places was an indirect result of sexual freedom. A direct result of the riots was that gay people could gather in public and private places and call themselves gay and not get arrested. I have considered for a long time that an article titled AIDS crisis in the United States should discuss how the disease was allowed to flourish both by the gay community and by those outside of it. I also wrote the article for And the Band Played On and have tinkered some with Larry Kramer's article, so I'm familiar with these issues. --Moni3 (talk) 13:43, 29 June 2009 (UTC)


The theme song for The Howdy Doody Show actually reuses the melody of the earlier "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay", as the Howdy Doody entry in Wikipedia mentions. Dick Kimball (talk) 10:05, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

I believe it, but I need a citation before I can make the connection in the article. The Howdy Doody Show reference is mentioned in sources several times. The search terms "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay" are bringing up every word with "de" and "ay" in the music database, which doesn't seem to concentrate much on music hall songs of the late 19th century. I'm not ignoring this. I just need to find a good cite for it before it can be added. --Moni3 (talk) 12:42, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Layout of the Stonewall Inn image

The one I created and uploaded in PNG format
And the one that was transformed into an SVG

I think the PNG is clearer to read and more aesthetically pleasing. Thoughts? --Moni3 (talk) 18:02, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Except for the east window label, I agree. Rivertorch (talk) 01:29, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I think they are both fine for the article purpose. However, I personally like the PNG version better because of the increased contrast due to elimination of the greyscale tint on the floorplan. More contrast is often better for visually impaired readers. Is there a WP preference for PNG vs SVG line drawings? So I agree, Moni. — Becksguy (talk) 23:55, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Comparison with Warsaw Pact

I don't understand why the introduction says "American gays and lesbians in the 1950s and 1960s faced a legal system more anti-homosexual than those of some Warsaw Pact countries." Was the Eastern block known for its particularly severe anti-homosexuality laws? I'm not an expert, but from what I know, the Eastern Block was sometimes even quicker in repealing anti-homosexuality laws. For example, the GDR made a beginning with decriminalising homosexuality as early as in the 1950s, much earlier than West Germany, and legalised it altogether in 1968, one year before its capitalist counterpart. Please take in mind that communist regimes were ideologically atheist, which meant that, unlike their Western Block counterparts, they had no religious foundations that made them unconfortable with homosexuality. So what's the point of this (no doubt correct) statement? Steinbach (talk) 09:25, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Just in case you missed it, there was some previous discussion about this in the #Edits today section above. Siawase (talk) 13:39, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
This comparison to Warsaw Pact countries borders on racism - simply assuming that the people of the Eastern bloc all hold, or held, a certain opinion. --T.M.M. Dowd (talk) 15:15, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
No, it is a comparison to the legal systems of the U.S. and Soviet-influenced countries during the Cold War, and it is a comparison made by a historian, cited, and further reinforced by two other sources. --Moni3 (talk) 15:19, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't why the comparison is relevant though. It seems to play up to the fairly US-centric idea that the US was/is a bastion of freedom, that the Eastern Bloc was the opposite of this, and that this is therefore an interesting anomaly. Yohan euan o4 (talk) 18:42, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, that's precisely why I believe the author stated it. Although I'm confused a bit by your statement that the tensions between the US and communist countries is a US-centric idea. It certainly was, but for many in the US it was a reality. Between 1945 and the fall of the Soviet Union, the national culture in the US emphasized the virtue of democracy and the evil of communism. Classes called "Americanism vs. Communism" were taught in schools to further this propaganda. Anti-communist rhetoric was a part of American lexicon and a collective understanding that the US stood for freedom and communist countries did not. Between you and me and the talk page, there are a startling array of anti-communist propaganda instructional films on YouTube that demonstrate this: [1] (note the cartoon), [2] [3] [4] and one just for kicks that warns boys about homosexuals: [5]. Fun. --Moni3 (talk) 23:29, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Well I thought that, subtly but sincerely, that is the view coming across in the comparison, viz. an American slant. But I concede that it might be relevant in showing, quite dispassionately, the difference between propaganda and reality in the Cold War context. And yes, all very funny films (now, I suppose). Yohan euan o4 (talk) 00:58, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Revisit: I was finally able to check out David Carter's book from the library, and wanted to revisit this for the benefit of anyone watching the article who encounters further removal of this statement. From Carter, p. 14 - 15:

While McCarthyism encouraged the toughening of laws toward homosexuals because they were believed to be security risks, America's Puritan tradition was producing hysteria over child molestation. Homosexuals were believed to be the main culprits. As the right-wing demonization of homosexuals proceeded apace, the negative qualities attributed to them overlapped until it became a common assumption that any homosexual man or woman was so beyond the pale that he or she must also partake of the most forbidden ideological fruit of all: communism. Homosexuals thus became handy scapegoats for both of these postwar obsessions. Antihomosexual laws were correspondingly made more severe.

States passed new laws that either stiffened the penalties for homosexual sex or created new categories to criminalize. For example, California governor Earl Warren thought the sex offender problem was so serious that in 1949 he convened a special session of the state legislature to deal with the issue. That session passed laws that increased the penalties for sodomy and invented a new crime: loitering in a public toilet. The name of anyone convicted of spending too much time in a toilet was registered with the state. Twenty-nine states enacted new sexual psychopath laws and/or revised existing ones, and homosexuals were commonly the laws' primary targets. In almost all states, professional licenses could be revoked or denied on the basis of homosexuality, so that professionals could lose their livelihoods.
By 1961 the laws in America were harsher on homosexuals than those in Cuba, Russia, or East Germany, countries the United States criticized for the despotic ways. <here is where the chunk of text is quoted in Note 1> In Pennsylvania and California sex offenders could be locked in a mental institution for life, and in seven states they could be castrated. At California's Atascadero State Hospital, known soon after its opening as "Dachau for Queers," men convicted of consensual sodomy were, as authorized by 1941 law, given electrical and pharmacological shock therapy, castrated, and lobotomized. Gay Law author William N. Esridge Jr. summed up the legal status of homosexuals at the beginning of the 1960s: "The homosexual ... was smothered by law."

Nor were transvestites spared. In New York State an old antilabor statute, passed in the nineteenth century to suppress tenant farmers who donned disguises to demonstrate against their landlords, was dusted off to use against men and women who dressed in the clothes of the opposite sex. In practice, New York police used the guideline that any person wearing fewer than three articles of clothing appropriate to their sex was, according to subsection 4 of section 240.35 of the New York Penal Code, "masked ... by unusual or unnatural attire or facial alteration" and thus subject to arrest.

--Moni3 (talk) 22:14, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Rainbow Lounge Raids in Fort Worth, Texas on the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall, June 28th, 2009

On the 40th anniversary of Stonewall, just after midnight, Sunday morning, June 28th, 2009, a police raid on the newly opened Rainbow Lounge in Fort Worth, Texas took place. The police were accused of excessive force in the raid, with one young man suffering head and brain injuries while in police custody. The timing of the raid to co-incide with the 40th anniversary of Stonewall is tacky at best.

The fact that events like this still happen in smaller more conservative cities like Fort Worth 40 years after they stopped in the major cities like New York needs to be somehow documented. Otherwise, people reading this article will simply thing these are historical events that aren't still happending today.

Is there a way to incorporate this information in your Legacy section?

If not, is there a better place to put that information?

If so, can someone please volunteer to write that section?

Thanks! Markg65 (talk) 17:15, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

I read about this, and considered adding something but I don't know the reason for the raid. What was the official police statement, or what was the reason in the warrant? --Moni3 (talk) 17:48, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Police in Texas generally don't bother to get warrants as they know judges here will allow it anyway without a warrant, especially when gays are involved. In this case there was no warrant. The reason for the raid was that the bar has a license to serve alcohol. Under Texas law, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and/or local police can go in to inspect the license, the alcohol in the bar (for tax stickers), and check ID's of patrons to make sure they are at least 21 years old.
Fort Worth is especially known for its "bar checks" as they are known. Through the years, going to the gay bars in Fort Worth, I've been in the bars numerous times when bar checks have occurred. Typically the police post someone at the front and back doors to the bar to not allow anyone in or out, they then have the lights turned on, the music stops, and they annonce on a megaphone that they are conducting a bar check. Everyone has to go to one side of the bar and they check everyone's ID and move you to the other side when you pass the ID check. I've seen under age people get tickets before and been told to leave the bar, but never anyone arrested. It takes about 10 minutes tops.
In this case, the police brought a paddy wagon, came in and started arrested patrons on charges of "public intoxication" which sounds strange for a bar. They later claimed that the patrons were also making sexual advances and sexual contact with them. They never turned on the lights nor stopped the music. It was very strange and unlike the routine bar checks people are used to here in Fort Worth.
One person was seriously injured, still in the ICU with head injuries and bleeding in the brain. The Fort Worth Police and TABC are pointing fingers at each other blaming each other.
Queer Liberaction a local group has already had several protests with more planned.
Markg65 (talk) 19:26, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok. What's the best source of information for this? I have access to most any newspaper, but I am ignorant of alcohol restrictions and such in Texas and the way the police operate with warrants in Fort Worth. In order to avoid recentism, I anticipate a sentence or two about the raid in Fort Worth. It may be too soon to see if there is more that can be added perhaps to its own article or an article on LGBT rights in Texas? No article there either... --Moni3 (talk) 19:37, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay in responding, but I wanted to ask around as to what the best source of information would be. The local gay newspaper, which comes out every Friday, just came out this afternoon and has good coverage of the situation. Here is a link to the current issue in PDF format: Also, would you like me to shrink down this discussion to just a simple paragraph pointing to the Dallas Voice PDF, as it gives much more information than my earlier comments? Markg65 (talk) 02:01, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I read a couple stories in your link from the Dallas Voice about it, but it raises more questions than it answers. This is recognized in the articles, that state forthcoming investigations hope to answer why the raid occurred, and if it was because the bar lacked a liquor license, why 15 people, mostly customers, had to be arrested. The article itself is begging for information from anyone who was there. Although it appears the Fort Worth Police are conciliatory (they're going to hire an LGBT community liaison and offer sensitivity training) nothing is stated outright acknowledging that they broke the law or abused the rights of citizens. I think there's worth in adding this, but not enough is known about it to draw comparisons between the Stonewall riots raid and the Rainbow Lounge raid. I'll check back on it and see if I can do some more searching. --Moni3 (talk) 14:17, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
A New York Times article came out today with better more up to date coverage. Due to the holiday, the Dallas Voice went to press last Wednesday at noon instead of the usual Thursday at 5pm. There is also a new website dedicated to the event planned, but it doesn't look like they have uploaded content yet. Markg65 (talk) 14:35, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok. I added a couple sentences in the last paragraph about the Rainbow Lounge raid. As more information is discovered and printed, the two sentences may change, but I do not think it would be a good idea to expand them in this article. As time goes by, that entire last paragraph will change. Information relating to the raid at the Rainbow Lounge may be removed in the future. I have a feeling that the Fort Worth Police would have screamed legitimacy if meth was being manufactured at the bar, or some other obvious illegal acts were occurring. Should facts become clear that this was a legitimate police action against illegal activities, the comparison will be dropped altogether. Let me know if you come across any other info. Thanks. --Moni3 (talk) 15:00, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Impact / Usefullness of this article

Just wanted to let the authors and contributers of this article know that it has made an impact and this article has been used by the media for education. At an event surrounding the Rainbow Lounge Raids in Fort Worth, several members of the media (newspaper and tv) said they didn't know about Stonewall and used Wikipedia to read up on it! So, I think that is a big compliment to your work and efforts on this article. Markg65 (talk) 16:31, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for mentioning this, Mark. I rarely hear or see any real impact the article makes. --Moni3 (talk) 16:41, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Just wanted to re-iterate to the authors and contributers of this article that due to the Rainbow Lounge Raid in Fort Worth in June 2009, this article has had a big impact and has been cited a lot locally in Fort Worth and Dallas newspapers and blogs. Also, at the protests in Fort Worth, a lot of younger LGBT people had never heard of Stonewall. They were referred to this article for further information in the handouts at the protests. At the Fort Worth City Council meeting, several councilmembers said they didn't know what Stonewall was about and they were referred to the Wikipedia article. So, your efforts have done a lot of good. Thanks again, Mark Markg65 (talk) 18:42, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Thank you again, Mark. I'm glad folks are reading it. --Moni3 (talk) 18:51, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

I am not a wiki savvy user. I do frequent Wikipedia for my own personnal research and for paper research, which technically I'm not allowed to do. Anyway, in my history book, there was a mention of Stonewall and being a gay person myself decided to look it up on Wikipedia. I read this entire article, it was quite useful to me, and I was moved, and glad to learn more about GLBT history and how it is still affecting people today. I'm very glad to know that the police were defeated by "those fairy faggots." Just goes to show you that gays are not just a bunch of wimps. Thank you everyone for taking the time to write this article, and thank you everyone in general for devoting your time to this marvolous website.

-Anonymous 1:35 AM November 7 2009

Thank you for reading it, Anonymous, and taking the time to comment here. --Moni3 (talk) 13:39, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

What would be a good color (and text) for a Stonewall Anniversary plastic bracelet?

Our local Fort Worth Pride is coming up in October. We were thinking about have some of the colored plastic bracelets made up embossed with something like "Stonewall 40th Anniversary 1969 - 2009." What would be a good color for Stonewall that would be most representative of the Gay Liberation movement circa 1969? (Lavender?) Multi-color is cost prohibitive (like $1 versus $.15) Any suggestions on the text? Since you are experts on Stonewall, we would value your input so we can pick the most appropriate color and text. I would also be glad to mail them out for free to the authors and contributers of this article. Thanks, Mark Markg65 (talk) 18:51, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Well, the rainbow-colored one would be my suggestion, but if that costs too much then go with lavender. Sorry I didn't see this til today.
Is there a limit on how many words/letters you can put on the bracelet? What about July 28, 1969 New York City -- July 28, 2009 Fort Worth. Still fighting.
Or something. --Moni3 (talk) 22:01, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Psychological classification

"In 1952, the American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) as a sociopathic personality disturbance." This is incorrect, the proper classification for the so called disorder was not "sociopathic." Please actually read the DSM before posting these claims. (talk) 08:23, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Couple of incidents following Rainbow Lounge - not sure if notable

I'm not sure if these are notable, or should even be included, but there are two fallout incidents. In El Paso, the next day, a gay couple kissed at Chico's Tacos and the police threated to arrest them for being gay (a law which was struck down by the US Supreme Court several years ago). In Dallas, on July 10/11 (night around midnight), the TABC raided another gay bar, even though there was supposed to be a moratorium on raids until the investigation was completed. Markg65 (talk) 23:43, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

In my opinion those would be notable if there were any way to prove the they could have been inspired by the events in this article. I feel the inspiration is possible, and even probable, but I don't know, and couldn't source it. (talk) 08:32, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Not clear enough

Hi, I'm trying to translate this article into Turkish, but in the "Greenwich Village" section of this article I came across a rather vague sentence which I don't entirely understand. In the third paragraph of that section it says : "...and some of those lawyers kicked back their fees to the arresting officer." Could someone please tell me, in plain, layman's English, what the hell that means lol? Thanks in advance, just trying to educate the world about the plight of us homosexuals... (talk) 19:23, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

A kickback is a form of corruption where in this case, the lawyer who has been hired by the client/defendant to represent him in court secretly pays the police officer who arrested the client/defendant to 1. give future arrestees the lawyer's name so the client/defendant will hire him/her, and 2. continue arresting people to improve the lawyer's business. Is that clearer? --Moni3 (talk) 19:32, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes it is, thank you :-). But what you said just now wasn't very obvious from the text, although it's possibly an American term, I don't know. I studied British English, you see, so I'm not familiar with terms such as "kicking back" in that particular context. So when someone says "kicking back" in those kinds of contexts, does that refer to everything that you mentioned? Thanks your help, btw, much appreciated :-). (talk) 19:40, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
"Kickback" is a common term in American English at least that means political corruption, where someone is benefitting financially through routine government operations. Best of luck on the translation! --Moni3 (talk) 19:54, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Hello again! Another point: "main draw" (in the "Stonewall Inn" section) - doesn't that sound rather colloquial? Whatever the case, I'm not 100% sure as to what that means, either. Clarify please :-D. (talk) 22:00, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

A good synonym for "main draw" would be "main attraction", but this generally refers to theatrical or film shows. In this context, "main draw" means the primary reason it attracted so many people. --Moni3 (talk) 12:13, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for taking the time and effort in translating this article into Turkish. In areas of the world where being LGBT can get you a prison sentence or even the death penalty, this is a very important work, and will bring a message of hope, especially to young LGBT Turks who read it. Markg65 (talk) 01:28, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

I didn't notice it when I read the article, but that writer had a point, if kickback is still used as a two word past tense verb it should be removed. I don't think any encyclopedia would use that style of writing, and there is a legal term for that process that should be used. (talk) 08:35, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

I added a Newsweek video interview

It's in the EL section. If the report is unnecessary, feel free to revert. APK that's not my name 16:12, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

NoPetrol's edits

User:NoPetrol restored the changes they'd made earlier, undoing User:Rebecca's revert because of "insufficient explanation". I'm reverting again. Here's my explanation, which I hope is sufficient:

  • "persecuted sexual minorities" is perfectly accurate. "Persecute" means (1) to subject someone to hostility and ill treatment or (2) to harass or annoy (someone) persistently (Oxford English Dict.). Both definitions accurately describe the treatment of sexual minorities in the U.S. in years past. "Sexual minorities" is a good catch-all phrase that is commonly used to include LGBT people of various eras. NoPetrol's edit is problematic for multiple reasons, including
  1. "was set in place" (awkward wording and implies a level of deliberation and organization that may not be accurate)
  2. "curtail the practice of" (changes focus from people to conduct. If we have accurate information about the conduct of most LGBT people back then, it's not germane in this context)
  3. "homosexual and transgender behaviors" (meaningless phrase, and same problem as number 2 above)
  • "being arrested": is more accurate than "prosecution", since arrest didn't always lead to prosecution but was sometimes used just as a means of harassment.
  • "legal troubles" makes more sense than "legal ramifications". The latter refers to a consequence of an action or event, and it's unclear which action or events this is referring to. I think this is a case of a two-bit word being better than a two-dollar word.
  • "repression"—(1) inhibit the natural development or self-expression of someone or (2) subdue someone or something by force—is perfectly accurate here, whereas "campaign against" is problematic because it suggests one organized course of action whereas the repression of sexual minorities came in many forms from many sources and was often haphazard.

All in all, I think the original wording was more careful and made more sense. Given the amount of scrutiny this article received as a Featured Article, I think that major changes—not just reverts—demand sufficient explanation. Rivertorch (talk) 04:44, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Well I guess your arguments are compelling, except that both of OED's definitions can be applied to almost any law enforcement activity dealing with people breaking the law. Which edition of the OED do you have? Mine is a 2009 edition, and its first definition of the word "persecute" is very slightly different than the one you read: "To seek out and subject (a person, group, organization, etc.) to hostility or ill-treatment, esp. on grounds of religious faith, political belief, race, etc.; to torment; to oppress." Did the police "seek out" sexual minorities for the purpose of tormenting them any more than they did people who broke other laws of that time while occupying Mafia-run establishments? Also, police action against homosexuality was organized by laws against homosexuality, which were in turn supported by the opinions of medical professionals of the time. --NoPetrol (talk) 06:04, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
First of all, my apologies for citing the wrong dictionary. It was the Oxford American Dictionary. (I don't have quick access to the full OED and own only an abridged version, which I just use to double-check British spellings.) I did take a quick peek in both AHD and M-W (unabridged) and nothing especially different jumped out at me.
To answer your question, yes, that is precisely what the police did (and still do on occasion, it would seem). If you read the article carefully—especially the Background section—that's pretty clear. I fail to see how either the laws or the medical standards of the time can in any way be seen to change the fact that an entire class of people were routinely preyed upon, insulted, beaten up, thrown in jail, and publicly humiliated—i.e., persecuted—simply for minding their own business and trying to live their lives. Were Jews and other minorities in Nazi Germany somehow not persecuted because their tormentors were acting with the full blessing of the state and the German medical establishment? You seem to be implying that the cops were just doing their jobs. So they were. As it happens, part of their jobs was to persecute gay people. That they performed at least part of that "duty" under the aegis of the law doesn't change the fact. Rivertorch (talk) 07:14, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Rivertorch and the reversion of NoPetrol's edits. As the article's primary author/constructor, the Background section shows what life was like for homosexuals who dared to admit publicly, even by going to a bar that was noted as a gay bar, what they were looking for. It was enough in some cities that arrest meant your name was printed in the paper, you lost your job, and your family got the shock of a lifetime. The decades of harassment and public humiliation led to the riots and should be detailed. --Moni3 (talk) 12:00, 21 July 2009 (UTC)