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10/25/2021 10:45 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20210&cosponId=35766
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 1, 2021 01:43 PM
From: Senator Sharif Street
To: All Senate members
Subject: Resolution Recognizing June 2021 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in Pennsylvania
 
In the near future, I intend to introduce a resolution recognizing June 2021 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in Pennsylvania. This will be the fifth consecutive year that I will introduce this resolution and I continue to be disappointed that some members have blocked passage of this resolution by unanimous consent in each of the preceding years. It is my hope that with enough co-sponsors, this year will be the year that we are able to pass this important resolution. 

LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ community. This was one of the first demonstrations to protect the dignity of LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ community on their way to achieving full equality.

June commemorates the 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 a queer-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 LGBTQ+ 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 openly gay Policy Director, Micah Mahjoubian, at micah@pasenate.com.



Introduced as SR137