President Obama’s administration is poised to create the nation’s first “gay”-rights monument at what’s been commonly referred to as America’s birthplace of the LGBT liberation movement, Greenwich Village in New York City – and more specifically, a noted homosexual hang-out, Stonewall Inn.
Designating the small swath of land will mark a major act of national recognition for gay rights advocates and their struggles over the last half-century. Since the 1969 uprising in Greenwich Village, the U.S. has enacted anti-discrimination protections, allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military and legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
Though land must still be transferred to the federal government and other details worked out, the president is expected to move quickly to greenlight the monument following a public meeting Monday in Manhattan, according to two individuals familiar with the administration’s plans. They weren’t authorized to discuss the plans publicly and requested anonymity.
Next month marks Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month in the U.S.
The gritty tavern, known colloquially as the Stonewall, became a catalyst for the gay rights movement after police raided it on June 28, 1969. Bar-goers fought back, and many more joined in street protests over the following days in an uprising widely credited as the start of large-scale gay activism in New York and around the word. Annual pride parades in hundreds of cities commemorate the rebellion.
The White House declined to comment. Yet Obama has paid tribute to the site before, most notably in his second inaugural address in 2013. In what’s believed to be the first reference to gay rights in an inaugural address, Obama said the principle of equality still guides the U.S. “just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.”