Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced his support to make Stonewall a national monument honoring the American LGBT experience.
While national park sites share a diverse group of stories and American history, there are no national park sites that honor LGBT Americans.
“Although the struggle for equal rights extends from coast to coast, the Stonewall Riots in 1969 served as an historic turning point in LGBT history,” Garcetti wrote in a letter to President Obama. “Recognizing the Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park in New York City’s West Village would honor the American LGBT experience in every city and help to teach people of an important historical event that has helped to shape our nation.”
Mayor Garcetti has been a champion of protecting LGBT history. In 2008 as City Council President of Los Angeles, he worked to successfully designate the Black Cat Bar as a registered landmark in the City of Los Angeles.
“Two and a half years before the Stonewall Riots in New York City, the first documented demonstration for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights in the nation occurred outside the Black Cat Bar in Silver Lake on Sunset Boulevard,” he continued. “The demonstrations happened after undercover LAPD officers arrested and assaulted bar patrons for kissing during a New Year's Eve celebration in 1967. Displaying great courage and bravery, 200-300 Angelenos protested these police actions against the LGBT community.”
Several events pertinent to the LGBT community have happened in Los Angeles, the second largest city in the nation.
“Los Angeles has played an influential role in the nation's LGBT history that includes the formation of first American gay rights group, the Mattachine Society; the first gay publication, One Magazine; the first gay pride parade on the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots; and the first parade protesting the military's LGBT ban,” he concluded. “It is with this history in mind that I write in support of designating the Stonewall Inn in New York City as a National Monument through the Antiquities Act.”
HRC continues to urge President Obama to use his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate the area around Stonewall as a national monument in our nation’s National Park Service.