A state building in Lansing, Michigan displayed Pride flags this weekend for the first time in the state’s history.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) ordered that two of the iconic rainbow flags be flown on the George W. Romney Building on Saturday.
The flying of the flags comes after Whitmer signed a proclamation declaring June Pride Month in the state to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City. A police raid on a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn triggered a series of riots and sparked the nascent LGBT movement in the United States and around the world.
Whitmer said in a statement that celebrating Pride Month is an important way to ensure that members of Michigan’s LGBTQ community “are treated with the respect they deserve.”
This is an important step in ensuring LGBTQ Michiganders are treated with the respect they deserve, but there’s still more work to do. We must all press forward to ensure Michigan steps up to the forefront of advancing civil rights for LGBTQ individuals, and that includes expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“When we work together to ensure our state requires that everyone is treated equally under the law, we are able to recruit and retain the talent Michigan needs to thrive,” the governor concluded. “No matter who you love or how you identify, you are welcome and wanted here.”
In another historic first, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D), the first openly gay man to be elected governor of a U.S. state, celebrated Pride Month by displaying a Pride flag on the state capitol building.
“The Pride Flag is on display this weekend at our Colorado State Capitol. I’m so proud to be the governor of a state that celebrates diversity and love,” Polis tweeted Friday, sharing a photo of the flag displayed on the building.
On the eve of Pride Month, Polis signed into law a ban on psychotherapy that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors. Polis called the ban an appropriate way to celebrate historic strides made by Colorado’s LGBTQ community. “Happy Pride Month!” he told several dozen activists and lawmakers at a Capitol signing ceremony.
“Colorado has joined a growing list of states that have banned so-called conversion therapy,” he said in a separate statement. “It’s a tortuous practice that has long been widely-discredited by medical and mental health professionals.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.