Longmont Pride was meant to celebrate the last day of Pride Month, but the event took on a more urgent tone Friday evening.
A rally with local politicians was added to the family event in response to a U.S. Supreme Court Decision issued earlier that day on Creative 303 v. Elenis.
On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that Colorado can’t force a Christian web designer to create gay wedding websites, a sweeping defeat of Colorado’s public accommodations laws that aimed to ban discrimination against customers based on sexual orientation. Those in opposition say the decision grants a business open to the public a right to refuse to serve members of a protected class.
Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty highlighted the shift from celebration to outrage for the crowd in light of the past two days of Supreme Court decisions.
“Normally when we come together for Longmont Pride, it is a cause for great celebration, to be in this wonderful community and be together,” he said. “Today is no cause or reason to celebrate. In fact, the last 48 hours have been no reason to celebrate because when it comes to affirmative action and LGBTQ rights, the U.S. Supreme Court in just two decisions took two giant steps back for equality in this country. And that is unacceptable.”
The crowd booed against the Supreme Court’s decisions and cheered on the speakers’ progressive messages in favor of LGBTQ rights.
Rep. Brianna Titone, the first transgender state legislator in Colorado, and Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis, one of the first openly LGBTQ members of the state legislature, also spoke at the rally joined by other local representatives and encouraged the crowd to vote.
“We’ve got a lot more bad things that are going to be coming upon us, but we have to band together and fight back, register to vote, get other people to vote and vote for the good people,” Titone sai.d
Boulder County Commissioner Claire Levy spoke to her frustration with the Supreme Court.
“My sister, my nieces, my friends, my colleagues, my neighbors, our governor for God’s sake, the Secretary of Transportation — all of you are all members of the human race and as members of the human race should not be excluded from the joy of the fullest expression of love or raising children or from taking your place in the sun alongside everyone else,” she said.
Longmont Mayor Joan Peck echoed Levy’s statements, highlighting her own outrage at the unequal treatment toward LGBTQ people.
“It's about hatred. We wouldn’t do that to somebody who’s crippled or blind and tell them we’re not going to serve them because it’s too inconvenient and we don’t believe in blindness,” Peck said.
As for what’s next, the speakers all emphasized that the fight was not over and that the outpouring of support at Longmont Pride proved the strength of the community.
“What we can do is be kind to one another,” said Mardi Moore, executive director of Out Boulder County. “What we can do is not follow the lead that they’ve set out, which is refusing service to people you don’t like or people you don’t understand.”