Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced efforts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in 2019. In June 1969, LGBT community members held spontaneous demonstrations at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, considered by many as the catalyst for the modern LGBT rights movement. As part of the state's commemorative efforts, cultural events will be promoted statewide and New York will host the largest international LGBT pride celebration in 2019 — Stonewall 50 / WorldPride.
"The Stonewall Rebellion was a decisive moment in both LGBT and New York history, and by remembering these events and the movement's continued efforts today, this state and nation will be stronger than ever before," Governor Cuomo said. "The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, coinciding with WorldPride, helps us recognize the efforts of the early LGBT rights advocates as we welcome visitors from across the United States and around the world to visit New York and embrace the rich heritage found at every corner of the state."
Governor Cuomo will convene a Stonewall 50 Commemoration Committee to encourage and promote cultural events to be held throughout New York State in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. The committee will include representatives from state agencies, LGBT community groups, museums and cultural institutions, and tourism professionals.
In conjunction with Stonewall 50, New York City will host WorldPride, the largest international LGBT Pride celebration, in 2019. The event, held in various locations worldwide, features parades, performances and festivals that promote LGBT pride.
Governor Cuomo announced that New York State and I LOVE NY LGBT will activate at key international and domestic Prides, and other LGBT events, throughout 2017 and 2018 to encourage everyone to visit New York State for Stonewall 50 and WorldPride New York. This will be a joint effort between the organizers of Stonewall 50 / NYC Pride ( Heritage of Pride ) to promote travel to the event and the state.
The Governor also announced plans for an I LOVE NY LGBT Welcome Center in New York City for the weeks surrounding the Stonewall 50 Commemoration and WorldPride. The welcome center will provide visitors with information on New York State's LGBT destinations and the Stonewall 50 activities happening statewide.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Governor Cuomo has made equal rights a priority for his administration since day one, and these initiatives will be a tremendous way to celebrate New York State's role in the LGBT movement. I applaud the Governor for his continued commitment to the state's tourism industry — particularly the efforts to welcome LGBT visitors — and look forward to the commemorations planned for 2019."
Earlier today, the Governor also announced Anthony Goicolea has been selected to design New York's official monument honoring the LGBT community, those lost in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting in June 2016, and all victims of hate, intolerance and violence. The monument will be located at the western edge of Greenwich Village, in Hudson River Park.
Since assuming office, Governor Cuomo has been a national leader in championing LGBT rights. In 2011, New York passed the historic Marriage Equality Act and sent a message to the nation that it was time to end one of society's greatest inequities. In 2013, the Governor launched the I LOVE NY LGBT initiative to highlight LGBT destinations and encourage visitation from LGBT travelers, who spend $70 billion on domestic travel every year. In 2015, Governor Cuomo implemented regulations affirming that all transgender individuals are protected under the State's Human Rights Law, and all public and private employers, housing providers, businesses, creditors and others should know that discrimination against transgender persons is unlawful and will not be tolerated in New York State.
Governor Cuomo has also made unprecedented investments in the tourism industry throughout New York State. In 2016, New York welcomed a record 239 million visitors who spent nearly $65 billion, generating a total economic impact of more than $100 billion for the third straight year. Additionally, tourism remains the state's fourth largest employer, supporting more than 914,000 jobs annually.