US President Barack Obama used The White House YouTube channel to declare the iconic Stonewall Inn – a venue that played an important role in the gay liberation movement – a national monument.

The video opened with some history of the monument’s importance, narrated by President Obama.

“Back in 1969, as a turbulent decade was winding down, the Stonewall Inn was a popular gathering place for New York City’s LGBT community,” the President said.

“At the time being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender was considered obscene, illegal, even a mental illness.”

The video goes on to discuss the events that occurred at the Christopher Street gay bar, that would go on to trigger the now infamous Stonewall riots.

“One night police raided the bar and started arresting folks,” he said.

“Raids like these were nothing new, but this time the patrons had enough, so they stood up and spoke out.

“The riots became protests, the protests became a movement.”

The Stonewall riots are considered by many to be a real turning point in LGBT history.

“So this week I’m designating the Stonewall national monument as the newest addition to America’s national park system,” President Obama said.

“Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights.”

Regular people were then given an opportunity to tell the stories of Stonewall and the people who frequented it.

Stonewall’s newfound designation ensures the surrounding 7.7 acres will remain protected.


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