Amid the global coronavirus pandemic and the national civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, third in line for the presidency, nemesis to President Donald Trump and a longtime ally of the LGBTQ community, issued a statement to commemorate what should be a massive moment for the LGBTQ community: the 50th anniversary of the peaceful Pride marches commemorating the Stonewall Rebellion the year before, in June 1969.
“For 50 years, during Pride Month, the LGBTQ community has marked the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a turning point in the gay rights movement when LGBTQ Americans took to the streets to demand an end to the systemic violence and persecution inflicted on them and their community. Five decades later, Pride is celebrated around the world as a testament to the extraordinary progress we have achieved in the fight against bigotry and discrimination as well as a vital reminder of the work that remains to finally achieve full equality for LGBTQ people and all Americans.
“Yet, in too many places, LGBTQ Americans endure continued violence and harassment, particularly trans women of color who suffer a disproportionately high rate of homelessness, drug addiction, HIV, sexual assault and murder. And shamefully, the Trump Administration remains committed to its cruel anti-LGBTQ agenda that has rolled-back life-saving protections and undermined decades of hard-won progress.
“Despite decades of setbacks and obstacles, the persistent, dissatisfied voices of LGBTQ leaders, activists and allies have advanced the cause of freedom for all Americans by expanding hate crimes protections, repealing the hateful ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, ensuring marriage equality and passing the landmark Equality Act to finally and fully end LGBTQ discrimination once and for all. Today, and every day, let us recommit to further securing the rights and dignity that all Americans deserve, regardless of who you are or whom you love. Hatred will never defeat pride.
“Sadly, this year, we observe Pride Month as our nation cries out in pain and suffering. The unprecedented coronavirus crisis has inflicted a staggering loss on Americans’ lives and livelihoods while Americans across the country are peacefully marching and protesting to demand an end to the epidemic of police violence that has stolen too many innocent lives in the African American community. This Pride Month, what began in the streets outside the Stonewall Inn over half a century ago must continue to motivate us to demand an end to bigotry, violence and discrimination in all its forms and to secure the blessings of equality and justice that are the right of all people.”
Photo of Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Los Angeles #ResistMarch June 11, 2017 courtesy Pelosi for Congress.