The tragic mass shooting at Pulse night club found the LGBT community reconvening in solidarity at the Stonewall Inn, a historic gay bar in New York City. President Obama will recognize the significance of the Stonewall Inn by naming it a national monument, marking the first one dedicated to LGBT rights in our nation's history. The site of the landmark 1969 Stonewall riots against the New York Police Department, the Stonewall Inn has long symbolized the LGBT community's fight for visibility and progress.
The White House announced Friday that the National Parks Service will preside over the Stonewall National Monument, a 7.7-acre piece of land in New York's Greenwich Village. "I’m designating the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America’s National Park System," Obama said in an statement.
"Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights," he said. "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."
The new monument will celebrate the 1969 riots that ensued after the NYPD raided the popular gay bar to enforce a city ordinance that forbade serving alcohol to homosexuals, targeting cross-dressers and transgender individuals as well. When patrons refused to comply with the police's orders, a crowd formed in protest of the police. By the next day, the crowd had turned into a full-on riot.
While President Obama actually opposed gay marriage in his 2008 presidential platform, he reversed his position in a 2012 interview. The news about the national monument at the Stonewall Inn—which arrives in tandem with Newsweek's reports that the Pentagon plans to repeal its ban on transgender members—marks a historic win for the LGBT community.