On Sunday, we marked the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). IDAHOT is a day to celebrate the advances we’ve made toward equality and justice for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender neighbors, family members, co-workers, and fellow citizens. It is also a day to examine the steps we can take to end discrimination and to commit ourselves to that work.
In the Senate, I was proud to support the passage of meaningful hate crimes legislation that is now law. Our bill sent a clear message to everyone that the civil rights of all Americans matter. I was also proud to help lead the effort to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which also extended legal protections to same-sex couples.
Despite these and other advances, a number of governments around the world have proposed or enacted laws that aim to curb rights for LGBT organizations, making it difficult for them to find support — and for their voices to be heard.
IDAHOT is an important day and an important reminder of the work still remaining to ensure none of us face discrimination or the threat of violence just because of who we are. Let’s all work together to end this intolerance.