I started this blog post earlier in the month to recognize June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ)* Pride Month, but the tragedy in Orlando rightly caused the Council and my blog post to change course. As June comes to a close, it seems fitting to celebrate the LGBTQ community and the steps which our society has taken on its journey toward full equality.
The month of June was chosen for LGBTQ Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred in June 1969, and were viewed by many as a tipping point for the gay rights movement in the United States. June 26 marks the one year anniversary of the United States Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing marriage equality in all 50 states, a historic decision to which the LGBTQ community responded with fervor. According to the Williams Institute, 486,000 same-sex couples were married as of October 2015, an increase of 96,000 same-sex couples who were married after the June 2015 Supreme Court ruling. Two years earlier to the date, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which many viewed as the precursor to the 2015 marriage equality decision.
This month government officials, school administrators, teachers, parents, students, and other members of the LGBTQ community and its allies march in Pride parades throughout the country. My wife and I have marched with our kids, and their schools, for years and we have witnessed the growth in the demonstration of support for the LGBTQ community. Today, children of same-sex parents are embraced by the community, and parents of transgender children are leading the charge for accommodations to make schools more inclusive.
Our journey toward full equality is far from over. In its Final State of the Work publication, the D5 Coalition reports that within the philanthropic sector, funding for LGBTQ populations in the United States remains significantly lower than funding for other minority populations. LGBTQ individuals continue to fight for equality on many fronts including employment, housing, healthcare, and immigration. The philanthropic community must and will continue to address these concerns as well as the concerns of a myriad of diverse communities across the nation.
As the month of June ends we remember, as we always will, those affected by the shooting in Orlando. We also honor those who lift up and empower the LGBTQ community during Pride Month and throughout the year.
How does your foundation support the LGBTQ community, and what you did to commemorate this month? Please share in the comment section below.
*Like the Human Rights Campaign, the Council uses LGBTQ to reflect the broader community. ““Queer” serves as an umbrella term that encompasses many people as it intersects with sexual orientation and gender identity. It includes anyone who does not associate with heteronormativity, rather they have non-binary or gender expansive identities.” The term “questioning” was used at one point but “queer” is the preferred term within the community.