June is CNMI Pride Month

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THE Torres-Palacios administration on Tuesday designated June as CNMI Pride Month in a virtual proclamation signing ceremony.

“Pride Month is a global celebration, where our collective voices unite to support an amazing cause and honor our LGBTQ community. Governor Torres and I urge our community to raise awareness of LGBTQ rights. We need to work together to create a loving and accepting environment especially for our LGBTQ youth,” said Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios.

He added, “Celebrating Pride Month recognizes the resiliency, challenges, and pride of our community as we navigate through this difficult time with the global pandemic. It also allows us to recognize the progress we have made as a community to be more accepting and understanding.”

“Governor Torres and I urge the entire Commonwealth to come together and support our LGBTQ+ community, recognize their many contributions to our society, and promote equality and liberty for all,” Palacios said.

The proclamation highlights the progress of empowering the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the support the community has received from their allies who continue to “bridge understanding” and “fight for equality” in the Marianas.

“With this declaration, our community vows that now is the right time to forever shut the door on inequality, prejudice, and discrimination. Instead, we choose love that sees no bounds. In doing so, we commit to creating a braver, safer, and more inclusive Marianas.”

The event was made possible through the combined efforts of the Torres-Palacios administration, the Pride Marianas leaders: Frankie Eliptico, Farah Younis, and Jack Kiyoshi, as well as the Pride Marianas Youth 2020 Pride Month Committee Leadership: committee chair Daniel Brown, founder and president Dr. Jennifer Maratita, Dr. Bobby Cruz, Victoria Deleon Guerrero, Rep. Sheila Babauta,  Thomas Manglona II, Jonathan Aguon,  Jonathan Cabrera, Ryan Camacho,  Manny Borja, Dr. Dan Shead,  2019 Miss Marianas Shannon Sasamoto, Jackie Fujihira, Robert Suzuki Jr.,  Ray Lizama, William Chrisloyd Lely, Jefferson Mateo,  Isaac Tenorio, Becky Furey, and Nicole Ada.

“In the midst of a global pandemic that has put physical celebrations and events on pause, these individuals have put in the time and effort to ensure that the Marianas recognizes the valuable contributions of the LGBTQ community on many aspects of our island life,” said the governor’s Press Secretary Kevin Bautista who served as master of ceremonies for the event.

Bautista highlighted the history of the LGBTQ community, noting the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, New York, which, he said, is arguably the tipping point for the LGBT Liberation Movement in the United States.

“This year, within the context and shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, Pride events around the world take on a deeper meaning — connecting the causes of racism and discrimination with love, justice, and equality for all,” he added.

The event organizers would like to thank the following sponsors and partners for CNMI Pride Month 2020: the Saipan Mayor's Office, the Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, CNMI Suicide Prevention Resource Center, CHCC Community Guidance Center, the Public School System, the Northern Marianas Humanities Council, Pacific Century Fellows — Marianas Chapter, the Marianas Young Professionals, the Commonwealth Cancer Association, the Tan Siu Lin Foundation, Marianas Pacific Distributors Inc.,  Duty Free Saipan, Joeten Ace Hardware, Edvance Pacific, Stellar Marianas,  Roil Soil Clothing, Stand Up Paddling Saipan, Down 2 Ride, Young Guns Marianas, Matua Riders, Marianas Outrigger Club, Marianas Pacific Paddlers, and Saipan Paddling Club.

In celebration of CNMI Pride Month, there will be a Ride4Pride island-wide motorcade on Saturday, June 27, 2020, starting at Kan Pacific Pool in Marpi, with registration from 12 to 1 p.m.

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