Press Releases

DelBene Resolution Designates June 26 as ‘LGBT Equality Day’

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Washington, DC, December 3, 2015 | comments

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today introduced a resolution (H.Res. 549) to designate June 26, as “LGBT Equality Day,” honoring the anniversary of three significant victories won at the Supreme Court for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.

“In the last two decades, our nation has seen the Defense of Marriage Act overturned, an end to the criminalization of same-sex conduct and now nationwide marriage equality — all through Supreme Court decisions handed down on June 26,” DelBene said. “But even as same-sex couples enjoy the right to marry in all 50 states, LGBT people continue to face inequality and discrimination simply for who they are and who they love. My resolution designates the 26th of June as ‘LGBT Equality Day’ not only to celebrate how far we’ve come, but also to acknowledge how much work remains to be done.”

During the past two decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued three different landmark rulings on the 26th of June that helped eliminate anti-LGBT discrimination, affirm the dignity of same-sex couples and move our country toward a more perfect union:

  • Lawrence v. Texas (June 26, 2003).  Twelve years ago, the Court ruled on June 26 that states could no longer criminalize the private intimate conduct of same-sex couples, invalidating hateful and discriminatory laws in more than a dozen states.
     
  • United States v. Windsor (June 26, 2013).  Two years ago, the Court overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on June 26, and ruled that legally married same-sex couples deserve all of the rights, benefits, and protections provided by marriage under federal law.
     
  • Obergefell v. Hodges (June 26, 2015).Nearly six months ago, the Court ruled on June 26, that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, putting the United States on the right side of history and ending marriage discrimination once and for all.

DelBene was joined by 93 original cosponsors in introducing the resolution, which is supported by the Center for American Progress, the Human Rights Campaign, the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund and the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

“Over the last decade and a half, June 26th has seen three remarkable victories at the Supreme Court in favor of fairness and equality for LGBT Americans. At the same time, far too many LGBT people face unfair, unjust, and unacceptable discrimination in their daily lives – a deplorable reality that Congress must address by passing the Equality Act,” said David Stacy, Government Affairs Director for the Human Rights Campaign. “Establishing June 26th as LGBT Equality Day would not only commemorate the day as one of significance and progress, but it would serve as a reminder of the tremendous work that lies ahead in the fight for full federal equality.”

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