“Obama Celebrates Anti-Police Riot…”

It mildly astonishing that, in a time of increasingly acceptance of marriage equality — nearly ten years after Lawrence v. Texas — that 31% of Americans believe “gay or lesbian relations between consenting adults” should be criminalized.

Upon closer inspection, however, maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised. Here’s a tweet from Matt Drudge, arguably the most influential individual in American media:

Obama Celebrates Anti-Police Riot Started at Mafia-Owned Bar for Transvestites… http://drudge.tw/Ly1jwH

Drudge hopes his readers are ignorant and/or incurious enough to take this at face value. On Friday, President Obama spoke at a reception marking LGBT pride month. The “anti-police riot” referenced by Drudge is, of course, Stonewall — one of the great, seminal moments in the modern gay rights movement.

The headline is more or less true, but only in the sense that “Thirty-Something Breaks Bread With Twelve of His Closest Friends” describes the Last Supper.

Putting this gloss on history is simply a naked attempt to stem the tide of progress. This tactic isn’t unique to gay rights. There’s a reason each Martin Luther King Day is, in some darker corners of conservatism, still greeted with catcalls about plagiarism. Did it happen? Sure. But in the grand scheme of the civil rights movement, Dr. King’s college indiscretion is of no more consequence than who owned the Stonewall Inn.