Mayor Ed Murray: “We can celebrate our successes while recommitting ourselves to push for equality everywhere.”

 

Mayor Ed Murray released the following statement about Pride.

This year is the 40th Anniversary of Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans Pride in Seattle. Seattle hosted our first pride just one year after the first pride in New York City. It was a march designed to recognize the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots which amplified a burgeoning movement to stop attacks on LGBT people from police, governments, the press, and more. At that time police regularly raided known gay bars to arrest patrons, and then the press would publish photos of those who were arrested, exposing the victims of the harassment to job loss, the loss of family, and physical attacks.

Now, 40 years later, I am proud of how far my community has come. There was a time in my life I never would have imagined that we could get married or have a gay mayor. Thanks to years of work with our friends in the labor movement, faith communities, the environmental movement, business leaders, the Democratic Party – and yes even some from the Republican Party – gays and lesbians are now allowed to marry in Washington State. In fact, on June 30th the remaining domestic partnerships between non-senior citizen couples will convert to marriages.  Washington has some of the strongest workplace protections in the country. Our youth are safer in school because of anti-bullying legislation. Gay and lesbian men and women can serve openly in the military. Hospitals which accept federal funding can no longer prevent loved ones of gays and lesbians from being at their side during times of crisis. And there is so much more.

Yes, we have a lot to celebrate this year. As we celebrate, I ask that you also think about how you can continue to help move equality forward. In more than 20 states there are no laws to protect LGBT people from being fired for being who they are. In 76 countries it is a crime to be gay or lesbian and in 10 the punishment is life in prison or death. In Seattle LGBT people still experience violence and hate because of who they are or who they love. LGBT immigrants fleeing persecution at home may arrive to communities in Seattle who are not as accepting as they could be. Homeless youth still suffer on our streets. The trans community is still not allowed to serve in the military and they face some of the toughest economic conditions of any population in the country.

We can celebrate our successes while recommitting ourselves to push for equality everywhere. As we enjoy the privileges of our city and state, let’s reach back and bring others along.  Inequality in all its forms is one of our greatest challenges, but I know that together we will achieve a tomorrow where no one will live in fear because of who they are or who they love.

The mayor proclaimed June Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Trans Pride month and helped raise the Pride flag at City Hall with his husband earlier this month.