California Gov. Jerry Brown today signed a bill into law establishing June as LGBT Pride Month, making California apparently the first state with such a statute.
"California has the largest LGBT population of any state in the union, and the state is home to over 40 LGBT Pride celebrations each year," said Assembly Member Evan Low, the out lawmaker who authored the bill, in a press release. "I want to thank Governor Brown for adding Pride to the list of celebrations codified in statute."
Many state governors issue proclamations for Pride Month, but staffers in Low's office said they don't know of another state that has established Pride Month by law. On the national level, President Barack Obama proclaimed Pride Month in each of his eight years in office, but his successor, Donald Trump, has notably failed to do so this year or last.
The California bill was coauthored by all members of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, which is chaired by Low, a Democrat from Silicon Valley. It was supported by Equality California and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
"In big cities and small towns, in every corner of our state, Pride is a time for Californians to come together and celebrate our progress -- while continuing the fight for full equality," said Equality California executive director Rick Zbur in an emailed statement. "In the face of a president who refuses to recognize Pride Month, we're deeply grateful to Governor Brown, Assembly Member Low, and the entire LGBT Caucus for recognizing the LGBTQ community's role in California and California's role in the LGBTQ civil rights movement."
The tradition of celebrating Pride in June started with a parade in 1970 in New York City commemorating the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots, an uprising against police harassment at a gay bar, which took place in late June. Pride parades and festivals are now held around the world during June and, in some cases, at other times during the year. Eqya