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Buffalo's gay and lesbian community fight discrimination and hatred

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Pride Rainbow flag in Buffalo's Niagara Square in front of City Hall

By Eileen Buckley

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-905212.mp3

Buffalo, NY – The Pride Rainbow flag is now flying high above Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo. June celebrates Pride month for the Lesiban, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.

Click the audio player above to hear Eileen Buckley's full story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

Members of Buffalo's gay and lesiban community join Mayor Byron Brown and other city leaders as they hoisted the rainbow flag Tuesday. Gay pride celebration will be in full swing this weekend. This year's theme is the Power of Pride.

Dorian Brock is senior director of the Pride Center of Western New York.

"This is the 19th year of Pride celebratins in Buffalo. When they first started, people gathered because we haven't always been able to gather, Now we gather because we can. We have that support and it means a lot," said Brock.

While the local gay and lesiban community has made great progress, they say they still face discrimination and hatred in their search for equality.

"We still face discrimination unfortunately. We've seen that this past year," said Brock.

Brock was referring to last January's attack on 29-year old Lindsay Harmon. She was stabbed in the eye after leaving a gay night club with her girlfriend. An altercation started when another woman shouted anti-gay remarks at them.

Brock said that was one hate crime against a member of the gay community that was reported, but other cases go unreported.

But Brock said the gay and lesiban community have been treated with great respect from the City of Buffalo. The city has agreed to domestic partner benefits for its employees

Brock says pride members are a significant part of the communities they live and work in.

As part of this weekend's Pride Parade in Buffalo, Mayor Brown also announced that new rainbow flags will line Elmwood Avenue.