Trace the Roots of Gay Marriage and Other Civil Rights Victories in Our Neighborhoods

Images of Christopher Street Liberation March, 1972 (black and white photo); Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry (color); artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (black and white photo); the Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse, 1971 (color); the African Grove Theatre circa 1820s (color print of actor); and Congressmember Bella Abzug (poster)
Clockwise from top left: Christopher Street Liberation March, 1972; Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry; artist Jean-Michel Basquiat; the Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse, 1971; the African Grove Theatre circa 1820s; and Congressmember Bella Abzug

Yesterday’s news of the historic vote in the U.S. Senate to recognize same-sex marriages has deep roots in our neighborhoods. In fact, many of the key players in the long fight for marriage equality lived and worked in our neighborhoods, successfully waging one of the great civil rights battles of our time. And they all appear on the updated and expanded Village Preservation Civil Rights and Social Justice Map.

There you’ll not only find scores of sites connected to the fight for marriage equality and LGBTQ+ rights, but also enormously important sites in the history of the African American civil rights movement, the Women’s Suffrage and Women’s Rights movements, labor rights, immigrant rights, and the battles against anti-Semitism and anti-Asian discrimination. This history extends from the 17th century, with the establishment of the first Free Black settlement in North America, to the very recent past, and includes figures from Frederick Douglass to Jean-Michel Basquiat, Larry Kramer to John Brown, Lorraine Hansberry to Eleanor Roosevelt, and Amelia Earhart to Bella Abzug.

Learn more about how our neighborhoods transformed civil rights and social justice history, in ways still being felt today!

November 30, 2022