President Obama declares June LGBT Pride Month

By Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán, Task Force Holley Law Fellow

President Barack Obama has again issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring the month of June to be LGBT Pride Month. The proclamation states:

This year, we celebrate LGBT Pride Month at a moment of great hope and progress, recognizing that more needs to be done. Support for LGBT equality is growing, led by a generation which understands that, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

The Task Force welcomes this proclamation by the President as we enter the celebrations of Pride Month, commemorating the events of the Stonewall Inn and the significant progress made in the decades since. In the President’s Proclamation, he reiterated his support for a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act. President Obama also highlighted the many achievements of the Obama Administration on LGBT equality, including signing an LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act and prohibiting discrimination in federal housing.

Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey states:

The Obama Administration has been a staunch ally of the cause of LGBT equality that has helped make this year a landmark year for the LGBT community. President Obama has endorsed the cause of marriage equality and helped pave the way for the first proactive enactments of marriage equality by referendum in Maine, Maryland and Washington state.

In this past year, the administration has taken the side of equality in the case pending before the Supreme Court regarding the offensive and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act and extended non-discrimination protections for LGBT people in the health insurance exchanges. These changes send a message to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across the country that their government appreciates their contribution to society and values fairness. There is still much work to be done, including issuing an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating in hiring on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. But this month is also an opportunity to celebrate our many successes. We look forward to continuing to work with the Obama Administration to further the cause and to secure full equality for all LGBT people in the United States.