Northam to participate in virtual pride event; Virginia laws advancing LGBTQ+ rights take effect


FILE- In this June 24, 2018 file photo, revelers carry a Rainbow Flag along Fifth Avenue during the New York City Pride Parade in New York. June 28, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which fueled the fire for a global LGBTQ movement. From symposiums to movie screenings, walking tours to art exhibits, even an opera, a slew of institutions and organizations are filling June with events that commemorate that moment and its impact through the last five decades. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — In addition to new laws expanding rights and protections for the LQBTQ+ community, Governor Ralph Northam will be participating in Pride Month as part of the virtual ‘Global Pride 2020’ event on Saturday.

“This Pride Month, we are reminded of the pivotal moments when LGBTQ+ Americans stood up to demand that they be treated with respect and dignity,” said Northam.

On Saturday, June 27, Governor Northam will join LGBTQ+ activists and world leaders for Global Pride 2020, a 24-hour virtual Pride event organized in response to the hundreds of Pride celebrations that have been canceled or postponed due to the pandemic.

The Governor’s pre-recorded message will air between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and will broadcast at and on Todrick Hall’s YouTubeFacebook, and Revry.

Northam has made many historical milestones for the community including issuing a proclamation declaring June as Pride Month throughout Virginia.

“As we celebrate long-overdue progress in advancing LGBTQ+ rights in our country and Commonwealth, we must also redouble our efforts to ensure Virginia is inclusive and welcoming to all –– no matter who you are, who you love, or how you identify,” he continued.

In March, he signed into law an increase in protections for transgender students and greater authority to ban discrimination. With that, Northam expanded the definition of a hate crime to include criminal acts based on “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” and has made it easier for LGBTQ+ individuals to obtain a birth certificate matching their gender identity.

These laws are become effective July 1.

In April, he enacted legislation to protect the LQBTQ+ community against acts of discrimination by signing the Virginia Values Act. The act made Virginia the first state in the South to enact comprehensive protections for the LGBTQ+ community against discrimination in housing, employment, public spaces, and credit applications.

Pride Month commemorates the birth of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement and has been a noteworthy event for June since the Stonewall Inn riots in New York City on June 28, 1969.

The month also represents and celebrates the Supreme Court rulings to advance rights and equality for the community.

Decisions like the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, which guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, and affirmed that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ+ employees from discrimination based on sex in 2020.

The list of speakers and performers can be found here and the full text of Governor Northam’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month proclamation can be read here.

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