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.
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.
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.
The Court rules that same-sex marriages, in states where it is legal, must be treated as valid marriages under all Federal laws.
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.
The Court rules that same sex marriages must be legal in all states.
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.
In a landmark verdict on Monday, the Court rules that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids employment discrimination against any LGBTQ employee.
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.
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.
Wishing everyone the best during this Pride Month under the pandemic, and hope it is back to a massive celebration in June 2021.