In efforts to commemorate the gay rights movement, the White House is contemplating on making a national monument in a small park in the Greenwich Village across the street from The Stonewall Inn in New York City, reports The New York Times.
The national monument will pay homage to the riots that broke out in the famed gay bar after the police raided it in the summer of 1969. The protests, which were led by gay men, for many, represent the start of the gay rights movement and fight for equality. The Manhattan bar has been dubbed a landmark by the city, which attracts gay and straight tourist from all over the world. (Still,many historians have claimed that the movement started before the Stonewall Inn riots)
“Stonewall deserves to be remembered,” Brian Sullivan, a former bartender at the bar told The Times. “When I started coming here, gay people were disowned by their families, so this is the place where we formed a new gay family of our own.”
Essentially, the plan is to create either a monument or a national park. Those in favor of creating a national park have been working hard in efforts to gain as much support as possible. The Parks Conservation has collected about 13, 011 in signatures on petitions that were sent to the White House, according to Change.org.
Sally Jewel, the interior secretary of the White House, and other federal officials are slated to attend a listening session in New York next week, where advocates for the memorial, which include New York democrats: Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Representative Jerrold Nadler.
“We are excited about this, and we do think that the president should move forward on it,” said Kristen Brengel, the vice president for government affairs at the National Parks Conservation Association.
Either way, if they get help from the government or not, the offiicals are still keen and determined on making the monument happen.
“Whether it’s the right to marry the person you love, or the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ we’ve come so far in the push for equal rights,” Gillibrand said in statement. “It’s past due for a national monument honoring the legacy and events that took place at Stonewall and the L.G.B.T. rights movement in our country.”