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President Obama Designates Stonewall as National Monument

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Updated: | Originally published: ;

Correction appended June 24, 2016

President Barack Obama announced he will designate Christopher Park, which is adjacent to the Stonewall Inn in New York City, as the Stonewall National Monument. It is the first national monument dedicated to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights.

Christopher Park, which the president called a “historic” community park that serves as a hub for members of the LGBT community during parades, marches, protests, and celebrations, is to be dedicated on June 24—almost one year after the historic Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. Earlier this month, the park was the site of a vigil for the victims of the Orlando terror attack, many of whom were members of the LGBT community. The park is located across the street from the Stonewall Inn, the location of a 1969 riot between police and LGBT club-goers that arguably launched the modern day LGBT rights movement.

“As one of the only public open spaces serving Greenwich Village west of 6th Avenue, Christopher Park has long been central to the life of the neighborhood and to its identity as an LGBT-friendly community,” President Obama wrote in a proclamation.

The designation of Christopher Park as the Stonewall National Monument is the latest action taken by President Obama focused on the rights of LGBT Americans. The White House will also release a video set to broadcast in New York’s Time Square on Saturday in honor of the designation. The National Park Service has also dedicated a page to the newly designated monument and park that tells the history of the Stonewall Uprising and the LGBT rights movement.

The designation comes at a precarious time for the LGBT community, particularly as annual pride month celebrations come to a close, in the wake of the horrific terror attack in Orlando. The Pulse nightclub, the sight of the attack, is a gay nightclub that was established in honor of the owner’s brother who died of AIDS.

Correction: This story originally misstated the date of the monument’s designation. It was June 24.

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