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David Green: Believe in Good –– Celebrate Pride

In communities across America and around the world, this is the season for Pride.

In New Hope, the annual PrideFest is already in full swing with over a week’s worth of events including the Pride Parade and Pride Fair this Saturday, May 18. Visit for details.

The inaugural Doylestown Pride celebration will take place June 20 to 23 at a variety of venues.

A Block Party will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 22, at East State and Main streets, and the County Theater will screen special films that weekend. Learn more at

Pride events celebrate, educate, and affirm the dignity and rights of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) neighbors, family members and friends. They build a stronger sense of community, increase visibility, and acknowledge the beautiful spectrum of diversity as a plain fact of how humans are made.

These celebrations also demonstrate a community’s willingness to make a positive stand against the all-too-common discrimination and violence suffered by people merely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Pride events are traditionally held in June to commemorate the June 28-29, 1969 Stonewall uprising in Greenwich Village. That event is broadly recognized as the beginning of the Gay Liberation Movement, and this year is its 50th anniversary.

Since then we’ve seen much progress toward greater acceptance of LGBT folks. Marriage equality is the law of the land; just last weekend I was privileged to officiate the wedding of two wonderful gentlemen. Love is love.

But we still have a long way to go toward providing true equality. Pennsylvania is one of 30 states where LGBT people are not completely protected from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.

Can you imagine your child or sibling being fired, evicted, kicked out of a restaurant, or denied medical treatment because of their sexual orientation? It’s a shame and an injustice that any American citizen would be vulnerable to such discrimination.

A promising remedy to this problem is the bipartisan Equality Act, introduced in both houses of Congress in March. This legislation is supported by organizations including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Bar Association. It’s endorsed by major corporations including Microsoft, Google, Apple, IBM, Intel and Amazon.

It would provide federal nondiscrimination protection in basic areas of daily life, including education, employment, public spaces and services, credit, federally-funded programs and jury service.

Federal civil rights laws already protect citizens from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, and – in most cases – sex, disability and religion.

The Equality Act would amend existing civil rights laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics.

Importantly, the same religious exemptions that already exist for other protected characteristics would be retained.

This common-sense legislation upholds American values of fairness and equality and does not devalue religious liberty. It reflects the belief that everyone deserves the chance to earn a living and provide a home for their family without fear of discrimination.

I believe people of faith are called to recognize everyone’s God-given dignity and worth. To honor the full humanity of all people, we must work together to end practices which deny justice and fairness to anyone. We’re all diminished when even one person suffers discrimination.

As we celebrate Pride together in the coming weeks, please join me in voicing your support of the Equality Act by contacting U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick at, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey at, and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey at

The Rev. David Green is pastor of Salem United Church of Christ in Doylestown. He can be found there on Sundays at 10 a.m., or any time at

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