As we approach the end of Pride Month, the SCDC is pleased to see positive progress both nationally and locally. June 2020 has been historic for the LGBTQ+ community. This month, the Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, also applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This decision serves as a vital and unexpected victory in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality. In addition, we celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision, which established marriage equality as the law of the land. In the June primaries, we witnessed the major victories of Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones, who are poised to be the nation’s first Black gay Congressmen.
We have observed substantial positive progress in Sussex County as well. The Sussex Freeholders recognized June as Pride Month for the first time. The Sparta Township Council joined the Vernon Township Council to officially declare June as Pride Month also. Furthermore, Vernon Mayor Dr. Howard Burrell was presented with a set of pins to honor and celebrate Pride throughout June by local activists.
As the fight for LGBTQ+ equality endures and progresses, it is essential that we continue the momentum through engagement and advocacy. As an organization, the SCDC looks forward to honoring the LGBTQ+ community and propelling the movement into further tangible, meaningful change. We must remember, as the month of June comes to a close, that the fight for equality transcends Pride Month – we are compelled to prioritize justice for the LGBTQ+ community on a sustained basis, year-round.