In an announcement this morning, exactly one year after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled to legalize same-sex marriage, President Obama has designated the Stonewall Inn in New York City as the first National Park Service monument dedicated to the battle, courage, and resilience of LGBT Americans.
The area that will fall under the protection of the national monument designation, which includes: The Inn itself, as well as Christopher Park, located across from the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. The two locations have long stood as iconic landmarks for the LGBT community and continue to be a gathering place for demonstrations.
The significance of Stonewall as the centerpiece to the new national monument goes back to the Stonewall riots of 1969. On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn in an effort to enforce a law that, at the time, prohibited the sale of alcohol to homosexuals.
In addition to the new national monument designation, the White House has released a video, narrated by President Obama, that discusses the historical significance of this landmark.
“I’m designating the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America’s National Park System. Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights. I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country, the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us. That we are stronger together. That out of many, we are one.” – President Obama
The video also addresses the recent attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
The White House also stated in a release:
“Although the LGBT civil rights movement has made significant progress in the pursuit of equal rights and protections under the law, there is still more work to do. As seen two weeks ago in Orlando, FL, LGBT Americans continue to face acts of violence, discrimination, and hate. LGBT people of color are especially at risk. The Administration is committed to continuing the fight for dignity, acceptance and equal rights for all Americans — no matter who they are or who they love.”