Declaration recognises Stonewall Inn for role in gay rights movement.
President Obama is set to make history by declaring the first national monument recognising the contributions of the nation’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, reports The Washington Post. The White House is expected to name a small area of green space and part of the surrounding Greenwich Village neighbourhood as the birthplace of America’s modern gay liberation movement.
Police in New York raided the Stonewall Inn in the summer of 1969, resulting in days of protests by gay men who frequented the bar. Previously patrons of the bar, which is still in operation today, had complied in the past with these crackdowns, but that incident sparked a spontaneous riot by bystanders and those who had been detained.
“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. Jerrold Nadler, co-author of the legislation that would declare the area a national park.
He added: “The LGBT civil rights movement launched at Stonewall is woven into American history. And it is time our National Park system reflected that reality.”
The Post also states that Federal officials, including Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jonathan B Jarvis and Rep Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) are preparing to conduct a session on 9 May to solicit feedback on the proposal regarding the national monument. President Obama is prepared to designate the area, which commemorates gay pride, part of the National Park Service as early as June.
The site already has been granted landmark status by the the city.