News /

Democrat Lawmaker Introduces Bills to Create National Museum of American LGBTQ+ History and Culture Within Smithsonian

A Democrat lawmaker has introduced legislation to build a National Museum of American LGBTQ+ History and Culture within the Smithsonian in DC.

Two bills were introduced on Wednesday by Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan, who is a member of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus.

The first bill is to commission a study on the potential creation of the museum and the other is to establish it within the Smithsonian Institution. In order for a new Smithsonian museum to be created, both bills must be signed into law.

If the first bill is passed, an eight-member commission will be created comprised of “individuals with various expertise in museum planning or LGBTQ+ research and culture.” The commission will be tasked with creating a plan of action for establishing and maintaining the museum, developing a fundraising plan, finding a location, and submitting to Congress a legislative plan of action to establish and construct the museum.

According to Rep. Pocan’s office, the bill would also direct the commission’s recommendations to address whether the museum should be part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. The commission would have 18 months to complete the full study.

“As our community faces unprecedented attacks and attempts to erase our history, we must preserve and protect our stories for future generations,” Rep. Pocan said in a press release. “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. Let’s tell these stories, and honor the many contributions the LGBTQ+ community has made to this nation with a museum in Washington, D.C. I look forward to the passage of this legislation and to visiting this museum in the near future.”

Once the commission is done with their work, the second bill would head to Congress for a vote on if it should be formally included as part of the Smithsonian.

Rep. Pocan’s office said that all nine openly LGBTQ Members of Congress as well as 50 other members are sponsors of this legislation.

The nine LGBTQ Members of Congress are Reps. Pocan, David Cicilline, Mondaire Jones, Sharice Davids, Sean Patrick Maloney, Angie Craig, Ritchie Torres, Chris Pappas, Mark Takano and Sens. Tammy Baldwin, and Kyrsten Sinema. All of them are Democrats.

*For corrections please email [email protected]*