Wong Fleming | June 16, 2021
June has received national recognition as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender + Pride Month via a proclamation from the White House. June was chosen as a way to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Gay Liberation Movement came to a head at the Stonewall Uprising (also referred to as the Stonewall Riots) when the New York City Police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village in NYC. There had been multiple raids in Greenwich before the Stonewall action. LGBT + people could be arrested if they did not comply with the three-article rule – any member of the public could be arrested if they were not wearing at least three stereotypically gendered articles of clothing. During the raid, police officers violently detained employees and patrons at the club. Six days of riots followed after the raid at the Stonewall Inn, where gay rights activists and protestors, many of whom were patrons of the bar, clashed with police.
The Stonewall Uprising was only comprised of some 200 people, but it was the catalyst and beacon for people to rally around to pursue justice and equality for the LGBT + community. The first Pride Parade occurred one year after Stonewall, where participants chanted, “ Say it loud, gay is proud.” In 2016, President Obama designated Stonewall as a National Monument to honor the broad LGBT + equality movement. In 2019, during NYC’s WorldPride, over 5 million people attended the parade. Though there has been progress in the fight for equality and acceptance, there is still much more work that needs to be done.
President Biden, on June 1, 2021, proclaimed June 2021 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month. The proclamation recognized the advancement of laws affirming the right to marriage equality, securing workplace protections for LGBTQ+ individuals across the country and broadening the definitions of hate crimes to include crimes motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity. It also recognized that while there has been progress, there are many states that lack protections for “fundamental rights and dignity in hospitals, schools, public accommodations and other spaces, and there has been a “tragic spike in violence against transgender women of color.”
At Wong Fleming, we celebrate our LGBT + partners, attorneys, and staff and the immeasurable contributions they make to our firm every day. Our firm has always championed diversity, and we will continue to stay committed to the promotion of diversity and the elimination of bias and discrimination in the legal profession.