NEW YORK – Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Stonewall Inn national monument on Monday to pay tribute to activists at the site of a watershed moment in the gay rights movement. And she spoke out as state lawmakers around the U.S. have introduced or passed hundreds of bills this year that whittle away at LGBTQ+ rights.
That tally includes a recent flurry of bills that affect transgender people, including legislation recently passed by Republican governors vying for the 2024 presidential nomination.
The vice president's surprise visit to Stonewall in New York City comes just days ahead of the 54th anniversary of the police raid and the rebellion it sparked on June 28, 1969, as patrons and others fought back against officers and against a social order that kept gay life in the shadows. The uprising is widely seen as one of the most pivotal moments in the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.
Harris, in brief remarks, paid tribute to the “courage and determination and the inspiration” of the Stonewall activists, but also said that the spot stood as an important reminder that the community's fight for rights is not over.
Former President Barack Obama established the Stonewall National Monument in 2016. It's the first U.S. national monument dedicated to LGBTQ+ rights.