President Obama is honoring June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. Why June? The month was chosen to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village and to commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans. During June of 1969, a group of LGBT individuals rioted following an unconstitutional police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. Protests persisted for several nights following the harassment. This monumental event sparked the modern LGBT liberation movement in the United States.
“I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.” –President Obama
President Obama and his Administration have worked tirelessly to advance a wide range of initiatives to benefit the LGBT community. The hallmarks of the President’s action on LGBT rights includes signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, ensuring hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights for gay and lesbian patients, signing the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional among many others.
“I’m here with a simple message: I’m here with you in the fight. For even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot – and we will not – put aside issues of basic equality.” –President Obama
On Saturday, June 18th, which is a national day of action dedicated to voter registration, Syracuse volunteers will be celebrating diversity and growing the grassroots campaign at the annual Syracuse LGBT Pride Festival.
If you are interested in joining other local volunteers to register voters while joining in for the LGBT Pride Month celebration in Syracuse, sign up here.