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The Inn was the site of the eponymous Stonewall riots in June 1969: a series of events which precipitated the modern LGBT rights movement.Stonewall has since become an icon of LGBT culture and gay pride in the United States.Until 2009, a 1969 federal law defined hate crimes committed on the basis of a person's race, color, religion, or nation origin when engaging in a federally protected activity.In October 2009, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard Act, which expanded the definition of hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation, gender-identity, and disability.On April 14, 2010, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order to the Department of Health and Human Services to draft new rules for all hospitals accepting Medicare or Medicaid funds.
In the United States, there is no federal law against such discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, but at least twenty-two states and many major cities have enacted laws prohibiting it. In 2012, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity issued a regulation called "Equal Access" to prohibit LGBT discrimination in federally-assisted housing programs.
Two statutes, the Hate Crime Statistics Act (1990) and the Campus Hate Crimes Right to Know Act (1997), require the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as college/university campus security authorities, to collect and publish hate crime statistics.
Forty-six states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have statutes criminalizing various types of bias-motivated violence or intimidation (the exceptions are AR, GA, SC, and WY).
Federal protections are proposed under the Equality Act.
The Stonewall Inn in the gay village of Greenwich Village, Manhattan, adorned with rainbow flags during a pride event.