Carolinas Democrats mark Pride month

Two party chairs urge members, citizens to support LGBT equality

If there is just one time every year that is of the utmost importance and symbolism for the LGBT community, it has to be June, when we commemorate the Stonewall Riots of June 28, 1969.

The Riots mark the beginning of our modern movement for equality. Forty years later, we’ve made great progress. Countless states, cities and other jurisdictions have passed LGBT-inclusive laws. Marriage equality is on the march. Federal law now recognizes anti-LGBT hate crimes. In the Carolinas, we’ve also seen a good number of successes on local and even some statewide levels.

But all of this progress wouldn’t have been possible without the chain of events set off after the Stonewall Riots.

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Therefore, it’s fitting our president on May 28 issued a proclamation recognizing June as LGBT Pride Month. On June 1, the chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, Carol Fowler, followed suit.

And, after being contacted by qnotes, the North Carolina Democratic Party also released a statement. We’re happy they joined the president and their neighbors to the south in commemorating Pride Month with us.

The two state party statements are reprinted below

Carol Fowler, South Carolina Democratic Party

This month, Democrats across South Carolina and our nation join to celebrate Pride Month and pay tribute to the LGBT community, a community which plays an integral role in the fabric of our nation and our Party.

Since taking office, President Obama has taken great strides to better the lives of those who are a part of the LGBT community and their families — from signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to lifting the HIV Entry Ban and guaranteeing LGBT families the right to visit and make medical decisions for their partners.

Just last week, the Senate Armed Services Committee and the full House of Representatives voted to end “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” — a policy that has kept thousands of Americans from serving their country because of their sexual orientation. I, along with fellow South Carolinians, look forward to Senate passage and await the day it is completely repealed so that all Americans can serve the country they love, regardless of the person they love.

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This month, while we celebrate the strides we have made over the last few years, we also recognizing that we still have a long way to go. While change does take time, the President and Democratic leaders remain committed to the LGBT community and equality for all Americans. In that spirit, I urge fellow South Carolina Democrats to join me in celebrating this Pride month and the LGBT community.

David Young, North Carolina Democratic Party

The North Carolina Democratic Party is proud to join our friends in the LGBT community in celebrating Pride Month.

LGBT North Carolinians are an integral part of our communities, our churches, and in many cases our families. This month we honor their innumerable contributions and mark the progress we’ve made towards achieving the ideals of equality and fairness upon which our great nation was founded.

This year there is indeed much to celebrate. President Obama has created new rules guaranteeing LGBT families the right to visit and make medical decisions for their partners, while also lifting the HIV ban and signing landmark hate crimes legislation named after Matthew Shepard. And just last month, Congress took important steps towards repealing the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy that prevents patriotic gay Americans from serving openly in our Armed Forces.

While these achievements are notable, there is still much work to be done. We must continue to root out discrimination wherever it exists, and ensure that all Americans regardless of sexual orientation enjoy the full freedoms and liberties that make America the greatest nation in the world. As Dr. King famously said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The North Carolina Democratic Party invites fellow Democrats and North Carolinians of all political backgrounds to join us in celebrating Pride Month with the LGBT community. : :

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer is a staff writer for QNotes. He previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015.