Queer people, particularly queer people of color, began to reclaim queer in response to a perceived shift in the gay community toward liberal conservatism, catalyzed by Andrew Sullivan's 1989 piece in The New Republic, titled Here Comes the Groom: The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage. The queer movement rejected causes viewed as assimilationist, such as marriage, military inclusion and adoption. This radical stance and rejection of U. S. Imperialism continued the tradition of earlier Lesbian and Gay anti-war activism, and solidarity with a variety of leftist movements, such as seen in the positions taken at the first two National Marches on Washington in 1979 and 1987, the radical direct action of groups like ACT UP, and the historical importance of events like the Stonewall riots. The radical Queer groups following in this tradition of LGBT activism contrasted firmly with, "the holy trinity of marriage, military service and adoption [which had] become the central preoccupation of a gay movement centered more on obtaining straight privilege than challenging power. " Commentators noted that it was exactly these "revolting queers" (who were now being pushed aside) who had made it safe for the assimilationists to now have the option of assimilation.
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