May 27, 2014 | by Chris Johnson
Obama admin to announce initiative on LGBT history at Stonewall Inn
Stonewall Inn, gay news, Washington Blade

The Department of the Interior will announce a new event Friday at Stonewall Inn (Photo by Daniel Case; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will announce plans Friday at the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City for a new, groundbreaking study on LGBT history, according to three sources familiar with the event.

Peggy Phalan, general manager of the Stonewall Inn, was among those who said the event will take place at Stonewall Inn on Friday, but she had limited information on the planned study that will be announced.

“They do field studies for different groups, and they’re starting one for the LGBT community,” Phalan said.

Although the nature of the study wasn’t immediately clear, sources described the initiative as “historic” in nature. An Interior Department official said the initiative would be headed by the National Park Service and ensure the agency is telling a complete story of America’s heritage and history.

[UPDATE: Per a news release Wednesday, the study will aim to "identify places and events associated with the civil rights struggle of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans and ensure that the agency is telling a complete story of America’s heritage and history."]

In addition to Jewell, New York City officials and gay philanthropist Tim Gill, known for his work in funding efforts in the marriage equality movement, are scheduled to attend the kickoff for the study, two sources familiar with the event said.

Jewell is known for being a supporter for the LGBT community. Prior to her nomination as secretary of the interior, Jewell was CEO of the Washington State-based outdoor and recreational retailer REI and helped drive business support in that state for marriage equality when it was on the ballot in 2012.

According to an invite obtained by the Washington Blade, the announcement will be made at 11 am. The Blade will update this post as more information becomes available.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

1 Comment
  • Thank you for highlighting this initiative by the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior. The roundtable is currently scheduled to convene on June 10th here in Washington, DC. To date, 14 LGBTQ scholars, archivists, historians, and specialists have been invited to participate. The Stonewall Inn event today will explain the intent of the roundtable and its study as well as funding for this crucial step in identifying, recognizing, and preserving the sites of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer history.

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