Summer has hit us in the Bay Area and this week we head into one San Francisco’s biggest celebrations – Gay Pride. Yet this year is tinged with sadness from the destruction from the mass shooting in a gay club in Orlando. As a country and as citizens we mourn with the families, loved ones & the LGBT community over the devastating loss of lives in a hateful crime committed by one deranged individual.
The LGBT community reels from the aftermath from this crime, and unfortunately such vitriol is not foreign to this community. But, the community in the face of violence and disdain has grown in strength and numbers over the years and has built itself on a foundation of equal rights and inclusion. From the unstoppable train of decriminalizing homosexuality from the 60’s forward to the Supreme Court’s decision in 2016 that extended the right for same-sex couples to marry nationwide, the LGBT community has bravely moved society forward. Since its inception it has fought tirelessly to eliminate discrimination, whether it be in housing, employment, or in the right to choose a partner no matter what sex, creed or color.
The LGBT community has also played its part in the now widespread legalization in medicinal cannabis. If you use cannabis legally, it’s important to know how the gay community plays a large historic role in your ability to access your medicine. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s cannabis was one of the few medicines that helped the young men dying of AIDS. These men helped shape the beginnings of the medicinal marijuana movement along with other people such as ‘Brownie Mary’ Jane Rathburn, a hospital volunteer who distributed medicated brownies to AIDS patients who were literally wasting away – and yes, she was arrested for helping them. It was this movement propelled forward in the SF scene that led to Prop 215, the US’s first law allowing for medical cannabis in 1996. Today in the US we stand at 26 states that have legalized the right for citizens to access medicinal cannabis, in varying forms, but legal nonetheless. It’s the LGBT community we have to thank.
June is the month so many of us take part in Gay Pride not only in SF but across the country. We stand with and support the LGBT community during their celebrations.
Happy Gay Pride to All!