Delaware Stonewall PAC hosts Democrats in Rehoboth

June 17, 2019

Nearly every elected Democratic official in Delaware made an appearance at Mariachi Restaurant in Rehoboth June 8 as Delaware Stonewall PAC celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. From local representatives to U.S. Congress, officials honored those fighting for LGBT rights at national state and local levels. 

Honoree Paul Kuntzler, co-founder of the Mattachine Society in the early 1960s and the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, and is an acknowledged pioneer of gay rights. He marched on Independence Hall in 1965, one of the earliest LGBTQ demonstrations.

He spoke about his early years supporting Kennedy’s election and involvement with gay activism. He reflected on his introduction to the Mattachine Society in 1962,  of the original 17 members he is the only person still living. 

“We were confronted with three great problems - total prohibition of homosexuals working in government, we were denied security clearances for government jobs, and homosexuality was classified as a mental illness,” he said. 

In ’63 he was a part of the Martin Luther King March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and remembers where he stood as King delivered his ”I have a dream speech”. 

Delaware Stonewall PAC presented Kuntzler with the LGBTQ Rights Pioneer Award.

Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland’s 8th Congressional District spoke about running for state Senate against a 32-year incumbent and president pro tem of the Senate. His advisors told him he could not beat the machine. “In politics nothing is impossible, nothing is inevitable. But everything is only possible through the democratic art of education and mobilizing people for change,” Raskin said.

Years ago at his kickoff rally, people told him to take out all the talking points about marriage equality. That’s when he made up his mind. “It’s not my ambition to be in the political center. It’s my ambition to be in the moral center and bring the political center to us,” he said.

Sen. Chris Coons said, “During the Stonewall Uprising, action was taken to secure a place in our country and in our history that deserves our recognition our memory and our continued fight.” Quoting the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. he said, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice,” adding “The reality is it only bends toward justice if we bend it.” 

Coons said it’s not enough to talk to those that share our view. “Part of my job is to speak truth to that part of power in our county that is nativist, reactionary and is trying to pull back the progress we’ve made,” he said.


Editors Note: This article has been corrected: Rep. Jamie Raskin represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District. Prior to entering the U.S. Congress, he was a former State Senator, representing State Senate District 20, for a decade.

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