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WHEREAS, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Virginians have contributed to the rich diversity of our Commonwealth and have made significant strides in law, public office, medicine, technology, food, music, literature, education, sports, entertainment, journalism and the arts; and
WHEREAS, between 1970 and early 2000, LGBT campaigns, protest and organizations played a pivotal role in combating negative representations of LGBT people, supported liberation movements that empowered individuals to come out to their friends, family and colleagues, and advocated for HIV/AIDS funding, legislation and equal access to healthcare; and
WHEREAS, members of Virginia’s LGBT communities fought for marriage equality, and on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS, members of Virginia’s LGBT communities make their voices heard and continue to fight for equality and legislation that prohibits discrimination in housing, employment and reproductive health services on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; and
WHEREAS, as Governor, I added gender expression and identity to the list of protected classes, and protections for state contractors in my first Executive Order that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, LGBT oral history, walking tours and archiving projects conducted in several Virginia regions connect younger generations to first-hand accounts of LGBT community records, as well as accounts of activism and challenges faced by LGBT people of color; and
WHEREAS, we will always remember and cherish the names of LGBT individuals – those of the transgender community who lost their lives to senseless violence, leaders and friends lost to HIV/AIDS, activists who died fighting for equal rights, as well as the countless number of those whose lives and stories have not yet been told; and
WHEREAS, during LGBT Pride Month, the Commonwealth of Virginia joins the nation in celebrating LGBT Americans, their struggle, and their contributions to our communities, and we acknowledge that we must do more to create a more open and welcoming Commonwealth;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize June 2019 as LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.