Gay Rights

In the early hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn—an unlicensed club popular among a racially diverse mix of gay, lesbian, and transgender New Yorkers. The state routinely denied liquor licenses to bars that catered to gay patrons, which led to gatherings in unlicensed establishments. The Stonewall raid sparked three days of protests on the streets of Greenwich Village. Advocates for gay rights had been active in the city for decades, but the Stonewall uprising ushered in a new mass movement. ... Read More

Meet the Activists

  • Dick Leitsch
    Dick Leitsch
  • Craig Rodwell
    Craig Rodwell
  • Martha Shelley
    Martha Shelley
  • Sylvia Rivera
    Sylvia Rivera
  • Martin Robinson
    Martin Robinson

Key Events

Global Events
Local Events

1950 Mattachine Society founded; New York chapter opens five years later

1958 New York chapter of the California-based Daughters of Bilitis, the first U.S. lesbian rights organization, is founded

1966 Mattachine Society organizes “sip-in” demonstration to protest against discrimination by the New York State Liquor Authority

1969 Stonewall Uprising lasts three days

1969 Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance are founded

1970 Lavender Menace founded to protest anti-gay sentiment in the mainstream feminist movement; evolves into Radicalesbians

1970 First Gay Pride Parade in New York City

1972 Mayor John V. Lindsay issues executive order prohibiting anti-gay discrimination in public sector hiring

1973 American Psychiatric Association stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder

1982 Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) founded in New York

1987 AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) founded in New York

2011 Same-sex marriage becomes legal in New York

Key Events

1950
Mattachine Society founded; New York chapter opens five years later
1958 New York chapter of the California-based Daughters of Bilitis, the first U.S. lesbian rights organization, is founded
1966 Mattachine Society organizes “sip-in” demonstration to protest against discrimination by the New York State Liquor Authority
1969
Stonewall Uprising lasts three days
1969 Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance are founded
1970 First Gay Pride Parade in New York City
1970 Lavender Menace founded to protest anti-gay sentiment in the mainstream feminist movement; evolves into Radicalesbians
1972 Mayor John V. Lindsay issues executive order prohibiting anti-gay discrimination in public sector hiring
1973
American Psychiatric Association stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder
1982 Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) founded in New York
1987 AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) founded in New York
2011 Same-sex marriage becomes legal in New York