DelBene introduces LGBT Day legislation

By Steve Guntli

A Washington state congresswoman is spearheading a U.S. House of Representatives resolution to designate a day for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) rights.

Suzan DelBene of Washington’s District 1 (which includes Blaine, Birch Bay and Point Roberts) introduced HR549 on December 3. The resolution would designate June 26 as “LGBT Equality Day” nationwide.

June 26 was selected as it was the date the Supreme Court passed down three different landmark decisions against LGBT discrimination.

“In the last two decades, our nation has seen the Defense of Marriage Act overturned, an end to the criminalization of same-sex conduct and now nationwide marriage equality – all through Supreme Court decisions handed down on June 26,” DelBene said. “But even as same-sex couples enjoy the right to marry in all 50 states, LGBT people continue to face inequality and discrimination simply for who they are and who they love. My resolution designates June 26 as ‘LGBT Equality Day’ not only to celebrate how far we’ve come, but also to acknowledge how much work remains to be done.”

On June 26, 2003, the court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas to decriminalize the private intimate conduct of same-sex couples. In the June 26, 2013 case of United States v. Windsor, the court overturned section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that legally married same-sex couples were entitled to the same rights and benefits provided to opposite-sex couples.

Finally, in the June 26, 2015 decision of Obergefell v. Hodges, the court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all 50 states.

Ninety-three cosponsors joined DelBene in supporting the resolution, which was also supported by the Center for American Progress, the Human Rights Campaign and the National LGBT Equality Caucus.

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