obama names stonewall inn the first ever lgbtq national monument in america
In a short film, POTUS gives a history lesson on the importance of the LGBTQ bar from which ‘riots became protests, protests became a movement’ for LGBTQ rights.
President Obama has designated New York's Stonewall Inn as a National Monument, part of America's National Parks system of safeguarded places of special natural or cultural importance. The historic venue is the first ever National Monument "to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights," Obama notes.
In a short film about the designation, Obama starts with a little history lesson, explaining that, "Back in 1969, as a turbulent decade was winding down, the Stonewall Inn was a popular gathering place for New York City's LGBT community," adding that it was then illegal to be gay. On June 28, 1969, police raided the venue; it wasn't a rare occurrence, but as Obama explains, the patrons just weren't going to take it this time. The Stonewall riots ensued, and those "riots became protests, protests became a movement" for LGBTQ rights.
"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," Obama adds, before the video presents the voices of people who were there at the Stonewall Inn when the riots happened. Watch the film in full above.
Text Charlotte Gush
Photography Benjamin Wilson