51 years ago, the historic Stonewall riots changed the course of LGBTQ+ history forever. Led by trans women of color, patrons at the Stonewall Inn fought back against police brutality, and against the criminalization of their existence.
We’ve had a lot of victories since then. The Stonewall Uprising was a catalyst for real change in America, and led to the formation of several gay rights organizations still in existence. We've worked hard to build a world that welcomes diversity in sexuality and gender. In 2015, although long overdue, the Supreme Court finally legalized same sex marriage nationwide.
Another huge victory came just days ago, when the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- which bans employment discrimination based on religion, race, national origin, and sex -- includes protections against discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity or expression. The landmark decision is a step in the right direction, ensuring that people can no longer be fired for who they love or their gender identity.
But we still have a long way to go to build a just and equal world for all LGBTQIA+ people. Last week, the Trump administration rolled back protections for trans and gender non-conforming individuals, who are already disproportionately affected by medical discrimination and bias. All too often, trans and gender non-conforming people can still be discriminated against in public accommodations, federally funded housing, and accessing important public services.
LGBTQ+ community members are also at heightened risk of violence due to bigotry. On June 12th, we mourned the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in which 49 people were killed. Just this month, two Black trans women were senselessly murdered, Dominique "Rem'mie" Fells and Riah Milton. Black trans women and trans women of color who face some of the highest rates of violence in the country. We as a country have continually failed to protect these women, who face disproportionate violence both at the hands of community members and the state. LGBTQ+ youth still suffer from bullying, harassment, violence, and increased suicide attempts. The scourges of racism, police brutality, inadequate health care, and gun violence affect the LGBTQ+ community, often disproportionately. We must end the hatred and violence still directed towards our LGBTQ+ loved ones and neighbors.
We celebrate Pride this month, and the progress that has been made towards a more fair and equitable society. We rejoice in the vibrance of our LGBTQ+ community. And we commit to continue working for justice, inclusivity, and equal rights for all people.
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Kelda Roys for State Senate
PO Box 231
Madison WI 53701 United States
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