DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Statement on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Pride Month

WASHINGTON-  DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement on LGBT Pride Month:

“As we begin LGBT Pride Month, members of the LGBT Community and their allies have many victories to celebrate. Our nation has made enormous progress in recent years in the fight for equality – the result of courageous individuals and dedicated groups in every corner of our country standing up for what is right, often facing the cruelty of discrimination, bigotry and even violence to effect real and lasting change. Democrats are proud to stand with our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community in that fight.

“A year ago this month, marriage equality finally became the law of the land when the Supreme Court ruled against discrimination. And over the last seven years of the Obama Administration, we worked together to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. We expanded federal hate crimes legislation when the president signed the first major federal gay rights legislation protecting citizens from violence. Today, hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds must extend visitation rights for LGBT patients, and transgender veterans finally have access to the care they need through the VA benefits that they earned in service to our country. President Obama has fought to ensure that federal employees and employees of federal contractors are now protected from discrimination and that transgender students are protected under new executive orders from President Obama, while our Attorney General has been a staunch advocate for transgender equality.

“But until all Americans are fully and equally protected under the law, we have more work to do. In some states, conservative lawmakers continue to push for so-called religious freedom laws and bathroom bills that threaten to legalize discrimination against members of the LGBT community. Religious freedom is important, but it’s already protected under the law, and the vagueness of these new laws means they’re ripe for abuse. We must remain vigilant, and Democrats will continue to stand against discriminatory laws wherever they appear.

“Democrats are also committed to passing the Equality Act, which covers employment and housing and public accommodations. We’re fighting to ensure full equality for our transgender brothers and sisters. And because the injustice of discrimination exists outside our borders, we are dedicated to promoting and protecting the human rights of LGBT people internationally.

“Members of the LGBT community are our friends, family members, our neighbors and members of our communities. When we join together to fight discrimination where it exists, and when we celebrate the rich contributions that LGBT Americans have made throughout our history, we are a stronger nation for it, and our future is bright. We must elect a Democrat as the next president of the United States to build on the progress of the last seven years.”