Out gay U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) introduced two bills to create a National Museum of American LGBTQ+ History and Culture.
“As our community faces unprecedented attacks and attempts to erase our history, we must preserve and protect our stories for future generations,” 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.”
The first bill creates an eight-member commission to look into the viability of establishing a museum in Washington. The measure would require the commission to:
- Report recommendations for a plan of action for the establishment and maintenance of a National Museum of American LGBTQ+ History and Culture;
- Develop a fundraising plan to support the establishment, operation, and maintenance of the museum through public contributions;
- Obtain an independent review of this fundraising plan, including an analysis of the resources necessary to fund the construction of the museum and its operations and maintenance without reliance on federal funds;
- Report on the availability and cost of acquiring collections for the museum, identify potential locations for the facility in Washington, D.C., and determine its regional impact on other museums; and,
- Submit to Congress a legislative plan of action to establish and construct the museum.
The bill would also direct the commission to look into the museum being part of the Smithsonian Institution. If the bill passes, the commission would have 18 months to finish their work.
The second bill would formally create the museum.
Pocan is the co-chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus.