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Why pride month is important

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Photo courtesy of Bustle.com

Photo courtesy of Bustle.com

Photo courtesy of Bustle.com

Sam Lokey, Health Editor

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  Thousands of LGBTQ+ activists and allies took the streets of  the U.S. Capitol this past Sunday for the annual Pride March on Washington, D.C. The celebration took place between 14 and 22 street. Since 1975, it has been one of the largest pride rallies in the nation. (hundreds of events such as this occur this month nationally and can be found on www.gaypridecalendar.com)

The celebration of gay culture has taken place in June for nearly fifty years in remembrance of the Stonewall riots that occured in New York City in June of 1969. The well-known gay-friendly bar was raided by police, leading to the mistreatment of both customers and employees, particularly gender-nonconforming patrons. While it was common for gay-friendly establishments to be invaded by police during this time, the events that occured at the Stonewall Inn led to a four-day riot in the Greenwich Village, where protesters and police alike were injured.

  In addition to the recognition of the riots,  more recent progress of LGBTQ+ rights is reflected upon, such as the legalization of same-sex marriage in all 50 states in 2015. Parades, marches, concerts, workshops, and more events are hosted nationwide to help spread awareness and acceptance.

  Pride is an important and powerful thing, and is much more than flying the rainbow flag. Representation and acceptance of has grown slowly over time, although the LGBTQ+ community has always faced, and continues to face discrimination. Progress has seen recent setbacks following the 2016 presidential election and legislation by a heavily Republican Congress.

The Trump administration has pushed a particularly anti-trans agenda, with a military ban that was struck down by four courts, but implemented this year despite, barring all transgender persons from military service. Also notable was when in 2016, North Carolina passed legislation making it illegal for transgender persons to use the bathroom of their choice. States such as Texas attempted to follow suit, but have not had support or success.

Most recently, the supreme court decided in favor of Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple due to religious beliefs. While it is still unclear how this will affect the court’s decisions concerning LGBTQ+ rights in the future, the ruling, coupled with the recent political climate, is unsettling to those in support of the gay community.

  It is anti-progressive decisions such as these that make the continued support and activism for the gay community apposite. Despite anyone’s political or moral beliefs, all American citizens deserve equal protection under the law, and equal respect from society. For community members, this designated month helps to spread the message that  they are not alone, backed by millions of allies and the ability to cause change. Every human is deserving of being proud of who they are despite sexual identity or orientation. There will always be hate, but this month in America, we shine a light on a community that preaches love is love.     

 

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