WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer released the following statement in recognition of June as National Gay and Lesbian Pride Month:
“During the month of June, America observes National Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. I have spent much of my career working to further the cause of human rights and human understanding, and the rights of gays and lesbians are an important part of that effort.
“For gay and lesbian Americans, the struggle for equal rights and recognition has not been an easy one. Sadly, they are the last group of Americans that it is widely accepted to discriminate against. Just as we saw with the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, the gay and lesbian community has continued to be confronted with widespread, and sometimes violent, discrimination, slander, and intolerance.
“While gays and lesbians still struggle with discrimination and hostility, the past decade has seen numerous advancements in their battle for full equality. The American tradition of tolerance and openness is winning out over fear of differences and the unfamiliar. Local and state governments are passing laws to guarantee employment rights, and corporations are establishing domestic partner benefits. Today, gays and lesbians are leaders in our community organizations and our government, and many are raising healthy, strong families.
“This month, I hope all Americans will join me in celebrating the basic foundation of our democracy, which grants civil rights and liberties to everyone – irregardless of skin color, religion, or sexual preference. I will continue to support efforts to preserve and uphold this ideal for gay and lesbian citizens, as well as all citizens, of this nation.”