In the midst of massive protests, a night of celebration took place outside the iconic Stonewall Inn in the West Village.
Hundreds gathered outside the bar, considered the birthplace of the LGBTQ rights movement, to mark the Supreme Court ruling protecting LGBTQ rights in the workplace. The ruling prohibits employers from firing workers because of their sexual preference.
The Trump administration had filed a brief saying Title VII, the law the ruling references, does not include LGBTQ rights. In fact, Title VII specifically references sex when it speaks to civil rights.
One participant called the decision, “a moment of joy in the midst of all the fighting we still have to do.”
“We’re here, we’re queer, and we are valued workers whether we’re essential or not,” another said.
The Stonewall Inn was the site of the Stonewall Riots, or the Stonewall Uprising, a series of demonstrations, sometimes violent, that happened after police raided this and other gay bars around Christopher Street in 1969, forcing patrons out. The clashes lasted for six days and served as a major turning point in the modern gay rights movement.
Protesters are ending their night where they began, at Washington Square Park, a regular rallying point for these 19 days of marches which come in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, who died while in police custody.
The group made their way through the city, carrying signs that said “Black Lives Matter” and “Defund the police.” And there was a new element: Pride flags, celebrating today’s landmark Supreme Court decision that protects LGBTQ rights in the workplace.
They made their way across West 4th Street, then made several stops around Manhattan, including the Holland Tunnel, the Manhattan Correctional Center, and the Stonewall Inn.
They held a massive rally outside the Tweed Courthouse, right around the corner from Gracie Mansion, before heading back to Washington Square Park.
Protesters also staged a massive rally on the steps of the Tweed Courthouse in lower Manhattan, just around the corner from City Hall.
One of the organizers told NY1’s Shannan Ferry groups got together to form these huge protests because they just got tired of seeing people of color killed by police.
“Things started happening back to back to back,” he said. “People got really agitated. We realized we could create change in the community if we take to the streets.”
Another said he felt he had to come out to march, to make his voice heard.
“These injustices have been going on for decades, for centuries,” he said. “I don’t want the next generation to go through the same struggles.”
While that protest is wrapping up, a celebration is beginning outside the iconic Stonewall Inn in the West Village.
Hundreds are gathering there right now to celebrate the important decision by the Supreme Court on Monday, which prevents the firing of employees because of their sexual orientation. That celebration is expected to go well into the night.