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New York City subway station to be renamed in honor of Stonewall

LGBTQ bar Stonewall Inn NYC first pride riot flowers memorial stop hate sign rainbow flags subway signs Christopher Street Sheridan Square Stonewall National Monument
Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock; KLiK Photography/Shutterstock; via x.com @bradhoylman

A bill passed by the state legislature now awaits the governor’s signature.

A bill to rename a NYC subway station in honor of the Stonewall Riots unanimously passed the state legislature last week and now awaits Gov. Kathy Hochul’s review and expected signature. Assembly Bill A8970A directs the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to rename the Christopher Street-Sheridan Square subway station as the Christopher Street-Stonewall National Monument station.

The bill was co-sponsored by State Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick (D-Manhattan) and State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D-Manhattan). Hoylman-Sigal celebrated the bill’s passage in a post to X Twitter.

“This change will memorialize the history of the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement and inspire NY to demand justice and equality for all,” Hoylman-Sigal posted. “Happy Pride!”

Once signed, the bill would take effect immediately, but the MTA must find specific funding to enact the change.

The Stonewall Riots refer to the confrontation between the LGBTQ+ patrons of the Stonewall Inn and police who came to raid the gay bar on the evening of June 28, 1969. Rather than submit to arrest, patrons fought back in what is now viewed as the birth of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.

RELATED: 10 iconic photos of Stonewall and LGBTQ+ history

Former President Barack Obama designated the Stonewall National Monument on June 24, 2016. The 7.7-acre site in the Greenwich Village neighborhood includes the Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park, and Christopher Street.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center was livestreamed during Pride Month in June of 2024.

“The opening of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center is a remarkable moment in the history of Stonewall,” Ann Marie Gothard, President of the Pride Live Board of Directors, said in a statement at the time. “We honor all those who came before us, most especially the queer people fighting for equality at the Stonewall Riots.”

Last year, Vice President Kamala Harris made a surprise visit to the Monument, becoming the first sitting vice president to stop at the historic Stonewall Inn. Harris used the visit to tout the Biden administration’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and reportedly posed for selfies and chatted up the patrons after the press had been ushered from the bar.

The Monument has been subjected to incidents of hate-inspired vandalism. Last August, Patrick Murphy was charged with a hate crime and criminal mischief for vandalizing multiple Pride flags at the Monument on June 15, 2023. Police said Murphy and two other men were captured on video removing and destroying several transgender flags that were part of a display featuring 60 different Pride flags hanging on a fence at the monument. Part of the fence was also destroyed in the attack.

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