Statement from State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald on Stonewall Remembrance Day

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 28, 2023) – “Today, on Stonewall Remembrance Day, we honor and recognize the great historical impact of the members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender non-conforming communities who stood their ground in the face of hatred and bigotry during the Stonewall uprising of 1969 following the police raid of a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Their trailblazing act of bravery set the foundation for the legacy of incredible human and civil rights advancements New York can be proud of.

But the fight for equality is far from over. The same hatred and bigotry that birthed those first protests have been refueled and emboldened today, evidenced by repulsive rhetoric and hundreds of dangerous legislative bills targeting LGBTQ+ communities—especially Transgender communities—that we’re seeing across the nation today.

New York is the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. It’s something I’m proud of and I want members of the LGBTQ+ communities to know they’re not alone in this fight. It’s this Department’s mission to always lead with health equity, to eliminate disparities, and to lead the nation to a more inclusive and affirmative health care system.

I’m proud to work in partnership with Governor Hochul, who understands and shares this mission. It’s a matter of dignity, respect, and honoring the value of one’s full self, which are basic human rights that should be afforded to us all.”