Stonewall Inn Becomes National Monument in United States

June 28, 2016 — Nearly 50 years ago, laws prevented a person from being homosexual.  It was considered illegal, immoral, a disease.  In New York City, the Stonewall Inn served as a safe haven for those that felt persecuted by society all those years ago.  It all culminated in what the world knows today as the beginning of the LGBT Rights movement.

 

Now, 47 years after the riots that started it all, June 27, 2016 marked another historical moment in the already tumultuous month of June, now officially recognized by President Barack Obama as National Pride Month.  On Friday, before the anniversary of the historical riots, Obama declared the first ever LGBT monument to be recognized as a national park in the United States. Thousands gathered as ceremonies were held, speakers spoke from the heart, and supporters celebrated and rejoiced as the Stonewall Inn, the place that started the movement of generations, became officially known as a national monument of the United States.

This comes weeks after the tragic events at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which resulted in 49 individuals losing their lives and 53 injured from a tragic act of hate.  Some people see the recognition of Stonewall as a sign of freedom; some see it as a continued work in progress.  The truth is: there is work that still needs to be done before the movement can truly be considered a success.

“I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country,” President Obama stated in an address on Friday. “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.”

Now that the nation welcomes a new national park to the ones already recognized, many citizens feel this is the opportunity to take change seriously.  After Obama’s address during his campaign for President years ago about change, the next generation looks forward to bringing positive change and progress in the future.

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