- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 3, 2016

President Obama will reportedly mark Pride Month in June by designating part of a New York neighborhood surrounding the Stonewall Inn as the nation’s first gay rights national monument.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, National Park Service director Jonathan B. Jarvis and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, plan a listening session to solicit community response in the Greenwich Village neighborhood in lower Manhattan next week. Mr. Obama hopes to make a final designation handing the land to the National Park Service in June.

According to a report in The Washington Post, “barring a last-minute complication” possibly related to land titles, Mr. Obama’s declaration will cover a sliver of green space known as Christopher Park, the famous drag bar (which is still in operation), and several of the narrow nearby streets where New York City gay life was centered in the late-1960s.

The White House would not confirm the report.

Mr. Nadler and Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, New York Democrat, kicked off a campaign in September to create a national park honoring the Stonewall uprising, a series of riots by members of the gay community against a police raid at the bar in June 1969. It is considered a defining moment in the modern gay rights movement.

“We must ensure that we never forget the legacy of Stonewall, the history of discrimination against the LGBT community or the impassioned individuals who have fought to overcome it,” Mr. Nadler said. “The LGBT civil rights movement launched at Stonewall is woven into American history, and it is time our National Park system reflected that reality.”

Among the entertainers who support the designation are Melissa Etheridge and Demi Lovato.

Last fall, Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Nadler sponsored a petition drive and said they had a far better chance of obtaining a federal designation from the president than from the Republican-controlled Congress.

“We must have federal recognition of the LGBT movement’s history and origins and ensure that this piece of LGBT history is preserved for future generations,” Mr. Nadler said at the time.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York are among other Democratic officials who support the move.

After the Supreme Court’s ruling last June in Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognized a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, thousands of gay rights supporters gathered at the Stonewall Inn to celebrate the decision.

Two days later, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, officiated at a wedding of two men outside the bar.

Victor Morton contributed to this report.

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