Celebrating the diversity within King County
Recognizing the changes that have come in the last 43 years, while acknowledging the challenges that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals still face, the Metropolitan King County Council today declared the month of June “Gay Pride Month” in King County.
“Our state and county have seen great steps toward equality, but our march toward full equality under the law continues. Let’s celebrate our successes and reflect on our next steps during Gay Pride Month,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott, the sponsor of the recognition and the first-ever openly gay member of the County Council. “It is an honor to sponsor the Council’s first ever Gay Pride Month proclamation.”
“Members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities have contributed immensely to the social, political, and economic fabric of Martin Luther King, Jr. County. It was in that vein in 2008, we took steps to continue the struggle against discrimination towards sexual minorities by amending the King County Charter,” said Council Chair Larry Gossett. “However as Dr. King, our county’s namesake stated: `[c]hange does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.’ By designating June Gay Pride Month, we recommit ourselves to ensure that all people have equality.”
King County and the County Council have worked to end discrimination against sexual minorities. In 2008, the Council sent an amendment to the King County Charter adding gender identity and expression to the anti-discrimination section to voters, who approved it with a 71 percent yes vote.
“Gay Pride Month is a time to celebrate diversity and raise awareness about equal rights for sexual minorities,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “I am proud to stand beside lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in our community in their fight for full equality and appreciate their contribution to civil rights and the richness of our society.”
“I am proud to support today’s proclamation, which shows the Council’s commitment to pursuing equality for all people of King County, regardless of their sexual orientation” said Councilmember Julia Patterson.
“King County, as a government and a community, strives for equality for all residents regardless of sexual orientation,” said Councilmember Bob Ferguson. “Today’s recognition of Gay Pride Month helps it get better for the GLBT community in King County.”
Gay Pride Month is celebrated in June in recognition of the June 1968 Stonewall Riots in New York, considered the start of the modern movement for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer citizens. Seattle will celebrate its 37th Gay Pride Parade on June 26. The theme of this year’s Parade is “Be You. Be Proud. Express Yourself!”
WHEREAS, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals have made meaningful contributions to work and life in King County; and
WHEREAS, the modern fight for LGBTQ equal rights began with the Stonewall Riots in New York in June of 1969; and
WHEREAS, Washington State added “sexual orientation” to the state’s anti-discrimination law in 2006, to ban discrimination in housing, employment, and insurance; and
WHEREAS, the King County Council unanimously adopted, and the voters approved, adding gender identity and expression to the anti-discrimination section of the King County Charter in 2008; and
WHEREAS, the fight for equality and dignity for all individuals under the law continues; and
WHEREAS, King County is the ninth largest destination in the nation for LGBTQ travel; and
WHEREAS, Seattle’s 37th annual Pride Parade is being held on Sunday, June 26;
NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, proclaim June 2011 as
GAY PRIDE MONTH
in King County and call on all county residents to celebrate the region’s diversity.
DATED this sixth day of June, 2011.
The members of the Council join Councilmember Joe McDermott and representatives of King County's gay and lesbian community after the Council declared June Gay Pride Month in King County