DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement recognizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, which begins today:
“As we begin to celebrate LGBT Pride Month, it’s hard not to think about the incalculable courage in the hearts of the brave pioneers who stood their ground at the Stonewall Inn 43 years ago and launched what many consider to be the beginning of America’s LGBT rights movement. This month, we remember their proud sacrifice and the tireless dedication of so many LGBT Americans who have followed in their footsteps. And we’re also proud to say that under the leadership of President Obama, we’ve truly honored their heroism by achieving more progress for LGBT Americans than ever before.
“As a nation, we’ve wiped ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ off the books, so that gay and lesbian service members can serve our nation without having to hide who they are. The President signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law and ordered the federal government to extend key benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, along with banning discrimination based on gender identity in the federal workforce. He’s required all hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid funding to recognize visitation and medical decision-making rights for LGBT patients, and he’s taken unprecedented steps to prevent bullying against LGBT students as well as advance and protect the rights of LGBT individuals across the globe.
“Additionally, the President established and developed America’s first national HIV/AIDS strategy and put an end to the discriminatory ban that prevented individuals with HIV/AIDS from entering the country, and he also increased funding for HIV medical clinics through the Ryan White Part C program and secured additional resources for state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we’re making sure that insurers will no longer be able to deny Americans coverage based on pre-existing conditions. The Obama Administration is no longer defending the Defense of Marriage Act, and the President has expressed his support for the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA. And just last month, the President affirmed his personal support for marriage equality, stressing his belief that it’s wrong to prevent loving, committed couples who want to marry from doing so.
“On the first day of LGBT Pride Month, I’m so proud of the millions of LGBT Americans who continue their march toward full equality and proud of our President for always standing in their corner. While the struggle continues, discrimination continues to give in to justice with every passing day, and we will never stop fighting until inequality for the LGBT community is nothing but a relic of the past.”