Friday, June 6, 2014

National Park Service calls for study to landmark LGBT historical sites. Truck stop tea rooms, anyone ?

PUBLISHED : FRI, 06 JUN 2014, 07:28 PM
UPDATED : SAT, 07 JUN 2014, 10:20 AM

LGBT civil rights activists keep demanding full federal equality of the Obama administration, and all Obama can do is to keep blowing a lot of hot air.

Interior Department Historial Landmark of LGBT Heritage Theme Study photo InteriorDepartmentGloryHoleLandmarkStudy_zps907c2129.jpg


Pelosi Photo-op at Interior Department's Gay Panel ; Historians Named (The Petrelis Files)

No Drag Queens, People of Color, Stonewall Riot Vets at Federal Photo-op (The Petrelis Files)

ON TUESDAY, JUNE 10, 2014, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis will host a panel discussion including leading historians and scholars to discuss ways to sweep President Barack Obama's failed LGBT agenda under the rug. Before lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender historians and academics interpret and denounce the president's many broken campaign promises to the LGBT community in the context of the broader Obama administration's failures, U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Ambassador to Australia John Berry will deliver kick-off remarks at the Interior Department's panel discussion to give the administration's limp efforts some shallow liberal optics.

This panel discussion is the first step in the LGBT Heritage Theme Study that Secretary Jewell announced on May 30th at the Stonewall Inn in New York City to identify places and events associated with the story of LGBT Americans for inclusion in the parks and programs of the National Park Service. While landmarking places of historical LGBT significance is noble, the real reason behind this latest initiative is to ensure that historians and academics desperate to appear on official Obama administration press releases are seduced into writing some empty and meaningless "inspirational" Obama administration talking points. The LGBT Heritage Theme Study is timed to drag on through the 2016 election cycle, so that LGBT historians and academics can placate more militant LGBT activists to prevent any dust up as Hillary Clinton contemplates another run for the White House. During her term as the Secretary of State, she basically allowed fundamental radical American evangelists and their political enablers to spread a private foreign policy of hate and discrimination around the globe, with many nations introducing, debating, and enacting laws that persecute and even execute people for being LGBT.

As President Obama completes his transition from the hope and change president to a massive disappointment to a lame duck to history, his administration officials are desperately trying to fluff their credentials with the LGBT community after so many years of impotence. At a time when LGBT activists are taking a harsher look at the failed Obama's record, including Obama's tortured support for the Employment Non-Discriminatin Act (ENDA), in spite of its unacceptable religious exemption loopholes, all the Obama administration can muster in response is an offer to not only blow some more hot air about his LGBT dedication, but to gather some more people to join him in blowing even more hot air. With all this blowing, let's hope the Interior Department landmarks a few token truck stop tea rooms.

Indeed, according to the Department of Interior's official media advisory, "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 deep-seated resentment by LGBT activists of the Obama administration's empty-suit machinations has been building up for many years. After promising to repeal the military's former discriminatory policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" during the 2008 presidential campaign, President Obama dragged his feet. Not until Lt. Daniel Choi, Capt. James Pietrangelo, other service members, and other activists, including members of the direct action group, GetEQUAL, mounted a direct action campaign targeting members of Congress and the White House itself did the Obama administration finally sign into law a repeat of DADT in 2010. Similarly, activists from GetEQUAL have routinely pressed the Obama administration to enact federal laws to end legally-sanctioned discrimination against the LGBT community. In 2011, members of the LGBT activist groups GetEQUAL, Queer Rising, Join The Impact, and others protested outside an Obama administration fundraiser at Sheraton Midtown in Manhattan. The activists were demanding full federal LGBT equality. Members of GetEQUAL and Code Pink have subsequently continued to birddog the president to deliver on the community's demands for full federal LGBT equality. LGBT activists have for years communicated to the White House that the LGBT community demands full federal LGBT equality, but the Obama administration only throws the crumbs of incrementalism, or worse, more hot air in our direction.

Speaking of truck stop tea rooms, I would love to see the LGBT community call out the Obama administration's LGBT Heritage Theme Study for what it is : a sham.

Instead of validating the landmarking process, I wish LGBT activists would flood the White House with nominations of their favorite adult bookstores, porn theatres, and gay bathhouses. Since many of these places may have been run out of business by free Interent porn, their dwindling numbers may make them "historically" significant.

Besides, places where the LGBT community used to cruise each other or meet up for sex actually do have significance in our history. Besides the larger march for equal civil rights, our history includes the long struggle for cultural and social changes that have to do with our sexual liberation -- our freedom from oppression.

If you would like to nominate your favorite glory hole, please send an e-mail to Gautam Raghavan, the White House's LGBT liaison, at : -- making sure you use the subject, "LGBT Heritage Theme Study."

The LGBT Heritage Theme Study was kicked-off with a press event last week outside New York's landmark Stonewall Inn, the site for the 1969 riots that marked the beginning of the modern LGBT civil rights movement. At that kick-off media event, protesters once again demanded that the Obama administration do more than just talk -- "to create a roadmap to end what they call legal discrimination against the LGBT community," according to NY1. Activists from GetEQUAL and Queer Nation NY were among a number of protesters demanding "full federal equality."

Many LGBT civil rights activists were surprised by these sudden machinations of the Obama administration. New York is home to many radical LGBT activists, and none were invited to take part in the media event at the Stonewall Inn. Some national LGBT civil rights activists, such as Michael Petrelis from San Francisco, criticized the media event for its lack of inclusion. No person of color, drag queen, or veteran of the Stonewall riots were invited to speak on behalf of the broader and diverse LGBT community.

The Interior Department's study, hastily timed to coincide with LGBT Pride Month, is being funded with the help of Tim Gill from the Gill Foundation. Mr. Gill contributed $250,000 to help fund this study. Mr. Petrelis, the blogger and activist, has listed the names on his blog of the historians and academics taking part in the study.

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