DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz today released the following statement recognizing October as LGBT History Month:
“LGBT History Month provides us with an important opportunity to recognize the many incredible achievements, contributions, sacrifices, and triumphs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans over the years. It is a month-long tribute to the great history of the LGBT community—from the Stonewall riots of 1969 that marked the beginning of our nation’s gay rights movement, to the early pioneers whose courage made that moment possible, and all of the heroes since then who have advanced the cause of equality that continues to this day.
“Although our nation still has a long way to go, LGBT Americans have made enormous strides in the march toward full equality. President Obama has worked hard to move equality forward in partnership with the millions of LGBT activists and allies who have demanded progress and have fought for it in every corner of the country. As President, he has signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, wiped the U.S. military’s discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy off the books, and extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.
“He has directed the Department of Justice to stop defending DOMA in court and declared it unconstitutional, established America’s first comprehensive HIV/AIDS strategy, and ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure LGBT couples have equal visitation and medical decision-making rights in our nation’s hospitals. President Obama has also worked to dispel the myth that bullying, particularly of LGBT students, is just some harmless part of growing up. On the global stage, the President has shown leadership in condemning anti-LGBT violence and has spoken out against reprehensible anti-gay legislation in foreign countries such as Uganda.
“We have achieved so much, but the battle continues. This month, while we pay tribute to the millions of LGBT Americans who are our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, parents and friends, we must also recommit ourselves to the important work that needs to be done to guarantee that all Americans—regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity – are fully equal under the law. The Democratic Party is proud to stand firmly behind LGBT Americans.”