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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 18, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 51
Stonewall Inn should be a National Historic Site, New York lawmakers say
Section One
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Stonewall Inn should be a National Historic Site, New York lawmakers say

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Three New York lawmakers have introduced legislation to make the Stonewall Inn a National Historic Site.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, whose district includes the Greenwich Village site, and New York's two senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, submitted the bill December 10.

If passed, the historic birthplace of the modern LGBT rights movement would become part of the National Park System.

'Creation of the Stonewall National Historic Site will add to our historic understanding of the discrimination faced by LGBT individuals, as well as the ongoing struggle to achieve civil rights for LGBT persons,' the lawmakers said in a statement.

'Uniquely and importantly, a national park in Greenwich Village would invigorate historic preservation of LGBT history in the neighborhood, where the modern LGBT equal rights movement began in the summer of 1969.'

According to Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association, two-thirds of the country's national parks are set up on historical or cultural sites, but none currently honor the LGBT rights movement.

'At the end of this momentous year for gay rights in America, I am proud to introduce legislation that would establish a Stonewall National Historic Site,' Gillibrand said.

'The events at Stonewall in 1969 were a turning point for the LGBT rights movement in America - a critical chapter, alongside Selma and Seneca Falls, in the long history of America's quest for equal rights. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to pass this bill and designate Stonewall a National Historic Site.'

'Independence Hall, the Gettysburg Address, Seneca Falls, Rosa Parks, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott: It's time for the Stonewall Inn to take its place in the panoply of sites and events that were sparks in the march to the kind of freedom and equality that is the very wellspring of the American Dream,' Schumer added.

'The summer of 1969 kicked off a long and uphill struggle for LGBT equality. And it was a movement that changed the country for the better.'

'The story of Stonewall and those who participated in it are American stories that deserve to be recognized and preserved,' Nadler said.

'Expanding our National Park System to include the location of the spark that launched the LGBT civil rights movement will protect it for future generations to reflect on and learn from.'

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