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PHOTOS: Outside Stonewall Bar At the Birth of Marriage Equality

I joined the Sheridan Square throngs late last night, just after the New York State Senate approved the same-sex marriage bill in Albany. Over 1,000 people came down to the Village to celebrate in front of the Stonewall Inn, where the modern gay-rights movement was born. Revelers hugged and kissed complete strangers on the street, lovers embraced for pictures, and people weaved in and out of the crowd with tears of joy streaming down their faces. I walked past the Duplex bar and heard local favorite Shanna Sharp singing an Adele cover and looked up to see an enormous rainbow flag raised above the Stonewall.

I thought back to the brave men and women who stood up and fought back in the summer of 1969, of those who marched in the streets year after year, and everyone who had taken a personal risk to speak out against oppression and up for equality. This is a momentous occasion, we have seized the day, and the sweet victory of equality is finally ours. Happy Pride, New York!

 

Photography by Jeffrey James Keyes

By:           Jeffrey James Keyes
On:           Jun 25, 2011
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 28 Comments
    • Phoenix
      Phoenix

      Yes!

      Jun 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      Thank you for the photos, Queerty! Wish I still lived in the Empire State, or had at least stayed there long enough to witness this first hand! This s HISTORY boys and girls, and it is also coming full circle! How fitting that Full Marriage Equality has been achieved in the very place where the modern Gay Rights Movement began.

      And P.S. the comment box is running into the orajel ad to my right. JSYK.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • robert in NYC
      robert in NYC

      And the religious bigots have already said they’re going to fight the law. Good luck with that, not going to happen. Go, New York!

      Jun 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @robert in NYC: You mean NOM? What are they going to do? Then again, look what happened with Prop 8 in California. So, keep your ears peeled. Maggie is pissed.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ray
      Ray

      Just because you are in a gay group it really doesn’t mean you need to take your shirt off and flash your pubes or lack there of. I mean really people, this is about marriage equality so what makes you think publicly flashing your coochie to the world is a good idea?

      Jun 25, 2011 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephanie Tanner
      Stephanie Tanner

      Please take some time today to thank Republican Senators James Alesi alesi@senate.state.ny.us , Sen. Roy McDonald mcdonald@senate.state.ny.us , Sen. Mark Gristani grisanti@nysenate.gov and Sen. Steve Saland saland@nysenate.gov
      And don’t forget Gov Cuomo, (518) 474-8390

      Jun 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Stephanie Tanner: Thank You for the information, Stephanie! Going to write them now.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Stephanie Tanner: Here is what I wrote to the Senators:

      Dear Senators,
      I know what you did last night was not easy. I heard the most amazing speech from Senator Grisanti, who, despite his Catholic upbringing, his struggles with the word marriage, and his opposition to a similar bill just six months ago, support my right to marry and be an equal citizen. You all were very brave to risk your supporters in the next election, to do what is just and right, and for that I thank you. I thank you for thinking of people, of progress, of equality, of love, of diversity, compassion, and understanding, instead of turning a blind eye to the fact that millions of Americans are treated as second class citizens, legally.

      I lived in New York for three years, though I am now back in my native South Carolina, which I hope to leave due to its anti- LGBT stance. New York is now at the top of my places to relocate to. Thank you for securing one more place where I can live in peace, without fear, and marry the woman I love and enjoy the same rights and protections that my heterosexual counterparts do. And do not think, for a second, that you hurt your party by doing what you did. You earned the support and respect for many bleeding heart liberals, including this one, for standing up for what is right, despite the possible consequences. Thank You again, and long live Equality.

      Sincerely,
      Shannon D. Barber

      Can’t get through to the governor. Will keep trying.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J
      J

      As much as I find today to be an historic occasion which should be celebrated, I kinda object to Stonewall being referred to as the birth of the gay right movement when several Europeans countries had demonstrators who were just as brave and dedicated as the hero’s from the american movement fighting for equality as early as the 30’s and 40’s. Just seems very america-centric and typically self involved.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott
      Scott

      I have an issue with the headline “at the birth of marriage equality”. WTF? I live in MA. WE HAD IT FIRST!! You could even argue that Hawaii was the birthplace of the marriage equality movement in the 1990’s even though they wussed out. NY isn’t even second, but 6th. In NY, New Paltz was the birth of the gay marriage movement as the first same sex weddings were performed there in 2004 even though they weren’t legally recognized.

      Stonewall was the birthplace of the gay rights/pride movement when we learned to stop being pushovers. As Rachel says, facts matter.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      @Scott: Well, the movement technically began before MA finally passed it. If I remember correctly there was efforts as far back as the the 1970s to obtain marriage licenses in ny state as the movement started to push for rights.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      I looked at the first 17 photos and saw 2 black people there. Where are the rest of the black people? Don’t they believe in gay rights? The black community seems like it’s not very gay-friendly.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 6:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BiL
      BiL

      Congratulations to all the folks in New York! Now California needs to come on board as well. We almost did had the Mormon Church not illegally funneled money to sway the CA election.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 7:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kuy
      kuy

      @jason: lol

      Jun 25, 2011 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      I would so love to be the flyguy on the wall at the home of Sen. Ruben Diaz. He must be feeling the bitter effects of defeat.

      No luck yet here on finding a post-vote quote from him.

      Is he staying quiet or am I just not using the gooogles correctly?

      Jun 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lisa Simpson
      Lisa Simpson

      @Jason, you know there are gay black people so…does Albany have a huge black population? If not, then that is why there are no African-Americans there. I’m tired of the reactionary anti-black racism on this board. If we are so disgusted by hypocritical black homophobia, then let us not emulate them by being racist. Two wrongs do not make a right.

      Secondly, remember prop. 8 with the gay marriage repeal in California. Religious people, like the nonthinking zombies they are, will not give us any freedom because their silly bronze-age book of MYTHs for whatever reason does not approve. They have their sights set on literally destroying us. It’s not just gay marriage, its everything-they want us to recede all rights-marriage, military service, adoption, employment, to even exist…

      Jun 25, 2011 at 9:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      @Lisa Simpson: The pictures are of New York City, and there’s plenty of racial diversity there. But maybe there aren’t many black people in the pictures because they don’t feel welcome after they were practically blamed for Prop 8 passing and after they’ve been discriminated against as a double-minority for years. Put yourself in their shoes, and decide whether or not you’d be comfortable there.
      Also, I know achieving marriage equality in New York is big, but I hope that new yorkers don’t forget that most of the rest of the country is still lagging behind. Let’s see a taste of the activism that made this legislation reality in the rest of the country.
      I want to see the lobbying and money in Maryland and Illinois and Maine and New Jersey and Rhode Island, lest those fights be forgotten because we’ve achieved what the wealthy and influential people really wanted.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 11:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adonis-of-Fire
      Adonis-of-Fire

      Yes!! Just in time for pride weekend :)

      Jun 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteveC
      SteveC

      ‘The birth of marriage equality’?????

      Really?

      Get a grip Queerty.

      It’s fantastic news that New York has marriage equality, but be realistic. New York is late to the table on this issue. Iowa had marriage equality before New York. As did 4 other states, DC, 10 other countries and Mexico City.

      Jun 26, 2011 at 7:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • idavid
      idavid

      What a great looking bunch of people. Go NY!

      Jun 26, 2011 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JKB
      JKB

      @jason: Maybe the photographer is a racist who didn’t want to waste film on black people?

      Jun 26, 2011 at 11:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)
      Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

      Who use film anymore?

      Jun 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adman
      Adman

      lol @ #21, the Alpha dykes posted up right on the tap, babysitting. How much do you want to bet they stayed there for as long as they damn well pleased? Maybe the Stonewall isn’t much different from the Gay bars in all the podunk towns after all?

      Jun 26, 2011 at 8:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      @Ray: Some of us want to marry our boyfriend’s coochie.

      SO LIGHTEN UP ALREADY!!!!!!

      Jun 26, 2011 at 10:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @Shannon1981: Your letter was beautifully written & to the point. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use some of those sentences again when another state legislature does the right thing, too.

      @David Ehrenstein: Well played, DE. I hope you get your wish, & can include “coochie” in the vows somewhere!

      Jun 27, 2011 at 12:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      “Birth of marriage equality”?

      That’s a headline in the great tradition of American exceptionalism bullshit and revisionist history propoganda. There were queer activitis way before Stonewall. How about we give them some credit?

      Jun 27, 2011 at 10:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • david
      david

      I’ve been with the same man for over 20 years, Yes we would like to get married, we live in Maine, so until the time comes for us to do so or the Federal Government does it across the broad…We what.

      Jun 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mike128
      mike128

      @ Jason: if you went to the Pride parade in NYC on Sunday, you would have seen that there are LOADS of black LGBT folk and supporters. Unfortunately, the LGBT community is still very segregated – and that is most likely why they weren’t in front of this particular bar with this particular crowd.

      Jun 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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