Gay Rights Roots In Boston

Download Audio
A rainbow flag flies as thousands of people gather on Boston Common for the annual gay pride march and rally, Saturday, June 12, 2004, in Boston. This was Boston's first gay pride festivites since the legalization of gay marriage in the state of Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court in Washington will issue its two major decisions on same sex marriage rights. And that's just the latest development in what has been an extraordinary few years for the gay rights movement.

Same sex marriage is becoming legal in more and more places, gays can now serve openly in the military. And public opinion on gay issues have swung dramatically in their favor, with younger Americans overwhelmingly driving the change.

In an article last week, the Boston Globe's Leon Neyfakh laid out a thesis, that we'll explore today: that Boston laid the intellectual groundwork for the gay rights movement.


Neil Miller, an author and professor at Tufts. He was once the editor of Gay Community News.


Boston Globe "When most Americans think about the story of gay rights, they look back to New York’s 1969 Stonewall Riots, when gay men in Greenwich Village rose up in response to a police raid and sparked a decade of determined activism. They remember San Francisco’s Harvey Milk, the charismatic leader from the Castro who was elected to the city’s Board of Supervisors in 1977 before being tragically assassinated. Perhaps they remember the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights of 1979, when around 100,000 people from around the country gathered in the capitol to demand an end to discrimination."

This segment aired on June 7, 2013.


More from Radio Boston

Listen Live