WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, which is observed in June:
“Each June, we commemorate the birth of the modern Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender rights movement which began in June of 1969, as patrons of New York City’s Stonewall Inn courageously stood up to police harassment. Following their example, generations of LGBT Americans and their allies have fought for the right to live their lives openly, and to work and serve their country free from fear of discrimination and prejudice. LGBT Americans have made remarkable gains, showing that discrimination harms all of us by denying us the talents and commitment of those we exclude.
“For instance, the policy of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ has deprived our military of more than 13,500 men and women who have been discharged because of their sexual orientation. We cannot continue to throw such service away—which is why I was proud to join with our military’s leaders, including Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs, in calling for the end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ The House voted late last month to repeal that policy, pending the Defense Department’s review. I look forward to the completion of that review, and to the day when patriotic Americans are able to proudly serve their country in uniform regardless of sexual orientation.”