Target: National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis
Goal: Applaud new initiative to document LGBT history by identifying noteworthy places and people
The National Park Service recently announced it will be embarking on a project to identify and recognize historical sites central to LGBT history. Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will be heading a research panel comprised of 18 scholars who will pore over the LGBT movement to identify places they recommend for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, or on the list of National Historic Landmarks or national monuments. The panel will be evaluating LGBT history in the United States in terms of the movement’s contributions to civil rights, law, religion, the arts, and media. Colorado philanthropist Tim Gill, who supports various LGBT causes, is funding the research, which is expected to wrap up in 2016.
This project is similar to other campaigns to recognize historical sites central to the experience and history of women, Asian Americans, and Latino and Hispanic Americans in this country. Director Jarvis commented to the Coast Reporter that this type of commemoration and preservation work lies at the heart of the Park Service’s mission. “The Park Service is, in my view, America’s storyteller through place. It’s important that the places we recognize represent the full complement of the American experience,” he noted.
One San Francisco scholar who is slated to be on the panel, Gerard Koskovich, is excited to begin identifying the earliest civil rights works and acts undertaken by LGBT individuals. He said, “When you consider that until the 1970s the federal government was still rallying around persecuting LGBTQ people and devoted to punishing us, arresting us and excluding us, that we now see after a 40- or 50-year process a federal government saying that we are now part of the stories that deserve to be told and protected is really remarkable.”
By signing this petition, you are thanking the National Park Service and Director Jarvis for their dedication to recognizing the hard work and achievements of LGBT Americans. You are encouraging them to continue to advocate for and preserve sites that reflect the diverse history of this country.
Dear National Park Service and Director Jon Jarvis,
I am very excited to hear about the new project to identify notable historical sites vital to the LGBT movement in the United States. I appreciate that the Park Service has long been involved in recognizing and protecting sites that reflect the diversity of our country’s history. This is another huge step in a positive direction for the remembrance of historical achievements and sacrifices made by minority Americans.
Thank you for undertaking this project to include the LGBT movement in the mainstream historical record of the US. Thank you for recognizing that these projects are what make the Park Service a vital part of our government. I urge you to continue this important work in years to come.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: National Park Service via Wikimedia Commons