Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) released the following statement in recognition of LGBT Pride Month, which is celebrated throughout the month of June:
"As we honor the occasion of LGBT Pride Month, we not only acknowledge the tremendous efforts of so many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals who have fought for equality, but also those who have been forced to endure the stain of discrimination because of who they are and who they love.
"Pride Month takes on an entirely new meaning in light of the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeals Court's decision not to rehear the February ruling that declared Proposition 8 -- the California measure banning same-sex marriage -- unconstitutional.
"As a Californian, I am proud to say that our great state is helping lead the fight for equality. But despite some of the progress being made, the truth is that we have a long way to go toward a world that affords all people the respect, dignity, and equality that they are entitled to. I commend the court for its decision, and I applaud those who had the courage to challenge this unjust measure for their unwavering commitment to continue the fight for marriage equality.
"In the past few years, Congress has passed a fully-inclusive hate crimes law and has eliminated the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. President Obama followed suit, announcing that his administration will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
"The day is fast approaching when all American families will be treated with fairness and equality under the law. We believe we can and will make great progress in our efforts because we know that the fight for equality is the fight for justice and that this fight is one we will win."