2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the LGBT community. The Supreme Court is expected to legalize same-sex marriage this month, support for the gay community is at a historical peak and transgender visibility, thanks to Caitlyn Jenner, is at an all-time high. Now, the very place where the gay rights movement was launched is being granted a huge honor — New York City is officially recognizing Stonewall Inn as an NYC landmark.
On Tuesday, NYC's Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to grant the historic Greenwich Village bar landmark status, making it the city's first-ever site to be named chiefly for its significance in LGBT history.
Naturally, the bar's owners were thrilled with the news. "This is such a win for LGBT New Yorkers and the community around the world," said Stacy Lentz, a co-owner of the Stonewall Inn. "It's a symbol of fighting against repression and we are thrilled the building will be preserved for generations to come."
Stonewall Inn took on the title as the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement when clashes erupted between its gay patrons and the police in 1969. After years of city-sanctioned harassment, New York City's long-persecuted gay community took a stand in what is known today as the Stonewall Riots.
Almost half a century later, Stonewall Inn remains one of the primary symbols of the gay rights movement, an internationally known neighborhood bar that has been around to witness to the surprising momentum in the support for gay rights.
A statement issued by Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said:
The Stonewall Inn is a rarity — a tipping point in history where we know, with absolute clarity, that everything changed. This building has a unique place in the history of our city and in the struggle for dignity and equal rights in our society.
[Cover image via Flickr/Chris]