In celebration of the 50th Iowa City Pride anniversary and Pride month, The City of Iowa City will be displaying Pride banners along Washington Street, Wade Street, and Williams Street in the month of June. A Pride Flag will also be hung on the flagpole in front of City Hall for the month of June.

The national tradition of celebrating Pride in June is a tribute to the Stonewall Riots of June 1969, when New York City police raided a gay bar, sparking six days of protests which are remembered as the launch of the modern LGBTQ+ civil rights movement.

The following year, the University of Iowa’s Gay Liberation Front participated in the University of Iowa’s Homecoming parade, making it one of the first student led organizations to champion for the rights of  LGBTQ persons. This historic event makes Iowa City one of just a few cities across the country to have had a LGBTQ civil rights movement for 50 years.

Each year, Iowa City Pride brings together thousands of people from across Iowa and beyond to celebrate the LGBTQ community. Though this year’s in-person events by Iowa City Pride are canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual celebrations are planned. Merchandise is also available to purchase at this link. This year’s theme is “Our Pride We Will Maintain”.

Mayor Bruce Teague said:

“Gilbert Baker created the iconic Rainbow Flag in 1978. It has remained, to this day, an emotional symbol, wrapped in pride, around the world. The flag reminds us of the sacrifices made by activists involved in the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. For the past 50 years, Iowa City has led the way in this fight towards full inclusivity and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.  As Mayor, and a part of the LGBTQ+ family, I am beyond honored to fly this indelible icon, not only at City Hall, but through the streets of Iowa City in commemoration of 50 Years of Pride in Iowa City. May this awesome and amazing gesture swell pride within all of us throughout the month of June, and beyond.” 

Iowa City Pride President Tony Sivanthaphanith said:

"I wanted to thank the City of Iowa City for the past 50 years of support. Iowa City Pride could not be here and could not have grown into the organization it is today without the determination, fight, and support of our community. We are forever thankful. Pride has many different meanings to all of us in the community: what started as a protest and fight for rights, to celebrations of those struggles, to coming out and accepting ourselves and others. This year, we might not be able to celebrate in person, but we can still celebrate together. We look forward to seeing the banners downtown and around Iowa City. We looked forward to working with our amazing city and area businesses, and the community, in celebrating Pride virtually this June, this fall, and all year long.” 

 Learn more about LGBTQ Rights Milestones at the University of Iowa and in the community here.

Date of publication

Friday, May 22, 2020