Sanford Heisler Sharp Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Statement on Pride Month

As a committee and as a firm, we wish everyone a joyous Pride Month. We vigorously reaffirm the right of the LGBTQ+ community to freely and openly be themselves—both in and out of the workplace. We reiterate and remember that Pride memorializes and honors the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, which began as a direct response to police harassment of the LGBTQ+ community in New York City and around the country. Specifically, we celebrate Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans woman, who threw the first brick.

Over the course of the last year, legislative attacks against the LGBTQ+ community have dramatically increased. In 2022, the LGBTQ+ community is staring down the barrel of nearly 240 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been filed in or passed by state legislatures across the country, the majority of which target the trans community. In Florida, the “Don’t Say Gay” law, under the veil of parental rights, stifles any and all discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in public schools. The Ohio House of Representatives recently passed a bill [1] that targets transgender athletes, empowering anyone who accuses a child athlete of being trans to subject that athlete to an invasive “verification process” to probe their gender. Texas recently attempted to label the act of providing gender-affirming medical care to trans youth as “child abuse” and prosecute it accordingly [2]. At least 20 states are attempting to ban gender-affirming medical care altogether. [3] LGBTQ+ individuals are increasingly used as a political scapegoat and distraction from the real issues facing our nation.

And recently, perhaps motivated by the harmful rhetoric used in connection with these political efforts, there has been a surge of attacks and threats of violence against LGBTQ+ people and Pride events. Notable examples include the burning of a Pride flag in Baltimore, which caused injuries and fire damage to several homes, and the thwarted white nationalist riot in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

In light of this reality, we remember a vital truth: we don’t have Pride because we’re free; we have Pride because we are not. As allies, we must push back against any attempts to demean and denigrate our LGBTQ+ friends, relatives, neighbors, colleagues, and other members of society. Collectively, we must work to hold those who don rainbow flags in June yet spend the other 11 months of the year donating to anti-LGBTQ+ legislators and causes to account.

On a fundamental level, Pride is a celebration of the lives of LGBTQ+ people across the globe. We wish everyone a very happy and safe Pride Month.

If you would like to learn more about Pride and donate to LGBTQ+ organizations, we’ve provided links below:

More About Pride: https://www.them.us/story/the-complete-history-of-pride

List of organizations to donate to: https://www.glaad.org/resourcelist?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwdvlj8SS-AIVlhitBh089AbyEAAYAiAAEgKvJ_D_BwE


[1] https://ohiocapitaljournal.com/2022/06/03/gop-passes-bill-aiming-to-root-out-suspected-transgender-femaleathletes-with-genital-inspection/

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/03/10/texas-trans-kids-abortion-lgbtq-gender-ideology/

[3] https://www.hrc.org/news/these-are-the-states-attempting-to-pass-anti-trans-health-care-bills