NEW YORK – The U.S. National Park Service has announced an initiative to commemorate locations which played significant roles in the rise of homosexuality across the country.
On Friday, the National Park Service unveiled a nationwide “theme study” to explore places and events associated with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement. According to a Friday press release, the study “is part of a broader initiative under the Obama Administration to ensure that the National Park Service reflects and tells a more complete story of the people and events responsible for building this nation.”
“Over the next 12 to 18 months, the National Park Service will work with scholars to explore ways to celebrate and interpret LGBT heritage,” the release states.
The National Park Service initiative will spotlight important locations in the pro-homosexual movement.
“The goals of the heritage initiative include: engaging scholars, preservationists and community members to identify, research, and tell the stories of LGBT associated properties; encouraging national parks, national heritage areas, and other affiliated areas to interpret LGBT stories associated with them; identifying, documenting, and nominating LGBT-associated sites as national historic landmarks; and increasing the number of listings of LGBT-associated properties in the National Register of Historic Places,” the release says.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the theme study at New York City’s Stonewall Inn, where an unruly group of young pro-homosexual protestors violently rioted against police officers in 1969. The Stonewall Inn riots are now celebrated by the National Park Service as a “watershed moment” in “the struggle for civil rights in America.”
During Friday’s announcement, Jewell said the National Park Service has failed to properly recognize the role of homosexuals in America’s history.
“We know that there are other sites, like Stonewall Inn, that have played important roles in our nation’s ongoing struggle for civil rights,” she stated. “The contributions of women, minorities and members of the LGBT community have been historically underrepresented in the National Park Service, and the LGBT theme study will help ensure that we understand, commemorate and share these key chapters in our nation’s complex and diverse history.”
The National Park Service is partnering with the Gill Foundation to carry out the theme study. On Friday, Gill Foundation founder Tim Gill asserted that “LGBT history is American history.”
“The contributions of LGBT people are part of the great American journey toward full equality, freedom and liberty for all our citizens,” Gill argued. “While we take this important step to recognize the courageous contributions of LGBT Americans, we need to unite together in the days ahead to ensure we leave none of our fellow Americans behind.”
The National Park Service has already created a website which details the new “Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Heritage Initiative.”
“Recognizing that identities and communities are historically situated, the LGBT Initiative acknowledges lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender citizens in the United States, their contributions to American life and culture and their efforts to create a safe and legitimate social and political place in American society,” the website explains. “It explores various ways that this history can be recognized, preserved and interpreted for future generations.”
On the same day that the National Park Service announced the homosexual theme study, President Obama declared June to be “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.” In a Friday release, Obama paid tribute to the Stonewall Inn rioters, praised the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, and challenged Americans to be “more accepting.”
“Our commitment to advancing equality for the LGBT community extends far beyond our borders,” Obama noted. “In many places around the globe, LGBT people face persecution, arrest, or even state-sponsored execution. This is unacceptable. The United States calls on every nation to join us in defending the universal human rights of our LGBT brothers and sisters.”
In the midst of the recent government-sponsored initiatives, many Christians voiced concern and opposition to the pro-homosexual ventures.
“Perversion in the National Parks—that is just what America doesn’t need,” one commenter posited.
Others wondered why the National Park Service has shown no interest in preserving the historic sites of other movements, like Christianity.
“Merriam-Webster defines religion (in part) as: ‘An interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group,’” a commenter noted. “By this definition, is there any question that what is known as ‘LGBT’ today is in fact a religion? Of course there isn’t. Now, imagine the outrage and calls for ‘separation between church and state’ if the Park Service were studying potential historic Christian sites for conservation.”
Meanwhile, many Christian leaders are exhorting believers to not abandon biblical truth, even when faced with opposition from pro-homosexual advocates.
“Our churches must teach the basics of biblical morality to Christians who will otherwise never know that the Bible prescribes a model for sexual relationships,” Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote in a column last year. “Young people must be told the truth about homosexuality—and taught to esteem marriage as God’s intention for human sexual relatedness.”
“We sin if we call homosexuality something other than sin,” Mohler continued. “We also sin if we act as if this sin cannot be forgiven. We cannot settle for truth without love nor love without truth. The Gospel settles the issue once and for all. This great moral crisis is a Gospel crisis.”