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State park to be renamed after transgender advocate

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Bicyclists commuting to work in New York head for the Brooklyn Bridge. The crowded intersection of Jay Street and Tillary Street in Downtown Brooklyn is a challenging crossing for people pushing pedals.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (AP) — A New York state park in Brooklyn will be named after LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

Cuomo announced the renaming of East River State Park during the Human Rights Campaign’s Greater New York gala.

“New York state is the progressive capital of the nation, and while we are winning the legal battle for justice for the LGBTQ community, in many ways we are losing the broader war for equality,” Cuomo told the gathering at a midtown hotel.

Cuomo said attacks against African Americans, Jewish people, Muslims and members of the LGBTQ community motivated by “fear and intolerance” have risen.

“We are fighting back, and we will continue achieving progress and showing the rest of the nation the way forward,” Cuomo said.

Johnson, who died in 1992 at age 46, is considered a pioneer of the movement for the rights of transgender people, although the term transgender was not widely used during her lifetime.

Some witness accounts say Johnson was a leader of the Stonewall rebellion of 1969 when patrons of a Greenwich Village bar resisted a police raid and sparked the modern gay rights movement.

Johnson and her friend Sylvia Rivera founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, which advocated for homeless gay young people.

New York City officials announced last year that Johnson and Rivera will be honored with a public monument. Details have not been released.

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