June 12, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Fire Island building deemed historic
Fire Island, New York, Cherry Grove Community House, gay news, Washington Blade

Fire Island (Photo by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons)

CHERRY GROVE, N.Y.— The National Park Service has placed a Fire Island community center and theater onto the National Register of Historic Places.

The Cherry Grove Community House that dates back to 1948 is among the first venues in the country that featured gay-produced shows and performances. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) wrote in a May 9 letter to the head of the National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Program that the structure represents “a rare and exceptionally significant chapter in the struggle for gay and lesbian civil rights in the United States.”

“We are overjoyed that the nation is recognizing this powerful symbol of civil liberties for the LGBT community,” said Cherry Grove Community Association President Diane Romano.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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