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Hoyer Statement on LGBTQ Pride Month

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on LGBTQ Pride Month:

“As we observe LGBTQ Pride Month this year, we do so at a time of great challenge for our country. Fifty years ago, LGBTQ Americans stood up at Stonewall and spoke out against prejudice, discrimination, and injustice.  Today, we not only pay tribute to the victories and struggles of the LGBTQ rights movement and the courage of its heroes, we also recommit ourselves to the unfinished work in the fight for equality and civil rights.   “While we have made strides toward equality, our work is far from over.  In many states, it is still legal to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans in employment, education, housing, credit, jury service, and so many other areas of public and private life.  We have also seen LGBTQ Americans suffer violence and harassment, especially targeting the transgender community.  We must ban discrimination against LGBTQ people in every way and at every level of government, and this work starts at the top with federal law.  That’s why I brought H.R. 5, the Equality Act, to the House Floor last year and work to secure its passage.  It’s why I was proud to bring legislation to the Floor in 2010 to end ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’  While this President and his Administration continue to crack down on LGBTQ rights and equality and denigrate the contributions of LGBTQ Americans in our military, government, and economy, the Democratic-led House will keep fighting for equality and working to achieve positive change.  I look forward to continuing to work closely with the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus to further this cause in 2020 and beyond.   “This year, Pride Month arrives amid an unprecedented global pandemic.  LGBTQ communities in America have faced this kind of uncertainty and anxiety before, during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980’s and 1990’s, when we were still just beginning to learn about that virus, how it spreads, and how to treat it.  We still do not have a cure or vaccine, and the work of achieving one continues today with the same vigor as it has for the past three decades.  It was during the first years of confronting HIV/AIDS that America first saw the leadership of Dr. Anthony Fauci, and together we mourn the recent passing of Larry Kramer, who did so much as an advocate for those living with HIV/AIDS.  As we continue to face the new challenge of COVID-19, we look to the courage displayed by LGBTQ people during that earlier time for inspiration in how to meet the uncertainties of a public health crisis with determination and hope, with perseverance and compassion.   “We are also at a moment of reckoning in our country as Americans throughout the nation demand an end to the tragic loss of African-American lives.  They are calling for justice, for equality, and for accountability – and we must listen.  As we commemorate LGBTQ Pride Month and continue to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots, let us continue to make our union more perfect by working to make it reflect our highest values and aspirations.”

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