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Denver PrideFest 2019 at Civic Center Park continues June 16.
Denver PrideFest 2019 at Civic Center Park continues June 16.
Miles Chrisinger

Op Ed: Libertarian Party of Colorado Declares June Pride Month

In the 1950s and 60s, discrimination against LGBTQ individuals was commonly codified into local laws and ordinances. This led to LGBTQ individuals turning to black-market solutions in order to find establishments that would be willing to serve them regardless of their orientation. These establishments were routinely raided by government agencies, which would regularly harass and arrest these LGBTQ patrons, often simply for the crime of being present in the black-market establishment at the time of the raid.

On June 28, 1969, armed government agents raided the Stonewall Inn of Greenwich Village, New York, and began sexually assaulting, beating and detaining the patrons inside. No longer willing to tolerate abuse at the hands of the state, these patrons fought back and later organized themselves into advocacy groups, fighting for their right to exist as themselves in public without the fear of persecution. This would become known as the Stonewall Uprising.

Whereas the Libertarian Party was the first political party in the United States to affirm and uphold the rights of LGBTQ individuals to live without the fear of state-sponsored violence, the first to demand the abolition of all laws creating "crimes without victims," condemns the use of force to impose social change through the Statement of Principles, and holds that free markets are dependent upon the freedom to associate with others through trade and commerce of goods and services...

Be it resolved: The Libertarian Party of Colorado affirms that the month of June, recognized as “Pride Month,” is a month dedicated to the liberation of LGBTQ individuals from those who would use this violence against them and support their rights to live free as individuals.

Lance Cayko is the communications director of the Libertarian Party of Colorado; for more information, call 303-775-7406 or email CommunicationsDirector@LPColorado.org.

Westword occasionally publishes op-eds on matters of interest to Colorado residents; to submit one, email editorial@westword.com.

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