Closing time for Stonewall Inn? Don't bet on it. It has historical protection.

The Stonewall Inn isn't just another bar. It's the birthplace of a global movement toward equality.

It may look like just another old pub in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, but the Stonewall Inn is far from your average watering hole.

You'll probably spot a rainbow flag billowing outside its door.

"So what?" you might ask. "This is New York. There are plenty of rainbow flags billowing outside plenty of doors."


Many of those flags may not be flying today if it hadn't been for the Stonewall Inn, though.

Image via Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images.

The historic bar is what New York City councilman Corey Johnson considers to be a "birthplace of a global movement" toward LGBTQ rights. And he's definitely not the only one.

On June 23, 2015, NYC announced the Stonewall Inn as a new city landmark.

It's the first time in city history a site has been recognized as such because of its LGBTQ roots.


Image via Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images.

And almost exactly one year later, on June 24, 2016, President Obama announced the Stonewall Inn would be America's first national monument in recognition of LGBTQ equality.

The White House said the designation will create the nation's first National Park Service unit committed to highlighting the history of LGBTQ Americans.

Photo by Monika Graff/Getty Images.

The news comes at a pivotal moment in LGBTQ history. In just a few days, the U.S. will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of federal marriage equality. But the queer community will be celebrating with heavy hearts, as the worst mass shooting in American history targeted an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month.

A big symbolic step forward couldn't have come at a better time.

Many advocates point to June 28, 1969, as a big turning point for LGBTQ folks fighting for equality in the U.S.

For the first time, Stonewall patrons — led largely by trans women of color — stood up against police harassment of their community (which had become a regular occurrence). There were arrests, scuffles, and lots of curious onlookers.

That night spurred even more protests. And in the days that followed the initial rebellion, hundreds of supporters gathered in Greenwich Village, launching what many consider to be the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement.

Today, the bar remains a hot spot in the ongoing fight for equality.


A married couple celebrates the end of the Defense of Marriage Act near the Stonewall Inn in 2013. Image via Mario Tama/Getty Images.


Advocates rally against hate crimes toward the LGBTQ community outside the Stonewall Inn in 2010. Image via Yana Paskova/Getty Images.

Paradegoers kiss in New York City's Gay Pride March in 2012. Image via Michael Nagle/Getty Images.

We've come a long way on LGBTQ rights since the 1960s, thanks to those original Stonewall protesters.

I mean, think about it: Did anyone believe national marriage equality could be a reality, even just a few decades ago?


America's view on LGBTQ people has evolved a ton since those Stonewall riots. According to a Gallup poll from May, a whopping 60% of Americans are in support of marriage equality — up from just 27% in 1996!

If there is some big gay agenda in the works, it's definitely succeeding. And I am SO here for that.

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I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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