GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan — New York's famed Stonewall Inn, on the brink of closing its doors for good due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is safe for the time being after a wave of financial support.
The landmark bar where the gay rights movement began 51 years ago was "crippled" financially, it's owners said, with mounting bills and irreparable damage after the city's bar scene was put on PAUSE along with so much of the economy earlier this spring.
But by Tuesday, the bar's fate seemed to be changing.
The Gill Foundation, which helps fund efforts to secure equality for the LGBTQ+ community, pledged up to $250,000 to protect the institution.
First reported by the Washington Blade and confirmed on the foundation's website, the Gill Foundation will match contributions up to $250,000 to prevent the closure of the bar.
The news was also reported in Gothamist.
A GoFundMe fundraiser for the Stonewall Inn started by its owners had surpassed a $300,000 goal by Tuesday night, adding to the financial support for the New York City Landmark.
Scott Miller and Tim Gill, co-chairs of the Gill Foundation, said in a statement to the Washington Blade the institution must be protected.
“Queer people of color — including trans women of color like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Miss Major — led the uprisings against police brutality at Stonewall and in doing so helped spark the movement for LGBTQ equality,” Miller and Gill said. “We must preserve that history and the legacy of the activists who led the charge.”
New York City celebrated Pride over the weekend, albeit mostly virtually, celebrating the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall riots of 9169, where a police raid sparked days of unrest, kicking off what has become widely considered the start of the modern gay rights movement.