Obama creates first U.S. monument to gay rights at New York site

The Stonewall Inn is pictured in Manhattan's Greenwich Village Historic District in New York June 23, 2015.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

President Barack Obama on Friday designated the site of a watershed event in the history of U.S. gay rights, the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, as a national monument, the first one to honor the contributions of gay Americans.

The Stonewall Inn gay bar in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village was the scene of a police raid that triggered riots and ignited a long struggle to bring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people into the American mainstream and guarantee their rights.

“There is important distance yet to travel, but through political engagement and litigation, as well as individual acts of courage and acceptance, this movement has made tremendous progress toward securing equal rights and equal dignity,” Obama said in a proclamation.

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