June 30, 2009

And The Beat Goes On...

After the elation of all the "Stonewall 40" celebrations, there was also some sobering news this weekend in three incidents of anti-gay violence and unwarranted police actions:
  • Right here in NYC there was a brutal gay bashing the day before the parade on the upper east side.
  • A gay bar in Fort Worth was raided by the police and a number of patrons beaten and arrested (pictured here).
  • A fundraiser for a California democrat being held at the home of a lesbian couple was interrupted by a local sheriff who pepper sprayed some of the guests.
These incidents serve as a reminder that although the movement to secure equal rights for LGBT Americans has come a long way in four decades, there is still a long way to go. The bottom line is that the Federal rights of LGBT citizens have not changed one bit since the raid on Stonewall.

There has been a lot pressure recently on the Obama Administration and the President himself to step up to the plate on the issue of equal rights for LGBT Americans. (
Hendrik Hertzberg lays the situation out quite eloquently in the current issue of The New Yorker.) The President hosted an historic reception in the East Room of the White House yesterday, inviting LGBT activists and community members to celebrate Gay Pride. And though it's a wonderful gesture, the events listed above make it clear that real action at the Federal level needs to happen. Now.