Tags: Gay Marriage | gay pride | stonewall riots

4 Facts About Stonewall Inn

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Jun 2015 12:19 PM

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ) Pride month. As many celebrate nationwide, they turn to remember the history of their movement.

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The Stonewall Inn is one such monument. As the famed location of the 1969 Stonewall riots, the Inn has held significance in the gay movement since.

Here are 4 facts about the Stonewall Inn:

1. New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is considering recognizing it as a city landmark.


This would make it the first landmark recognized for its significance in gay rights history, according to CBS New York. It will be decided on June 23.

2. The bar is already included in the Greenwich Village Historic Distric
t and the National Register of Historic Places but recognition from the city adds to its legitimacy and preservation,Reuters reported.

3. The original bar went out of business only months after the Stonewall Riots.

The Greenwich Village bar closed in late 1969, leaving space for later businesses to occupy, including a bagel shop, a shoe store, and a Chinese restaurant, according to CBS New York. Before, the building was stables for nearly a century until the Stonewall opened for the first time in the 1930s, according to Reuters.

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4. New York’s first Gay Pride parade began at the Stonewall.
The Christopher Street (the street where Stonewall sits) Liberation Day Committee organized the first Gay Pride parade in New York exactly one year after the riots, NYC Pride said.

5. The Stonewall Inn was owned by the mafia during the 1969 riots.

PBS’s American Experience reported that during this time period, the mafia owned a majority of gay bars and clubs in the city. This was because the State Liquor Authority often wouldn’t issue liquor licenses to gay bars, deeming them “disorderly houses.”

Organized crime families took this as a business opportunity, bribing the police to turn a blind eye, and overcharging the gay patrons. Sometimes, they would even blackmail wealthy, closeted customers, PBS reported.

In fact, the mafia exploited this to the fullest extent. As police kept their distance, the management would ignore safety and health standard guidelines, serving drinks in used glasses and only providing a front door as an exit.

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