Just days before New York City's 2016 Gay Pride Parade, President Barack Obama is cementing the legacy of one of the LGBT community's most historic sites. On Friday, Obama designated the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan a national monument.
The Greenwich Village bar in New York City is the site of the Stonewall riots, violent protests that erupted after a police raid on the bar in 1969 that helped trigger the rise of the LGBT rights movement. Obama's designation marks the first time a national monument will honor LGBT rights and comes in the wake of a mass shooting In Orlando that targeted a gay nightclub on June 12.
"The designation will create the first official National Park Service unit dedicated to telling the story of LGBT Americans, just days before the one-year anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision guaranteeing marriage equality in all 50 states," the White House stated.
The Stonewall Inn was previously made a protected landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2015, after fighting to keep at bay any development plans to knock down the historic site.
The Stonewall riots broke out in the early morning of June 28, 1969, after a police raid on the bar — a practice that was alarmingly common at LGBT-friendly bars across the country at the time. Chaos ensued as the patrons of the bar erupted in protest, clashing with police and spilling into the streets. The riot was cleared that night, but a more peaceful demonstration resumed the next night, garnering significant media attention. The riots are credited with helping to launch the movement for LGBT rights in America.
The Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance were formed in the aftermath of the riots, and in 1970, the first Gay Pride Parade was held on June 28 to commemorate what happened at Stonewall. This year's 2016 Gay Pride Parade will take place Sunday.
The Stonewall Inn continues to be a rallying place for the LGBT community and its allies. Hundreds of people gathered in front of the red brick wall of the bar the day of the Orlando shooting to mourn the deaths of the 49 people who were killed in the tragedy at Pulse night club in Florida earlier that morning.