WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democratic National Committee is celebrating LGBT History Month with a statement from Interim Chair Donna Brazile and LGBT Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes:
As LGBT History Month begins, we have so much progress to celebrate. From the Stonewall uprising to the many victories during the Obama presidency–including ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Supreme Court wins that enacted marriage equality–our nation has made enormous strides.
That progress would not be possible without the historic pioneers we honor this month, like Bayard Rustin, Audre Lord, Harvey Milk, and Sylvia Rivera.
We also celebrate fearless contemporary leaders like Sarah McBride, who made history with us as the first transgender speaker at a major party’s political convention; Daniel Hernandez Jr., who acted to help save the life of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; Mark Bingham, one of the United flight 93 heroes; Staff Sergeant Eric Alva, awarded the Purple Heart for his bravery in Iraq; as well as Jim Obergefell, Edie Windsor and the countless plaintiffs who helped make sure that love is the law of the land.
At the same time, we remember the names and faces of tragedy – those whose deaths continue to move us into action. Matthew Shepard. Gwen Araujo. Sakia Gunn. Angie Zapata. Brandon Teena. Tyler Clementi. Billy Lucas. The victims of attacks on Upstairs Lounge and Pulse Nightclub. The 600,000 Americans taken by the HIV/AIDS epidemic of whom many were LGBT men and women.
Their stories continue to inspire more members and allies of the LGBT community to stand up for what is right, even in the face of discrimination, bigotry and violence.
The Democratic Party stands with the LGBT community in that fight, and we have much more to accomplish together. In some states, conservative law makers continue to push for so-called ‘religious freedom’ laws, and anti-transgender bathroom bills, which threaten to legalize discrimination against members of the LGBT community. Democrats will continue to fight those laws, and any laws aimed at turning back the clock. It is still possible in many places to get married to the love of your life on Saturday, and be fired on Monday for doing so–that’s why Democrats won’t stop fighting to pass the Equality Act. Our Democratic platform stands fiercely for the full equality of LGBT Americans and for protecting our LGBT youth.
When we recognize and celebrate the rich contributions that LGBT Americans have made throughout our history, we are a stronger nation. If we hope to build on the progress of the last seven years, we must elect Hillary Clinton and Democrats up and down the ballot, across the country.