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Friday, June 8, 2018

The ignition of the fight for respect and equality. STEVE SEVIGNY, MD.

Dear David,

June is PRIDE month. Like science, it doesn't require the President's belief or acknowledgment to be true.
Here in Florida, during PRIDE Month we also recognize the shooting at Pulse on June 12, 2016, that took 49 loved ones. Early next week, survivors and loved ones will mark another year since that terrible night in Orlando. Those that survived may never forget the terror.
In the two years since, that community has rallied to support each other. Meanwhile, state and national leaders have been mostly deaf to their pleas. There has been no sweeping reform to prevent similar tragedies. And those events have continued to happen. The students of Margory Stoneman Douglas certainly know that far too well.
We've seen an increase in overt homophobic rhetoric from political leaders. Those who seek to discriminate against the LGBTQ community have been emboldened further by court rulings. The outspoken hatred that had been on the decline since the days of Don't Ask Don't Tell has shifted to a steep increase, not just in our streets, but from the halls of power across this nation.
During this PRIDE month, my ask of you is that you reject the Make America Hate Again infection, and practice more kindness. Express more love. Share more joy.
If we want an America that reflects our values, we have to actively engage in making that happen in our communities. Speak up when you encounter hatred and bigotry. Be mindful of where you spend your dollars. Support those that share our values.
We must also remember that Stonewall was a riot, an uprising, the ignition of the fight for respect and equality that continues today.
Powered by love, I believe we will win the fight for equality and justice.

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