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Photograph: Grace Chu

President Obama to designate New York's Stonewall Inn the first national monument for gay rights

Written by
Clayton Guse
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Some days the news is just a little bit awesome: America is about to get its first national monument dedicated to the gay rights movement. 

According to the AP, President Barack Obama is expected to designate New York's Stonewall Inn and the adjacent Christopher Park as a national monument, which comes just less than a year after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide.

The Stonewall Inn is widely considered the birthplace of the American gay rights movement. The bar was regularly frequented by gay men in an era when gay people lived in fear—of being exposed, violently attacked and treated with suspicious and cruelty by the authorities. After a police raid at the bar in the summer of 1969, six days of protests followed, including a full-blown riot.

It's not entirely surprising that Obama is designating Stonewall as a national monument. During his 2013 inauguration speech for his second term, he referenced the protests at the site in pressing the nation to push for marriage equality. 

And the announcement couldn't come at a better time. As some in the country work tirelessly to strip the LGBTQI community of its rights, the president is sending a big fabulous rainbow beacon of love from the northeast. 

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