A kiss is just a kiss, on New Year’s Eve

At the very end of 1966, at the Black Cat bar in Los Angeles, couples kissed. It is, after all, traditional.

And immediately at least six plainclothes officers who had infiltrated the gay bar began viciously beating and arresting the kissing offenders. As the melee widened, several people tried to escape to the nearby New Faces bar. Undercover officers followed and raided that bar as well. One of the New Faces workers was beaten so badly by police that they cracked a rib, fractured his skull and ruptured his spleen.

Things have changed since then, but probably not enough. The Black Cat bar still exists, and has now been designated a historic cultural monument. The gay rights movement which grew out of that outrage, a couple of years before the Stonewall Riots, was important and influential, and it is right that it be so remembered. But public same-sex kissing is still seen as a subversive act. Keep it up!


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