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California Becomes First State to Recognize LGBT+ Veterans’ Memorial

California, LGBTQ War Memorial
California State Assembly Democratic Caucus

Though it was built in 2001 and even acknowledged by former presidents Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama, a memorial for LGBTQ war veterans in California has only just been officially recognized by the most arguably liberal state in the country.

A grey obelisk bearing an eagle and pink triangle, the memorial, housed in Desert Memorial Park, was signed into law as an official state memorial by Governor Jerry Brown on Monday.

Related | California Becomes First State to Recognize a Third Gender

Tom Swann Hernandez, founding chair of the veteran organization AMVETS Post 66 supported the campaign, saying in a statement to the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News: "Our perseverance has paid off. California is leading the nation by honoring the heroes, many of whom had to die in silence because they were forced to conceal their sexual orientation."

Assembly member Eduardo Garcia drew up the bill saying, "I am very proud of our constituents and local partners who have held steadfast, organizing this effort since the early 2000s to accomplish this historic feat." His statement adds: "It was an honor to play a role in being able to help California continue to lead on this next step toward equality and inclusion." Read Garcia's full statement on the landmark memorial, here.

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