Why is Pride Month in June?


SPEAKER 1: Pride Month is celebrated in June to honor the struggle for equal rights by members of the LGBTQ+ community and to highlight the progress made. One of the most important moments in the struggle occurred at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, in June of 1969. Homosexuality was a criminal offense in most of America. Police raids of gay bars were common. And there had been other uprisings across the country in response to the harassment.

The rebellion at Stonewall was a much larger act of resistance, however. Over five nights of protests by thousands of people, the struggle for gay rights coalesced into a modern political movement. One year later, the first Pride March was held on the anniversary of the Stonewall riots to demonstrate the solidarity against discrimination and to commemorate the acts of the previous summer.

Several gay rights organizations grew from this, and their advocacy helped bring about changes in discriminatory government policies. Other cities joined New York in observing the anniversary, and the observance quickly grew beyond its American origin. Celebrations are now held globally with millions of participants in parades parties and other events around the world.

SPEAKER 2: Tell me how you feel about being here today?

SPEAKER 3: I feel it's beautiful. It's fantastic. And I've just rejected the mold. And when I rejected the mold, I was happier.

SPEAKER 4: And you think that you're happier now that you've realized exactly where your feelings lie?

SPEAKER 5: Indeed. I'm just sorry that it took so long.

SPEAKER 1: Although it had been observed by members of the community for decades, in 1999, President Bill Clinton officially declared June to be Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. In 2011, President Barack Obama expanded the observance to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.

BARACK OBAMA: Every year we set aside this month to celebrate the ways that so many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans have helped to make our union just a little more perfect. We honor the countless, nameless heroes who paved the way for progress, the activists who marched, the advocates who organized, the lawyers who argued cases, the families who stood by their loved ones even when it was tough, every brave American who came out and spoke out, especially when it was tough.

SPEAKER 1: There were also important legal battles won in the month of June by members of the LGBTQ+ community. In June of 2013 in the United States versus Windsor, the Supreme Court outlawed discrimination against same-sex couples in determining federal benefits and protections. In June of 2015, the verdict of Obergefell versus Hodges gave same-sex couples marriage equality in all 50 states. In June of 2016, President Obama declared the Stonewall Inn a national monument.