NEW York City’s Stonewall Inn has become a protected American landmark ahead of the movement’s 46th anniversary on Sunday.

Widely considered the birthplace of America’s LGBT movement, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously yesterday to grant the bar special status to in an attempt to prevent unwanted changes.

“Few sites more powerfully embody the struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, and for achieving a fairer and more just society, than the Stonewall Inn,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation on June 2, when the building was initially proposed to the commission.

The bar became a symbol of LGBT identity after patrons resisted arrest from police officers in an early morning raid on June 28, 1969.

Over the next few days, protests engulfed the city against the police, culminating in the establishment of several LGBT organisations.

“In the late 1960s, when few establishments welcomed gays and lesbians and repressive laws made it impossible for a gay bar to obtain a liquor license, police raids on gay and lesbian bars were routine,” said Commission chair Meenakshi Srinivasan.

“The building is [subsequently] a symbol of a time when LGBT New Yorkers took a stand and vowed that they would no longer live in the shadows.”

Located on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, the building has become the first landmark in America recognised for its LGBT status.

The vote coincides with America’s Pride Month, which runs throughout the month of June to commemorate the riots.

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