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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month: A Commemorative Observances Legal Research Guide

History and Overview

In June 1969, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City staged an uprising to resist the police harassment and persecution to which LGBTQ+ Americans were commonly subjected. This uprising marks the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ+ Americans.

In 1998, President Clinton issued Executive Order 13087, expanding equal opportunity employment in the federal government by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. On June 11, 1999 President Clinton issued Proclamation No. 7203 for Gay and Lesbian Pride Month:

Thirty years ago this month, at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, a courageous group of citizens resisted harassment and mistreatment, setting in motion a chain of events that would become known as the Stonewall Uprising and the birth of the modern gay and lesbian civil rights movement. Gays and lesbians, their families and friends, celebrate the anniversary of Stonewall every June in America as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month[.]

On June 1, 2009, President Obama issued Proclamation No. 8387, or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2009. In this proclamation, President Obama pointed to the contributions made by LGBTQ+ Americans, both in promoting equal rights to all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and in broader initiatives such as the response to the global HIV pandemic. President Obama ended the proclamation by calling upon the people of the United States to "turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists."