Metro Weekly

U.S. Senate introduces resolution recognizing June as “LGBTQ Pride Month”

Resolution recognizes LGBTQ contributions and vows to push for greater equality measures

U.S. Capitol Building – Photo: Raul654, via Wikimedia.

A group of U.S. senators has introduced the first-ever Senate resolution recognizing June as “LGBTQ Pride Month.”

The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), briefly details the history of the LGBTQ movement, celebrates the achievements of LGBTQ community members, and recognizes the disparities and unequal treatment that many LGBTQ people still face.

It also resolves to continue working until LGBTQ people are treated in a manner equal to their heterosexual peers.

“We must always stand with our LGBTQ friends and neighbors — not just during the month of June, but year round,” Brown said in a statement. “I hope all Ohioans will join me in celebrating the accomplishments and courage of the LGBTQ community, and commit themselves to continuing to fight for equality for all.”

“America is right to be proud of the progress we have made to pass on to the next generation a country that is more equal, not less equal. Every June, communities across America celebrate Pride Month and this resolution recognizes the march towards full equality in our country,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the Senate’s only openly gay member and a co-sponsor of the resolution, said in a statement.

Earlier this week, Baldwin introduced a separate resolution recognizing June 26 as “LGBT Equality Day,” marking the anniversary of three Supreme Court victories relating to LGBTQ rights.

“We have more work to do and I believe America is ready to take the next steps forward,” continued Baldwin. “Together, let’s continue to break down barriers so that every American has an equal opportunity to dream the same dreams, chase the same ambitions, and have the same shot at success.”

In addition to Baldwin and Brown, other senators co-sponsoring the resolution include: Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchard (D-Minn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).

LGBTQ advocates praised the senators for sending a message of acceptance to the LGBTQ community.

“Pride Month is an opportunity to celebrate the history, progress, diversity, and contributions of the LGBTQ community,” David Stacy, the government affairs director for the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. “And with 50 percent of LGBTQ Americans living in states without state non-discrimination laws, leaving them at risk of being fired, denied housing, or refused service simply because of who they are, it’s is also an important time for the community to unite together with our allies and recommit to the progress we have yet to achieve.”

“Every June, we honor the resiliency and progress of the LGBTQ community with festivals, marches, and actions in Ohio and throughout the country,” Alana Jochum, the executive director of Equality Ohio, said in a statement. “This resolution sends a message to the community that the country recognizes the history and struggle of LGBTQ people.”

In contrast with the Senate, the White House has failed to acknowledge June as LGBTQ Pride Month, despite calls from activists and LGBTQ advocates to do so. Earlier this month, DNC Chair Tom Perez issued his own statement recognizing the month’s special designation among members of the LGBTQ community.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com