Celebrating Pride Month: Reflect, recognize, reform

To kick off pride month, Mayor Craig Greenberg alongside LGBTQ advocates, raised the progress pride flag.
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 5:38 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The month of June is known as Pride Month, a time for people to be proud of who they are no matter their race, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation.

Celebrating Pride Month started in 1969 with the Stonewall Riots when members of the LGBTQ community were targeted and harassed. The riots sparked the gay rights movement.

In 2023, as the pride flag flies in front of Louisville’s Metro Hall, LGBTQ advocates say it’s a sign of progress. The progress pride flag represents inclusion, progress made, and progress to come.

In 1999, Louisville passed the first fairness ordinance in the state. The ordinance protected the LGBTQ community from discrimination. Since then, 24 other Kentucky communities have passed their own anti-discrimination law.

Decades later, LGBTQ advocates and elected officials end up clashing in the state legislature.

”There’s nothing quite like having your very lives debated on the House or Senate floor and hearing the worst, disparaging lies about you and your community,” Executive Director of Fairness Campaign Chris Hartman said. “The reason trans-kids are getting attacked is because of the least familiarity.”

In the 2023 legislative session, Kentucky lawmakers passed SB-150. One of the hundreds of controversial bills nationwide that people called an attack on trans-youth.

Although pride month is associated with parties and celebrations, one lawmaker said it’s time for action.

”It’s up to us to speak up anytime we see injustice and discrimination,” Representative Keturah Herron, District 42, said. “These issues are not singular issues. It’s not just about the LGBTQ community, it’s about all of us denouncing hate, in general, all across the board.”

To kick off pride month, Mayor Craig Greenberg alongside LGBTQ advocates, raised the progress pride flag, showing how the city of Louisville is welcoming and accepting every month, not just during pride.

“Wherever you are, whatever you are going through, remember there are people here in Louisville who love, respect, care about you, and believe in you,” Greenberg said. “We will fight alongside you for your right to live and love how you see fit and to exercise your right as Americans to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. to go by whatever pronouns, you choose.”

Greenberg hopes the pride flag remains up for the rest of the month and the year.