A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 30, 2011
“If gay and lesbian people are given civil rights, then everyone will want them”

"If gay and lesbian people are given civil rights, then everyone/everybody will want them” is a saying that’s been cited in print since at least June 1994. The origin of the saying is unknown.


Google Groups: bit.listserv.uus-l
Newsgroups: bit.listserv.uus-l
From: Luci Malin Utah
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 1994 08:47:29 -0600
Local: Thurs, Jun 23 1994 9:47 am
Subject: Re: UUS-L Digest - 22 Jun 1994 - Special issue

There is a button around that says “If We Give Lesbians and Gays Civil Rights, Then Everyone Will Want Them”.

Google Groups: bit.listserv.gaynet
Newsgroups: bit.listserv.gaynet
From: (Anonymous Sender)
Date: 24 Jun 94 11:17:00 EDT
Subject: Gay Rights is a positive thing

CHICAGO TRIBUNE
DATE: Friday, June 24, 1994
EDITION: NORTH SPORTS FINAL
SECTION: PERSPECTIVE
PAGE: 19
ZONE: N
SOURCE: By Michael Sherry.
Michael Sherry is a professor of history at Northwestern University.

GAY RIGHTS: A POSITIVE, NOT A NEGATIVE
The sign in front of Evanston’s Wheadon Methodist Church reads:  “When gays and lesbians get equal rights, everybody will want them.” Those words cleverly expose how, in the us-against-them politics of the 1990s, gay rights are seen as an infringement on the rights of others-and ought to be seen differently.

Google News Archive
9 September 1994, Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review, “Rallies attack anti-gay measure.” pg. B1, col. 3:
“I’m the financial manager of the strongest state in the nation now financially,” Williams (Idaho state auditor J. D. WIlliams—ed.) told the group of mostly Democrat activists, wearing buttons that said things like, “If gays and lesbians get civil rights everyone will want them.”

7 October 1994, Chicago (IL) Sun-Times, “From Ouths of Babes Come Compassion, Understanding” by Deb Price, pg. 43:
Heading back downstairs to recast my reply. I recalled a favorite political button: “If gay people get civil rights, everybody will want them .”

15 February 1997, Akron (OH) , “Kisses Seal Their Protest: Gays Stand Like a Stone Wall,” pg. C1:
People held signs that read “If Gays Get Civil Rights, Everyone Will Want Them” and “Someone You Love is Lesbian or Gay.”

Google Books
Freedom to Differ:
The shaping of the gay and lesbian struggle for civil rights

By Diane Helene Miller
New York, NY: New York University Press
1998
Pg. 139:
A button marketed recently at gay and lesbian events declares, “If we give gays and lesbians civil rights, everyone will want them.”

Google Books
The Quotable Queer:
Fabulous Wit and Wisdom from the Gays, the Straight, and Everybody In-between

By Minnie Van Pileup
Gloucester, MA: Fair Winds
2005
Pg. 117:
If gay and lesbian people are given civil rights, then everyone will want them! — Anonymous

Huffington Post
Gay Marriage : New Hampshire Senate Votes To Allow Same-Sex Marriage
First Posted: 04-29-09 05:13 PM | Updated: 05-30-09 05:12 AM
(...)
truthartbeauty
09:46 AM on 4/30/2009
if gay people are given civil rights everyone will want them. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Thursday, June 30, 2011 • Permalink