SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Pride and progress were themes at two events in downtown San Jose Thursday, celebrating LGBTQ+ community members and organizations.
LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance Silicon Valley hosted an event at Splash in downtown San Jose.
Jessa Walsh, president of the local chapter of Alliance, said they advocate for fair finances and housing.
"So it's really important to get the allies on our side and to give them an understanding of who we are as a community you know, how to work with us you know, what we like as consumers," Walsh said.
Alliance formed in 2020 as a needed voice in the industry.
"Gen Z, over 25% self-identify as LGBTQ+ nowadays so that's one in five - as real estate professionals our future consumers that identify as our community," Walsh said.
Walsh said living in Silicon Valley does not isolate them from discrimination.
"We were planning our one-year celebration for our chapter just last month and a balloon company denied service to us - they weren't comfortable putting together a package of rainbow balloons for our event and all we're fighting for is equal opportunity for housing in our communities," Walsh said.
Walsh introduced Silicon Valley native and State Assemblymember Evan Low to speak at the event. She said Pride month is both a celebration and a fight.
Low says he's fighting for rights on the state and national level.
"Over 400 pieces of legislation have been introduced that are anti-LGBTQ," Low said.
Low is now authoring a bill to repeal Proposition 8. If the Supreme Court were to overrule its marriage equality decisions, marriage rights for same-sex couples would be in jeopardy in California.
"Two justices sided that marriage equality will likely be next," Low said. "If that is the case, California's law on the books would reflect marriage equality being illegal. And that's why it's important we pass Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5 to repeal Proposition 8 and enshrine constitutional protections for same-sex couples and interracial marriage in California."
Just downstairs, State Assemblymember Alex Lee hosted a Pride event.
"I think it's really important to small local events like this where we're recognizing seven incredible individuals and organizations," Lee said.
He said it's important all generations see that people in the LGBTQ+ community are in positions all over the place, and not in some kind of niche part of the community.
"California is the first state legislature to achieve 10% LGBTQ representation and I think in the next cycle, you're going to see the first trans legislature and even more representation - we're going to increase our numbers," Lee said.
Joshua Ta, a fair housing coordinator for Project Sentinel, said he feels appreciated being at this Pride event.
"Makes you feel like, yes I'm out and there are people fighting for my rights and making me feel visible," Ta said.
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