History made. President Barack Obama named the LGBT landmark Stonewall Inn a national monument on Friday, June 24, the Associated Press reports. This is the first national monument to honor LGBTQ citizens.
Located on Christopher Street in NYC’s Greenwich Village, it is the site of the famed 1969 riots. Violence broke out when police raided the building, which ultimately launched the gay rights movement.
“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,” POTUS, 54, said in a statement, via AP. “[It will] tell the story of our struggle for LGBT rights.”
According to the site, video with photos of the Stonewall Inn will be displayed on billboards in Times Square on Saturday at noon. Fittingly, Sunday, June 26, marks the one-year anniversary since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in the United States. Additionally, it’s pride weekend in NYC, and the pride parade will be held in Manhattan.
Obama’s decision to honor the monument comes nearly two weeks after 29-year-old gunman Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people and injured 53 others at the popular gay club Pulse in Orlando, Florida. The Commander in Chief addressed the tragedy from the White House briefing room on June 12.
“We pray for their families, who are grasping for answers with broken hearts. We stand for the people of Orlando who have endured a terrible attack on their city,” he said at the time. “[This is] especially heartbreaking day for our friends who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing and to live.”
Gun control has continued to be a hot topic since the incident. On Thursday, House Democrats ended their more than 24-hour sit-in at the House of Representatives. They began protesting on Wednesday to demand a vote on gun-control legislation. According to USA Today, they promised to continue their efforts after Republicans return to the chamber from their prescheduled break.
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