WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, issued the following statement recognizing June 2019 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. Marylanders have more places to celebrate Pride Month this year than ever before. Events include:
- Capital Pride Parade (DC) June 8
- Montgomery County Pride Month Kickoff June 10
- Baltimore Pride Parade June 15
- Rockville Pride June 15
- Upper Chesapeake Bay Pride (Harford County) June 22
- Frederick Pride June 22
- LGBTQ Family Day at Glen Echo Park June 23
- Annapolis Pride Parade and Festival June 29
- Howard County LGBT Pride Festival June 29
- Westminster and Carroll County LGBTQ+ Pride Walk June 29
- Cumberland Pride Festival July 14
- Hagerstown Pride July 19
“Fifty years of progress, bringing LGBT rights out of the closet and into the light started on a fateful night in June 1969, after yet another raid on the Stonewall Inn by police. While, today, communities celebrate LGBT Pride Month with parades, street parties and celebrations, it’s important to understand that 50 years ago, the LGBT community was under attack. Police raids and anti-LGBT violence were common. Celebrating civil rights and the fight for equality for LGBT Americans unabashedly finds its roots in a night of civil disobedience after a night of police harassment and LGBT patrons deciding that they had finally had enough.
“For 50 years, since the days after the Stonewall Riots in 1969, LGBT men and women, have moved out of the shadows to rightfully reclaim their rights as Americans and, more importantly, as human beings.
“Coming together in support of our LGBT brothers and sisters continues to be a critical component of fostering a culture of equality. During Pride Month, we acknowledge the turbulent history of the LGBT civil rights movement, as well as celebrating the courage, strength, and resilience that defines this willful community. In the midst of adversity and the pursuit of equality, the members of the LGBT community show their true colors with confidence and pride. Pride in the various races, genders, and beliefs that make up the community. Pride in overcoming personal challenges. And pride in being genuine and true to themselves.
“LGBT Americans are musicians, artists, inventors, business leaders, educators, and healers. They are lawmakers and activists, but also our neighbors and family members. If we are to live up to the democratic ideals that set the foundation for this country, we must ensure that all Americans have an equal opportunity to live freely and successfully, and we must treat all with respect and dignity.
“America has come a long way in furthering the rights of the LGBT community, but there is still much work to be done. If we do not defend their constitutional rights, we are failing them. Unfortunately, hate is on the rise in many corners of America and the world. The strides we have made toward equality constantly are under attack by the current administration and others who seek to silence and erase LGBT Americans. We will not let the rights of millions of Americans be taken away.
“Set forth in the U.S. Constitution is the declaration that all men are created equal in the pursuit of happiness and equal before the law. I stand with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community during Pride Month and every day. No one should ever be persecuted or held back from living their life because of who they are or who they love. Love is love and it is stronger than hate. As an ally and a U.S. Senator, I will always fight for the rights of all Americans regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”