Each year in June, we celebrate our friends, family, and neighbors who make up Ohio’s LGBTQ community, and recommit ourselves to fighting for a more just and inclusive society. That’s why, for the fourth year in a row, I’ve led my Senate Democratic colleagues in introducing a resolution recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month.
I first introduced a Senate resolution to mark Pride month in 2017, after President Trump refused to issue an official presidential proclamation, breaking an eight-year tradition and turning his back on millions of LGBTQ Americans.
Our resolution highlights the contributions LGBTQ Americans have made to our country, notes several major milestones in the fight for equal treatment of LGBTQ Americans, and resolves to continue efforts to achieve full equality for everyone.
But this resolution serves as more than just a symbolic act – it’s also a reminder of our past and a mission statement for the future.
Because we know there’s more work to be done.
Just this month, 25-year-old Riah Milton, a transgender Black woman, was brutally murdered in Liberty Township. We know that Black transgender women are attacked and killed at vastly disproportionate rates.
And last Friday evening, on the four-year anniversary of the tragic Pulse nightclub shooting, the Trump administration finalized a rule that would roll back protections for transgender patients in health care.
As we reaffirm that Black Lives Matter and Black Trans Lives Matter, it’s on all of us to put those words into action, fight this administration’s efforts to drag us backward, and work to prevent tragedies like the murder of Ms. Milton from ever happening again.
Fortunately, we were also heartened this week by the ruling from the Supreme Court that affirmed what so many of us already knew: workplace discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity is a violation of Americans’ civil rights.
This was an important win for our state and our country and we shouldn’t stop here. I’ll continue pushing Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans to take up and pass the Equality Act to unequivocally ban discrimination based on sexual identity or gender identity in all areas of life, ranging from employment to housing to education.
As we take time this month to recognize Pride Month, we also recommit ourselves to fighting for the rights of LGBTQ Americans and a more just society for all.