A protest in San Francisco, California, against the Catholic Church's policies
The Stonewall uprisings 40 years ago brought the gay rights movement to the forefront of American culture. Writer and historian David Carter assesses what progress has been made since that pivotal moment and how far the quest for equal rights has to go.
The end of this month marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, an anniversary that has been duly marked by a number of events, including a White House reception on Monday.
But because the history of the gay civil rights movement has generally not been taken seriously by educators nor by the media, people are often uncertain about what exactly Stonewall was: why did the Stonewall Riots occur and what do they mean?
There had been a homosexual rights movement in Germany since the 19th century, a movement that regained some momentum after the setback caused by World War I. The movement spread in Europe, including Russia, during the 20th century and suffered further setbacks under Nazi and Communist dictatorships.
After World War II homosexual rights movements made progress in Western democracies. The homosexual rights movement began in an organized way in the United States after World War II during the Cold War when the Mattachine Society was founded...