Yesterday, 1 June, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation honoring June as gay pride month.
In the official document from the White House, Obama notes the struggle for gay equality is an important chapter in US history.
‘The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community has written a proud chapter in this fundamentally American story,’ the document notes. ‘From brave men and women who came out and spoke out, to union and faith leaders who rallied for equality, to activists and advocates who challenged unjust laws and marched on Washington, LGBT Americans and allies have achieved what once seemed inconceivable.’
The president points to the highlights of his administration, from the end of ‘Don Ask, Don’t Tell’ to the signing of a hate crime bill that included sexual orientation and gender identity.
It’s noticeable, or predictable, the proclamation includes mention of Obama’s new opinion on gay marriage.
‘And because we must treat others the way we want to be treated, I personally believe in marriage equality for same-sex couples.’
Obama ends by calling June 2012 as ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month’ and asking his fellow citizens ‘to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.’
In the US, June is associated with gay pride because of the Stonewall Rebellion. On a night at the end of 1969 June, New York City police officers raided a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn. This type of police abuse was standard at the time, but for some reason the patrons took offense to the harassment and fought back with bricks and bottles. Since 1970, the uprising has been honored with a parade down Fifth Avenue.