California has become the first state in the U.S. to legally recognize the month of June as LGBTQ Pride Month.
The new statute, signed into law on Monday by California Gov. Jerry Brown, formally establishes Pride Month as a nod to the state’s sizeable LGBTQ community.
“California has the largest LGBT population of any state in the union, and the state is home to over 40 LGBT Pride celebrations each year,” wrote Assembly Member Evan Low, a gay lawmaker who authored the bill, in a statement. “I want to thank Gov. Brown for adding Pride to the list of celebrations codified in statute.”
Lawmakers in California have a documented history of supporting LGBTQ residents. Earlier this year, legislators approved bill AB 2943, a landmark piece of legislation that could outlaw gay conversion therapy for minors and adults. And last October, the state passed the Gender Recognition Act, which will allow gender non-conforming Californians to identify as non-binary on state-issued IDs.
Many states issue Pride-themed proclamations during June, but staffers from Low’s office told The Advocate that they aren’t aware of a similar state law anywhere else.
Here’s hoping more states follow suit (looking at you, New York!)