On Sunday, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, both Democrats from New York, announced their plan for the historic Stonewall Inn to become the first national park to commemorate the gay rights movement. The bar, located in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, was the site of an important uprising in 1969 that helped to set off the gay pride movement. But in reality, there are so many other gay rights sites that should be national parks.
Joined by other elected officials and members of the National Parks Conservation Association and the Human Rights Campaign, Gillibrand and Nadler announced their intent to ask President Obama to designate the tavern as a monument, as a first step toward national park-hood. Congress could then vote on whether or not to officially call the tavern a national park. Throughout the 1960s, the Stonewall Inn — which was supposedly owned by the mafia — became known as a gathering place for members of the LGBT community. At the time, it was illegal in New York to serve alcohol to gay patrons, making the bar an instant symbol of resistance. On June 28, 1969, the police raided the bar and patrons started a riot to stand up for gay rights. Today, the tavern calls itself the “birthplace of the modern gay rights movement” because of that riot. Many gay pride parades and celebrations are held during the month of June to commemorate the riot and the impact it had on the movement as a whole.