Obama Makes June ‘LGBT Pride Month’
June 2016 is “LGBT Pride Month,” thanks to President Obama’s signature.
Yesterday, Obama officially declared today the start of “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month,” and used the symbolic gesture to “call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.”
In his signing statement, the president said that “the fight for dignity and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people is reflected in the tireless dedication of advocates and allies who strive to forge a more inclusive society. They have spurred sweeping progress by changing hearts and minds and by demanding equal treatment —under our laws, from our courts, and in our politics. This month, we recognize all they have done to bring us to this point, and we recommit to bending the arc of our Nation toward justice.”
Obama also described some of his administration’s actions backing the LGBT agenda, such as opposing reparative therapy and signing an Executive Order that bans federal contractors from considering sexual orientation and gender identity when considering employment.
The declaration comes weeks after the latest legal iterations of the administration’s support for special treatment of Americans who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Last month, the Department of Justice sued North Carolina after the state overturned a law mandating businesses open to the public allow people to use whatever restroom and locker room they prefer. Likewise, the administration mandated on May 13 that hospitals receiving federal funding must provide “gender transition” treatments, or risk losing funding, and that schools not allowing students to use the restrooms, locker rooms, hotel rooms and other sex-segregated facilities of their choice would be in violation of Title IX.
Title IX is a 1972 law banning sex-segregation, which the administration interpreted in 2014 to include gender identity as well as biological sex.
In late April, the names of colleges and universities that were granted exceptions to the administration’s reinterpretation of the anti-sex discrimination law Title IX were made public.
The May 13 school mandate garnered a backlash among social conservatives and parents, leading 11 states to sue the federal government last week. One of those states was Texas, whose Attorney General told The Stream that his state’s laws and the statutory language of Title IX protect schools from the mandate.
“Under the Texas Education code, parents can direct the education of their children,” said Ken Paxton, who noted that “Title IX says neither the superintendent nor the school administration has the authority to change Title IX. It’s up to Congress.”
“Local areas should encourage their state legislatures, school boards and school superintendents to stand firm that the law protects them. They can set up separate bathrooms for transgenders,” urged Paxton, who spoke to The Stream several days before filing the lawsuit.
In addition to the Pride Month declaration, Obama may provide other symbolic support for LGBT activists. The Washington Examiner reported that “listening sessions” with activists could lead to a designation of the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan and a nearby park as the nation’s first monument to the LGBT movement.
The inn was the site of the infamous 1969 Stonewall Riots, where a police raid on the gay bar led to violent altercations and, in many respects, the launch of the modern LGBT movement into organized parades, protests and political activism.