Gay Rights Could Get First National Monument

Obama expected to approve Stonewall Inn as national park
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2016 7:03 AM CDT
Gay Rights Could Get First National Monument
The Stonewall Inn, in New York's Greenwich Village.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

The first national monument to the gay rights movement could be on its way. For years, advocates have been calling for the creation of a national park in the vicinity of Manhattan's Stonewall Inn, where a 1969 police raid sparked a protest by gay men, now considered the start of the modern gay rights movement. On Monday, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will hear from supporters during a listening session, after which President Obama is expected to approve the move, officials tell the AP. Though the land would still need to be transferred to the federal government, it could be designated part of the National Park Service "as soon as next month, which commemorates gay pride," reports the Washington Post.

Since the protest in 1969, many have returned to the Stonewall Inn and the two-tenths of an acre of greenery it faces, known as Christopher Park, to celebrate victories for gay rights. Some 13,000 people have signed a petition in the hope of making the area a national park site. "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," says Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who's co-authored legislation to create the national park if President Obama decides against it, reports the New York Times. Yet Obama has previously recognized the site's significance: He even mentioned it in his second inaugural address in 2013, in the first such nod to gay rights. (More gay rights stories.)

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