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Happy Pride Month - Commemorating the History of Pride

  • Ireland
  • General

22-06-2020

Yes, it is that time of year again, IT IS PRIDE MONTH. June is traditionally Pride month, a month of celebration as well as commemoration. Whilst our ability to celebrate in the usual way is limited this year, the importance to not only acknowledge diversity but to embrace it, is evermore present with the ongoing protests that continue to dominate the news headlines.

Eversheds Sutherland has always been a strong advocate of LGBT+ rights and this year will be no exception, as we celebrate Pride Month virtually. Each day this week we will be posting on our website and social media in celebration. Each post will focus on a different topic linked to the community to include the “ABCs of LGBT+”, links and suggestions to informative TED talks, news articles and movies.

To kick things off, today we would like to commemorate the history of Pride and the struggle of LGBT+ people to gain acceptance and to end prejudice by highlighting a few key dates in the community’s history.

Stonewall

Pride has its roots in the Stonewall Riots which took place in New York in June 1969. The riots began when police officers raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village. The patrons in the bar fought back, with a black trans woman and drag queen Marsha P. Johnson famously throwing a shot glass into a mirror, kicking off a fight. Rioters broke windows, set fires and police officers were injured. Thousands then joined in the protest which lasted six days. Media coverage of the riots allowed others to see the LGBT+ struggle and relate it to others’ struggles for their rights, emboldening them to support the movement. The following year, the anniversary of the Stonewall riots was marked by demonstrations in cities across the US, giving a growing LGBT+ movement a voice.

Dublin

It was not until the 1980s that Ireland experienced such a watershed moment for LGBT+ rights. In September 1982, Declan Flynn died after he was attacked in Fairview Park. The assailants admitted that they carried out this assault because Mr Flynn was a homosexual. Mr Justice Sean Gannon gave the perpetrators a suspended sentence for manslaughter. After this outrage over 500 people marched from Liberty Hall to Fairview Park as the Dublin Lesbian and Gay Men’s Collective. In March 1983 the first Pride Parade took place in Dublin City centre, in a courageous show of support given the hostile environment. In June 1993 Ireland finally passed legislation to decriminalise homosexuality, following David Norris’ lengthy battle through the courts (which had commenced in 1977). From around then on, Dublin has held an annual Pride Parade which has grown in size and strength year on year.

Belfast

The first pride march in Belfast took place in 1991, which 100 people marching. These brave pioneers paved the way for the 55,000+ who marched in 2019 and inspire us to continue to work for a future without discrimination where everyone has equal rights. Belfast Pride has typically been a protest and a celebration – a stand for equal rights and a proud and inclusive celebration of LGBTQ+ lives. This year, 2020, Belfast Pride were due to celebrate a landmark occasion in LGBTQ+ lives, in that same sex marriage is now legal in Northern Ireland.

Dublin and Belfast Offices Celebrating Together

Our first Dublin Pride Parade as an Eversheds Sutherland group was in June 2017. Each year more friends, family and colleagues have joined us. Our Belfast colleagues joined Belfast Pride for the first time in 2019, and from 2019 both Dublin pride and Belfast Pride have been cross-office events. We look forward to all marching again together in 2021.

Disclaimer

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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