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Gay Landmark Locations: Stonewall, San Francisco's City Hall Then And Now

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By Kristen Droesch for

Every political and social movement has its landmarks. The Civil Rights movement had the Lincoln Memorial, and the LGBT rights movement has countless locations across the country worthy of remembering. Here are just a few.

The Stonewall Inn
It began its life as a stable in the late 1800s, eventually becoming a restaurant and then the famed Stonewall Inn in 1967. After multiple police raids in which the LGBT clientele was persecuted, riots erupted at the Inn on June 28th, 1969. The Stonewall Riots took place over several nights between police and the LGBT community of New York City, as citizens sought the opportunity to be live openly as homosexual men and women. One year later, the first gay pride marches took place all across the country, commemorating the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

The Inn would close the same year as the riots. It wasn't until 1990 that the bar scene returned, when a bar called Stonewall opened in one half of the building. The site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2000, and in 2007, it underwent massive renovations, eventually reopening as The Stonewall Inn.

stonewall inn

San Francisco City Hall
Not much has changed about the architecture of the San Francisco City Hall, since it reopened in 1915 following the 1906 earthquake that ruined the original building. The most important changes took place inside. The city hall was the work place of the first openly gay politician in America, Harvey Milk, and also the scene of his assassination by former supervisor Dan White. City hall and the nearby civic center are included in the San Francisco Pride festival every year, and when the Defense of Marriage Act was overturned in June, 2013, the city celebrated by illuminating the city hall with a rainbow of lights.

san fran city hall

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
What once began as the Food and Maritime Trades High School became a beacon of LGBT rights and services in 1983, when the LGBT Community Center bought the former school. The Center sees 6,000 visitors a week, and provides countless services, including (but not even close to limited to) counseling, after school programs, bereavement, discussion groups, as well as performances and speeches.

In response to the emerging AIDS crisis of the 1980s, the social activist group ACT-UP arose from the Center in 1987, and continues to this day to fight against AIDS.

lgbt center

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This article originally appeared on "Then And Now: LGBT Landmark Locations"

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