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City to Raise Pride Flag on June 1

Published on Thursday, May 25, 2023 | 5:55 pm

The City will raise the Pride Flag at 12:30 p.m. on June 1 at City Hall.

The City first raised the Pride Flag in 2021 at the request of then- Councilmember John Kennedy.

Kennedy made the request to raise the flag after Pamela Weatherspoon, who was appointed vice president of Enterprise, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Huntington Hospital, asked him if he could get the city to join the hospital in raising the LGBT Pride Flag at Huntington Hospital and City Hall.

The flag raising kicks off the City’s celebration of Pride Month.

The impetus of Pride Month goes back to 1969 when police raided a gay club called the Stonewall Inn in New York under a false claim the bar was operating with an improper liquor license.

During the event LGBTQ patrons clashed with police, who arrested 13 people, including employees and people violating the state’s gender-appropriate clothing statute. According to media reports, female officers would take suspected cross-dressing patrons into the bathroom to check their gender.

After an officer struck a woman over the head and forced her into a police van, a full scale riot ensued.

The ensuing six-day period of protests and demonstrations is now known as the Stonewall Riots. The riots are considered a landmark moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

Patrons claimed the raid was an excuse to harass and arrest LGBTQ+ people in one of the few places where they felt safe.

Similar raids on gay-friendly businesses had been occurring for decades, but the Stonewall incident was one of the first times when the patrons fought back.

On the first anniversary of the riots, the now-regular tradition of Pride Month started and led to the first gay pride marches in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, where thousands of people marched in Manhattan from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park.

On June 24, 2016, President Barack Obama officially designated the Stonewall National Monument, making it the country’s first national monument designated as an LGBT+ historic site.

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