Obama to name Stonewall Inn first national LGBT monument
The site is seen as the birthplace of LGBT rights.
The Stonewall Inn may have won landmark status last year, but it seems President Obama is keen to do even more to distinguish the site.
According to “two individuals familiar with the administration’s plans,” the president will name the bar the first national monument for gay rights.
He is also reviewing plans to cordon off Christopher Park, a small piece of land near Stonewall Inn, and surrounding areas, according to the Associated Press.
Widely regarded to be the birthplace of the LGBT rights movement, the Inn has been threatened with closure in recent years.
The bar was a site of a police raid in June, 1969. Patrons fought back, before storming the surrounding streets.
Their actions sparked protests in New York City and around the country, which are largely seen as the start of LGBT-rights activism.
Barring any complications, activists are hoping the site could be declared a national monument as early as June, to coincide with pride month and New York City’s famous parade.
President Obama mentioned the bar in his 2013 inaugural address when he said the principle of equality should guide the country.
“Just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.”
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In a meeting with 500 young leaders in London last month, Obama discussed what led him to change his opinion on marriage equality.
“I have to confess my children generally had an impact on me,” he told the crowd.
Obama revealed that he was initially in favour of civil unions, and felt that it was unnecessary to “label” a same-sex union as marriage, since he felt people were getting the same rights anyway.
However, with the aid of daughters Malia, 17, and Sasha, 14 – as well as LGBT activists – he says he was able to understand why achieving marriage equality was so important.
“People I loved who were in monogamous same-sex relationships explained to me what I should have understood earlier,” he told the crowd.