How LGBT Pride Month Became a Religious Holiday

How did we get to the point where celebrating homosexuality and transgenderism became a month-long event that rivals Christmas?

The roots of LGBT Pride Month extend back to the Gay Pride Marches that began in New York City in 1970 as a commemoration of the Stonewall Riots in Manhattan the previous year. The original march was more of a protest than a celebration, says German Lopez. “There were thousands of people, but there were no floats, music, or scantily dressed men,” Lopez adds. “Marchers instead carried signs, chanted, and waved to reportedly surprised onlookers.”

 

The month of June hadn’t even begun yet when Donald Trump became the first Republican president to express his support for LGBT Pride Month. On May 31, President Trump tweeted about celebrating LGBT Pride Month and how we should “recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation . . .”

The rest of America soon followed his lead, as people across the country posted rainbow flag banners on their Facebook pages and almost every company in the nation rushed, as Newsweek wrote, to be “among the companies celebrating inclusion, equality and love for LGBT Pride Month.”

How did we get to the point where celebrating homosexuality and transgenderism became a month-long event that rivals Christmas?

Commemoration of Pride

The roots of LGBT Pride Month extend back to the Gay Pride Marches that began in New York City in 1970 as a commemoration of the Stonewall Riots in Manhattan the previous year. The original march was more of a protest than a celebration, says German Lopez. “There were thousands of people, but there were no floats, music, or scantily dressed men,” Lopez adds. “Marchers instead carried signs, chanted, and waved to reportedly surprised onlookers.”

Within four years the parades had spread to dozens of cities across the United States. Pride marches, pride events, and pride festivals became a common occurrence from the mid-1970s through the 1990s. In 1999 President Clinton officially designated June as “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month.” From 2009 to 2016, President Obama also declared June to be LGBT Pride Month. A new secular holiday was born.

LGBT Pride Month is often mistakenly compared to Black History Month or National Hispanic Heritage Month, as a celebration of citizens of the same background. But there is already an LGBT History Month (in October). It was created in 1994 by a coalition of education-based organizations, and in 1995 was included within a list of commemorative months by the largest teacher’s union, the National Education Association (NEA).

LGBT Pride Month is not a just a secular commemoration of a people but a religious celebration of a belief—the belief that “Gay Is Good” and that moral opposition to homosexual behavior or transgender ideology is inherently bigoted.

Pride Month as Advent and Passover

In America gay, lesbian and bisexual adults are substantially less likely than straight adults to affiliate with a religious group. Four-in-ten (41 percent) identify as atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular,” compared with just 22 percent of straight adults who say the same. People are religious by nature, though. If they abandon one faith they’ll eventually adopt another. For some in the LGBT community, that has meant embracing the Satanic Temple. But for most LGBT “nones” it has meant imbuing a faith they already held with religious symbolism. That is why LGBT Pride Month has become the secular equivalent to Advent.

Read More