New York congressmembers to introduce resolution designating June 28 as ‘Stonewall Day’

A view of the Stonewall Inn from Christopher Park, which is also the home of the Stonewall National Monument.
A view of the Stonewall Inn from Christopher Park, which is also the home of the Stonewall National Monument.
Donna Aceto

Three New York Democrats spanning both houses of Congress are teaming up to introduce a resolution designating June 28 — the day when the Stonewall Uprising kicked off — as Stonewall Day.

The resolution, slated to be introduced on June 25, aims to commemorate the historic role of Stonewall as a critical moment in the emergence of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. The resolution is led by Congressmembers Dan Goldman and Ritchie Torres, who is gay, along with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who collaborated with Pride Live, a non-profit organization that is opening the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center on June 28. Pride Live founder Diana Rodriguez worked with Gillibrand’s team on drafting language and gathering endorsements from groups and leaders such as the Christopher Street Alliance, Elton John AIDS Foundation, and the National Parks Service.

The resolution rehashes the significance of the events of the Stonewall Uprising and acknowledges the roles of Stonewall veterans such as Marsha P. Johnson and Stormé DeLarverie, but it also points to the reality of LGBTQ life today: Many queer people, the resolution notes, “still face discriminatory policies, barriers to critical government services, and disregard for their equitable rights across the United States in the realms of affirming health care, employment, education, housing, immigration, and the justice system.” Among other points, the resolution reminds Americans that the Stonewall National Monument — just across the street from the Stonewall Inn — was established in 2016 “as the 412th unit of the National Park System, making it the first in the country dedicated to LGBTQIA+ equality.”

Furthermore, the resolution looks ahead to the June 28 opening of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center, which will be located at 51 Christopher St. to honor the Stonewall Uprising. The project, which started six years ago, has been led by two queer women of color, Pride Live Co-Founders Diana Rodriguez and Ann Marie Gothard, who sought to celebrate and preserve the legacy of Stonewall. The Visitor Center, according to Pride Live, functions as an educational resource, with in-person and virtual tours, lecture series, exhibitions and visual arts displays. The Visitor Center will also serve as a home base for Stonewall National Monument NPS park rangers.

“As the only openly gay member of Congress from the great state of New York and a co-chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus, the immense significance of the Stonewall Uprising is never lost on me,” Torres said in a written statement. “I am able to live as an openly gay man in 2024 directly because of the bravery of those individuals at Stonewall who put their feet down and said enough is enough. We have made immense progress as a nation in accepting and celebrating LGBTQIA+ rights in the 55 years since Stonewall, but there is still so much more to be done,” Torres said.

Gillibrand said she led the resolution in the upper house “in honor of the brave protestors who used their voices to fight injustice during the Stonewall Uprising and the activists who are still fighting for equality today.”

“The Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center will be the first park visitor center honoring LGBTQ+ history, and I am honored to celebrate its grand opening after six years of planning,” Gillibrand said. “Recognizing these brave Americans and telling the full history of our country is important now more than ever as we fight growing bigotry and intolerance in the United States. The LGBTQ+ community is essential to the fabric of our nation’s culture, history, and diversity, and I will never stop fighting to ensure every person in America can live free from discrimination.”

Goldman said the resolution serves as a way to recognize the bravery of those who fought back at Stonewall while also underscoring the importance of protecting the community moving forward.

“While we celebrate how far we have come as a country, we must recognize the sacrifice of those in the past and remain vigilant against the concerning rise in anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiment nationwide,” Goldman said.

Ann Marie Gothand, the chair of Pride Live’s board of directors, said, “The designation of Stonewall Day is a monumental step forward for the community and our continued fight for full equality.”

The well-supported resolution has 21 Democratic co-sponsors in the upper house: Sen. Alex Padilla of California, Ron Wyden of Oregon, John Fetterman of Pennsylvania; out lesbian Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin; Peter Welch of Vermont; Tammy Duckworth of Illinois; Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut; Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Chris Coons of Delaware; Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; Jeff Merkley of Oregon; Ben Cardin of Maryland; Chris Murphy of Connecticut; Cory Booker of New Jersey; Chuck Schumer of New York; John Hickenlooper of Colorado; Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada; Bob Casey of Pennsylvania; Michael Bennett of Colorado; Tim Kaine of Virginia; and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.