LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington’s annual LGBTQ Pride celebration is noting several milestones this year.
The city’s 12th annual Pride Festival coincides with a important anniversary for the gay rights movement.
It was on June 28, 1969, when patrons at a gay bar called Stonewall in New York City’s Greenwich Village fought back against police during a raid.
The actions by police sparked days of protests and that was considered a major catalyst in the modern gay rights movement.
Closer to home, activists in Lexington are celebrating another anniversary: 20 years since the passage of the city’s fairness ordinance, which prohibits discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Activists recall that at that time, it was rare for any government entity to include protections for transgender people.
“National organizations were telling Louisville and Lexington in 1999, they said “don’t include transgender people in the fairness ordinance, you’ll never get it passed…come back after you get the protections for gay people, you can come back for transgender folks”…Well how often does the bus come back for people it leaves behind? It was necessary in 1999 that Louisville and Lexington include transgender people in the ordinance,” said Chris Hartman, Executive Director of the Fairness Campaign.
“It’s a big deal to celebrate and the people that have come before us and honoring our history,” said Sarah Brown, marking chair of the Lexington Pride Festival.
The last performer at Lexington’s Pride festival is scheduled to take the stage at 10:15p.m. The event is expected to end at 11:00p.m.