In observance of June as the month to celebrate LGBT Pride, US President Barack Obama has issued a proclamation to observe June 2015 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.
Obama’s proclamation noted that “tremendous progress has been won by determined individuals who stood up, spoke out, and shared their stories.” For instance, in April 2015, Obama’s Executive Order on LGBT Workplace Discrimination went into effect to prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Over the course of more than two centuries of striving and sacrifice, our country has expanded civil rights and enshrined equal protections into our Constitution. Through struggle and setback, we see a common trajectory toward a more free and just society. But we are also reminded that we are not truly equal until every person is afforded the same rights and opportunities – that when one of us experiences discrimination, it affects all of us – and that our journey is not complete until our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” Obama’s proclamation stated.
Obama, nonetheless, noted that “too many individuals continue to encounter discrimination and unfair treatment.” These include conversion therapy for minors even if the overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that it can cause substantial harm; bullying and harassment in classrooms; finding welcoming and affordable housing; and the disproportionate burden HIV has on communities of gay and bisexual men and transgender women.
Obama also stressed the need to champion protections and support for LGBT persons around the world because “we know LGBT rights are human rights.”
“All people deserve to live with dignity and respect, free from fear and violence, and protected against discrimination, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” Obama’s proclamation further stated.
During LGBT Pride month, “we celebrate the proud legacy LGBT individuals have woven into the fabric of our Nation, we honor those who have fought to perfect our Union, and we continue our work to build a society where every child grows up knowing that their country supports them, is proud of them, and has a place for them exactly as they are.”