Press Release – Stonewall becomes newest national monument
Durango, CO (June 24, 2016) – The Conservation Lands Foundation applauds the news that President Obama designated the Stonewall National Monument in New York.
“America’s national parks and monuments provide an important opportunity to tell the diverse stories and teach valuable lessons about our shared heritage,” stated Brian O‘Donnell, Executive Director of the Conservation Lands Foundation. “Recognizing the history and civil rights of LGBTQ Americans is an important part of ensuring that we preserve and share the often unrepresented stories in our country. This action is another part of the President’s legacy of responding to communities and ensuring that our public lands represent all Americans.”
Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park’s legacy are a part of the push for human rights and civil rights in the United States. This important landmark and the events that took place there represent a turning point in American history and mark the beginning of sweeping changes across the nation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) equality. This designation had support from a wide range of residents, business and community leaders, and elected leaders and citizens across the country and is the first national park service site to represent LGBTQ history.
President Obama proclaimed the Stonewall National Monument using his authority under the Antiquities Act. In New York, the Antiquities Act was also originally used to designate six national monuments, including the Statue of Liberty, African Burial Ground, and Governor’s Island.
“We are celebrating the designation of the Stonewall National Monument. President Obama has done an excellent job in using the Antiquities Act to add to our nation’s historic and natural sites to better tell the story of all Americans,” said O’Donnell.
Both Republican and Democratic Presidents have used the Antiquities Act to preserve areas including the Grand Canyon and Acadia National Park. Most recently, President Obama protected the Harriett Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park in Maryland, the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in California, the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico, and most recently, the Belmont Paul Women’s Equality National Monument in Washington, DC.