"We agree with the 1951 Mattachine Society slogan: "We will integrate as a group on our own terms, or we will not integrate at all."
Spirit of Stonewall
c/o Gayme Magazine
PO Box 15645
Boston, MA 02215 Tel.(617) 695-8015
Fax (617) 266-1125
NAMBLA MARCHES WITH US
AT STONEWALL 25, JUNE 26, 1994
Spirit of Stonewall (SOS) calls on Stonewall 25 and the gay and
lesbian movement to return to its roots. The Christopher Street
uprising was an outcry by those at the bottom and on the margins
of society against puritanical self-righteousness and bigotry.
It was a cry for full sexual liberation as part of the struggle
for social justice. Stonewall was the spontaneous action of
marginal people oppressed by the mainstream - of teenaged drag
queens, pederasts, transsexuals, hustlers, and others despised by
respectable straights and "discreet" homosexuals. They did not
call for their rights, they seized their own freedom. They did
not ask for integration into middle-class America, they screamed
against its pretensions of propriety.
SOS is an ad hoc committee of lesbian, gay and other individuals
and groups formed to bring Stonewall 25 back to the principles of
gay liberation. We focus on one of the most glaring departures
from those principles: the attempt to exclude the North American
Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), and possibly other groups,
from the Stonewall 25 March and from their place within
gay/lesbian space and discourse.
Red-baiting, scapegoating, censorship and exclusion have been
hallmarks of American society. Just as unions, the civil rights
and peace movements were pressured to cleanse themselves of
suspected "communists," the lesbian/gay movement is now expected
to rid itself of social misfits, the vulnerable pederasts first
of all. Never before has such an ostensibly progressive movement
jumped so quickly through the hoops of its enemies. At least
there were years of debates among activists before some
capitulated to McCarthyism. ILGA, the Human Rights Campaign
Fund, Stonewall 25, and others who claim to support sexual
minorities and human rights have stumbled over each other as they
rush to deny these rights to those deemed unacceptable.
We find this the height of hypocrisy - to invoke the name of
Stonewall to cast out the alleged molesters among us. The issue
is not, first of all, intergenerational sex - although that is
one the movement needs to confront honestly rather than avoid.
SOS takes no stand specifically on age of consent laws or sex
between adults and those deemed legally "children." The issues
that now confront Stonewall 25 are free speech, free association
NAMBLA's record as a responsible gay organization is well known.
NAMBLA was spawned by the gay community and has been in every
major gay and lesbian march. It has demonstrated in solidarity
with people with AIDS, and for lesbians in custody cases. NAMBLA
takes progressive positions on U.S. intervention in Central
America, the military draft, reproductive rights, the death
penalty, corporal punishment and racism. NAMBLA publicly
condemns the exploitation of children, including genuine sexual
abuse. NAMBLA believes the interests of young people demand not
paternalistic protection, but empowerment to make real choices.
Every organization within Stonewall 25 need not endorse every one
of the other organization's positions. NAMBLA's call for the
abolition of the age of consent is not the issue. NAMBLA is a
bona fide participant in the gay and lesbian movement. NAMBLA
deserves strong support in its rights of free speech and
association and its members' protection from discrimination and
Unless we return to the principles of Stonewall, the fate of
NAMBLA today may be the fate of other "different" and
"controversial" causes tomorrow. Gay and lesbian activists
before Stonewall understood the task of liberation. We agree
with the 1951 Mattachine Society slogan: "We will integrate as a
group on our own terms, or we will not integrate at all." We
will define our own agenda and decide for ourselves who we are!
Within our movement, if our brother or sister self-identifies as
gay, we will march with them and they with us. We call on
Stonewall 25 to rescind its attempt to ban NAMBLA. Meanwhile,
SOS announces: NAMBLA marches with us!
SIGNED: Harry Hay, Pat Califia, Gayle Rubin, Chris Bearchelli,
Scott O'Hara, Charley Shively, David Thorstad, Tom Reeves, Jim
Identification: (Writer, Activist, Professor, Name of
Organization or Publication, etc. - does not imply endorsement):
GROUP ENDORSEMENT: (if a group officially endorses the SOS call)
I (WE) WILL MARCH IN NEW YORK, SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 1994 WITH
WE CANNOT MARCH, but we will march "in spirit":_________________
WE NEED HOUSING (Limited Availability at $30 per night, two to
three persons per room):______________________
Giuliani and the Fashion Walk of Fame