Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they have joined all 50 Senate Democrats to introduce 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 healthcare, employment, and housing systems in the United States, leading to a disparate impact on LGBTQ people.
“Discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community has no place in Oregon or any place across the nation,” Wyden said. “This LGBTQ Pride Month, we celebrate the progress made in the fight for equality in same-sex marriage rights and employment while recognizing how much farther
America still must go to achieve true equality and inclusion. I have always been proud to stand with LGBTQ Americans in the fight for equal treatment under the law in every aspect of their lives – from education, healthcare, housing, public services and beyond, and urge my colleagues to support the overdue Equality Act.”
“America has always been at its best when people come together to march, strive, and push for liberty and justice for all,” said Merkley, the author and lead sponsor of the Equality Act. “The Stonewall Protests—led by transgender women of color—and the major advancements for LGBTQ rights that followed, are an incredible example of that principle. This month—and every month—as we come together to celebrate those heroes, we must all recommit ourselves to building on the progress they created, by doing everything we can to end discrimination against our LGBTQ family, friends, and neighbors. That’s why I’ll keep fighting to get the Equality Act signed into law, and working to ensure that the bells of freedom ring for every American.”
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.
Joining Wyden and Merkley on the bill, led by Sens. Sherrod Brown D-Ohio, Dianne Feinstein D-Calif., and Tina Smith D-Minn., were Sens. Maggie Hassan D-N.H., Ed Markey D-Mass., Tammy Baldwin D-Wis., Bernie Sanders I-Vt., Kyrsten Sinema D-Ariz., Bob Menendez D-N.J., Tim Kaine D-Va., Bob Casey D- Pa., Michael Bennet D-Colo., Tom Carper D-Del., Angus King I-Maine., Sheldon Whitehouse D-R.I., Alex Padilla D-Calif., Richard Blumenthal D-Conn., Maria Cantwell D-Wash., Jon Tester D-Mont., Elizabeth Warren D-Mass., Patty Murray D-Wash., Jacky Rosen D-Nev., Tammy Duckworth D-Ill., Jeanne Shaheen D-N.H., Chris Coons D-Del., Mark Warner D-Va., Richard Durbin D-Ill., Chris Van Hollen D-Md., Chris Murphy D-Conn., Amy Klobuchar D-Minn., Mazie Hirono D-Hawaii., Catherine Cortez Masto D-Nev., Brian Schatz D-Hawaii, Patrick Leahy D-Vt., Gary Peters D-Mich., Joe Manchin D-W.Va., Ben Ray Lujan D-N.M., Debbie Stabenow D-Mich., Benjamin Cardin D-Md., Kirsten Gillibrand D-N.Y., Chuck Schumer D-N.Y., Jack Reed D-R.I., Cory Booker D-N.J., Martin Heinrich D-N.M., Reverend Raphael Warnock D-Ga., Jon Ossoff D-Ga., John Hickenlooper D-Colo., and Mark Kelly D-Ariz.