LGBT Cemetery Section In Washington, D.C.
From a most informative article comes the following.
Congressional Cemetery, just east of Capitol Hill in Washington, has been dubbed “America’s hippest cemetery.” It entices the living to its grounds with offerings of yoga sessions in the chapel, al fresco movie nights, and dog-walking groups. The cemetery also has a feature that, according to the administration, is unique among cemeteries around the world: a “Gay Corner.”
Congressional’s LGBT section, in the cemetery’s northwest, began with a man named Leonard Matlovich. In 1975, Matlovich, a Vietnam vet, had been in the Air Force for 12 years and had an unblemished service record. On March 8 of that year, he sent a letter to his superior officer confirming that he was, indeed, homosexual.
Military regulations at the time clearly stated that “homosexuality is not tolerated in the Air Force.” At a hearing into the matter, government counsel asked a psychiatrist named Dr. Money “whether Sergeant Matlovich’s continued presence in the military might pervert sexually normal servicemen.” Dr. Money said no. Matlovich was discharged anyway.
Following his dismissal from the military, Matlovich became a committed activist. “He had a lifelong fight for LGBT inclusion in the military, way before ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” says Paul Williams, president of Congressional Cemetery. One of the great legacies of this fight, and the foundation of the Gay Corner, is Matlovich’s tombstone.