Monday, June 6, 2011

City of Angels Celebrates First LGBT Heritage Month

Yes, it is in the state that passed Prop H8, but the leaders of the City of Los Angeles want to make it clear that it welcomes LGBT people as residents, workers, and tourists. I found this article in the LA Times.

The rainbow theme was fitting: On Friday, Los Angeles officials launched the city's first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Heritage Month, which will include an art exhibit at City Hall and events in conjunction with the annual Gay Pride celebration next weekend.

Who is going?

Councilman Bill Rosendahl said the designation of June as LGBT Heritage Month is important because gay people, like other minorities, "have an identity that needs to be clearly appreciated." In 2005, Rosendahl was the first openly gay candidate to run for and be elected to the City Council.

He was beaming Friday as he stood during the council meeting with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and other officials, to honor several lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Angelenos.

For nearly two hours, Rosendahl and his colleagues talked about gay rights, gay representation on the council, AIDS and much more, occasionally sharing personal stories that drew laughter - and at times surprise - from an audience that included many LGBT rights activists.

Two hours! I bet it never got boring, either.

The meeting took a somber turn when officials noted the 30th anniversary - this week - of the first known AIDS cases. In 1995, Rosendahl lost his partner of 14 years, Christopher Lee Blauman, to complications of AIDS.

When nobody cared if people were dying as long as they were “others,” the few stood up and made a difference. We should never again allow anyone to be dismissed from society because of their sexual orientation.

Here’s the press release from Mayor Villaraigosa’s office.

Sponsored by Toyota, the heritage month themed "LGBT LA: Paving the Way Toward Equality" highlights the role Los Angeles has played as a driving force in the LGBT equality movement. Villaraigosa also recognized three LGBT trailblazers: Reverend Troy Perry, Chad Griffin and Wanda Sykes.

Let’s keep moving towards equality for all!
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