CHICAGO (CBS) — In honor of Pride Month, a rainbow LGBTQ flag is flying above the Illinois State Capitol for the first time in state history.
The rainbow flag was raised on the pole atop the statehouse dome, after Gov. JB Pritzker’s office reached out to the Phoenix Center, an LGBTQ community center in Springfield, about obtaining a pride flag for the capitol.
The rainbow pride flag is now flying below the U.S. flag and the Illinois flag at the Illinois State Capitol.
“Every Illinoisan should be proud of who they are, who they love or how they identify,” Pritzker stated in a Facebook post.
Springfield’s annual PrideFest was held in May. Chicago’s Pride Fest will be held June 22-23, and its Pride Parade will be held on June 30.
June was chosen for LGBT Pride Month to mark the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan.
The riots by young gays, lesbians, and transgender people began with a police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village bar, in June 1969, and became a seminal moment in the LGBTQ movement. The Stonewall Inn became a national monument in 2016, and earlier this month NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill apologized for the police actions that started the Stonewall Riots.
It’s the first time an NYPD commissioner has apologized for the department’s actions leading up to the riots.
Mafia-owned and illegal, the Stonewall was a speakeasy-style bar with a jukebox and a dance floor.
But in the predawn hours of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall, full to the rafters, was raided by police. But unlike previous raids, this time the crowd pushed back. A six-day riot between gays and police began.
“They were immediately like, ‘Get your hands off me. I have right to be here,'” said David Carter, who captured the Stonewall riots in his 2004 book. “This was essentially America’s gay neighborhood. It was essentially a gay ghetto. The government was trying to impose police-state conditions on this ghetto and it exploded. It was a spontaneous explosion.”
Within months, two gay rights groups and three newspapers launched. The first Pride parade happened a year later.