New York State Department of Health Recognizes LGBTQ Equality Day During Pride Month

LBGTQ Equality Day celebrates four landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings that were each released on June 26

Visit the "In the Footsteps of Heroes" display featuring prominent LGBTQ+ figures and today's newest leaders who fought for and continue to advance a more equitable New York

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 26, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health today recognizes LGBTQ Equality Day. LGBTQ Equality Day celebrates four U.S. Supreme Court rulings that helped curtail discrimination and affirm the dignity of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming communities (LGBTQ+). During Pride Month, the Department is redoubling its commitment to LGBTQ+ justice and equality as we continue to fight stigma, promote sexual health, and support programs to facilitate access to affirming and competent care for LGBTQ+ individuals and their families across the state.

"Today, we thank the trailblazers past and present whose efforts helped dismantle discriminatory policies and create a more diverse and compassionate New York," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "Our dedication to promoting and protecting the health, well-being, and human rights of our LGBTQ+ community members is more important than ever. We are making meaningful progress, but our work is not done. The State Health Department will continue to advance programs and build an infrastructure of LGBTQ+-affirming health care."

LBGTQ Equality Day celebrates the following four landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings that were each released on June 26:

  • 2003: Lawrence v. Texas invalidated all state anti-sodomy laws as unconstitutional.
  • 2013: U.S. v. Windsor ruled that the Federal government must recognize the marriages of same-sex couples wed in states where marriage equality had been legalized.
  • 2015: Obergefell v. Hodges invalidated all state bans on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.
  • 2017: Pavan v. Smith affirmed that all states must provide same-sex marriages the same "constellation of benefits" afforded heterosexual marriages.

The legacy of New York's LGBTQ+ community and the activists who were agents of change in this state and beyond can be seen in an exhibition on the second floor of the New York State Capitol. The "In the Footsteps of Heroes" display features prominent figures and today's newest leaders who fought for change and a more equitable New York. The exhibit runs through June 30, the end of Pride Month.

In an effort to address a crucial shortage of medically trained personnel to address transgender health care in New York, the AIDS Institute is implementing a pilot Transgender Clinical Scholars Training Program. This is a first-of-its-kind program to prioritize health care services for individuals who are transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming. The purpose of this pilot program is to recruit and train health professionals to deliver Transgender primary care and other services to the underserved members of the Transgender community. 

Under Governor Hochul's leadership, New York State continues to advance nation leading services to LGBTQ+ communities. Governor Hochul signed nation-leading legislation on June 25 ahead of the annual New York City Pride Parade to protect and affirm the LGBTQ+ community, establishing New York as a "Safe Haven" for transgender youth, their parents and their doctors. The Governor also signed a law to protect the right to receive addiction treatment and rehabilitation and three new laws that update legal documents in New York to remove outdated and stigmatizing terminology.

In October 2022, the Governor signed bills that expand assistance for LGBTQ+ Older New Yorkers, expanding the accessibility of services and enabling a better quality of life for LGBTQ+ individuals ages 60 and over.

Part of Governor Hochul's FY 2023 budget also included $13.5 million for the Department of Health – an increase of $8 million over the prior fiscal year – to support LGBTQ+ communities and more than doubles annual LGBTQ+ Health and Human Services Initiative funding.

To learn more about the Department's AIDS Institute programs and priorities, visit AIDS Institute (

For more information about the Department's Office of LGBTQ Services initiatives and LGBTQ healthcare resources, e-mail