On June 28, 1969, the New York City Police Department raided the Stonewall Inn bar that was frequented by the LGBTQ community and began arresting these individuals based on laws that forbid anyone from being lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, or questioning (LBGTQ). Being arrested back then often resulted in your name and/or picture being blasted in the newspaper or on television, which often resulted in immediate job and housing loss as well as public ridicule. It also often resulted in criminal penalties including monetary fines or even jail time, including up to life in prison. In California, homosexuals were sometimes committed to psychiatric institutions for life.
The Stonewall Riots were considered the breaking point in American history when the LGBTQ community said, “Enough!” They fought back, began to organize, and became visible through Pride parades that started the year after on June 28, 1970. The community also mobilized and advocated to rescind anti-LGBTQ laws nationwide.
In honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969 and the LGBTQ civil rights movement that followed, Cathedral City will fly a Rainbow Flag at City Hall on June 28, 2019.