The Stonewall Incident and Beyond
During the 1960s many people began to question traditional attitudes in American society in all areas, including the sexual. In this atmosphere, more and more homosexual people began to challenge the social problems they faced. The symbolic birth of homosexual activism occurred in 1969 in New York City when police raided a gay bar, the Stonewall Inn. Police raids on gay bars were common, but this time the bar’s patrons fought back. A riot ensued and did not end until the following day. The Stonewall incident served as a catalyst for the formation of gay rights groups, and activities such as Gay Pride Week and parades are held
yearly to commemorate the Stonewall riot. In 1999 the Stonewall Inn was added to the National Register of Historic Places (Ring, 2012).
Since the early 1970s various groups and individuals have worked to promote civil rights for lesbians, gays, and bisexual and transgendered people while others have worked against these goals. Homosexual civil rights efforts fall into three general areas: decriminalization of private sexual behavior, antidiscrimination, and positive rights (Stein, 1999).