January 09, 2004
HRC Urges National Park Service to Keep GLBT Civil Rights and Pro-Choice March Scenes in Lincoln Mem
Will Hold NPS To Promises of 'Accurate Historical Portrayal'
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign urged the National Park Service today to keep footage of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights marches, as well as pro-choice demonstrations, in a tourism video that has been running at the Lincoln Memorial since 1995. According to press reports, the NPS has been repeatedly pressured to remove the footage.
"There is no justice in trying to rewrite history, or erase parts of it," wrote HRC President Cheryl Jacques in a letter sent today to National Park Service Director Fran Mainella. "To do so would not only be a betrayal to the thousands of visitors who go to the Memorial each day, but it would be a direct assault on the integrity of the values and teachings of Abraham Lincoln."
Press reports in late December indicated that the NPS was going to remove the footage. HRC officials spoke Dec. 23, 2003, with an NPS spokesperson. Although he said the video was being "updated," the spokesperson ardently assured HRC that the NPS would not be removing scenes of GLBT civil rights or pro-choice marches. The NPS spokesperson also told HRC that the NPS believed it would be "dishonest" to take out the scenes and that they wanted to depict an "accurate historical portrayal" of what occurred at the monument.
"We will be watching closely to ensure that the video remains historically accurate," added Jacques.