When the Obama administration announced on Friday that it would designate Stonewall as a government landmark, it came in the kind of a moving video. Now, with his weekly address, President Obama is a lot more fully explaining what compelled him to make history.
In his remarks, the president praises Stonewall for its capacity to bring together a community, invoking Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan, “Stronger Together.” And he lauds Stonewall for its place in LGBT history, comparing the location to the significance of Gettysburg or the Edmund Pettus Bridge created famous by the march from Selma.
Read the president’s total remarks under, as transcribed by the White House:
“The story of America is a story of progress. It’s written by ordinary individuals who place their shoulders to the wheel of history to make positive that the guarantee of our founding applies not just to some of us – but to all of us.
“Farmers and blacksmiths who chose revolution over tyranny. Immigrants who crossed oceans and the Rio Grande. Women who reached for the ballot, and scientists who shot for the moon. The preachers, and porters, and seamstresses who guided us toward the mountaintop of freedom.
“At times, we can mark that progress in special places – hallowed ground where history was written – places like Independence Hall. Gettysburg. Seneca Falls. Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral. The Edmund Pettus Bridge.
“1 of these specific places is the Stonewall Inn. Back in 1969, as a turbulent decade was winding down, the Stonewall Inn was a well-liked gathering spot for New York City’s LGBT community. At the time, being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender was regarded as obscene, illegal – even a mental illness.
“1 evening, police raided the bar, and started arresting folks. Raids like these have been absolutely nothing new – but this time, the patrons had had sufficient. So they stood up, and spoke out, and more than the course of the subsequent a number of days, they refused to be silenced. The riots became protests the protests became a movement the movement eventually became an integral component of America.
“More than the past seven years, we’ve observed achievements that would have been unimaginable to the folks who, knowingly or not, started the modern day LGBT movement at Stonewall. Today, all Americans are protected by a hate crimes law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. ‘Don’t ask, do not tell’ is history. Insurance businesses can no longer turn you away since of who you are. Transgender Americans are much more visible than ever, assisting to make our nation far more inclusive and welcoming for all. And one particular year ago this weekend, we lit the White Property in each and every color – due to the fact in every single state in America, you are now cost-free to marry the particular person you love.
“There’s nonetheless operate to do. As we saw two weeks ago in Orlando, the LGBT neighborhood nevertheless faces real discrimination, genuine violence, real hate. So we can not rest. We’ve got to preserve pushing for equality and acceptance and tolerance.
“But the arc of our history is clear – it’s an arc of progress. And a lot of that progress can be traced back to Stonewall. So this week, I’m designating the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America’s national parks system. Stonewall will be our 1st national monument to inform the story of the struggle for LGBT rights. I think our national parks must reflect the complete story of our country – the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has usually defined us. That we are stronger together. That out of many, we are 1. That’s what tends to make us the greatest nation on earth. And it is what we celebrate at Stonewall – for our generation and for all these who come after us.”