Happy LGBT Pride Month 2017 and welcome back to my blog!
Based on so many things – world events, American politics, getting married, having a 70th birthday – I’ve chosen to direct my blog attention to LGBT history. As I get older I understand that our younger generation of LGBT folks don’t know their history, don’t now on whose shoulders they stand. As my grandfather, a Jewish man who escaped from Poland (unlike many of our relatives), if we forget the past it, will surely happen again.
Lambda Literary (http://www.lambdaliterary.org) recently cited five reasons to support their LGBTQ Writers in Schools program. I believe these five reason also support the importance of “remembering who we are,” to quote Barbara Demming. Here they are, paraphrased by me:
- To know why resistance is important: to protections rights and freedoms for us, for transgender people, and for the most vulnerable who need us.
- To Educate about LGBT lives and events through literature and history.
- To Support anti-LGBT bullying programs in schools and communities and to help create more supportive environments for us and our allies.
- To Foster a sense of who we are to assure LGBTQ people that we are not alone.
- To Save Lives by sharing the stories of the lives of those who came before us, offering guidance in a time of extreme need.
Each day I will share LGBT history snippets on my Facebook page called, cleverly, Ronni Sanlo. My blog will accompany those snippets with further details about each item if details are available.
If you have differing information on any item, information to add about an item, or if you have new information and new items, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please visit my website at www.ronnisanlo.com.
So let’s begin! Happy LGBT Pride Month!
The most powerful thing you can do is to speak OUT!
On this day in LGBTQ history – June 1, 2017
1971, UK – London’s underground newspaper, the International Times, loses its appeal of a recent conviction for indecency, for having run personal ads for gay men. The judge rules that while the acts may be legal, public encouragement of the acts is not.
1975 – The leather Drummer magazine debuts.
1976 – West Virginia decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.
1979 – Jerry Falwell forms The Moral Majority. It opposed the Equal Rights Amendment, Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, any recognition or acceptance of homosexual acts, and abortion, even in cases involving incest, rape or in pregnancies where the life of the mother is at stake. It played a key role in the mobilization of conservative Christians as a political force and particularly in Republican presidential victories throughout the 1980s. The Moral Majority was incorporated into the Liberty Federation in 1985.
1991 – First “Gay Days” event organized in Walk Disney World in Orlando. About 3,000 gays and lesbians gather, wearing red for visibility. It’s become one of the largest LGBT events in the world.
1994 – A federal judge rules that Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer be reinstated in the Washington State National Guard. She had been discharged from the military for being a lesbian. Margarethe “Grethe” Cammermeyer (born March 24, 1942) served as a colonel in the Washington National Guard and became a gay rights activist. Born in Oslo, Norway, she became a United States citizen in 1960. In 1961 she joined the Army Nurse Corps as a student.. A television movie about Cammermeyer’s story, Serving in Silence, was made in 1995, with Close starring as Cammermeyer. Its content was largely taken from Cammermeyer’s autobiography of the same name.
2003, Belgium – Belgium becomes the second country to allow same-sex marriages, after the Netherlands.
2013 – The Evangelical Lutheran Church elects its first openly gay bishop, Rev. Dr. R. Guy Erwin
.2014 – President Obama declares June as LGBT Pride Month. Here is the full declaration:
Presidential Proclamation — LGBT Pride Month, 2016
LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2016
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Since our founding, America has advanced on an unending path toward becoming a more perfect Union. This journey, led by forward-thinking individuals who have set their sights on reaching for a brighter tomorrow, has never been easy or smooth. The fight for dignity and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people is reflected in the tireless dedication of advocates and allies who strive to forge a more inclusive society. They have spurred sweeping progress by changing hearts and minds and by demanding equal treatment — under our laws, from our courts, and in our politics. This month, we recognize all they have done to bring us to this point, and we recommit to bending the arc of our Nation toward justice.
Last year’s landmark Supreme Court decision guaranteeing marriage equality in all 50 States was a historic victory for LGBT Americans, ensuring dignity for same-sex couples and greater equality across State lines. For every partnership that was not previously recognized under the law and for every American who was denied their basic civil rights, this monumental ruling instilled newfound hope, affirming the belief that we are all more free when we are treated as equals.
LGBT individuals deserve to know their country stands beside them. That is why my Administration is striving to better understand the needs of LGBT adults and to provide affordable, welcoming, and supportive housing to aging LGBT Americans. It is also why we oppose subjecting minors to the harmful practice of conversion therapy, and why we are continuing to promote equality and foster safe and supportive learning environments for all students. We remain committed to addressing health disparities in the LGBT community — gay and bisexual men and transgender women of color are at a particularly high risk for HIV, and we have worked to strengthen our National HIV/AIDS Strategy to reduce new infections, increase access to care, and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV.
Despite the extraordinary progress of the past few years, LGBT Americans still face discrimination simply for being who they are. I signed an Executive Order in 2014 that prohibits discrimination against Federal employees and contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. I urge the Congress to enact legislation that builds upon the progress we have made, because no one should live in fear of losing their job simply because of who they are or who they love. And our commitment to combatting discrimination against the LGBT community does not stop at our borders: Advancing the fair treatment of all people has long been a cornerstone of American diplomacy, and we have made defending and promoting the human rights of LGBT individuals a priority in our engagement across the globe. In line with America’s commitment to the notion that all people should be treated fairly and with respect, champions of this cause at home and abroad are upholding the simple truth that LGBT rights are human rights.
There remains much work to do to extend the promise of our country to every American, but because of the acts of courage of the millions who came out and spoke out to demand justice and of those who quietly toiled and pushed for progress, our Nation has made great strides in recognizing what these brave individuals long knew to be true in their hearts — that love is love and that no person should be judged by anything but the content of their character. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, as Americans wave their flags of pride high and march boldly forward in parades and demonstrations, let us celebrate how far we have come and reaffirm our steadfast belief in the equal dignity of all Americans.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2016 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth. BARACK OBAMA