Join the Rainbow Heritage Network in supporting National Historic Landmark designation for Chicago’s Gerber House

Rainbow Heritage Network strongly supports acceptance of the Henry Gerber home at 1710 North Crilly Court, Chicago, IL as a National Historic Landmark (NHL).  The site has extraordinary civil rights significance as the place where the first chartered group was organized to advocate for the civil rights of homosexuals.  The organization lasted from 1924 to 1925. Rainbow Heritage Network is the national association of Americans concerned about the recognition and preservation of historic lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) sites.

The National Park System Advisory Board National Historic Landmarks Committee is convening in Washington, DC February 11 and 12 to consider new nominations for National Historic Landmark status.  The first, and only, LGBTQ recognized in the United States to date is the Stonewall Inn, designated an NHL in 2000. The Gerber nomination will be considered in this public meeting at 10:45 am on February 12.

Recognition of the Gerber house as an NHL will pay tribute to the pioneering work of Gerber and the Society for Human Rights (SHR) which he founded in 1924 and which was the first chartered organization publicly advocating on behalf of an oppressed homosexual minority. The ongoing campaign for equal treatment under the law of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer citizens traces its origin and much inspiration to this pioneer and his organization.

Recognition will be fully in keeping with the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Heritage Initiative announced by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on May 30, 2014. As one of the most significantly underrepresented communities in the National Park Service’s inventory of historic places, the LGBTQ community will have instantly doubled its representation if the Gerber home is accepted.

Recognition of the Gerber house will acknowledge the extraordinary significance of 1710 North Crilly Court not only to LGBTQ citizens but to the nation’s own account of its civil rights struggles. Rainbow Heritage Network encourages all Americans to support recognition of the Gerber house.

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