Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt
WASHINGTON–We celebrate Pride month in June to coincide with the annual anniversary of the June 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City. Stonewall is considered to be the spark that ignited the modern LGBTQIA+ activist movement, following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a known LGBTQIA+ venue on Christopher Street in New York’s Greenwich Village.
Stonewall patrons and their supporters rose up in protest of the early-morning raid, taking to the streets and chanting “gay power.” Out of an oppressive police action, a mass movement was born. In protest against legal injustice, a new civil rights movement was energized.
Many groups over the years have been inspired by this movement, and NOW is proudly among them. We have never been content to sit back and watch events unfold around us.
We march, we organize, we take action, we push for meaningful social change.
We work with lawmakers to enact urgently needed legislation, and to block measures that take away our rights.
We strive to overcome discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in all areas, including employment, housing, public accommodations, health services, child custody and military policies.
NOW is committed to educational efforts that combat the adverse effects of homophobia, promote positive images in the media and ultimately ensure civil rights protection for all. NOW asserts the right of LGBTQIA+ people to live their lives with dignity and security, and marriage equality for all.
LGBTQIA+ people are still considered second-class citizens by powerful institutions and leaders. The Trump Administration has now refused for the past two years in a row to issue a simple declaration of support for Pride Month, although the White House has proclaimed June as Great Outdoors Month, National Ocean Month, National Homeownership Month, African-American Music Appreciation Month, and National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.
NOW is determined to stand up to the Trump Administration’s discriminatory agenda and attacks on LGBTQIA+ rights, and to work tirelessly to pass the Equality Act to ensure that sexual orientation and gender identity receive the full force of protection under our laws and in the workplace.
We celebrate Pride Month, and we also heed the call of history, which rang forth on the streets of Greenwich Village back on June 28, 1969.
Dee Donavanik, firstname.lastname@example.org, (951) 547-1241