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Congressman Dan Kildee Recognizes LGBT Pride Month

courtesy U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) issued a statement in recognition of June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month:

“June marks LGBT Pride Month, a time when we both celebrate the progress we have made recently toward equality and also when we refocus and redouble our efforts to continue fighting injustices we see in society. We have made great strides this past year for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters. And this LGBT Pride Month, I’m proud to continue standing with you as a strong advocate fighting for equality in Congress.

“The recent progress we have seen toward equal rights has been nothing short of extraordinary, particularly in Michigan. This past March, a federal judge rightfully declared Michigan’s decade-old discriminatory same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. This historic ruling extended a basic principle – that you have the right to marry whom you love – to every Michigander, regardless of sexual orientation. Several additional states – including two more in just the past two weeks – now recognize marriage equality. Challenges to discriminatory marriage bans continue to fall state by state, most recently in Pennsylvania, where the state’s Republican governor decided not to defend its discriminatory ban. It is my sincere hope that in Michigan, our Governor and Attorney General will recognize that in continuing to defend our state’s discriminatory marriage ban, they are not only wasting millions of taxpayer dollars, but are also on the wrong side of history. These recent court rulings in favor of marriage equality have been a victory not just for gay couples, but also their families and children.

“However, despite recent progress in marriage rights across the country, LGBT Michiganders and Americans continue to face injustices, including in the workplace.  In Michigan and in 28 other states, you can still be fired simply if your boss thinks you are gay. I have cosponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in Congress to ensure that members of the LGBT community are protected in the workplace. Unfortunately, House Republican leadership has so far failed to bring it up for a vote, despite bipartisan action already in the U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, local municipalities in my district – including most recently in Bay City – have adopted policies to strengthen protections in the workplace. Others communities, including Saginaw and Fenton, continue to debate such inclusive policies. I applaud these communities for acting where the U.S. House of Representatives has so far failed to.

“Simply put, this is about equality for everyone. LGBT Michiganders and Americans want nothing more than the same basic fairness afforded to other Americans. That includes protections in the workplace from unfair discrimination and having the opportunity to marry whom they love. We’ve made great progress recently, but the fight is not yet over. I look forward to continuing to work with the LGBT community and allies in Michigan to ensure that with each step forward in the fight for equality, we are making progress toward a more inclusive society.”

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