The birthplace of the US’ modern gay liberation movement, already a city landmark, is about to be declared the US’ first ever national monument honouring LGBT history.
The Washington Post reported New York’s iconic Stonewall Inn, where the modern gay rights movement began, will become the first US national monument honouring the history of US gays and lesbians and their fight for equality, under a proposal President Barack Obama is preparing to approve.
The country’s “national monuments” are culturally significant and protected areas similar to national parks.
After police raided the tavern, known colloquially as the Stonewall and frequented by gay men, protests at the site began in the early hours of June 28, 1969 and lasted for several days. Whilst Stonewall 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.
Gay rights groups welcomed the forthcoming announcement. Openly gay New York City councilman Corey Johnson said, “What happened at Stonewall and at Christopher Park is a key chapter in American history. Gay history should be taught, and the federal government taking this step allows us to have this conversation.”
If there’s no last-minute complications, President Obama is reportedly prepared to designate the area as soon as next month, to coincide with LGBTI Pride Month in the US.