WASHINGTON, D.C.— Every June, Pride Month marks a celebration of LGBTQIA+ communities who have been working for equality for decades. These communities and individuals have repeatedly been denied employment protections, health care equity, public accommodation, and housing. NOW stands with all LGBTQIA+ people and defends the right to freedom and equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
We celebrate Pride Month by honoring the activists and advocates who paved the way. We remember the historic Stonewall Riots, the three nights of resistance in 1969 that fortified the movement for LGBTQIA+ rights. We honor the significant victories that LGBTQIA+ activists have achieved since then, from the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which extends federal hate-crime protections to crimes targeting a victim’s gender identity and sexual orientation. While we commemorate these milestones, we also must acknowledge how much there is left to be done, and that these legislative actions are often not enforced.
As one of our core issues, NOW prioritizes LGBTQIA+ equality and is a strong supporter of the Equality Act – which makes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in any capacity unacceptable. With more Women, LGBTQIA+, Native Americans, African Americans, and Latinx individuals represented in the 116th Congress than ever before this piece of legislation passed the House. It currently sits in the Senate Graveyard, which is why we are actively working to flip the Senate in 2020.
This Pride Month, and every day, NOW will continue to advocate for the transgender women and men who have been brutally murdered and attacked for trying to live freely and the LGBTQIA+ activists who are still in fierce pursuit of equality.