Progress is not a straight line

Dear Friend,

Today marks the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, when, in response to a pattern of discriminatory and violent police crackdowns, LGBTQ patrons of New York City's Stonewall Inn stood up and fought back. That historic uprising against bigotry and injustice sparked a movement that continues today. 

Reflecting on this history reminds us that the victories for equality--from marriage equality and nondiscrimination laws to civil rights and health care reform--have not come without a fight. While Pride this year is very different because of the pandemic, I couldn't be prouder to stand with New Mexico's LGBTQ community in celebrating how far we have come. That includes the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously affirming in 2013 the right of same-sex partners to marry in the state. And the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling last week that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers can no longer discriminate against any Americans on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. These new workplace protections for LGBTQ Americans are a monumental step forward that move us closer to full equality under the law. 
However, we still have so much unfinished work to do. We need to finally pass the Equality Act, federal legislation that would ban all discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex. I also will continue to stand up against the Trump administration’s attempts to strip legal protections and opportunities away from transgender Americans. We can’t allow hatred and bigotry to thwart the progress we've made.
We must also include the LGBTQ community in our work to rebuild our country and address racial and economic injustice. That means being mindful of the unique challenges and more severe disparities that people of color and immigrants within the LGBTQ community continue to face. They must be part of our effort to ensure every one of us has equal health care access, employment opportunities, fair housing, physical safety, and a true sense of belonging.
As we remember our history and envision a better future, I join New Mexico's diverse LGBTQ community in continuing to march forward to full equality and opportunity for all. Because every single American, no matter who they are or who they love, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. 

Sincerely,

MARTIN HEINRICH

United States Senator