Celebrating LGBTQ Equality

Dear Friend,

Yesterday marked the anniversary of three important decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court to advance the rights and protections of the LGBTQ community. Fourteen years ago, in Lawrence v. Texas, the Court invalidated laws that criminalized the private intimate conduct of same-sex couples. Four years ago, in United States v. Windsor, the Court ruled against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, ensuring that legally married same-sex couples would receive the same rights, benefits, and protections provided by marriage under federal law. And two years ago, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Court ruled that same-sex couples nationwide have a constitutional right to marry.

Each decision was a historic step in the march to full equality, and that is why I was proud to cosponsor a resolution in the United States Senate sponsored by Senator Tammy Baldwin to recognize June 26, 2017, as LGBTQ Equality Day.

Earlier this month, I was honored to celebrate Pride with the LGBTQ community in Albuquerque and recognize the work of so many tireless advocates. While we celebrate the significant advances that the LGBTQ community has achieved, we must also recognize that there is still so much work to do. LGBTQ people across the country are still vulnerable to discrimination in many aspects of their lives, often with little recourse. They still risk being fired, evicted, or denied access to a business simply because of who they are. I continue to support the Equality Act, which would expand existing federal civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, jury service, public accommodations, and federal funding.

As we recognize LGBTQ Equality Day, I hope you will join me in helping to make our communities safe and welcoming places for all of our neighbors, families, and friends – no matter who they are or who they love. I am proud to stand up for New Mexico's LGBTQ community, and I remain fully committed to doing whatever I can to create a fairer, more just society for every New Mexican.

Sincerely,

MARTIN HEINRICH

United States Senator