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National Park Service to launch 'LGBT Theme Study' at The Stonewall Inn in NYC

The historic gay bar The Stonewall Inn
The historic gay bar The Stonewall Inn
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Secretary of the Department of Interior Sally Jewell will announce this Friday in New York City a new National Park Service [NPS] theme study to identify places and events associated with the civil rights struggle of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. Jewell will join Corey Johnson, District 3, New York City Councilman, and Tim Gill, Founder, Gill Foundation at The Stonewall Inn, the site of a riot in 1969 that is widely recognized as a catalyst for the modern civil rights movement in the LGBT community. It is currently the only LGBT-associated site that has been designated a national historic landmark by the NPS as a property having extraordinary significance in American history, DOI said Wednesday

According to DOI spokesman Jessica Kershaw, the theme study is part of a broader initiative under the Obama Administration to ensure that the NPS "reflects and tells a more complete story of the people and events responsible for building this nation." The NPS has ongoing heritage initiatives to commemorate minorities and women who have made significant contributions to the nation’s history and culture, including studies related to Latinos, women’s history, and Asian American and Pacific Islanders.

The NPS LGBTQ Initiative is the latest effort in NPS's tradition of the documentation and interpretation of civil rights history. Recognizing that identities and communities are historically situated, the LGBTQ Initiative acknowledges lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning citizens in the United States, their contributions to American life and culture and their efforts to create a safe and legitimate social and political place in American society. It explores various ways that this history can be recognized, preserved and interpreted for future generations.

The Gill Foundation is dedicated to advancing equality by supporting nonprofit organizations that serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied individuals, as well as people with HIV/AIDS. Since its inception in 1994, the Gill Foundation has invested more than $259 million in programs and nonprofit organizations throughout the country.