Letter of Support

The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC
 
Dear Mr. President:

We applaud the National Park Service (NPS) for undertaking an important review of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) heritage.  The LGBT Heritage Initiative is important and will hopefully result in incorporating the LGBT story in programs managed by NPS.

Yet, even while we seek to incorporate our stories through landmarks and sites on the National Registry of Historic Places, nothing compares to the full inclusion of LGBT history and culture within our national park system itself.

That is why we write today to urge you to designate the area around Stonewall as a national monument.

America’s national parks include some of the most beautiful places on earth and tell some of the most important aspects of our shared culture and history.  The Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, and Independence Hall are just a few examples of national park sites that capture our hearts and minds, teach us important lessons, and allow each of us to reflect on our own role in America’s history. These special places provide the opportunity to celebrate and learn about our shared past, preserve our historic spaces, and bring renewed commitment to the communities that helped to shape our country.

By establishing 16 national monuments and signing legislation creating many more, you have demonstrated that it is a priority for you to protect and preserve America’s special places.  We hope you will act again to protect the places important to telling the LGBT story.  For instance, in New York City, the story of Stonewall could honor the American LGBT experience. The Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park in New York’s West Village served as the site of the 1969 uprising that signified a major turning point in LGBT history and have come to symbolize the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement worldwide. This story represents a history that affects all Americans – gay and straight – and exemplifies the uniquely American values enshrined in our Bill of Rights.

Park units share stories of the African American experience, Hispanic history, and Asian American culture.  Sites document the sometimes tragic journey of Native Americans and the struggle of women for the right to vote.  Even though our national parks tell America’s story, there are no national park units that celebrate LGBT Americans.  The LGBT story is being left out.

LGBT history is American history and it needs to be protected.

We know you agree and hope you will support our efforts to include the LGBT story as a full unit in America’s national park system.
 
Sincerely,

National Organizations

  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Athlete Ally
  • Campus Pride
  • Center for HIV Law & Policy
  • CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
  • Equality Federation
  • Family Equality Council
  • Freedom to Marry
  • GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
  • GLAAD
  • GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian Straight Education Network)
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Keshet
  • Lambda Legal
  • Latino Commission on AIDS
  • Log Cabin Republicans
  • Marriage Equality USA
  • National Center for Transgender Equality
  • National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
  • National LGBTQ Task Force
  • National Organization for Women
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Out for Sustainability
  • Outright Action International
  • People for the American Way
  • PFLAG National
  • POZ Magazine
  • Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
  • Sierra Club
  • Stonewall National Museum & Archives
  • Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • The Trevor Project
  • True Colors Fund
  • World Monuments Fund

New York Organizations

  • Bailey House: The Rand Harlan Center for Housing, Wellness, and Community
  • Brooklyn Community Pride Center
  • Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
  • Center for Anti-Violence Education
  • Church of the Village, NYC
  • Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
  • Empire State Pride Agenda
  • Friends in Deed
  • Gay Alliance (Rochester, NY)
  • Gay Men’s Health Crisis
  • Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP)
  • Heritage of Pride (NYC Pride)
  • Hetrick-Martin Institute
  • Historic Districts Council
  • Jim Owls Liberal Democratic Club
  • Knickerbocker Sailing Association
  • Latino Pride Center
  • Lesbian & Gay Democratic Club of Queens
  • Leslie + Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
  • LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York
  • The LGBT Center of the Finger Lakes (Geneva, NY)
  • LGBTQ Student Center at New York University
  • The LOFT: LGBT Community Center (White Plains, NY)
  • Long Island Pride Sports Association (LIPSA)
  • National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce of New York
  • New York City LGBT Historic Sites Project
  • North Fork Women for Women Fund (Greenport, NY)
  • NYC AIDS Memorial
  • NYC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center
  • PFLAG NYC
  • Preservation League of New York State
  • Queens Lesbian & Gay Community Center
  • SaveStonewall.org
  • Sierra Club, Atlantic Chapter
  • The Stonewall Chorale
  • Union for Reform Judaism

Other Organizations

  • Basic Rights Oregon (Portland, OR)
  • Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center (Allentown, PA)
  • Center on Halsted (Chicago, IL)
  • Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada (Las Vegas, NV)
  • GLBT Community Center of Colorado
  • LGBT Community Center of the Desert (Palm Springs, CA)
  • LGBT Center of Raleigh (Raleigh, NC)
  • Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center
  • MDDLCC Foundation (Miami, FL)
  • The Montrose Center (Houston, TX)
  • Pacific Pride Foundation (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • Phoenix Pride (Phoenix, AZ)
  • The Pride Center of New Jersey (Highland Park, NJ)
  • Pride Center San Antonio (San Antonio, TX)
  • Resource Center (Dallas, TX)
  • Sacramento LGBT Community Center (Sacramento, CA)
  • San Diego LGBT Community Center (San Diego, CA)
  • Triangle Community Center (Norwalk, CT)
  • Washington County Gay Straight Alliance (Washington, PA)