This 1969 newspaper cover story about the Stonewall riots shows just how far we’ve come


This past Sunday, while Pride parades celebrated joy, love, and the Supreme Court’s recent favorable gay marriage decision, the 46th anniversary of the Stonewall raid and accompanying riot came and went. In 1969, the NYPD descended upon a gay club in New York’s Greenwich Village at three in the morning and arrested patrons under the pretense that the place did not have a liquor license; the action kickstarted the gay rights movement after a crowd assembled to protest the unjust arrests.

The incidents at the Stonewall became national news quickly, an ascension that was probably helped by salacious coverage in the New York tabloids. The Daily News ran a play-by-play of the riot that is so cartoonishly offensive and excessive that it’s almost impressive. It makes for a stunning contrast: In 1969, a major American newspaper published slurs in a headline; today, the mass media has been far more respectful…

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