Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi attends the ceremony commemorating the Harvey Milk Forever Stamp’s first day of issue and honors the life and legacy of Harvey Milk, a San Francisco hero who dedicated his life to the fundamental American value of equality.
San Francisco is blessed with a large and vibrant LGBTQ community and a strong history of advocacy for equal rights for all. Since my first day in Congress, ending discrimination against the LGBTQ community and advancing full equality has been a top priority. I have continuously supported legislation that expands protections for LGBTQ Americans and honors the beautiful diversity that enriches our community.
With the tireless support of generations of LGBTQ leaders, advocates and citizens, we have made great strides in Congress toward ensuring and protecting equal rights for every American: including by passing historic, fully-inclusive hate crimes legislation, tossing the hateful “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy into the dustbin of history and defeating the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. Together, we celebrated as the Supreme Court issued one of the most transformative and magnificent decisions in the history of our country: Obergefell v. Hodges, recognizing marriage equality as a fundamental right for every American, everywhere.
In the 116th Congress, our House Democratic Majority proudly passed H.R. 5, the Equality Act, historic legislation to finally end anti-LGBTQ discrimination once and for all. The Equality Act extends anti-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity with regard to employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing and public accommodations. And to honor the LGBTQ Americans who bravely serve our nation, House Democrats fought relentlessly against the Trump Administration’s shameful, un-American transgender military service ban, purpose-built to hurt and humiliate these patriotic Americans.
Now, working with the new Biden-Harris Administration, our unified Democratic Congress will be committed to the bedrock promise of equality and justice for all. I strongly support President Biden’s Executive Order reversing the hateful transgender ban and recognizing the courage and dedication of all those willing and able to serve our nation. And, in Congress, Democrats will once again pass the landmark Equality Act, and we will not rest until its vital protections are enacted into law.
We will continue to advance progress until we end the discrimination that undermines our democracy, ensuring that all Americans, regardless of who you are or whom you love, are viewed equally in the eyes of the law. The fight for equality demands our persistent efforts to honor our fundamental values of fairness and justice as we work to build a brighter future for all.