New York City – The Stonewall National Movement is the first LGBT addition to America’s national park system. President Barack Obama announced Friday that the area around the Stonewall Inn in New York City would be a national monument to reflect the American history of the LGBT movement.
The White House published on Friday a video where the President announced that the Stonewall Inn, the place where the LGBT movement started the fight for their rights, will be designated as the newest addition to the national park system.
On the press release at the White House website, the monument’s boundary is approximately 7.7 acres of land that consists of the Christopher Park at the intersection of Christopher Street, West 4th Street, and Grove Street directly across from the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. All these places are part of the site where the Stonewall Uprising took place in 1969.
To support the monument, the National Park Foundation will support the creation of a local Friends Group to take car of the movement. The foundation will be working with local and national organizations, and with the community as well, to raise money for the National Park service employees. The monument will have a temporary ranger station, a visitor center, research activities and material, exhibits, community outreach and public education, says the Office of the Press Secretary.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) June 24, 2016
Executive director of the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Wendy Stark, told CNN that the Stonewall uprising was led primarily by people of color and people of transgender experience, it was a watershed moment in the nation’s history that spark what many call the beginning of modern-day LGBT rights movements.
Manhattan Representative, Jerry Nadler, stated the Americans faced painful reminders of how much further they must go to achieve true equality and tolerance for the LGBT citizens. He added that honoring and preserving the history of the people that participated in Stonewall in the National Park System is a clear symbol of how much it has been accomplished.
Today, President Obama declares the Stonewall Inn as a U.S. National Monument – the first dedicated to LGBT history. pic.twitter.com/jcdtrvFKdz
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Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the Stonewall Monument will pay tribute to the brave individuals who stood up to the oppression and helped the rise of the movement to end unfair discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people.
Griffin told in a statement that the announcement is especially significant after the Orlando Massacre, a horrific reminder of the hate and violence they continue to face as a community.
On June 12, American Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 others when he attacked the gay nightclub Pulse, in Orlando, Florida.
The raid at Stonewall Inn that ignited the LGBT movement
It all started in New York, on June 28, 1969. One of the most famous LGBT bars in the city was the Stonewall Inn. A new law made it illegal to sell alcoholic drinks to homosexuals, and the New York Police Department raided the bar that night.
Customers and supporters of the minority refuse to show their identification. They also refuse to go to the bathroom so that a police officer could verify their sex.
People started to gather outside the bar. The crowd grew, and a riot began as a reaction to what the police force was trying to do. The following days, LGBT communities across the country, with LGBT activist, organized demonstrations to support LGBT rights in several cities.
On the video of the announcement, President Obama says “…The riots became protests, protests became a movement. The movement ultimately became an integral part of America.”
Obama’s announcement on the Stonewall monument for the LGBT was made two days before the New York City’s Sunday pride march, that celebrates the LGBT community. The parade will start at noon at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue, and it will end on Christopher Street and Greenwich Street. The 2016 theme is “Equality needs you.”
June is traditionally a gay pride month around the world where people go to parades and support the LGBT community.
Barack Obama is the first President to support gay marriage
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) June 24, 2016
President Obama has been an LGBT supporter through his political career. He has achieved 12 main actions to defend LGBT community’s rights.
Among the most important actions, the President has prevented hate crimes working with the Congress to pass and sign the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act in 2009. This Act extends coverage of Federal hate crimes law to include attacks based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
Through the State Department, Obama extended the full range of legally available benefits and allowances to same-sex domestic partners of members of the Foreign Service sent to serve abroad.
The President also ended the discrimination of insurances companies, making it illegal to reject anyone for being lesbian, gay bisexual or transgender; make it possible for the LGBT community to serve in the Armed Forces
And, a year ago, the Supreme Court made gay marriage legal in all 50 states of the United States.
Source: The White House