Openly gay Wisconsin Democrat Rep. Mark Pocan has reintroduced his two bills that would create a National Museum of American LGBTQI+ History and Culture and then establish it in the Smithsonian Institute. Both bills would need to be signed to denote it a Smithsonian museum.
BREAKING: I’ve just introduced legislation to create a National Museum of American LGBTQI+ History and Culture. As our community faces unprecedented attacks and attempts to erase our history, we must preserve and protect our stories for future generations. pic.twitter.com/xkxdcCXAo0
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@RepMarkPocan) October 27, 2023
“As our community faces unprecedented attacks and attempts to erase our history, we must preserve and protect our stories for future generations,” said Pocan, chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus.
“It is vital to remember our collective past — particularly when certain states, and even Members of Congress, seek to constrain and repeal existing rights by passing bills that harm LGBTQI+ youth and our community at large,” he continued. “Let’s tell these stories, the good and the bad, and honor the many contributions the LGBTQI+ community has made to this nation with a museum in Washington, D.C.”
Pocan’s first bill would establish an eight-member commission to raise funds, identify a location in Washinton DC, and plan operation and management practices. The second bill would create the museum after the commission has completed their study.
Pocan introduced both bills for the first time last year. The bills are co-sponsored by all eight openly LGBTQ co-chairs of the Equality Caucus: Democratic Reps. Mark Takano (CA), Sharice Davids (KS), Robert Garcia (CA), Becca Balint (VT), Ritchie Torres (NY), Chris Pappas (NH), Angie Craig (MN) and Eric Sorensen (IL). Neither bill got a floor vote.
The creation of this museum would add to the existing LGBTQ+ museums, galleries, and archives across the country, including the GLBT Historical Society Museum in San Francisco, CA; the Stonewall National Museum & Archives in Fort Lauderdale, FL; the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art in New York City, NY; the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives in Los Angeles, CA; The Legacy Walk in Chicago, IL; and the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn, NY.