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June 26, 2021

MSM President James Gandre sends a “Happy Pride” message to the MSM Community

Dear MSM Community,

I send the whole MSM Community this Happy Pride message! Each year in June, the United States celebrates LGBTQIA+ Pride Month. Other countries also celebrate Pride during June, but also other times throughout the year.

From the History Channel:

The Stonewall Riots, also called the Stonewall Uprising, began in the early hours of June 28, 1969 when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street, in neighboring streets and in nearby Christopher Park. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

https://www.history.com/topics/gay-rights/the-stonewall-riots

  • Since that early Sunday morning in June, the LGBTQIA+ community has fought for equal rights within a country that has not granted them easily. Here are a few milestones in the fight for justice and inclusion (most the landmarks below are from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/stonewall-milestones-american-gay-rights-movement/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LGBT_members_of_the_United_States_Congress):
  • 1973 – The board of the American Psychiatric Association votes to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.
  • 1977 – Harvey Milk wins a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and is responsible for introducing a gay rights ordinance protecting gays and lesbians from being fired from their jobs. A year later, on November 27, 1978, former city supervisor Dan White assassinates Milk.
  • 1982 – Wisconsin becomes the first US state to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • 1984 – Gerry Studds (MA) became the first openly gay person to win election to Congress with his reelection in 1984 after he was “outed” the year before.
  • 2000 – Vermont becomes the first state in the US to legalize civil unions and registered partnerships between same-sex couples.
  • 2004 – Massachusetts becomes the first state to legalize gay marriage. In the following six years, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Iowa and Washington D.C. follow suit.
  • 2007 – The first American presidential forum focusing specifically on LGBT issues, inviting each presidential candidate. Six Democrats participate in the forum, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama; all Republican candidates decline.
  • 2008 – California voters approve Proposition 8, making same-sex marriage in California illegal. In 2010, a federal judge in San Francisco decides that gays and lesbians have the constitutional right to marry and that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.
  • 2009 – President Obama signs a Presidential Memorandum allowing same-sex partners of federal employees to receive certain benefits. The memorandum does not cover full health coverage.
  • 2011 – NY State passes the Marriage Equity Act, becoming the largest state thus far to legalize gay marriage.
  • 2012 – Tammy Baldwin (WI) becomes first openly LGBTQIA+ person elected to the US Senate.
  • 2013 – Mark Takano (CA) is the first openly gay BIPOC person elected to Congress.
  • 2015 – The US Supreme Court declares same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.
  • 2018 – Jared Polis (CO) becomes first gay governor elected.
  • 2019 – Sharice Davids (KS) becomes the first openly BIPOC lesbian elected to Congress.
  • 2020 – Ritchie Torres (NY) and Mondaire Jones (NY) become first openly Latinx and African American gay persons elected to Congress.
  • 2020 – Pete Buttigieg becomes first openly gay US Presidential Cabinet Member.

As you can see, there has been a lot of progress since the Stonewall Riots, but there is much to do. It was only six years ago today that marriage became legal in all states and it has only been legal in New York for the past ten years. Twenty states still provide no civil rights protections for LGBTQIA+ people and the Supreme Court has not ruled on such a prohibition to date. But, this month we celebrate the movement toward equality and inclusion in our country! If you wish to participate in any of the events today or tomorrow, you may want to visit this webpage:

https://gothamist.com/arts-entertainment/your-guide-nyc-pride-2021.

Sincerely,

MSM President James Gandre