Engel Statement on LGBT Equality Day

Engel Statement on LGBT Equality Day

Washington D.C.—Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a member of the House LGBT Equality Caucus, issued the following statement on LGBT Equality Day:

“Today we celebrate LGBT Equality Day, right in the heart of Pride Month—a month when we commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots and celebrate the progress the LGBT community has made.

“The last 8 years brought about incredible progress for the LGBT community. From the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to the landmark Supreme Court decision guaranteeing same-sex couples the right to marry, America has advanced LGBT rights in numerous ways. However, there is still much that needs to be done.

“Too many in the LGBT community still face discrimination and are denied the full equality they deserve. Republicans in Congress and in the White House are determined to roll back the clock on the progress that we have made. The Trump Administration has withdrawn protections for transgender students in public schools, proposed cutting funding for HIV and AIDS treatment, and appointed a Supreme Court Justice with an anti-LGBT record. These acts against the LGBT community are shameful, discriminatory, and must be spoken out against.

“Throughout my career in Congress I have been a strong supporter of LGBT rights. I was one of only a handful of members to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, and I am currently a cosponsor of the Equality Act, which would extend civil rights protections to LGBT Americans. I have also cosponsored legislation to address LGBT discrimination in schools, in our military and in the workplace. Every year I introduce a resolution supporting the National Day of Silence, an annual day of observance in schools aimed at bringing attention to the bullying, harassment, and discrimination faced by LGBT students.

“No doubt, the LGBT community has come a long way in a short time. But we still have a long way to go. Please know that I will continue to fight for policies that ensure equal rights and protections for every American.”