June is LGBT Pride Month in the United States. It commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City--when lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people stood up for their rights to safely gather in a bar to socialize, drink and dance. There are more marches and gatherings planned for the coming June weekends. May the celebrations, albeit with a somber overtone, happen safely throughout our country.
Our hearts are broken for our sisters and brothers in Orlando. Patrons were simply enjoying a night out with music and friends. The survivors will never again enjoy a "night out" casually.
On May 7th, we celebrated Noho Pride's 35th anniversary march and stage events. There was record attendance, with 25,000 participants from all walks of life. In the early days, we had peacekeepers at our marches in case of physical altercations with protesters. Back then, gun violence was not considered likely.
In more recent years, we have taken for granted our ever-growing allies who march with us and who celebrate equality, justice and love. Yet socially sanctioned acts of violence against people perceived to be lesbian, gay or gender non-conforming are on the rise as LGBT people gain rights and integrate more fully into communities around the country.
We grieve the deaths and emotional toll for the survivors of Pulse in Orlando. This horrific, intentional mass shooting will not stop us from our mission to ensure equality and acceptance in all areas of life for LGBT people.
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In celebration of last year's monumental Supreme Court decision, MassMutual launched the "Vow to Protect" digital campaign featuring LGBT couples speaking earnestly about marriage equality and their respective journeys. MassMutual has a longstanding commitment to supporting, and being a financial resource for, the LGBT community. “Vow to Protect” is a touching, heartfelt representation of MassMutual’s efforts as Champions of LGBT Equality.
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Vigil for Orlando in front of Northampton City Hall 6/15 7 PM. Bring your own candles please.
Link to Vigil Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1558171411152965
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