Pride 2020

June is Pride Month, which normally means a massive parade through the Dupont Circle area, a street festival on Pennsylvania Avenue, and many other events that are celebratory or mark important events in the progress of LGBTQ rights.

This year is different both because of the pandemic, and because of the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement for justice. Most of the Pride events this year that have not been cancelled have been focused on supporting Black Lives Matter. Two of these events, Black Techno Matters’ Say It Loud, Say It Proud and No Justice No Pride March and Caravan, drew attention this week along with celebrations after a Supreme Court case win.

“Say It Loud, Say It Proud BLM” rally at Black Lives Matter Plaza. ©Rob Klug
Queer and Trans Rally in Dupont Circle. ©Rob Klug
DC Pride 2020 March & Caravan & Block Party. ©Rob Klug
Queer & Trans Rally in Dupont Circle. ©Rob Klug

As the sign in the photo above says, the origins of the modern fight for LGBTQ rights started with a series of riots after a violent police raid at the Stonewall Inn bar in Greenwich Village in 1969 – so there are some parallels to the fight for Black Lives Matter protests today.

Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village NYC 2017 ©Victoria Pickering

The legal fight for LGBTQ equality

Pride is held in the month of June because it is the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, but it has also been the month in which the Supreme Court has announced landmark decisions in LGBTQ rights.

June 2013

The Court rules that same-sex marriages, in states where it is legal, must be treated as valid marriages under all Federal laws.

Right after the decision is announced. ©Victoria Pickering

Edie Windsor was the plaintiff. After her wife’s death, she filed a lawsuit to get estate tax treatment as the surviving spouse. Windsor was a grand Marshall in the 2017 Pride Parade in D.C. She was 87 at the time, and she died three months later.

Edie Windsor in the 2017 parade. ©Victoria Pickering

June 2015

The Court rules that same sex marriages must be legal in all states.

Right after the decision is announced. ©Victoria Pickering
Celebrating at the Supreme Court after the Obergefell v. Hodges decision was announced. ©Miki Jourdan
Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the landmark marriage equality case, at a protest at the White House, August 2018. Obergefell’s lawsuit started because the state of Ohio refused to let him be listed on the death certificate as the surviving spouse after his husband died. ©Victoria Pickering

June 2018

In a setback to LGBTQ rights, the Court rules that a baker does not have to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding if he claims religious objections to it.

Sadness right after the decision is announced. ©Victoria Pickering
Plaintiffs Charlie Craig and David Mullins in front of the Supreme Court right after Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission was argued. They had gone to a baker, along with Craig’s mother, to order a cake for their wedding. ©Victoria Pickering

June 2020

In a landmark verdict on Monday, the Court rules that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids employment discrimination against any LGBTQ employee.

Right after the decision is announced. ©Karen Ramsey
At the Supreme Court 6/15/2020. @Karen Ramsey
Celebrating at the Supreme Court. ©Miki Jourdan

Remembering Pulse

In 2016, in the middle of the night between D.C.’s Pride Parade and next-day Pride Festival, a hate crime at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando took 49 lives and injured 53 others. Since then, there are remembrances of those lost as part of every Pride celebration. While there are no large vigils during the pandemic, here are images of past memorializations.

Remembering those who died, Pride Festival 2018. ©Victoria Pickering

Pride Parades

Pride Parades in D.C. combine massive enthusiastic crowds, celebratory participants, and people important in the fight for equality. There are many hours of festivities at the parades, as it takes a long winding route through the Dupont Circle area. There’s no parade this year due to the pandemic, but here are some scenes from prior years.

©Miki Jourdan
©Miki Jourdan
©Miki Jourdan
©Miki Jourdan

Wishing everyone the best during this Pride Month under the pandemic, and hope it is back to a massive celebration in June 2021.

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