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Obama Prepares to Designate 1st National Monument to Gay Rights

  • VOA News

FILE - The Stonewall Inn, in New York's Greenwich Village.

FILE - The Stonewall Inn, in New York's Greenwich Village.

President Barack Obama is poised to designate the Stonewall Inn in New York City as the birthplace of America's modern gay liberation movement.

Sources close to the Obama administration's plans say the president envisions a national monument where a 1969 uprising signaled what most believe to be the start of the gay rights movement.

The Washington Post says federal officials, including Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis and Congressman Jerrold Nadler will host a public forum May 9 to solicit feedback on the proposal.

The report says Obama is prepared to designate the site as soon as next month.

The 1969 Stonewall protests spanned six days, sparked by a police raid on the tavern, which was frequented by gay men. The raid sparked a spontaneous riot by bystanders and those detained by police.

Observers say the decision to recognize Stonewall and its seminal role in the gay rights movement is widely supported within the Obama administration.

Last month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that would allow the transfer of the privately held Stonewall site to the federal government, if it designated as a monument.

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