President-elect Chris Hulser reflects on Pride Month

June is known as Pride Month, and it’s more than a celebration of and for the LGBTQ+ community, it is a time to remember, honor and thank all of those who fought hard for the rights, dignity and freedom of the community.
Specifically, LGBTQ+ Pride Month is observed all month long to honor the anniversary of the June 28, 1969 Stonewall Riots, when the patrons of the Stonewall Inn stood their ground after police raided the establishment.  At the time, New York had a rule that the simple presence of someone gay or gender queer was considered disorderly conduct. This effectively outlawed anyone identifying as LGBTQ+ to congregate due to fear of being arrested.
One year after the June 28th raid, known as the Stonewall Uprising, thousands of people from all walks of life flooded the streets of Manhattan in what was called the Christopher Street Liberation Day March. This event is regarded as the first gay pride event ever.
Pride Month had humble beginnings and started out as a Gay Pride Day, which was observed annually on the last Sunday of June. But, as awareness grew, more activities and events were planned.  Eventually, it evolved into the month-long observance known as Pride Month.
In 1999, President Bill Clinton declared June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, a time to recognize the LGBTQ+ community’s achievements and show support to all walks of life.  
What does the rainbow flag mean? The rainbow flag is universally recognized as the symbol for LGBTQ+ pride.
The flag was originally created by Gilbert Baker, a renowned San Francisco activist, and was flown for the first time at the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Celebration.  The rainbow was used to represent all genders, races, and stands for “the rainbow of humanity”.
Each color of the rainbow flag, which there are six, represent a different aspect of the LGBTQ+ movement including life, healing, sunlight, nature, serenity, and spirit.  Some say the flag also signifies power, rebellion, and hope. There are more than 30 Pride Flags today, each having their own special meaning to those in the LGBTQ+ community.  
Last year, the National Association of Realtors® announced a new partnership with the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance. The Alliance was founded in June 2020 and currently has chapters throughout the United States, its territories, and Canada.
This collaboration allows groups to identify training opportunities that cultivate LGBTQ+ leaders and mobilize members in support of mutually beneficial federal policies, among other pro-LGBTQ+ and real estate industry initiatives.
NAR amended its Code of Ethics in 2011 and again in 2014 to ensure Realtors® were upholding housing protections for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
More recently, it worked with the Department of Housing and Urban Development as the agency reformed its enforcement of the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. To read more about the Alliance, click below.