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For immediate release: June 1, 2022
Phone: 5184748418



First Latino LGBTQ+ Judge Nominated to the Court of Claims in New York State
I Love NY LGBTQ Launches 2022 Pride Guide  
Historic Raising of the LGBTQ+ Progress Flag Across New York State  
State Landmarks to Be Lit on June 1 and Throughout the Month  
New Exhibit Opens at the New York State Capitol Spotlighting Struggles for Rights of LGBTQ+ Servicemembers in the U.S. Military  
Learn More about the Exhibit and See Photos Here  
Read Proclamation Here
Governor Kathy Hochul today issued a proclamation designating June 2022 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. The Governor also announced the first Latino openly LGBTQ+ judge nominated to the New York State Court of Claims, along with several additional measures recognizing LGBTQ+ New Yorkers and celebrating their contributions to our state, including the launch of I LOVE NY LGBTQ+ 2022 Pride Guide, the raising of the LGBTQ+ progress flag across the state, the illumination of state landmarks in the colors of the LGBTQ+ pride flag, and the opening of a new exhibition in the State Capitol spotlighting LGBTQ+ Service Members in the U.S. Military during pride month.
"Pride Month is a time to celebrate the countless contributions of the LBGTQ+ community to New York State," Governor Hochul said. "Every New Yorker, regardless of gender and sexual identity or expression deserves a government that recognizes them for who they are and provides a space of value, love, and belonging. From the major advancements in LGBTQ+ equity achieved as part of our recently Enacted Budget to trailblazing nominees, my administration will continue to fight to help ensure equality and respect for the LGBTQ+ community."
Last week, Governor Hochul nominated Judge Javier Enrique Vargas, of New York County, to the New York State Court of Claims. Judge Vargas will be the first openly gay man and Latino LGBTQ+ judge appointed to the Court of Claims. This administration has great pride in including landmark LGBTQ+ representation, especially an LGBTQ+ member of the Latinx community, as part of this historic class of appointments comprised of highly qualified diverse individuals.  
Governor Hochul also announced that, for the first time in New York State, the progressive pride flag will be flown at State Parks across New York to mark the start of pride month. In addition, the flag will be raised at the State Capitol, Plaza and Governor's Mansion on June 10 at the start of Capital Pride Weekend in the Capital Region. The flag will also be flown at the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building Harlem, Eleanor Roosevelt State Office Building Poughkeepsie, Hudson Valley Transportation Management Center Hawthorne, Perry B. Duryea State Office Building Hauppauge for the duration of pride month.  
After a two-year pandemic hiatus, I LOVE NY, through its I LOVE NY LGBTQ initiative, will be participating in Pride events in communities across New York, including Albany, Buffalo, Fire Island, Harlem, New York City and Rochester, to engage with attendees and introduce them to all the exciting destinations waiting for them throughout the state.  
A newly-updated I LOVE NY LGBTQ microsite and a printed I LOVE NY LGBTQ travel guide are available to help visitors identify great things to see and do, both during Pride month and throughout the year. I LOVE NY is also launching an I LOVE NY 2022 Pride guide blog, to support community partners and promote tourism by highlighting Pride celebrations, and other LGBTQ events and attractions across the state.  
The state landmarks to be lit in recognition of LGBTQ+ Pride Month on June 1 and June 23 to 30 include:
  • One World Trade Center  
  • Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge  
  • Kosciuszko Bridge  
  • The H. Carl McCall SUNY Building  
  • State Education Building  
  • Alfred E. Smith State Office Building  
  • Empire State Plaza  
  • State Fairgrounds - Main Gate & Expo Center  
  • Niagara Falls  
  • The "Franklin D. Roosevelt" Mid-Hudson Bridge  
  • Grand Central Terminal - Pershing Square Viaduct  
  • Albany International Airport Gateway  
The Capital Region state landmarks to be lit in recognition of Capital Region LGBTQ+ Pride Weekend on June 10 to 13 include:
  • The H. Carl McCall SUNY Building  
  • State Education Building  
  • Alfred E. Smith State Office Building  
  • Empire State Plaza  
  • Albany International Airport Gateway  
The Governor also announced the opening of With Pride and Diginity, a new exhibition that spotlights the struggle for the rights of LGBTQIA+ servicemembers in the U.S. Military and shows how New York State supports the fight against discrimination. The exhibit is located in the War Room on the second floor of the New York State Capitol and will run through end of June. Find more information about the exhibit, visiting the New York State Capitol, and to see photos here.   
Last week, Governor Hochul announced that New Yorkers now have the option to choose "X" as a gender marker on their driver license, learner permit, or non-driver ID card at all Department of Motor Vehicle offices statewide. The change has been implemented in accordance with New York's Gender Recognition Act -- landmark legislation that provides expanded protections for transgender and non-binary New Yorkers through this change at the DMV and by making it easier for people to change their names, change their sex designation, and change their birth certificates to reflect their identity.  
These announcements follow the major advancements in LGBTQ+ equity Governor Hochul fought for and secured in the Enacted Fiscal Year 2023 State Budget. The Budget includes $13.5 million for the Department of Health to support the LGBTQ+ community and more than doubles the annual LGBTQ+ Health and Human Services funding. In addition, the Budget requires state agencies to provide an option for individuals to mark their gender or sex as a non-binary "X" on all state forms that collect gender or sex information. Agencies are also required to include that information in data collection. The Budget also enables transgender New Yorkers to change their names or gender designations on marriage certificates without leaving their dead names on them.