Marriage Equality Celebratory Gathering at the Historic Stonewall Inn (Where Gay Pride Began)
This morning, The Supreme Court ruled the federal definition of the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional, clearing the way for marriage equality in 12 states and Washington, D.C. In addition, California's Proposition 8 appeal was dismissed, making this a landmark day for gay rights. The Supreme Court rulings will extend federal recognition to same-sex marriages in the states where they are legal and will add California — the most populous state — to the 12 others in that category. To celebrate the victory, gay rights advocates and their allies gathered today at New York City’s most famous gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, “where Pride began”. The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place on June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn. The raid and subsequent demonstrations sparked the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights in the United States. The Stonewall Inn is located at 53 Christopher Street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhhattan. Across the street from the bar is Christopher Park, where the sculptures "Gay Liberation" by George Segal are installed. The sculptures were adorned today with pins, ribbon, American flag hats and photos of two women from New York City, Edith Windsor and Thea Clara Spyer, who married in 2007 in Canada. Ms. Spyer died in 2009, and Ms. Windsor inherited her property. The federal law did not allow the Internal Revenue Service to treat Ms. Windsor as a surviving spouse, and she faced a tax bill of about $360,000, which a spouse in an opposite-sex marriage would not have had to pay. Ms. Windsor sued, and last year the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, struck down the federal law.