The Secretary of the Interior on Friday visited the Stonewall Inn to announce an initiative by the National Park Service to recognize the history of gay Americans. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
The Stonewall Inn is recognized by many as the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement.
"This building now 14 years ago was named a National Historic Landmark and we're proud of that part of the National Park Service's role to preserve this part of history but it's time for us to do more," said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell chose the Stonewall to launch a National Park Service study that will identify places and events associated with the civil rights movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The neighborhood's City Council member, Corey Johnson, who is openly gay himself, says telling that part of the story is long overdue.
"Gay history, LGBT history is American history. And for us to talk about here in New York City, the birthplace of the gay rights movement, it's an incredible day," Johnson said.
"We will be pulling together our nation's finest scholars who will help us tell this story effectively for all Americans," Jewell said.
The study is being funded with the help of $250,000 from the Gill Foundation, which promotes equality for LGBT Americans.
"The way that gay people have gotten where they are is by becoming more visible in the community. And so this is yet another step," said Tim Gill of the Gill Foundation.
A small group of demonstrators outside the Stonewall called on President Barack Obama to create a roadmap to end what they call legal discrimination against the LGBT community.
"Let's tell people about Stonewall. Let's tell people about all the other things that have happened in our nation. But we still need full federal equality and we need it now," said Caleb-Michael Files of GetEQUAL.
"I think as long as people can still be discriminated against and they can be denied housing I think that's the issue more than honoring history. I think the history is not over. We haven't achieved our goals yet," said Luke Goldberg of Queer Nation.
The announcement about the study coincides with the beginning of LGBT Pride Month, which starts on Sunday, and the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
The study is expected to be complete in 2016.