County Council recognizes LGBTQ Pride Month

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Councilmembers are joined by representatives of the LGBTQ communities as the Council proclaimed the month of June ‘LGTBQ Pride Month’ in King County.

Front row (l-r): Councilmember Larry Gossett, Louise Chernin, Greater Seattle Business Association, Danni Askini, Gender Justice League, Council Chair Joe McDermott, Councilmembers Rod Dembowski and Jeanne Kohl-Welles.

Back row (l-r): Councilmember Reagan Dunn, Elayne Wylie, Gender Justice League, Councilmembers Claudia Balducci and Pete von Reichbauer.

The Metropolitan King County Council, on Monday, June 6, declared June LGBTQ Pride Month, celebrating the accomplishments and history of the region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities while acknowledging the challenges to their full participation in society.

“In 2011, for the first time ever, the Council declared June Pride Month in King County. We’ve seen significant progress in those years including full marriage equality. Yet, we continue to see attacks on the rights of the LGBTQ community,” said Council Chair Joe McDermott. “LGBTQ Pride Month serves as an opportunity to reflect on our progress and recommit ourselves to the fight for equal rights under the law.”

“I am honored today to celebrate our region’s LGBTQ community,” said Council Vice Chair Rod Dembowski. “While we have seen immense progress and success in the past few years, the fight for equality and inclusion is not over. We must continue our work to advance the cause of equal opportunity for everyone.”

Pride Month is celebrated in June in recognition of the June 1968 Stonewall Riots in New York, considered the start of the modern movement for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.

While there have been a number of accomplishments in LGBTQ residents gaining the rights that most citizens take for granted, there are still challenges for their communities. A number of states have challenged equity laws for the LGBTQ communities with the adoption of “bathroom protection” legislation that would prevent transgender residents from using the bathroom that corresponds to his or her gender identity.

“Gender Justice League was honored to join the council today in celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month,” said Danni Askini, Executive Director of the Gender Justice League. “At a time when we are seeing increased attacks on the transgender community's civil rights, we are honored to live in a county whose businesses, elected officials, and public celebrate transgender people an integral part of the fabric of our communities.”

King County and the County Council have worked to end discrimination against sexual minorities. In 2012, the County supported marriage equality legislation in Olympia. In 2008, the Council sent an amendment to the King County Charter adding gender identity and expression to the anti-discrimination section to voters, who approved it with a 71 percent yes vote.

Seattle’s annual Pride Parade will be held on Sunday, June 27.


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