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King County declares June as Gay Pride Month
June was proclaimed Gay Pride Month by the King County Council earlier this week, in recognition of the LGBTQ community in the region — and also as a remembrance of the 1968 Stonewall Riots in New York.
The Stonewall Riots are considered the start of the modern equality movement for the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) community.
"Gay Pride Month serves as an opportunity for us to reflect on our past and recommit ourselves to the fight for full equality under the law," said Councilman Joe McDermott, the first openly gay member of the King County Council. "I am proud of King County's record of supporting the LGBTQ community."
Councilmen Larry Phillips and Bob Ferguson also voiced their support of the county's proclamation.
"This year, the LGBTQ community and their supporters have more to celebrate and more to defend with the passage of marriage equality in Washington," Phillips said. "I look forward to celebrating diversity and equality during Gay Pride Month, and working to protect and advance the rights of gay residents in King County."
For Ferguson, the declaration of Gay Pride Month from the county is yet another way to keep the fight for equality in everyone's minds.
"I am proud to be a part of a government that is committed to ensuring equality for all residents regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity," Ferguson said. "We must continue to stand up and recognize that no matter who you are, who you love, you deserve to be treated equally in our community."
The council has supported gay rights measures in the past, citing its endorsement of Washington's marriage equality law earlier this year.
In 2008, the county also made an amendment to the King County Charter by adding gender identity and expression to the anti-discrimination section. The county notes the public approved that move with a 71 percent vote in 2008.