Atlantic City Casinos Celebrating Pride Month With Array of Events

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Atlantic City casinos are embracing Pride Month like never before.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City is sponsoring Pride Month events in June. The casino is joined by Caesars in commemorating the LGBTQ+ community. (Image: Facebook)

June is considered Pride Month by the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. The annual commemoration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and other sexual orientations and genders began in 1969 following the Stonewall riots.

The riots took place in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood at the Stonewall Inn where a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against police were conducted against law enforcement persecuting sexual minorities. The events are often cited as the start of the gay rights movement in the United States.

At least two Atlantic City casinos are commemorating Pride Month this June by hosting an array of events.

Pride Partners 

In what will be a first in the history of the Atlantic City casino industry, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will raise a Pride Month flag above its resort on Saturday, June 8. Hard Rock is also sponsoring the 3rd Annual AC Pride Rainbow Ride and March for Equality taking place on Saturday.

The march begins Saturday at 10 a.m. at Newport and Boardwalk in Ventor. The walk ends in front of the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City.

We are very happy to take part in these festivities,” said Hard Rock General Manager Mike Sampson. “We made a pretty significant commitment to Garden State equality [when Hard Rock opened in June 2019].”

Hard Rock Atlantic City has changed its X photo to include rainbow colors. Anthony Wilkinson, a Staten Island resident who has been a comedy performer for 20 years with his “Big Gay Italian Wedding” show, will hoist the flag at Hard Rock.

“I have been coming to Atlantic City since I was 21,” Wilkinson told the Staten Island Advance. “Hard Rock has embraced the LGBTQ+ community and have a community program, ‘love all, serve all’ that has really been phenomenal in embracing the community.”

Hard Rock isn’t alone. Caesars Entertainment told Casino.org today that on Tuesday, it will announce the new home of the Miss’D America Pageant. The 33rd edition of the pageant is a spoof of the world-famous Miss America Pageant that originated in Atlantic City and has traditionally been hosted in the casino town. Miss’d America is a drag event that raises money for LGBTQ+ charities.

Public Support

A national poll recently conducted for the Los Angeles Times by NORC at the University of Chicago found that Americans broadly support LGBTQ+ people and embrace same-sex marriage and same-sex couples raising children. The public also overwhelmingly supports laws to protect queer people.

However, support for the trans and nonbinary community isn’t as robust. About a quarter of the US adult population, NORC reported, would be “very upset” if their child was transgender or nonbinary. That’s almost twice the rate of the public who said they’d be very upset about raising a gay child.

“It’s a bit depressing, frankly,” Rachel Wineman, a liberal 41-year-old poll respondent who has a 13-year-old nonbinary child, told the LA Times. “I can only hope that it will get better as more people discuss it.”

In 1985, less than a quarter of the US adult population said they had a relative, friend, or co-worker who had come out as gay or lesbian. Today, 72% say they know someone who isn’t heterosexual.

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