A Victory for Americans Everywhere
This week, the Supreme Court once again bent the arc of history toward justice. The court placed itself on the right side of history by discarding Section 3 of the defenseless Defense of Marriage Act and by allowing marriage equality for all California families. The highest court in the land reaffirmed the promise inscribed into its walls: "equal justice under law.'
For these historic decisions to come at the end of LGBT Pride Month and almost 44 years to the day of the Stonewall Riots should reaffirm how far we've come in the march toward equality and should lead us to rededicate ourselves to the cause of justice now and in the future.
In this month, Americans can take pride in our efforts to end discrimination in our society and in our laws -- from the passage of a fully-inclusive hate crimes law to the end of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' In this month, elected leaders can take pride in our LGBT colleagues in Congress -- from the record-number of LGBT Members in the House to America's first-ever LGBT Senator.
Congresswoman Pelosi joins with community leaders from labor, faith, and advocacy groups in a roundtable discussion to discuss the efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform.
One Step Closer to Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Yesterday, a bipartisan coalition in the U.S. Senate voted to reaffirm our values, advance our ideals, and honor our history as a nation of immigrants by passing comprehensive immigration reform by 68-32. With this action, the Senate moved our country one step closer to achieving commonsense reform that reflects our heritage and makes America more American.
Now, it's the House of Representative's turn to act on legislation that echoes the spirit of the Senate bill and upholds our basic principles: to secure our borders, protect our workers, unite families, and offer an earned pathway to citizenship.
From generation to generation, immigrants have built, strengthened, and enriched our culture and our society; they have reinvigorated our economy; they have brought their hopes, optimism, and aspirations to the ongoing pursuit of the American Dream. That tradition is embedded into the very fabric of American society and strength, and in our time, we must make our own contribution to that legacy with comprehensive immigration reform.
A Step Backwards for Voter's Rights
Unfortunately, on Tuesday, the Supreme Court took a step backward on voting rights, and on civil rights, on liberty and justice for all with their decision in Shelby County v. Holder, invalidating Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. Their decision weakens the cause of voting rights in our time, disregards the challenges of discrimination still facing our country, and undermines our nation's ongoing effort to protect the promise of equality in our laws.
In 2006, Democrats and Republicans came together to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, garnering overwhelming bipartisan support in a Republican-led Congress -- passing the House by a vote 390-33 and the Senate by a vote of 98-0, then signed into law by President George W. Bush. This year, we must follow in that same tradition, taking the court's decision as our cue for further action to strengthen this legislation.
Voting rights are essential to who we are as Americans, to the cause of equality, to the strength of our democracy. It is our responsibility to do everything in our power to remove obstacles to voting, to ensure every citizen has the right to vote and every vote is counted as cast. We must secure the most basic privilege of American citizenship: the right to vote.
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Member of Congress