- The Washington Times - Friday, September 30, 2022

Rep. Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat, is pushing legislation that would establish a national museum of American LGBTQ+ History and Culture in the nation’s capital.

The lawmaker has filed bills that would establish a commission to study the potential creation of the museum and house it within the Smithsonian Institution. The eight-member commission would have 18 months to study the viability of creating and constructing the museum in Washington.

Mr. Pocan, who is gay, said the LGBT community must be able to tell its stories.

“As our community faces unprecedented attacks and attempts to erase our history, we must preserve and protect our stories for future generations,” Mr. Pocan said. “It is vital to remember our collective — particularly when certain states seek to constrain and repeal existing rights by passing bills that harm LGBTQ+ youth and our community at large.”

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex and maintains centers devoted to U.S. history, natural history, American Indians, African Americans and other topics.

Efforts to establish new museums and memorials on the National Mall have run into challenges in the past, namely over costs or space constraints.

Some advocates wanted a World War I Memorial to be in the heavily trafficked Mall area, but organizers opted to put it near the White House in Pershing Park, which was named after a key general in the war, John J. Pershing.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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