WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Tina Smith (D-MN) led all Senate Democrats in introducing a Senate resolution recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month. The resolution highlights the contributions LGBTQ individuals have made to American society, notes several major milestones in the fight for equal treatment of LGBTQ Americans and resolves to continue efforts to achieve full equality for LGBTQ individuals. The resolution also recognizes how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic compounds the systemic inequality that LGBTQ people face in the healthcare, employment, and housing systems in the United States, leading to a disparate impact on LGBTQ people.
“We must continue standing with our LGBTQ family, friends and neighbors – not just during the month of June, but year round,” said Brown. “In celebrating LGBTQ Pride we must remember that the fight for those rights reached a turning point when opposition to brutal homophobic and transphobic police violence that led to the Stonewall Protests some 50 years ago. Even today, LGBTQ people of color are on the front lines of an ongoing movement for civil rights. I hope all Americans will join me in celebrating the accomplishments and courage of the LGBTQ community, and commit themselves to continuing the fight for equality for all. This year, as we approach the 5-year anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that guaranteed marriage equality, let’s recommit ourselves to achieving social, economic, and racial justice.”
“This Pride Month, we have much to celebrate after the Supreme Court affirmed that the Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Despite this long overdue victory, our work isn’t done. This resolution reminds us of the past struggles, progress made and challenges that still lie ahead in the long march toward equality,” said Feinstein.
“This month—and all year round—we celebrate, recognize, lift up and fight for equality for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Sen. Smith. “The freedom to live and love openly is fundamental, but there is still work to be done to protect and defend that right. The recent Supreme Court ruling that protects LGBTQ+ people from employment discrimination is historic. I hope we can celebrate this landmark victory while recommitting ourselves this Pride Month to continuing the fight for justice and equality. I am proud to help lead this resolution.”
Brown introduced the first-ever Senate Pride Month Resolution in June 2017, after President Trump broke the eight-year tradition of offering an official presidential proclamation recognizing June as Pride Month. This is the fourth year in a row that Brown has introduced the resolution. On Monday, the Supreme Court affirmed that federal employment laws protect LGBTQ people from workplace discrimination, a landmark case and victory for the LGBTQ community.
In 2019, Senate Democrats re-introduced the Equality Act, legislation to ensure civil rights laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Equality Act would unequivocally ban discrimination in a host of areas, including employment, housing, public accommodations, jury service, access to credit, federal funding assistance, and education.
Along with Sens. Brown, Feinstein, Smith, the resolution was co-sponsored by all 47 Senate Democrats, including Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Doug Jones (D-AL), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Bob Casey (D- PA), Michael Bennett (D-CO), Tom Carper (D-DE), Angus King (I-ME), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Coons (D-DE), Mark Warner (D-VA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Gary Peters (D-MI), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tom Udall (D-NM), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jack Reed (D-RI), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).
Full text of the resolution is available here.