Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin is introducting legislation for the second time in an attempt to have a national gay museum paid for in Washington, D.C. The congressman likened the idea to museums that honor black American or native American accomplishments and history.
The Democrat’s initial attempt was at the end of September 2022, when Pocan suggested that the gay community faced “unprecedented attacks and attempts to erase our history” and that “we must preserve and protect our stories for future generations.”
“It is vital to remember our collective past – particularly when certain states seek to constrain and repeal existing rights by passing bills that harm LGBTQ+ youth and our community at large,” Pocan said at the time.
Pocan gave almost the exact same remarks for his 2023 endeavor, explaining that his “community faces unprecedented attacks and attempts to erase our history; we must preserve and protect our stories for future generations.”
“This is a museum, much like we’ve done to recognize African-Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, and most recently, Asian-Americans,” Pocan said on a video posted to his X account.
“It’s a way to really recognize our community and to be able to recognize it and look at its history and look at all aspects of treatment of this country, both good and bad,” he continued. “This legislation would start the process so that we could also have a museum dedicated to the LBGTQI+ community.”
As reported by TimCast, the first bill, if passed, would form an eight-member panel of “individuals with various expertise in museum planning or LGBTQ+ research and culture.”
This panel would then create a plan to develop the museum including finding a location, planning construction, and establishing fundraising goals over a span of 18 months.
A second bill would then be sent to Congress to approve the actual creation of the museum.
The proposal is nearly identical to that of 2022, which despite having “all 9 openly LGBTQ+ Members of Congress as well as 50 other members” sponsoring the legislation, did not garner a floor vote the in its first attempt.
The 2023 bills were cosponsored by all eight LGBTQ co-chairs of the Equality Caucus. This included Democrat Reps. Pocan, Becca Balint (Vt.), Angie Craig (Minn.), Sharice Davids (Kan.), Robert Garcia (Calif.), Chris Pappas (N.H.), Eric Sorensen (Ill.), Mark Takano (Calif.), and Ritchie Torres (N.Y.).
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