Origin of the Name.
Named after an event in American history, the Stonewall uprising/riots. The Stonewall uprising/riots were a series of demonstrations by members of the LGBTQIA+/queer community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich neighborhood of New York City.
“Gay Trailblazer Craig Covey Attempts History Again with Run for Stark County Treasurer”
Tell us about the formation of the Stonewall Union.
In the 70s, gay/lesbian student groups were common on large college campuses, but off campus there were no organizations or groups for people who were not students, so after graduation, myself and some friends decided to start a new organization. It started when Jerry Falwell – no, not that one, ha-ha, his father – attempted to form a Moral Majority chapter in Columbus. A handful of us from the community had organized along with other progressive groups – women’s activists, left-wing progressives, pro-choice people – a big protest at the church where the Moral Majority was to organize. Outnumbered, the chapter never took off. Off that success, three of us in Columbus, along with our partners, decided to form what was really the first organization of its kind in Ohio for LGBTQ+ people who were not just on college campuses: Stonewall Union.
This was in 1981. The origins were very much political; we’d interview and endorse candidates running for state and local office. We also organized the first pride march [in 1982]. It was a huge success; about 900 people showed up to that first parade, and by 1985, when I left [for Michigan], we had grown to 6-7,000, with delegations from Toledo, Dayton, Cleveland, Detroit. Of course, it’s much bigger now.
Craig Covey former executive director Stonewall Union/Columbus
“Gay Trailblazer Craig Covey Attempts History Again with Run for Stark County Treasurer“