California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, on Monday signed a bill that designates a memorial to honor LGBT veterans.

Under the new law, the LGBTQ Veterans Memorial at the Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City is the now the state's official memorial honoring LGBTQ veterans, making California the first state in the United States to honor LGBTQ veterans in such a way.

The memorial, established in 2001, consists of a granite obelisk with the logo of the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Veterans of America, which is now known as the American Veterans for Equal Rights.

A local chapter of AMVETS, a veterans service organization, was instrumental in establishing the memorial and getting state recognition.

“Our perseverance has paid off,” said AMVETS Post 66 founder and current commander Tom Swann Hernandez. “California is leading the nation by honoring the heroes, many of whom have had to die in silence because they were forced to conceal their sexual orientation.”

Cathedral City Mayor Stan Henry applauded the state's move.

“History was made today in Sacramento that shines a beacon of freedom and liberty all the way to Cathedral City,” Henry said. “This historic memorial, the first of its kind in the entire United States, will be a place for family, friends and residents to gather in paying tribute to and find solace in their memory.”

Four presidents – Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama – have formally recognized the memorial.

The legislation, which received bipartisan support, was sponsored by Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia.

“The sanctioning of this first of its kind, veteran memorial demonstrates our immense gratitude for the valiant contributions of LGBTQ veterans, true American patriots, who placed their lives on the line to defend the liberties we enjoy daily. Their sacrifices, in spite of obstacles and facing discrimination, more than merit the honor of a dedicated memorial site and sacred space for their loved ones to mourn the loss of these heroes,” Garcia said in a press release.

A dedication ceremony is being planned for November.