Christopher Street subway station renamed for Stonewall riots ahead of NYC Pride March

A historic subway station in Lower Manhattan has a new name, just in time for New York City Pride Weekend.

The Christopher Street–Sheridan Square station on the 1 line was formally renamed the Christopher Street–Stonewall station on Friday, honoring the 1969 riots at the nearby Stonewall Inn bar that launched the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement in the United States.

The renaming comes after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed related legislation sponsored by state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal and state Assemblymember Deborah Glick — both Manhattan Democrats — into law, after it passed the state Legislature earlier this month. The change marks yet another official action memorializing the June 1969 police raid turned demonstration at the Stonewall Inn, which is now celebrated annually during Pride Month.

“New York is the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ rights movement and has always been a leader in advancing equality and justice for all Americans,” Hochul said in a statement. “As elected officials in other states are using their powers to take those rights away, I am proud to sign legislation to uplift LGBTQ+ history.”

Just steps away from the subway station, Hochul and other top Democrats, including President Joe Biden, on Friday attended the official opening of a new visitor center commemorating the Stonewall uprising.

The Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center at 51 Christopher St. is designed to serve as a hub for LGBTQ+ history and will be open this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and this Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. At other times, it will generally be open on Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Speaking at the unveiling of Christopher Street station’s new name, MTA CEO and Chair Janno Lieber said it was a “great moment for the city” and gestured toward the Stonewall National Monument across 7th Avenue. Then-President Barack Obama designated the area surrounding the Stonewall Inn as a national monument in 2016.

Earlier this week, Biden pardoned potentially thousands of ex-military members who were convicted over a now-defunct ban on consensual gay sex. Service members covered by the pardon will now be able to petition to have their military discharges upgraded and recover lost pay and benefits, according to the AP.

The actions from Biden and Hochul come just several months before the next presidential election in November. An estimated 9 million LGBTQ+ adults were eligible to vote in the last presidential election, with half of those registered as Democrats and 22% as independents, according to research from the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Festivities planned for NYC Pride Weekend include the Pride March, Dyke March and LadyLand Festival. Check out some of the biggest events slated for the weekend here.

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