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As Pride Festival Preps Virtual Celebration, Advocates Cheer SCOTUS Ruling On LGBTQ+ Equality

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that a landmark civil rights law also protects gay, lesbian and transgender people from discrimination in the workplace.

The court voted 6-3 that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans discrimination because of sex, will include LGBTQ+ workers.

The first LGBT rights march happened in Loring Park in Minneapolis in June 1972. It would eventually evolve into the annual Twin Cities Pride Festival that now encompasses LGBTQ+, but this year Pride is going virtual.

"To try and do that virtually has been a challenge but it's exciting," Darcie Baumann, chair of Twin Cities Pride, said.

COVID-19 prevents in-person Pride celebrations this year, but Pride comes with a major societal step forward, that decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the rights of LGBT workers.

"They would get married on a Saturday, they would share their wedding photos, and they would come into work on Monday and be terminated," Baumann said.

With today's SCOTUS ruling, that sort of discrimination is now illegal.

RELATED: Minnesota Leaders Applaud SCOTUS Ruling On LGBTQ Worker Protections

Al Giraud-Isaacson and his husband Jeff were the first same-sex male couple to be married by former Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak at City Hall when marriage equality became legal in Minnesota in 2013. He now works in HR.

"It should make people more comfortable that the law is there to protect us from discrimination because of who we are," he said.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar released a statement saying, in part, "Today's Supreme Court decision is a huge victory in the long battle for equality, but not the end."

LGBTQ+ advocates say the work includes fighting for the rights of transgender people of color.

Twin Cities Pride will host a series of virtual events for Pride Weekend this year, including a market place and 5K. The 2020 Twin Cities LGBTQ+ Pride Parade honoring Ashley Rukes is also going virtual and WCCO is proud to bring it into households across Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. On Sunday, June 28 at 11 a.m., WCCO will broadcast the first hour of the virtual parade on channel 4. The parade will also be streamed, in its entirety, on CBSN Minnesota. Click here for more information, and click here to pick up your own "Stay Proud" yard sign.

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