RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Terry McAuliffe became the first Virginia Governor to proclaim June as LGBT Pride month in the commonwealth.
June eventually became the month of national gay pride celebrations after the June 28, 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City. A march was organized the following year to commemorate the demonstrations that arose out of police raids of gay clubs. From there activist Brenda Howard suggested a week-long series of events around pride day, and that concept spread around the world.
On Tuesday, Gov. McAuliffe hosted a small reception at the executive mansion. The organization Equality Virginia was invited and presented with the proclamation.
“By signing a proclamation recognizing June as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride month, Governor McAuliffe has taken yet another step in support of an inclusive and welcoming commonwealth,” said Equality Virginia executive director James Parrish. “Since his inauguration in January, he has supported Attorney General Herring in his decision not to defend Virginia’s ban on marriage, and signed Executive Order Number 1 to protect Virginia’s LGBT state employees from discrimination.”
“There is still a lot of work to do until LGBT Virginians are treated equally under the law, and Equality Virginia is grateful to have such a strong ally in Governor McAuliffe,” Parrish added.
Below is the full text:
WHEREAS, the June 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City precipitated the modern fight for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights; and
WHEREAS, more LGBT Virginians are living their lives openly today than ever before; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth celebrates its diverse LGBT community, and is committed to ensuring equality for all Virginians; and
WHEREAS, Virginia is dedicated to fostering acceptance and preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and
WHEREAS, the people of Virginia’s LGBT community are a vital part of all fields and professions and contribute to a stronger Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth and its economy are more prosperous when the civil rights of all people are equal;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize June 2014 as LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.