Monday, July 22, 2024

Elton John Joins President Biden Stonewall Monument Center Opening

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Elton John was on hand to assist President Joe Biden Friday at the opening of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center in New York, the first LGBTQIA+ center in the National Park Service’s network.

“I can say as a proud English gay man that this is one of the biggest honors of my life to be here today, having watched what took place 55 years ago,” John said in his speech, acknowledging the 55th anniversary of the historic Stonewall rebellion that took place near the center.

“Fifty-five years ago, in this sacred spot of the Stonewall uprising, gay activists stood strong and ignited a movement that has changed history for the better.”

John thanked President Biden for “celebrating our place as equal and valued members of society, and for taking concrete action to make our lives better,” but warned that “the fight for freedom and equality is an ongoing one.”

“Over 540 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced in state legislatures across America this year. Disgraceful,” John added.

“And, as President Biden has reminded us, today too 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? No fucking way. No!”

The music icon then talked about his own efforts with his Elton John Foundation, and said that, “In this moment too, we must take pride and take arms, so let us honor LGBTQ+ people everywhere who have journeyed for justice, and commit as I do — as long as I’m still standing — to continue to stand with you as we commit to build a better, fairer, and more just world for us all.”

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To close out the event, the retired-from-the-road John got back behind the piano for a surprise performance that included “Bennie and The Jets,” “I’m Still Standing” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.”

“Fifty-five years ago today on this hallowed ground, a pivotal story for our nation unfolded. The soul of the nation was literally tested — that’s not hyperbole, the soul of the nation was tested — and the heart of this movement was ignited and the course of history was changed forever,” President Biden said during his remarks. “This beloved bar became the site of a call to cry for freedom, dignity, and equality and respect. Rebellion had galvanized the LGBTQ+ community all across the nation, quite frankly all around the world.”



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