Spirit of Stonewall

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We write to you as one who is know as a champion of authentic human liberation. We ask you to join us in signing a call to individuals and organizations in the gay and lesbian community and to progressives and civil libertarians to support inclusiveness and a return to the principle of gay liberation - the "spirit of Stonewall" - in the upcoming Stonewall 25 national march on June 26, 1994.

The immediate issue is a vote by the Stonewall 25 Steering Committee banning from the march all "organizations advocating ... the repeal of age of consent laws without adequate protection of youth, or those advocating ... the sexual abuse of youth." We oppose this as a clear attempt to limit free speech and association. While we join all reasonable people in opposing real harm to youth, words like "abuse" and "protection" are often used to control and oppress both young people and all sexual minorities. The clear target of this exclusion is the North American Man/Boy Love Association. [...]

What is happening to NAMBLA is a witch-hunt, fueled by the current moral panic about child sexuality and by peculiarly North American currents of homophobia and erotophobia. Consideration of children's sexuality, of real issues of intergenerational sex, and of adolescent homosexuality, have been banned from public discourse. NAMBLA is denied space in gay and progressive venues. It is hounded by media and right-wing fanatics, and infiltrated or disrupted by police, despite repeated failures to identify any criminal activity by the group. NAMBLA was spawned by the gay community and is self-consciously identified with gay liberation. Even those who disagree with NAMBLA's views should see the importance of maintaining space for such groups and ideas within a sexual liberation movement. Those who seek an open society should not be about the business of exclusion and censorship. [...]


  • Harry Hay, Founder of Mattachine Society & Radical Fairies;
  • Pat Califia, lesbian author and activist;
  • Gayle Rubin, lesbian author and activist;
  • Chris Bearchell, Former Editor, THE BODY POLITIC;
  • Charley Shively, editor, FAG RAG;
  • Scott O'Hara, Publisher & Editor, STEAM.
  • Tom Reeves, Jim Becker, David Thorstad (Gay activists & founding members of NAMBLA)

source: Letter to MARTIJN '1994: Organizing Letter, Spirit of Stonewall (SOS)'; 25 March 1994