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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 24, 2019 01:05 PM
From: Senator Sharif Street
To: All Senate members
Subject: Resolution Recognizing June 2019 as LGBT Pride Month and the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising
In the near future, I intend to introduce a resolution recognizing June 2019 as LGBT Pride Month and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. I invite you to join me as a co-sponsor.

LGBT Pride Month is a national celebration recognizing the remarkable strides made by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community over the last half century. The LGBT community represents a significant number of Pennsylvanians, and these individuals make vital contributions to our society. Their continuing quest for equality echoes the principles of fairness and tolerance Pennsylvania was founded upon.

Many critical moments in this community’s history have taken place in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In 1965, supporters of equal rights staged a sit-in at Dewey’s Lunch Counter in Philadelphia, which was refusing to serve anybody who appeared to be a member of the LGBT community. This was one of the first demonstrations to protect the dignity of LGBT people in our nation’s history. Also starting in 1965, gay and lesbian protestors marched annually in front of the Liberty Bell to draw attention to the community’s own struggle for liberty and equality. Both events are considered important moments in the history of the LGBT community on their way to achieving full equality.

This June holds a special place in the LGBT community’s formation as a movement for equality as it commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn demonstrations in New York City. On June 28th, 1969, the New York City police department conducted a routine raid of the Stonewall Inn, known throughout the community for being an LGBT-friendly bar. As police began their forcible entry and actively harassing employees and customers, a crowd gathered outside of the bar to stand against the oppressive treatment. What commenced was an uprising that lasted several days, with members of the community no longer accepting the provocation from those who were supposed to protect them.

The very next day saw the formation of the Gay Liberation Front, which organized a second night of demonstrations where activist spoke from the front door of Stonewall. The following nights showed the community organizing in a united way for the first time. The uprising was a catalyst in the LGBT movement that established community within the group’s intersecting identities. Many of the patrons were people of color as well as activists who identified as transgender, making this moment in history one that stands in solidarity with other civil rights movements of its time.

Pennsylvania’s LGBT community is a vibrant and integral part of our society, and their quest for equality is deeply rooted within our state’s history. For that reason, I urge you to join me in sponsoring this important resolution that recognizes the sacrifices and triumphs of the LGBT community. If you have any questions, contact my Policy Director, Micah Mahjoubian at micah@pasenate.com.

Introduced as SR171