For many years, while the focus of our community has been on marriage equality, many of us have been calling for FULL equality legislation for LGBT people. Not the crappy ENDA with its ridiculous religious exemptions that Human Rights Campaign (HRC) supported even as it died. Even most in our own community failed to set the benchmark and when we asked leadership in powerful organizations, or even a gay man in Congress to support such a Bill, we were told the time was not right and that we would have to wait until appropriate. yes even our own said setting the ultimate benchmark was not appropriate. Finally, well after marriage equality started its win streak, and was won, some saw fit to finally introduce the necessary legislation. I am cutting a long complex story short.
So I guess the time is right when we can lay it on the souls of our 49 beloved martyrs?
Now Jeff Merkley, a true LGBT ally, is circulating a petition to finally get our Equality Act passed. When it does happen I for one will have to lay it at the graves of the dead 49, andf at the feet of the 53 injured, yes the 102 plus all those inside and directly impacted by the Pulse massacre. it is them who will probably have to thank.
Here is today’s email from Senator Merkley:
All of us have a heavy heart this LGBT Pride Month. Forty-nine brilliant lives were cut short, and countless more changed forever as a result of this senseless act of hate. Together we mourn.
And together we will show our resilience and our support for the LGBT community in Orlando and across the nation. This attack will not stop the parades and celebrations happening in communities large and small. It will not prevent all of the one-year anniversaries of couples married in the days following the Supreme Court marriage equality decision. And it will not stop us from fighting for full equality and an end to hate and discrimination.
This attack, and other too-frequent hate crimes against LGBT Americans, speak to the importance of our fight for equality. In Florida, and many other places in America, you can still be fired because of who you love. You can be kicked out of a restaurant or movie theater for holding hands with a same-sex partner. You can be evicted from your apartment for being gay or transgender.
When the law fails to protect — or even worse, when public officials make comments and push legislation to actively discriminate — it feeds a culture of hate and intolerance. We need to end discrimination across this country. We need to fully embrace our constitutional vision of opportunity for every single American. We need to pass the Equality Act and end LGBT discrimination in the workplace and public accommodations. That’s how we reject the hate and realize the vision of equality, opportunity, and dignity for all Americans.