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Biden honors LGBTQ community at Stonewall opening ceremony in post-debate appearance

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(NEW YORK) — One day after President Joe Biden took the stage to debate former President Donald Trump, he arrived in New York City Friday to celebrate the opening ceremony of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center.

The opening ceremony also honors the 55th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a six-day-long series of demonstrations against police raids on gay bars.

In his brief comments, Biden celebrated the LGBTQ+ community and praised its members for a courage that he said has inspired movements across the globe. The president said “the course of history was changed forever” by events that occurred at the Stonewall Inn, marking a pivotal moment in the fight for gay liberation.

“This beloved bar became the site of a call to cry for freedom, dignity, equality and respect — rebellion that galvanized the LGBTQ+ community all across the nation and, frankly, around the world,” Biden said.

The Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center is the first LGBTQ+ visitor center within the National Park System. Organized by LGBTQ advocacy groups PrideLive, the center hopes to serve as a living monument to those who have shaped the LGBTQ+ equality movement. President Obama designated the Stonewall National Monument a national monument eight years ago.

Biden attended the Stonewall event after delivering remarks at a rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, which was his first public appearance since his nationally televised debate Thursday evening with former President Donald Trump. Biden said he was inspired by the bravery of the LGBTQ+ community.

“Your courage and contributions enrich every part of American life. They set an example, I’m not exaggerating, for the entire world. That’s what this center this monument this month is all about,” Biden said.

The president was joined on stage by musician and gay rights activist Sir Elton John.

“As President Biden has reminded us today, we face one of those seminal moments: Do we stand up for our vision and our values, or let misinformation and senseless scapegoating turn back the clock?” John asked. “No f—— way. No. In this moment. too. we must take pride and fight on.”

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