People embrace and cheer as they join a crowd celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act outside the Stonewall Inn in N.Y. on June 26, 2013.
Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Obama to name Stonewall Inn first national monument to gay rights

WASHINGTON — New York’s iconic Stonewall Inn, where the modern gay rights movement took root, will become the first national monument honoring the history of gays and lesbians in the U.S. under a proposal President Barack Obama is preparing to approve.

Designating the small swath of land will mark a major act of national recognition for gay rights advocates and their struggles over the last half-century. Since the 1969 uprising in Greenwich Village, the U.S. has enacted anti-discrimination protections, allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military and legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Though land must still be transferred to the federal government and other details worked out, the president is expected to move quickly to greenlight the monument following a public meeting Monday in Manhattan, according to two individuals familiar with the administration’s plans. The individuals weren’t authorized to discuss the plans publicly and requested anonymity.

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Next month marks Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month in the U.S.

The gritty tavern, known colloquially as the Stonewall, became a catalyst for the gay rights movement after police raided it on June 28, 1969. Bar-goers fought back, and many more joined in street protests over the following days in an uprising widely credited as the start of large-scale gay activism in New York and around the word. Annual pride parades in hundreds of cities commemorate the rebellion.

The White House declined to comment. Yet Obama has paid tribute to the site before, most notably in his second inaugural address in 2013. In what’s believed to be the first reference to gay rights in an inaugural address, Obama said the principle of equality still guides the U.S. “just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.” 

Historic New York gay bar Stonewall Inn gains landmark status
Hailed as one of the birthplaces of the gay rights movement, Stonewall Inn has solidified its place in history after being granted landmark status in New York

Barack Obama, New York and White House

Obama to name Stonewall Inn first national monument to gay rights