US President Barack Obama has declared New York’s iconic gay bar Stonewall Inn a US national monument.
The country’s national monuments are culturally significant and protected areas similar to national parks.
The gay bar is acknowledged as the birthplace of the US’ modern gay liberation movement and will become the first US national monument honouring LGBTI history.
“This week I’m designating the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America’s national park system,” President Obama said.
“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.”
On June 28, 1969, after one of many police raids at the tavern, protests at the site began in the early hours of the morning and lasted for several days.
Whilst Stonewall’s revellers had cooperated in previous raids, that day they rioted.
The incident helped bring the fight for LGBT rights into the open and New York City held its first Gay Pride parade one year later.
Since the 1969 Stonewall uprising, the US has enacted anti-discrimination protections, legalised same-sex marriage nationwide and allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.
The President’s announcement comes during Pride month, which is traditionally the month that most US states and several other countries around the world hold their annual gay pride parades and events.
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