The Stonewall Inn Is Now a National Monument

The Stonewall Inn, considered to be the birthplace of the LGBT Rights movement in the United States, will finally be considered for individual landmarking by the Landmarks Preservation Commission on June 23
This one feels good. Photo: Doug Meszler/Corbis

This morning, the Obama administration designated the site of the Stonewall riots the country’s first national monument to LGBT rights. As was expected, the president signed a proclamation protecting the 7.7 acres of Manhattan where LGBT people fought back against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969. While the monument’s boundaries will include the Inn, Christopher Park, and surrounding streets and sidewalks, only the park will become federal land managed by the National Park Service. In a video announcement, Obama explained, “I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country.”

It’s one more recognition for the historic site that was integral to the gay-rights movement. Last year, New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to make the Stonewall Inn a New York landmark, and the nearly eight acres made a national monument today were designated a National Historic Landmark in February 2000. The proclamation comes less than two weeks after the massacre at the Pulse night club in Orlando, where a lone gunman killed 49 and injured 53 mostly Hispanic LGBT people in the single deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Later in the announcement, Obama recognized hard-won progress for the LGBT community, like Supreme Court victories that would’ve been “unthinkable” to the Stonewall protesters, while acknowledging that “there is important distance yet to travel.”


Stonewall Becomes a National Monument