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Gay Power!: The Stonewall Riots and the Gay Rights Movement, 1969
     

Gay Power!: The Stonewall Riots and the Gay Rights Movement, 1969

by Betsy Kuhn
 

"Come out for freedom! Come out now! Power to the people! Gay power to gay people! Come out of the closet before the door is nailed shut!"—Come Out! magazine, November 14, 1969. On the night of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. They intended to shut the bar down—part of the mayor's order to clean up illegal

Overview

"Come out for freedom! Come out now! Power to the people! Gay power to gay people! Come out of the closet before the door is nailed shut!"—Come Out! magazine, November 14, 1969. On the night of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. They intended to shut the bar down—part of the mayor's order to clean up illegal businesses. The cops didn't expect much trouble, especially not from the gay men and women dancing and socializing at the bar. At that time, most gay people were afraid to expose their homosexuality. They could be arrested for having sex with one another. They could lose their jobs just for being gay. By 1969 a few gay people had started to speak out. They had filed lawsuits and staged peaceful protest marches to call attention to discrimination against homosexuals. But when the police raided the Stonewall, the bar's customers decided to take a stronger stand. They hurled rocks and bricks at the police. They chanted "Gay Power." This uprising gave birth to a new liberation movement. Gay men and women organized, demonstrated for their rights, and celebrated their sexual identities. They opened gay bookstores, held gay dances, and lobbied politicians to change laws that discriminated against them. Most important, they no longer lived their lives in secret. In this riveting story, we'll explore the decades of discrimination and abuse that gay people endured in earlier eras. We'll also learn how gay people continue to fight for equal rights and recognition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Local author Betsy Kuhn points to a glaring omission in history books and asks: "Why is so little known about the struggle of gay men and lesbians for equal rights?" In this important and carefully researched work of nonfiction, Kuhn examines the attitude of the American mainstream toward homosexuality from the colonial era through the 1940s and '50s. Gay people were frequently shunned, fired from jobs and even hurt or killed for their sexual orientation. But in the summer of 1969, gay men and women protested a police raid on a New York City gay bar. The Stonewall Riots, as these protests came to be known, marked the beginning of change in the United States. Activists for gay rights helped change legislation, job-hiring practices and the American Psychiatric Association's diagnosis of homosexuality as a mental illness. Landmark changes continue to this day, from same-sex marriage to the nationwide school mandate to protect gay youngsters from bullying. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761357681
Publisher:
Twenty-First Century Books (CT)
Publication date:
01/28/2011
Series:
Civil Rights Struggles around the World Series
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
1040L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Betsy Kuhn lives in Maryland with her husband and twin sons. She has written many nonfiction books for young readers.

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