Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) will host a discussion with local leaders about recent attacks on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, ahead of the first-annual LGBT Equality Day. The recent mass shooting in Orlando was a tragic reminder of the hatred, intolerance and violence LGBT Americans continue to face.
DelBene has introduced legislation to designate June 26 as LGBT Equality Day to celebrate the anniversary of three monumental U.S. Supreme Court victories for equality and justice — overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, invalidating the criminalization of same-sex relationships and the right to marry for all loving couples. This year will mark the one-year anniversary of nationwide marriage equality.
While America has much to celebrate this Pride month, just last week a gunman shot and killed 49 people at an LGBT nightclub – the worst mass shooting in American history. Recent laws have also been enacted in North Carolina and Mississippi to allow open discrimination against LGBT individuals at work, in schools and throughout their communities. Additional states are considering similar measures, including Washington, and some in Congress are working on dangerous legislation to permit nationwide discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.
Observation of LGBT Equality Day allows our nation to not only celebrate how far we’ve come, but also reflect on how much work remains to ensure equal rights and protections for all.
DelBene will host a roundtable on LGBT Equality Monday, June 20 from 10-11 a.m. at Gay City’s Michael Henson Conference Room. Joining the Congresswoman are Roger Nyhus, Seattle Human Rights Campaign; Mary Yu, Associate Justice of the Washington Supreme Court; Joan Wilson, founder of the Society of Lucky Mothers; and local LGBT student Drake Wilson.