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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month

In 2000, President William Jefferson Clinton designated the month of June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.  During Pride Month we recognize the “important and lasting contributions” that the LGBTQ community has made to our country “in every field of endeavor,” while facing insidious discrimination.  It honors the visibility of community members, and their struggle for equality.

The month of June was selected as Pride Month to recognize the Stonewall Uprising in New York City, which occurred on June 28, 1969.  This was a significant moment in the history of the LGBTQ community.  The police had a pattern of raiding gay clubs and bars, where the community found refuge in an unwelcoming environment.  Regulations promulgated by the New York State Liquor Authority discriminated against establishments that served alcohol to members LGBT clients.  The state also had a “gender-appropriate clothing statute,” which targeted cross-dressing residents.  

The Stonewall Inn, a local gay bar, had become a community institution.  Despite the laws and police activities, the establishment operated without interference.  It is alleged that the owners, who were affiliated with organized crime networks, bribed the local police. 

On June 28, 1969, the police raided the Stonewall Inn.  Customarily, the owners received tips so that they could be prepared for raids and warn their clients.  On this occasion, the raid occurred without notice.  The police observed conduct that violated the discriminatory statutes and made numerous arrests.  The raid led to six days of violent protests, and sparked a nationwide movement for gay rights. 

There are other noteworthy observances for the LGBTQ community during the year.  The month of October is recognized as LGBTQ History Month, which celebrates historic figures and their contributions to society.  National Coming Out Day is celebrated on October 11th. 

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