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President Joe Biden Issues Official White House LGBTQ Pride Proclamation – First Since Obama



President Joe Biden Tuesday morning issued an official White House LGBTQ Pride proclamation, the first since President Barack Obama.

In his “Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month,” (below) President Biden says he is “particularly honored by the service of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve in the Cabinet, and Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate.”

Biden notes that nearly 14% of his appointees are LGBTQ+, but he also acknowledges the “tragic spike in violence against transgender women of color,” and says “LGBTQ+ individuals — especially youth who defy sex or gender norms — face bullying and harassment in educational settings and are at a disproportionate risk of self-harm and death by suicide. Some States have chosen to actively target transgender youth through discriminatory bills that defy our Nation’s values of inclusivity and freedom for all.”

The Biden proclamation begins by honoring the “uprising at the Stonewall Inn in June, 1969,” which “sparked a liberation movement — a call to action that continues to inspire us to live up to our Nation’s promise of equality, liberty, and justice for all,”

“Pride is a time to recall the trials the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community has endured and to rejoice in the triumphs of trailblazing individuals who have bravely fought — and continue to fight — for full equality.  Pride is both a jubilant communal celebration of visibility and a personal celebration of self-worth and dignity.  This Pride Month, we recognize the valuable contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals across America, and we reaffirm our commitment to standing in solidarity with LGBTQ+ Americans in their ongoing struggle against discrimination and injustice.”

One year ago on June 1, then-candidate Joe Biden issued issued a statement marking LGBTQ Pride month. One week later he issued an 8000 word policy plan on LGBTQ equality.

President Donald Trump, despite campaign promises and claims the LGBTQ community liked him never once issued an official LGBTQ Pride proclamation. In 2019 he posted a tweet, managing to turn the month’s focus to himself, outraging LGBTQ Americans and allies, in an effort to cover up his horrific record on LGBTQ equity and issues.

Related: 114 Times Trump Threw the LGBTQ Community Under the Bus

Read President Biden’s LGBTQ Pride Month proclamation:

A Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, And Queer Pride Month, 2021 | the White House by davidbadash on Scribd



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Starbucks Union Announces Strike Over Alleged Pride Decoration Ban



starbucks union strike

The Starbucks union announced on early Friday morning that stores across the United States would strike over an alleged ban on Pride decorations in stores.

“STRIKE WITH PRIDE! Seattle Roastery leads nationwide Starbucks strike over Starbucks’ hypocritical treatment of LGBTQIA+ workers. Over 150+ stores and 3,500 workers will be on strike over the course of the next week,” the Starbucks Workers United union tweeted.

The Seattle Roastery is one of the company’s flagship stores in its hometown. In a strike letter also posted Friday, the Starbucks union says that the corporation doesn’t recognize the union and has refused to bargain with it. The letter also is more specific about its demands.

“We are taking collective action in response to the company’s unlawful decision to unilaterally alter or terminate store Pride decoration policies without negotiating with our union. We are also striking over numerous unfair labor practices, including but not limited to the company’s refusal to negotiate over a first labor contract,” the letter read.

Starbucks denies that its policies on Pride decorations has changed, according to NBC News. Though the Starbucks union says workers at some stores were told that there weren’t “labor hours” available to spend decorating, or that blocking windows with flags was a safety concern, Starbucks refutes these allegations.

“We unwaveringly support the LGBTQIA2+ community. There has been no change to any policy on this matter and we continue to encourage our store leaders to celebrate with their communities including for U.S. Pride month in June,” Andrew Trull, a spokesperson for the company, told NBC News.

“We’re deeply concerned by false information that is being spread especially as it relates to our inclusive store environments, our company culture, and the benefits we offer our partners,” Trull continued. “There has been no change to any policy on this matter and we continue to encourage our store leaders to celebrate with their communities including for U.S. Pride month in June.”

The Starbucks union cited posts on social media from Starbucks workers sharing that they were told to take down Pride decorations or that they weren’t allowed to put them up in the first place.

The union also posted a video showing workers taking down the decorations, and another with Pride flags stored in a bucket during Pride Month.

Starbucks does sell Pride merchandise, including a new line of tumblers designed by a LGBTQ artist. However, it’s unclear from the company’s website if any proceeds go to any LGBTQ charities or causes. The company also touts its support of LGBTQ causes with an official “History of LGBTQIA2+ Inclusion” timeline on its site.

Though Starbucks may back Pride celebrations at a corporate level, the pro-labor organization More Perfect Union says it obtained emails showing that executives moved to cancel Pride celebrations at stores across three states.

“I know there has been some concerns around not decorating for Pride this year,” a store manager in Oklahoma City wrote to workers early June, according to More Perfect Union. “The decision was made last year on a regional level to create consistency from store to store.”

The strike is set to last until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, when the Starbucks union promises to “unconditionally return to work at that time.”

Featured image by GoToVan via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons licence.

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People Are Fighting Back Against Politicians’ Homophobia



As homophobic and transphobic rhetoric ramps up as the far-right tries to pin society’s problems on LGBTQ people, it’s looking like people beyond the GOP’s base are fighting back.

On Saturday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis claimed that the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Pride Night celebration Friday was a bust.

“The virtually empty stadium for the game itself was a powerful image – Americans are fed up with the nonsense and are fighting back,” DeSantis wrote. And though an estimated 2,000 people turned out protest the inclusion of LGBTQ activist group The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, photos of a nearly empty stadium didn’t show the true story. Those pictures were taken about an hour before the game started.

In fact, the Dodgers sold just over 49,000 tickets—about 87% of the stadium’s total capacity, and 1,200 more than the average Dodgers home game, according to Queerty.

READ MORE: Baseball Commissioner Says Pride Jerseys Make Some Players ‘Uncomfortable’

Or, take the town of Grand Haven, Michigan. Though the town is conservative, and local groups opposed the town’s first ever Pride festival, the city council unanimously approved the plan. Though the event was expected to draw 500 people, according to the Associated Press, about 4,000 came. Even before the event, organizers raised almost double the amount of money they were hoping for and three times the number of vendors expected signed up for the event.

Attempts by Republican politicians to ban drag shows and gender-affirming care have recently been struck down in court. Earlier this month, a Trump-appointed judge struck down a Tennessee law that would have banned drag shows in public where children are present. U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker ruled the ban unconstitutional, saying it violated the First Amendment. Parker added that the law’s stated intent of protecting children from indecency was likely unnecessary, due to the existence of anti-obscenity laws, Newsweek reported.

Florida’s ban on gender-affirming care was also struck down this month, according to the AP. U.S. Circuit Judge Robert Hinkle, appointed by former President Bill Clinton, sided for the parents of transgender children, ruling that there was no reason to deny treatment.

“Gender identity is real. The record makes this clear,” he said, adding that those who think gender is a choice “tend to disapprove all things transgender and so oppose medical care that supports a person’s transgender existence.”

“The treatment will affect the patients themselves, nobody else,” Hinkle said, “and will cause the defendants no harm.”

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