National Park Service Explores 'LGBT History and Heritage...Sex, Love and Relationships'

By Penny Starr | October 12, 2016 | 4:51 PM EDT

The Stonewall Inn in New York. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The Interior Department and the National Park Service held a conference call on Tuesday – “Coming Out Day” – to announce a renewed effort to “tell a more inclusive story of our nation’s history” by giving places around the country connected to the homosexual movement certain historic designations.

“I’m pleased to be joined by [National Park Service] Director [Jonathan] Jarvis to discuss the efforts of the National Park Service to tell a more inclusive story of our nation’s history,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said on the conference call with reporters. “It’s fitting that we do this today, on National Coming Out Day and during National LGBT History Month.”

“As we identify and document the contributions of communities like the LGBTQ, we also work with the public through the National Park System Advisory Board to broaden the inclusion of these populations in both the national register of historic places and the national historic landmarks program,” Jarvis said.

Jarvis said the federal government commissioned a study on the LGBTQ community, as well as on Asian and Pacific Islanders and the Latino communities.

A fact sheet on the LGBTQ study stated that the NPS is “America’s storyteller.”

“NPS explores the stories related to the legacies of all Americans, ranging from the Paleo-Indians who first settled North America 12,000 years ago leading up to the nation’s present tapestry of complex cultures,” the fact sheet stated.

The study was announced by Jewell in 2014 as “a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind project to explore how the legacy of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals can be recognized, preserved and interpreted for future generations.”

The conference call was held to announce the release of the study.

The “themes” of the study “explore different aspects of LGBT history and heritage,” including “civil rights, the law, health, arts and artists, commerce, the military, sports and leisure, and sex, love and relationships.”

Some of the chapters in the study are “Making Bisexuals Visible” and “Breathing Fire: Remembering Asian Pacific American Activism in Queer History.”

Jarvis said that 1,300 potential LGBTQ sites are identified in the study, but it would take “further study” to decide which ones will ultimately be designated.

So far, 10 LGBTQ sites have been designated by the federal government, including the Stonewall Inn in New York, the site of a riot in 1969 following a police raid of a gay bar. Other sites include the homes of homosexual men, including Henry Gerber and Franklin Kameny.

Also on the conference call was Tim Gill, founder of the Gill Foundation, a pro-homosexual rights organization that helped fund the study.

“It’s exactly these kind of initiatives that serve as a foundation for profound and lasting shifts in the national consciousness,” Gill said.