I was delighted to be interviewed for this documentary to point out the discrimination that existed in Greenwich Village against gays and lesbians back in 1969 that led to the Stonewall uprising.
After I was elected in 1977, taking office in January 1978, the fourth executive order that I issued during my first 30 days as mayor prohibited discrimination by the city against city employees based on their sexual orientation. Additional orders were later issued applying to contractors working for the city which prohibited them from engaging in similar discrimination against their employees. Not until eight years later, in 1986, was I able to get the City Council to impose a similar ban on the city's private sector employers.
Today only 21 states and the District of Columbia have similar laws which means that private and public sector employers in those states without anti-discrimination laws covering sexual orientation can discriminate against gays and lesbians, and landlords can refuse to rent to them. But good news is on the horizon. Congressman Barney Frank has introduced legislation to enact a federal anti-discrimination law protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals. His bill currently has 202 cosponsors: 218 is an absolute majority. A similar bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Jeff Merkley which has 45 cosponsors. Everyone interested in justice should write to their congressman and senators urging them to join in the federal effort to achieve equality for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered citizens of our country.
For my video review of the film, see below:
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