Pennsylvania Senate Rejects Pride Month Proclamation

The Pennsylvania Senate rejected a Pride Month proclamation, in front of pioneers in the fight for LGBTQ rights.

Sen. Sharif Street introduced the Unanimous Consent Resolution recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month, telling Philadelphia Gay News he hoped it would be adopted to honor the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building

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The Pennsylvania Capitol lit in rainbow colors after the Supreme Court ruling in 2015 legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

“I was pleased to be joined by pioneers of the LGBTQ-plus community on to offer a resolution honoring and commemorating Pride festivities in Philadelphia and across the commonwealth,” street said. “Unfortunately, Republican leadership did not see fit to allow it to proceed.”

Those present included activists Elizabeth Coffey-Williams, John James, Susan Silverman, and David Acosta. Collectively they founded early LGBTQ organizations, took part in groundbreaking demonstrations, and held important leadership roles both inside and outside of government.

Silverman reported being “grateful that Sen. Street and [policy director] Micah Mahjoubian are fighting so hard to bring legislative protections to the LGBT-plus community of Pennsylvania.”

“While I’ve seen many strides since Stonewall, we still can lose our jobs, lose our apartments and, for some, lose our physical safety and even our lives. The fight goes on,” Silverman added.

Street, who introduced similar legislation in 2017 and 2018, said he intends to keep putting it forward until it is adopted.

The community also has allies in Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, both of whom attended Pride events this year, according to the Pennsylvania Capital Star.

Wolf presented a Pride proclamation from the Governor’s Office that read, in part:

Pride Month is a time to unite and denounce discrimination and violence toward LGBTQ individuals, to promote self-affirmation, dignity and equality and to mobilize communities. The commonwealth is proud to honor the history and contributions of LGBTQ communities within our state and throughout the nation.

A rainbow flag and a trans Pride flag are also hanging from the balcony of the Capitol office, thanks to Fetterman.

A similar situation played out in Texas this month, where a commissioner refused to sign a Pride Week proclamation and read a statement ensuring her objection was entered into the record.

In both cases, Pride celebrations were able to carry on unhindered.

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