It was a rare and inspiring chance to see a sitting governor show so much support for a community which spent many years being neglected or legislatively assaulted here in the Commonwealth.
It was also easily one of the largest gatherings of LGBTQ’s at the Virginia Governor’s Mansion in history.
About 200 LGBTQ community members, politicians, cabinet members, allies, and even the Governor’s family, were in attendance.
“Tonight is a night of celebration. We’re kicking off pride month here in the Commonwealth of Virginia” said the Governor to resounding cries as he introduced the audience and his 2015 LGBT Pride Month Proclamation.
“We need Virginia to be open and welcoming to everyone. I put all of this in the context that [Virginia] has got to be a great state to raise a family and start a business,” said McAuliffe who has said LGBTQ equality in the Commonwealth is key to keeping the state business friendly.
McAuliffe had been a vocal ally while campaigning, and since his inauguration, he’s managed a number of firsts when it comes to LGBTQ issues – his 2014 Pride Proclamation was the first time a VA governor had honored the month, he was the first standing Governor to speak at Virginia Pride last year.