As the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots nears, Pacific Pride Foundation has pulled back its National Pride Month festivities because of COVID, but by no means has it ended them. Instead, Pride continues all summer, made effervescent by Monday’s Supreme Court ruling that barred discrimination at the workplace against people who are LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning).
“Pacific Pride Foundation is delighted with the Supreme Court ruling,” said Patrick Lyra Lanier, the nonprofit’s program manager, speaking for the board and staff members. “It is especially nice during June, which is Pride month, to celebrate a victory for economic and social justice as a whole. There is always more to do, but we should take time today to appreciate this historic and desperately needed step toward workplace equity for LGBTQ+ Americans across the nation.”
The decision placed the mantle of Civil Rights Act of 1964 protections around working people for sexual orientation and gender identity. “No one should be fired from their job because of who they are or who they love,” said Congressmember Salud Carbajal of the decision. “The Supreme Court stood on the right side of history and brought us one step closer to full equality for LGBTQ Americans.”
Carbajal also noted, “Discriminatory legal barriers hinder the LGBTQ community’s access to health care, adoption, housing, education, and so much more,” including the Trump administrations’ recent restoration of the ability to discriminate in health care against transgender patients.
The Health and Human Services announcement was made on June 12, the anniversary of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in 2016, once a safe place for Orlando’s transgender community. Its troubling language stated sex discrimination under the Affordable Care Act would only mean “male or female and as determined by biology.” According to Carbajal, “The next step should be for the Senate to take up the House’s bipartisan Equality Act and finally eliminate anti-LGBTQ discrimination in all its forms.”
Along with the political work ahead, Pacific Pride remains mindful of the summer and its community. A number of events address young and old, including a youth reading program through the public libraries for Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. A special storytime takes place on Wednesday afternoon, and a mental health and suicide presentation with Kate Bornstein on Thursday, as well as an Older Adult Luncheon with educator Jane Fleishman. Her recent TEDx talk was titled, “Is it OK for Grandma to have sex?”
Training in supporting and welcoming LGBTQ+ individuals and families are ongoing, and specials from the business community — including a triangular rainbow doughnut from Hook & Press — and more information can be found at Pride’s monthly newsletter at pacificpridefoundation.org.