Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month:
"This month, Americans continue our march to a more perfect union by proudly celebrating our many victories in the fight for LGBT equality.
"We are proud to live in a country where gays and lesbians can now serve openly in the armed forces, just as we are proud that our military is led by a commander-in-chief who understands that sexual orientation has nothing to do with one's fitness to serve.
"We are proud of our president's history-making support for the right to marry regardless of sexual orientation, just as we are proud that he refuses to use taxpayer dollars to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
"We are proud of our country's leadership at home and abroad in protecting Americans from violence, hate crimes, bullying and harassment.
"We are proud that we've now enshrined into our laws the rights of our LGBT friends to receive the same health care benefits as their straight neighbors, and we are proud that our government has said to America's federally funded hospitals that they may no longer separate loving same-sex couples when they are sick and need each other the most.
"At the Department of Labor, we are proud to have clarified that the Family and Medical Leave Act applies to all kinds of families. Two million children are being raised by parents in same-sex relationships, and our action ensures that, regardless of a parent's legal relationship to his or her child, he or she can take leave to care for the child in the event of a medical emergency. In other words: If you act like a parent, do the work of a parent and raise a child like a parent, then you are a parent, as far as the Department of Labor is concerned.
"Like all of the great civil rights victories in our nation's history, this hard-won progress was forged by the determined advocacy of so many pioneers who refused to settle for second-class citizenship based on who they love. While we know many battles lie ahead in the fight to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, this June, let's pause to reflect on the many barriers we've overcome as we strive to realize the promise of equal justice under law for every LGBT American."