In June of 2000, Bill Clinton deemed the month of June “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.” The month was chosen to remember the Stonewall riots in 1969 in Manhattan.
Instead of backing down to unconstitutional raids by New York Police, gay men and lesbians in local bars, including the Stonewall Inn, fought back.
The violent police raids were followed by organized protests, galvanizing gays and lesbians with their first sense of communal pride that would eventually grow into a national grassroots movement for the equal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
The gay pride movement is a civil rights and workers’ rights issue. You can be denied employment, fired from your job, or refused promotion at work because you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. In 31 states, it is legal to fire someone because of their sexual orientation.
As we celebrate Gay and Lesbian Pride month, it’s important to get involved in this movement for equality. Unions have been in the forefront of bargaining for contracts that include non-discrimination protections. But we need federal policies and laws that give equal rights to LGBT workers and their families, like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and that extend other workplace benefits to people with domestic partners, such as health insurance coverage and rights under the Family Medical Leave Act.
Go to to take action for workplace protections like ENDA. Unless the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and pro-equality ally community is working with advocates promoting a fair work place, critical gaps in workplace protections will remain—even if stand alone federal legislation passes.
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