Governor Kathy Hochul, joined by U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, participates in the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center groundbreaking in lower Manhattan Friday June 24, 2022. (Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

Governor Hochul: “To the early pioneers who stood up against the tides of their time, exuding such courage to say, I’m a human being and I have a right to go, I can go socialize, I can dance, I can hang out and you can’t stop me. That’s what the message of Stonewall was all across this nation. And it started right here. It started right here and we’re so proud of that history. And we cherish that history and we honor that history. And today we begin the groundbreaking for something that’s going to be there for generations to come.”

Hochul: “We will cherish your rights. We’ll honor them and we’ll send a message to the rest of the nation. If your state does not respect you, does not treat you with the rights that we think you have here in New York, then what are you doing in those other states? Come to New York.”

Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul delivered remarks at the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center groundbreaking.

A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below

Happy Pride! Happy Pride! Happy Pride! Apparently, due to technical difficulties, you have me as your warmup act. How do you feel about that? All right. All right. This is going to be an easy audience. Well, first of all, let me say a couple of things. This was intended to be, and still is a day of great celebration. Long time coming. In fact, 53 years in coming that there finally is the appropriate recognition for what went on here many, many, many decades ago. 

And to the early pioneers who stood up against the tides of their time, exuding such courage to say, I’m a human being and I have a right to go, I can go socialize, I can dance, I can hang out and you can’t stop me. That’s what the message of Stonewall was all across this nation. And it started right here. It started right here and we’re so proud of that history. And we cherish that history and we honor that history. And today we begin the groundbreaking for something that’s going to be there for generations to come.

Because long after we’re gone, we want this story to be told. This story to be an inspiration, especially to the struggling young people to know that no, you’re part of a beautiful family and it all started here in New York. I want to thank some incredible leaders whose inspiration brought us to this day.

Diana Rodriguez, the Founder and President of Pride Live has joined us here. What a great day, Diana, an extraordinary leader. Ann Marie Gothard, the President of Pride Live Board of Directors, Ann Marie. Ruth Porat, the Senior Vice President of Google and Alphabet. What a great corporate partner as well. I believe our Majority Leader, the Majority Leader of the entire United States Senate, Chuck Schumer is also here today.

Thank him for his incredible leadership. Councilmember Eric Bottcher is here. Eric, where are you? Let’s give a round of applause to our councilmember and everyone who works so hard to make this a reality. 

But I have to also say, this is a great day of celebration, but there’s also some very difficult news that just came down in the last hour. Yeah, you can boo. I think you know what I’m talking about. Yeah. And no, I’m not talking about the Supreme Court’s gun case because that was yesterday when they said that a governor like the Governor of New York does not have the right to keep laws in place intended to protect our citizens in places like this.

No, I’m not talking about that one. I’m talking about the fact that they just said an hour ago that there is no constitutional right to have an abortion in America. They just set women back in this country, back to the dark ages. And my friends, you don’t need to worry about New York because everything that’s good happens in New York.

We’re fighting back. We’re protecting our providers. We’re making sure insurance companies are covering abortion services. We’re giving money to support our providers because we know that with the Statue of Liberty, the Statue of Liberty is in our Harbor, and she’ll always be there with that torch to say, when your rights are oppressed, you know where to come. You come to New York. So our providers will take care of you and treat you with the rights that we believe you have here in the State of New York. So we go forth discouraged by the Supreme Court, anxious about what they may do to other rights that we hold dear such as marriage equality. We’ll continue to protect that right here in the State of New York.

And remember Edie Windsor and others who stood up for us, we’ll always stand up. We don’t just stand up though because this is New York. We stand up and we fight back. Don’t we? We stand up and we fight back and we’re going to continue to do that. 

So today we honor the legacy of this place, the story, the resiliency, the tremendous pride associated with this movement and our gatherings, but also know that as New Yorkers, we have a moral responsibility to take the torch that has been passed to us. Whether it’s protecting our rights for safety against gun violence, our rights to determine our own outcome and our make our own decisions for women’s bodies and also the right to love and identify any way you damn well please because this is New York.

We will cherish your rights. We’ll honor them and we’ll send a message to the rest of the nation. If your state does not respect you, does not treat you with the rights that we think you have here in New York, then why are you doing in those other states? Come to New York.

Thank you, everybody. Great celebration and congratulations!