“It takes no compromise to give people their rights . . . it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.”

– Harvey Milk

June is Pride month and this year the LGBTQ community is celebrating a victory in the United States Supreme Court that finally extends legal protections to LGBTQ individuals under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the more than 20 states where no such protections previously existed. No longer can someone legally be fired for living their truth. However, as the communities of color are also painfully aware, the confirming of basic human rights through the legislative process or by the Supreme Court in no way ensures actual justice.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. recognized over fifty years ago, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The threat to justice—especially for the black community—has grown over time, while the majority of individuals either stood by and did nothing, or worse yet, actively participated in and helped embolden racist systems.

And while we grieve the most recent deaths at the hands of those sworn to protect the public, we also know that sadly, these are not isolated incidents. Instead, this is the result of flawed and systemically racist and oftentimes homophobic) institutions that have been perpetuated for decades at the cost of countless black lives. This must stop. The Orange County Lavender Bar Association stands with those in the community who have been most affected by these tragic events and commits to taking the necessary steps, including listening to those aggrieved, and affirmatively fighting for racial equality and against racist behaviors and systems that continue to threaten the safety of black people.

Very truly yours,
The Orange County Lavender Bar Association