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Resolution on Gay Pride passed by Delaware General Assembly

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DOVER – June is officially Pride Month in the First State.

Governor John Carney joined lawmakers and stakeholders at the Delaware Public Archives on Tuesday to mark the occasion, shortly before the state House of Representatives and Senate passed a resolution to mark the occasion.

In the House of Representatives, Democratic Rep. Eric Morrison of Glasgow – who was elected in 2020 as the first openly gay man to the Delaware General Assembly – commented on the progress since the Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969.

“We must not forget how grateful we are to them. We are truly standing on the shoulders of giants,” he said. Today, thankfully, we don't have to fight with bricks and bottles. We fight with our voices, individually and collectively. We have made progress for the LGBTQ+ community that I never thought I would see in my lifetime. But there is still a lot of work to be done.”

House Resolution 155, officially recognizing June as Pride Month, passed the chamber by voice vote but did not receive the same support in the Senate.

After Senator Sarah McBride (D-Wilmington), the first openly transgender senator in U.S. history, read the resolution, several Republican lawmakers declared their opposition to the bill.

Senator Bryant Richardson (R-Seaford) and Senator Dave Lawson (R-Marydel) both recognized the individual's right to freedom, but noted that they opposed government involvement in promoting the LGBTQ+ lifestyle.

“I have fought for the rights of our country and I will continue to do so. My problem is I don't care what you do. I don't care when you do it. It's your lifestyle. Please don't force it on me. Don't rub it in my face. Don't rub it in my family's face,” Senator Lawson said.

“This is what happens every day. It's encouraged and pushed to the forefront… to the point where we confuse our children about what they really are and what someone else thinks they should be.”

Senator Marie Pinkney (Democrat, Bear) reiterated the importance of the resolution and referred to the statements of her Republican colleagues.

“We're bombarded with blanket statements telling us we shouldn't impose our lifestyle on people – which sounds a lot like hiding to me – but thankfully we don't have to do that. Thankfully we're still here. We can continue these conversations and pass this resolution,” said Senator Pinkney.

After brief debate, the House Concurrent Resolution passed the Senate by a vote of 17 to 4. The members opposing the measure were Senator Richardson, Senator Lawson, Senate Minority Leader Gerald Hocker (R-Ocean View), and Senator Dave Wilson (R-Lincoln).

During the governor's signing of the proclamation, the state announced its first digital queer history resource, a collaboration with the Government Information Center and the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, titled “We Have Always Been Here.” The initiative explores the stories of Delaware's LGBTQ+ citizens throughout the state's history.

Access is available at History.delaware.gov/lgbtq-history.