CLAIM: Photo of five teens standing against a wall shows Sen. Bernie Sanders at Stonewall in 1969.
THE FACTS: The photo does not show the Democratic presidential candidate at the Stonewall uprising in 1969. After Sanders’ New Hampshire primary win Tuesday, social media users began circulating the false claim with the photo, gaining thousands of shares on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Mike Casca, a campaign spokesman for the Vermont senator, said in an email that the photo was not of the senator. The photo also does not match the archival images from the uprising.
On June 28, 1969, a police raid targeting gay patrons at the Stonewall Inn in New York led to a rebellion that helped propel the modern LGBTQ rights movement. At the time, many states outlawed gay sex and some experts claimed homosexuality was a mental disorder. The photo of the teens has been shared online for years with various claims.
Sanders has been an outspoken supporter of gay rights in the past, supporting a gay pride parade in 1983, while he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont. Sanders later spoke out against the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prohibited same-sex couples from obtaining federal benefits, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which banned gay and lesbian Americans from serving openly in the military.