One Equal World

Stonewall Inn: Expected to Be the Nation’s First Monument for Gay Rights

Posted on: May 4, 2016

Image: President Barack Obama is preparing to designate the Stonewall Inn in New York the first national monument dedicated to gay rights. RICHARD DREW/AP

Image: President Barack Obama is preparing to designate the Stonewall Inn in New York the first national monument dedicated to gay rights. RICHARD DREW/AP

On the front of the Stonewall Inn, in Greenwich Village, New York, is a small black plaque, immortalizing the riot that took place there on June 28th, 1969 when police raided the Inn to arrest gay men. The plaque has been there more than a year, but the Inn is not, legally, a place of significance.

But it might be soon.

On May 9th, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, National Park Director Jonathan Jarvis, and Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) will hold a session to for public feedback on a proposal to designate the Stonewall Inn and a green strip in front of it as part of the National Parks Service as soon as next month. Obama is poised to sign the designation into law, which would make the site the first national monument dedicated to gay rights.

Right now, the only possible obstacle to the designation is a question of the land rights, but it is not expected to be an issue.

Backers of the designation hope that it will provide a concrete bolster to help the fight against sexual discrimination and gender identity, a fight that certainly did not end with the 2015 Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.

“We must ensure that we never forget the legacy of Stonewall, the history of discrimination against the LGBT community, or the impassioned individuals who have fought to overcome it,” said Rep. Nadler. Using Stonewall as a continued cornerstone of the fight for rights ensures that those who were there will be remembered. Not just the white gay men who are the loudest of LGBT today, but the women, the trans people, and the people of color who have always been a part of the movement.

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