The Stonewall Inn, the New York City gay bar that birthed the modern LGBTQ rights movement in 1969 when police raided it and sparked riots in protest, is now a National Monument, NPR reports.
The White House announced the creation of the Stonewall National Monument, a nearly 8-acre site around the iconic bar, on June 24, during New York City’s Pride Week. “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,” President Obama remarked in a White House video announcement. This is the first National Monument to recognize a location related to LGBTQ history.
It’s welcome recognition for the struggles of LGBTQ Americans just weeks after 49 people were shot and killed and 53 others wounded inside a gay nightclub in Orlando, the worst mass shooting in American history. Gay bars have been targets for violence for essentially as long as they’ve existed. Now at least there’s some official recognition of the role they’ve played in the ongoing fight for civil rights.