First national park unit to honor LGBT Americans makes history today

Jun 24, 2016
The Wilderness Society applauds President Obama for his leadership in using the Antiquities Act

The Wilderness Society commends the Obama Administration for making history today with the establishment of the Stonewall National Monument in New York City.  The legacy of Stonewall Inn and nearby Christopher Park is a part of the push for human and civil rights in the United States.

The Stonewall uprising is recognized as the birthplace of the modern LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) civil rights movement. The demonstrations and protests that took place around Stonewall in response to police raids against the LGBT community in the summer of 1969 are considered some of the most important events in LGBT history.

National parks protect America’s treasured places and preserve stories of undisputed national significance. Currently, none of our more than 400 national park sites represent or connect to LGBT history.

The following statement is from Jamie Williams, President of The Wilderness Society:

“The establishment of Stonewall as a national monument represents an important step forward, both in the recognition of the struggles and triumphs of the LGBT community and in President Obama’s commitment to creating a system of parks and public lands that more fully tells our American stories.

This is truly a historic moment for our country and for inclusion of an increasingly wider array of Americans who are represented in our nation’s most important places. The Antiquities Act is a critical tool for ensuring that this history is handed down to future generations. Stonewall follows in the tradition of newly established monuments such as San Gabriel Mountains and Rio Grande del Norte that foster understanding and appreciation of America’s diversity.

The Wilderness Society and its members and supporters across the country join in sincerely thanking President Obama for this visionary move to recognize the history and accomplishments of the LGBT community.”

Matt Keller, National Monuments Campaign Director, (970) 946-0906,
Kate Mackay, Director, Wildlands Communications, (208) 350-2080,

The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 700,000 members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.