US: Smithsonian’s LGBT collection could add signs from Westboro Baptist Church

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The Smithsonian museum’s new LGBT history collection could add materials from anti-gay groups.

The famous museum, based in Washington DC, announced a new collection last month to mark the history of LGBT people, which will include documents and materials from the gay liberation movement.

After a backlash from anti-gay groups, however, the Smithsonian has confirmed the collection could also feature material from groups who fight against gay rights.

The museum’s archives specialist Franklin Robinson told CNS that groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church, Family Research Council, National Organisation for Marriage and American Family Association are welcome to contribute to the exhibit.

He said: “The bulk of material in the collection has been collected from people actually contacting us here at the Archives Center.

“I have reached out to [ex-gay group] PFOX, as well as through a third party to the Westboro Baptist Church and others.

“I tried to collect more from PFOX and I was even willing to pay for the material because they do sell pamphlets, but they would not even sell to me.

“So you know, here we are trying to be even-handed and to present both sides of the debate, and some people are not helping.”

“I am totally open to anybody that’s willing to kind of chat with me or mail me pamphlets because that fleshes this out and it makes it that much more valuable to researchers.”

He added that he plans to collect materials from the conservative Values Voter Summit next month.

Gay blogger Joe My God wrote: “Just like any African-American history exhibit includes materials about the KKK, the story of our people should include examples from the campaigns of the oppressors of LGBT Americans.”

Items currently in the collection include the passports of the first openly gay US ambassador David Huebner and his husband, photographs documenting the gay rights movement from Patsy Lynch and Silvia Ros, and materials from a gay community centre.