June has officially been declared Pride Month in Michigan

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared that June 2020 is Pride Month in Michigan.

Pride Month celebrates LGBTQ+ individuals and recognizes the important work that must be done to create a more equitable state for all identities, genders, races, ethnicities and ages.

“We must continue to support the rights of every citizen to experience equality free from discrimination and recognize the continued need for education and awareness to recognize the basic rights of all Michiganders,” said Governor Whitmer.

During her very first State of the State Address, Governor Whitmer called on the Legislature to pass legislation to expand the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identification in employment, education, housing, and real estate as well as use of public accommodations and public service. Executive Directive 2019-09 protects LGBTQ+ state employees from discrimination in the workplace.

“I know that this year’s pride is different than the ones before, not only because of COVID-19, but because we are being reminded that, while we have made progress, we still have so much work to do,” said Governor Whitmer. “That means expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect Michiganders based on sexual orientation and gender identity, because in the year 2020, nobody should be fired from their job or evicted from their home based on who they love, or how they identify.”

Michigan is home to around 350,000 LGBTQ+ residents, according to a press release from the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor.

The 2018 American Community Survey estimated there were 995,420 same-sex couple households in the United States, and of them, 60% were married couples.

June 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of annual LGBTQ+ Pride traditions, according to the Library of Congress.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the “day” soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

Library of Congress

The video above shows footage of one of the earliest Gay Pride demonstration marches, the first Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade, held in New York City, New York, on June 28, 1970, to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

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