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LGBT Veterans Memorial in Cathedral City Could Soon Become the First State LGBT Veterans Memorial in the U.S.

Veteran Legislation Championed by Local Assemblymember Progresses

Cathedral City Mayor Stan Henry and Mayor Pro-tem Greg Pettis joined Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) at the State Capitol for a historic vote in April to designate the city’s LGBT Veterans Memorial as the official LGBT Veterans Memorial of California. The Assembly voted in overwhelming support of Garcia’s AB 2439, the legislative measure proposing the classification and applauded the City’s longstanding history of recognizing veterans and promoting equality.

“California must honor all the brave men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces. This memorial is a testament to honor the contributions the LGBT community has made to the security of the United States,” stated Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia. “The Cathedral City LGBT Veteran Memorial is the first of its kind within the entire nation and is well deserving of this recognition.”

“This feat would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts and vision of Mr. Tom Swann, AMVETs Post 66 as well as leadership, forward-thinking and support of the Palm Springs Cemetery District and Cathedral City.”

The Memorial was first dedicated at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City on May 27, 2001. Presidents Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama have all sent special letters praising this memorial, as have three California Governors; Davis, Schwarzenegger, Brown.

“We have had an LGBT Veterans memorial in Cathedral City since 2001 and with the assembly bill passing out of the assembly that helps create that as a state memorial and not just a local memorial. That is here in Cathedral City. That is great for Cathedral City and it’s great, I think, for the city or the state to be able to recognize our LGBT veterans.  So, we are thankful for Assemblyman Garcia and for the Assembly for passing it,” shared Cathedral City, Mayor Stan Henry.

“Designating it as the state memorial it will be on all the state materials and everything and really recognizes thousands of people that have served honorably and need to be recognized,” said Cathedral City, Mayor Pro-tem Greg Pettis, the city’s longest-serving Councilmember and the first openly gay elected official in the Coachella Valley. “It really is there for reflection and for people to come and remember the people.”

AB 2439 would make California the first state in the union to have an official state LGBT Veterans Memorial. Today’s Assembly approval will advance this measure on to the Senate.