The designation comes on the heels of the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on marriage equality last year, which gave gays and lesbians the right to marry.
Located in New York City, the Greenwich Village bar was the site of a police raid in 1969 that led to riots, protests and a national outcry for gay rights. The national monument comes at an important time for the LGBTQ community, with the emotional wounds from the Orlando nightclub shooting still fresh in the hearts of many.
“As we saw two weeks ago in Orlando, the LGBT community still faces real discrimination, real real violence, real hate,” said Obama in a statement sent out over the weekend. “So we can’t rest. We’ve got to keep pushing for equality and acceptance and tolerance.”
President Obama designated the Stonewall Inn as a national monument in order to reflect the vibrant and diverse history of the United States, especially in regards to progressivism.
“I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country – the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us,” Obama said. “That we are stronger together. That out of many, we are one.”
The monument will encompass approximately 7.7 acres of land. This will include Christopher Park, the Stonewall Inn, and the sidewalks and streets that were the site of the 1969 riots, known as the Stonewall Uprising.
A National Monument is a protected historical place or landmark established by the President or Congress. It is similar to a National Park, but can be created from any federally owned or managed land. Private businesses, like the Stonewall Inn, are allowed to continue operating independently within the designated area, but the land also gains a level of protection from new development to, according to Wilderness.gov, “protect our most treasured places for our children and grandchildren.”
The Uprising is largely regarded as the most important spark for the LGBTQ equality movement.