Stonewall 2011: The Night New York Legalized Gay Marriage

On June 24, 2011, thousands gathered outside New York City’s Stonewall Inn, anxiously awaiting the New York State Senate’s vote on legalizing gay marriage.

When news came that the bill had passed on a narrow 33-29 vote, the crowd erupted with joy.

Stonewall is widely considered the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement. Forty-two years ago this weekend, a brutal raid by the New York’s Police Department set off a spontaneous and prolonged rebellion that lead to the establishment of annual “Gay Pride” weekends around the world, and the slow and steady march toward equal protection under the law.

As the New York Times reported (and Nick Gillespie noted on Hit & Run), the bill’s approval ultimately swung on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s appeal to several libertarian-leaning investors.

“Gay marriage is really just a fight about whether the government should be allowed to regulate personal liberty,” noted New York Magazine’s Chadwick Matlin. “On that, libertarians side with liberals.”

Produced by Anthony L. Fisher.

Running time: 2:17

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