OHIO, USA — Equality Ohio is one of the leading organizations in the state fighting for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. To celebrate 15 years of work in communities across Ohio, they are hosting a livestream event on Facebook on Friday, June 26.
June 26 is a big day in the LGBTQ+ community, as it is the anniversary of the landmark 2015 Supreme Court decision that allowed same-sex couples to marry across all states, eliminating the ban that some states still held.
Two of the featured speakers during the EqualityWins Livestream event are Jim Obergefell and Rick Hodges, who were the named plantiffs in the Supreme Court case that overturned the ban on same-sex marriage. Both Obergefell and Hodges are Ohioans.
A panel of Black LGBTQ+ elected leaders and allies from across the state will also hold a discussion during the livestream event. One of the featured leaders will be Shannon Hardin, the youngest president to lead Columbus City Council and the first openly LGBTQ+ council president in city history.
Event organizers are stressing the importance during this political climate to especially acknowledge Black members of the LGBTQ+ community, including the Black transgender community, and the long history of injustices they have faced.
While acknowledging and celebrating the present, the EqualityWins event will also recognize the past and just how important and influential the Black transgender community is, especially considering their involvement in the Stonewall Uprising, where it is said that Marsha P. Johnson, a black transgender woman, threw the first brick at the Stonewall Inn, setting the wheels into motion for the modern movement toward equal rights alongside Sylvia Rivera, a Puerto Rican/Venezuelan transgender woman.
The 51st anniversary of Stonewall falls on June 28. One initiative that Equality Ohio is pushing for is for the state to declare June as Pride Month, as it has been traditionally celebrated to honor the Stonewall Uprising. This is the 50th anniversary of the tradition of celebrating Pride, as the first march was held in New York on the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.
Equality Ohio's event page also teases celebrity interviews. In addition to the interviews and panels, the livestream will feature drag and makeover tips and LGBTQ+ performers from Ohio.
The hope is for the event to provide inspiration for the future and bring awareness to the inequality and struggles the LGBTQ+ community still face.
For more information, the event page can be found here.