The National Park Service launched Tuesday a new “LGBT Heritage Theme Study” which will highlight the historical achievements of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders.
The “theme study” will be partially funded by the Gill Foundation, an LGBT advocacy group. Tim Gill and Scott Miller of Denver, Colorado, were among Barack Obama’s top bundlers for his 2012 presidential campaign.
According to Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner, the endeavor will fulfill Obama’s demands for diversity by identifying potential gay historical sites and LGBT events that can be promoted by the National Park Service. In particular, the initiative “could lead to the naming of new LGBT historical places, the installation of history-noting plaques and even park rangers telling the stories of ground-breaking gays.”
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Ambassador to Australia John Berry, who is openly gay, and several historians and scholars will “discuss ways to celebrate and interpret lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history in the context of broader American history.”
Jewell announced the new initiative at the end of May at New York’s Stonewall Inn, named a national historic landmark for being the site of a 1969 riot said by gay activists to be the start of the LGBT civil rights movement.
“The contributions of women, minorities and members of the LGBT community have been historically underrepresented in the National Park Service,” said Jewell, “and the LGBT theme study will help ensure that we understand, commemorate and share these key chapters in our nation’s complex and diverse history.”
Similarly, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis added, “As we prepare to celebrate the National Park Service’s Centennial in 2016, we have rededicated ourselves to sharing more diverse stories of our nation’s history, particularly the struggles for civil rights.”