overview

On November 11, 1972, the Gay Activists Alliance led a protest over never-ending police mistreatment of the LGBT community at Police Headquarters downtown.

This was said to be the first such protest at that location.

Header Photo
Credit: Christopher D. Brazee/NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, 2020.

History

Nearly three and a half years after Stonewall, the LGBT community was still suffering from mistreatment by the New York City Police Department. This included police harassment of homosexuals, their refusal to come to the aid of the gay community when it was actually needed, and their use of obsolete sodomy and solicitation laws. On November 11, 1972, the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) led a protest for over an hour by about 100 people at Police Headquarters downtown. This was said to be the first such protest at that location. The crowd also included members of the Mattachine Society New YorkGay Alliance of Brooklyn, Gay Activists Alliance New Jersey, Village Independent Democrats, Park West Democrats, and New York State Americans for Democratic Action.

NEW YORK’S 800,000 HOMOSEXUAL WOMEN AND MEN WILL NO LONGER TOLERATE GOVERNMENTAL DISREGARD FOR THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS AND PERSONAL DIGNITY AND SAFETY!!!!!

Gay Activists Alliance, protest flyer

Ronald Gold, GAA spokesman, criticized Mayor John V. Lindsay for his failure to follow through on his promises of support for the rights of the LGBT community. One of the speakers was city councilman Eldon R. Clingan, who had initially sponsored Intro 475 (Clingan-Burden Bill) in the City Council in January 1971 to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, but it had failed to pass. Arthur Bell, GAA member and reporter for the Village Voice, also spoke.

Read about other GAA actions, listed in chronological order, in our curated theme.

Building Information

  • Architect or Builder: Hoppin, Koen and Huntington
  • Year Built: 1905-08

Sources

  1. Edward Hudson, “Protest Staged by Homosexuals,” The New York Times, November 12, 1972, 48.

  2. Gay Activists Alliance, “Gay People Protest Police Perversion of Justice” flyer, November 11, 1972, in Peter Fisher Collection, LGBT Community Center National History Archive.

  3. Gay Activists Alliance, Protest at NYC Police Headquarters press release, November 8, 1972.

  4. “N.Y. Activists Protest Police Harassment,” GAY, December 11, 1972, 20, 23.

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Curated Themes

20 Sites

Gay Activists Alliance

Other Sites in the Neighborhood

99 Wooster Street
Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse
Organization & Community Spaces
127B Prince Street
Leslie-Lohman Gallery (now Leslie-Lohman Project Space)
Cultural & Educational Institutions
Wall Street & Broadway / 11 Wall Street
ACT UP Demonstrations on Wall Street
Public Spaces