Douglas Brinkley calls on President Obama to make Stonewall America’s first gay rights monumentHistorians in the News
tags: Stonewall, LGBT
Obama shouldn't just fly the flag at half-staff after Orlando. Ever since he heroically equated The Stonewall Inn, the starting point of the Stonewall Uprising, with Seneca Falls (women's rights) and Selma (African-American rights) during his second inaugural address, Obama has been championing the cause of LGBT human rights.
The very fact that the President had the audacity to equate Stonewall to places like Valley Forge and Iwo Jima has earned him the respect of LGBT activists. "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law," Obama orated that January 2013. "For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well."
Now, as the weeping time in Orlando continues, Obama should make his human rights stand on behalf of the grief-stricken LGBT community more Day-Glo. Not only should he march in New York City's upcoming gay pride parade on June 26, but he should also sign an executive order that Sunday establishing Stonewall National Monument.
The Stonewall Inn first became ground zero for the LGBT freedom movement in June 1969, when a weeklong uprising erupted at the tavern and the street surrounding Christopher Park in Greenwich Village. It was in response to a brutish police raid, and riots ensued. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and trans people had had enough of being treated as less than human. As Obama implied in his second inaugural, Stonewall was where the gay liberation movement was born.
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