Nostalgia: First gay demo outside White House in 1965

Nostalgia: First gay demo outside White House in 1965

Paul Kuntzler said that when he and nine other people picketed the White House 50 years ago today, protesting the government’s treatment of gays and lesbians, he could not imagine how far the gay rights movement would come in five decades.

That protest on April 17, 1965, is believed to the first gay rights demonstration, advocates say.

“It was so revolutionary,” Kuntzler, 73, said. “It had never been done before anywhere in the world. We all wore coat and ties and we all had pseudonyms.”

At the time they felt they had to use made-up names to protect their identities, he said. …

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“My sign read, ’15 million homosexuals protest federal treatment.’ It reflected what I thought,” said Kuntzler, who was working as a brick and tile trade associate at the time.

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