June is LGBT Pride month, a time dedicated to honoring the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community in our country. In June 1969, gay men and women stood up against police discrimination and harassment at New York City's Stonewall Inn. Now, each June, we commemorate the bravery of those who began this quest for LGBT equality as well as those who continue their struggle today.
"Lesbian, gay, and transgender Americans make important contributions to society that benefit every American. This is our month to say thank you, to celebrate those accomplishments, and to show our pride in the LGBT community," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz.
"As a founding Vice-Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, I have consistently voted to expand civil rights for the LGBT community by ensuring federal protection from hate-motivated violence and by providing remedies for unfair discrimination in the workplace. I have fought for equality for all of Florida's families--from full marriage equality to repealing Florida's painful ban that prohibits loving gay and lesbian parents from adopting children.
"Most recently, I voted to repeal the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy that prohibits patriotic gays and lesbians from serving their country openly in the armed forces. Repealing this policy will not only make our military stronger and our nation more secure, but it will also honor our Constitution's sacred promise of equal justice under the law."
In the past sixteen months, there have been many advances for LGBT equality, including:
Congress passed, and the President signed, landmark federal hate crimes protection for LGBT Americans.
President Obama mandated that LGBT Americans have hospital visitation rights and the right to make medical decisions for their partners at American hospitals.
The President hosted the first-ever LGBT Pride event at the White House in our nation's history.
He also lifted the discriminatory HIV/AIDS travel ban that was rooted in the outdated fear and discredited science of the 1980s--and did so in a way that will not allow it to be re-introduced by future administrations.
President Obama mandated that LGBT families will be counted--for the first time--in the United States Census.
And, recognizing that our LGBT friends are living longer, happier, and healthier lives, the President created an LGBT Seniors Resource Center funded through the Department of Health and Human Services and administered by SAGE, the leading LGBT Seniors organization in the United States.
The House of Representatives voted to repeal the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy that prohibits patriotic gay men and lesbians from serving their country openly in the Armed Services. The Senate will take up the measure later this summer.
"While we have made strong progress toward equality, we have a long way to go to achieve true equal opportunity LGBT Americans, who still face undue prejudice and unfair treatment," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. "This year, as we celebrate LGBT Pride, let us also vow to continue our work in the spirit of a more perfect union."