June 23, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Resolution Recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have joined the Democratic caucus in introducing a Senate resolution recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month. The resolution highlights the contributions LGBTQ individuals have made to American society, notes several major milestones in the fight for equal treatment of LGBTQ Americans and resolves to continue efforts to achieve full equality for LGBTQ individuals.

Additionally, the resolution recognizes how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic compounds the systemic inequality that LGBTQ people face in the healthcare, employment, and housing systems in the United States, leading to a disparate impact on LGBTQ people.

“While America has never fully realized its vision of liberty and justice for all, we’ve always been at our best when we’re striving toward it,” said Merkley. “The Stonewall Protests—led by transgender women of color—and the major advancements for LGBTQ rights that followed are a powerful example of that work. That’s why this month, as we recognize those strides, we must reaffirm our commitment to standing with our LGBTQ family, friends, and neighbors. Not only should we celebrate Pride Month and last week’s milestone Supreme Court decision—we must build on those steps by doubling down on our efforts to get the Equality Act signed into law.”

“Our country must end any form of discrimination against LGBTQ people in Oregon and anywhere else in America. Period. Full stop,” Wyden said. “This LGBTQ Pride Month, America can both reflect with pride on historic gains in same-sex marriage rights and employment while re-committing to the work that remains for full equality in healthcare, housing, education, public services and more. I’m proud to have been in this fight for LGBTQ rights throughout my time in public service and will keep working until the Equality Act is enshrined in law, becoming an essential chapter in the story of LGBTQ equality in America.” 

This Pride Month, Senator Merkley led a group of 46 senators, including Senator Wyden, in pushing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring to the Senate floor for a vote the Equality Act—groundbreaking, comprehensive legislation that would add explicit protections for LGBTQIA+ Americans to the nation’s civil rights laws, ensuring that no American is evicted from their home or is denied a service based on their LGBTQ status. Senator Merkley helped write and introduced the legislation, which Senator Wyden cosponsors.

The full text of the resolution is available here.