Schakowsky Statement Recognizing Pride Month
EVANSTON – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Founding Member of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, issued the following statement recognizing Pride Month 2021:
“As we start LGBTQ Pride Month this year, I join the community in recognizing the progress our nation has made and acknowledging the challenges that remain. The first Pride was a riot, where trans women of color led the fight against police brutality and intimidation that had become the standard for LGBTQ gathering places. In 2021, many in the community continue to face hate or harassment because of the gender identity or expression, or their sexual orientation.
“In the face of those challenges, I am proud to stand with the community to fight for inclusion, opportunity, justice, and equality. I represent one of the most diverse and vibrant districts in the country, with a significant LGBTQ population and an array of businesses and organizations run by and serving the LGBTQ community. Representation matters and I am proud to see LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government in our area, from local Aldermen to State Representatives and Senators. In the Congress, I serve with a record number 11 openly LGBTQ Members of Congress. And more than ever around the country and in Illinois, we are seeing trans people getting elected to office and appointed to the highest levels of government.
“We are also making our official language and legal terms more inclusive. The House of Representatives started this Congress by setting Rules of the House for 117th Congress that used gender neutral terms. And as we write laws and update language, we are making sure that they are written in an inclusive way, from the tax code to health care to consumer protection.
“We must pass the Equality Act. The House has already voted and passed it on to the Senate. I will continue to push for my colleagues to take up this important piece of legislation that will protect millions of LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in areas from work to housing, and others.
“As state legislatures across the country push anti-trans legislation to address a problem that does not exist, we must do all we can to ensure an end to this hate-motivated targeting of a community that already sees the highest numbers of violent attacks and suicide. We should be addressing solutions to these issues that cost precious LGBTQ lives every year, not fanning the flames of hate.”