Cops Who Raided Stonewall Were Trying to ‘Rescue’ Transgender Kid, Says Religious Right Activist

American Family Association of Pennsylvania Executive Director Diane Gramley (Photo: Jared Holt / Right Wing Watch)

The police officers who raided the Stonewall Inn in June 1969 were “trying to rescue a young boy who identified as transgender,” claimed Diane Gramley, the head of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Family Association, on a recent broadcast of the “Stand in the Gap” radio show produced by the American Pastors Network. “He was being used sexually and the police were trying to rescue him,” Gramley claimed.

That remarkable, and utterly false, bit of historical revisionism came during a conversation about what host Gary Dull called “the menace of Gay Pride month.” In truth, the kind of police raid that ignited the Stonewall riots was a routine form of harassment against LGBTQ people in the 1960s. On that night and subsequent nights, Stonewall patrons and supporters fought back. Many Pride events this year are commemorating the 50th anniversary of that resistance, which transformed the gay rights movement. (This month the commissioner of the New York Police Department formally apologized for the raid.)

Gramley said that the “real goal” of Pride celebrations “is to indoctrinate and they are seeking to promote their deviant sexual behavior.” She has been to Gay Pride celebrations in Philadelphia several times, she said, “just to document who was supporting it, take some pictures of what was going on.” Gramley added:

And it’s definitely a menace to children as well as to the adults who are all part of this, who are pushing this agenda. It’s very much a menace to Americans because they use these Pride events to desensitize us to the dangers of their lifestyle, to the physical, psychological dangers of their lifestyle and the whole purpose is to desensitize us. So it’s a menace that doesn’t portray itself as a menace. So we have be very wary of situations like that.

Gramley also talked about efforts of the AFA of PA to resist legislation that would add protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s Human Relations Act.

Dull said that “from a biblical perspective,” LGBTQ people “have made that choice to go against God’s creation in their own life.” Gramley agreed, saying that “the truth is God did not make anyone homosexual nor transgender.”

Dull and Gramley complained that GLSEN is allowed to carry out its work to improve the climate for LGBTQ students in schools, while religious conservatives would not be allowed to teach Bible classes during the school day. They slammed corporations like Target that have supported GLSEN’s anti-bullying work.

Dull listed several major corporations who contribute to the Human Rights Campaign, asking Gramley, “How should Christians respond to these types of groups that are supporting an adverse lifestyle that the Bible calls an abomination?” Gramley, who noted that the AFA is urging a boycott of Target, said people “need to be careful where they shop”–though she acknowledged that “when it comes to technology, we’re kind of stuck” because so many big tech firms support LGBTQ equality.

Last June, Gramley joined other anti-LGBTQ activists at the U.S. Supreme Court to protest the Court’s 2015 marriage equality ruling. In 2014, she teamed up with notoriously anti-LGBTQ activists Scott Lively and Peter LaBarbera to launch the Coalition for Family Values because, they said, other “pro-family” groups were not willing to attack homosexuality itself. At that event, speakers praised Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” law; Gramley said that children exposed to “homosexual propaganda” in books and entertainment are like “lab rats” or “guinea pigs.”