Hundreds attend public discussion on proposal to honor location of Stonewall Uprising as the first national park site dedicated to LGBT equal rights.
NEW YORK, NY: Hundreds of people gathered with elected officials, advocacy groups and local leaders at a public meeting on May 9, to express views on the proposal to designate the country’s first national park site dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history at Stonewall. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis joined U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler to hear from community members about their position on creating a national park for Stonewall to honor the birthplace of the modern LGBT civil rights movement.
A weeklong uprising took place at the Stonewall Inn bar and the streets surrounding Christopher Park in Greenwich Village in June 1969. This event helped shape our country and set the stage for the changes across the nation for LGBT equality and the larger push for human rights and civil rights in the United States.
“We’ve heard from thousands of people and hundreds of organizations about what this place means to them and why inclusion in the National Park System is critical to our nation’s history. That sentiment was echoed by community members at today’s meeting,” said Cortney Worrall, Northeast regional director for National Parks Conservation Association. “Currently, not one of our more than 400 national park sites is dedicated to LGBT history and it’s time to change that.”
Two-thirds of America’s national park sites are dedicated to cultural and historic significance. Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York tells the story of the first Women’s Rights Convention held there in July 1848, and the struggle for women’s equality and civil rights. Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama, a national park site, traces the march led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the struggle for equal voting rights for African Americans. A national park for Stonewall would tell the story of the LGBT people’s struggle for civil and human rights and is integral to fully incorporating the diverse range of LGBT experiences into our nation’s history.
“NPCA has been a leader in the effort to recognize the vital legacy of the Stonewall Uprising and of the individuals who stood firm for their rights during those events and since in the National Park System,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “I am hopeful that thanks to all of our hard work, and the work of the many stakeholders supporting this project, we will see the new national monument at Stonewall that the site deserves.”
The public meeting was hosted by Congressman Jerry Nadler (NY-10) and co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assembly Member Deborah Glick, New York City Council Member Corey Johnson, and Manhattan Community Board Two, and is part of a longer, ongoing discussion about the proposal to include the Stonewall story in the National Park System.
“As we celebrate the 100 anniversary of the National Park Service this year, we hope the administration will make history by creating our first national park honoring LGBT history with Stonewall,” added NPCA’s Cortney Worrall.
In December, U.S. Congressman Nadler introduced legislation in the House of Representatives (H. 4230) that allows the National Park Service to designate an area following the boundaries of the Stonewall National Historic Landmark as the Stonewall National Historic Site. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate (S. 2386).
Learn more about the push to create a national park for Stonewall and add your support by signing the petition at: www.npca.org/natlparkforstonewall.
About National Parks Conservation Association Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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