On Friday, November 15, 2013, Rep. Al Green (TX-09) introduced a resolution encouraging the celebration of the month of June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. The resolution was introduced with 23 original cosponsors. The original cosponsors included all six of the co-chairs of the LGBT Equality Caucus: Reps. Jared Polis (CO-02), David Cicilline (RI-01), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-08), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09), and Mark Takano (CA-41).
“All Americans should be treated fairly and equally regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” Congressman Al Green said. “This resolution is one more step toward granting the LGBT community justice and equality under the law.”
This resolution specifically acknowledges the accomplishments of former Congressman Barney Frank as the first voluntarily, openly gay Member of the U.S. House of Representatives; Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin as the first openly gay Senator; and LGBT icon Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California. The resolution also recognizes the importance of the early contributions of the LGBT protestors at the Stonewall Inn in 1969 in the formation of the modern LGBT human rights movement. Additionally, the resolution pays tribute to recent victories in the LGBT human rights movement, including Hawaii becoming the 15th state to permit same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
“We have witnessed increasingly positive progress, but we cannot rest until everyone has justice and equality under the law,” Congressman Al Green said. “I believe that Dr. King was right when he said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ An injustice against a member of the LGBT community is a threat to justice in every community.”
Statements from co-sponsors
Rep. Jared Polis (CO-02), LGBT Equality Caucus Co-Chair
“Thank you to Representative Green for his leadership on this and his work on behalf of the LGBT community. We still have work to do, but the accomplishments in this resolution demonstrate the remarkable progress we’ve made.”
Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), LGBT Equality Caucus Co-Chair
“The establishment of LGBT Pride Month would create an important opportunity to recognize the contributions and progress made by the LGBT community, and I thank Congressman Green for his leadership on this matter. As the resolution highlights, since the Stonewall riots our nation has made steady movement toward equality for all Americans, and I look forward to celebrating continued advancements for many years to come.”
Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41), LGBT Equality Caucus Co-Chair
“LGBT Pride Month is celebrated annually to commemorate the Stonewall riots and the progress made in the years since. We’ve come a long way, but there is more to do to ensure all are treated fairly. Commemorating the storied history of the LGBT movement recognizes the great progress we’ve achieved and the need to continue the fight for equality.”
Rep. David Cicilline (RI-01), LGBT Equality Caucus Co-Chair
“As we continue working to end discrimination and promote tolerance, it is critical that we recognize the achievements and progress we have made to enhance equality for all Americans. That’s why I am honored to join my colleagues in introducing legislation that would designate June as LGBT Pride Month.”
Rep. Mike Honda (CA-17), LGBT Equality Caucus Vice Chair
“As a vice-chair of the House LGBT caucus, I am so pleased to see this resolution emerge now. Having a month-long celebration in June every year will help focus attention on the great strides that have happened recently and are ongoing, as well as remind us of what we still need to do to ensure that everyone in the LGBT community is treated equally and with dignity — in the workplace, in the courts and legislatures, and in society as a whole.”
Rep. John Lewis (GA-05), Civil Rights Icon and Cohort of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I have fought too hard to end discrimination based on race not to stand up for discrimination based on sexual orientation. If you believe in justice, if you believe in the dignity and equality of all human kind, then you cannot pick and choose. You cannot apply justice to some and not to all.”