The gay employee group at the U.S. Department of Justice, DOJ Pride, announced Wednesday that it will hold its annual pride celebration at the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill rather than in the Justice Department's Great Hall, as had been originally planned. Earlier this month DOJ Pride was notified that its annual pride event would not be allowed to take place. After heated protest, the department announced that it would proceed with the annual ceremony but that it would have to be held without department sponsorship and that DOJ Pride would have to pay $1,000 for use of the Great Hall.
"The DOJ Pride board has declined the department's offer of second-class status," said Marina Colby, president of DOJ Pride. "We cannot and will not be complicit in the message that our membership and the LGBT community must pay a toll to access the Great Hall of Justice. We will not and cannot be complicit in sending the message to every LGBT kid growing up in America today that they aren't quite as worthy as everybody else...and not quite as welcome."
The group's pride event at the Russell Senate Office Building will be held at 12:30 p.m., Friday, June 20, and is open to the public.