Stonewall to become US gay rights monument – Obama

Visitors gather outside the Stonewall Inn in New York. Photo: May 2016

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The Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village area of New York, is seen as the birthplace of the US gay rights movement

The Stonewall gay bar in New York, where a 1969 police raid led to riots and the birth of the gay rights movement, has been designated as a US national monument.

US President Barack Obama named the Stonewall bar as the first national monument to gay rights.

The Stonewall National Monument will cover 7.7 acres (3.1ha) of land, including the nearby Christopher Park.

Gay marriage was legalised nationwide last year after bitter legal battles.

Same-sex marriages

“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,” Mr Obama said in a video announcing the creation of the monument.

“That we are stronger together, that out of many, we are one.”

The video will be played on the billboards in Times Square on Saturday, the White House said in a statement.

At the time of the Stonewall riots, in July 1969, police said they acted to enforce a law that made it illegal to sell alcoholic drinks to “homosexuals”.

Since then, the riots – widely known as the Stonewall Uprising – the US has enacted a number of anti-discrimination bills, including allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the US armed forces.

Last year, the US Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage nationwide.

from BBC