Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) has reintroduced a resolution calling for "LGBT Equality Day." Photo public domain

Rep. DelBene Calls for 'LGBT Equality Day' on House Floor

BY CHRIS JOHNSON, WASHINGTON BLADE

On the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality, Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) took to the House floor to call for the institution of an "LGBT Equality Day" honoring the occasion.

DelBene recognized Monday, June 26 as LGBT Equality Day on the basis of historic decisions from the Supreme Court on that date not only on marriage equality, but other LGBT issues.

"Today, we mark the anniversary of landmark victories at the Supreme Court that moved our country toward one that is more fair, more equal and more inclusive of all Americans -- and we are a better, stronger nation for it," DelBene said.

The Supreme Court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision handed down June 26, 2015, but on the same date the high court delivered other milestone LGBT decisions.

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court in two separate decisions ruled against the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act and restored marriage equality to California after passage of Proposition 8. Ten years earlier on June 26, 2003, the Supreme Court struck down state bans on same-sex relations in the Lawrence v. Texas decision.

On the same day DelBene recognized "LGBT Equality Day" on the House floor, she reintroduced in the House a resolution calling for recognition of the occasion and "the need for further legislation to ensure people in the United States are free from all forms of discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity."

Meanwhile, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the only out lesbian in Congress introduced a companion resolution in the Senate on the same day.

"America should celebrate the progress we have made to pass on to the next generation a country that is more equal, not less equal. But we cannot mistake our progress for victory," Baldwin said in a statement. "We have more work to do in the march for fairness, freedom and full equality for the LGBT community. I believe America is ready to take the next steps forward and together we will break down barriers so that every American has an equal opportunity to dream the same dreams, chase the same ambitions, and have the same shot at success."

According to DelBene's office, the House resolution is up to 121 co-sponsors and the Senate resolution has 34 co-sponsors.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is among those who've endorsed the idea of recognizing June 26 as LGBT Equality Day in honor of the historic Supreme Court LGBT decisions.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. This article originally appeared in the Washington Blade and is made available in partnership with the National Gay Media Association.
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