RELEASE: Gottheimer Delivers Speech in Support of LGBTQ+ Equality on the House Floor

Highlights efforts to safeguard marriage equality, stop anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, and protect LGBTQ+ elders

Jun 28, 2024
Press

Above: Gottheimer delivers a speech in support of LGBTQ+ equality on the House floor.

WASHINGTON, DC  — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) delivered a speech in support of LGBTQ+ equality as part of the Equality Caucus’s Pride Month Special Order. Gottheimer, a member of the Equality Caucus, highlighted his record in Congress advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and his work to stop anti-LGBTQ+ extremists.

Video of Gottheimer’s remarks can be found here.

“LGBTQ+ rights are personal for me, and so many other Americans across the country. For the sake of our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and friends, we can’t — and won’t — let extremists roll back the clock on progress,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Let’s never forget the words at the heart of our country, found in the Declaration of Independence: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ The best way that we can forward the Founders’ vision is by standing for LGBTQ+ equality.”

Gottheimer’s work to advance LGBTQ+ equality includes: 

Standing up for LGBTQ+ rights is more critical than ever. So far this year, the ACLU has tracked 515 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in America’s state legislatures.

Gottheimer’s remarks as prepared for delivery: 

M__ Speaker, I rise tonight in support of LGBTQ+ equality, a domain in which we’ve made so progress but still have a way to go. I want to thank Congressman Mark Takano of California, a co-chair of the Equality Caucus, for coordinating tonight’s Pride Month Special Order.

Yesterday was Equality Day, the anniversary of three Supreme Court decisions that transformed LGBTQ+ rights here in the United States: Lawrence v. Texas, United States v. Windsor, and Obergefell v. Hodges. In just over two decades, we made a century’s worth of progress, decriminalizing homosexuality and guaranteeing marriage equality nationally.

And yet, in the midst of this monumental progress, there are forces here in Congress and state legislatures that want to pull us backward. So far this year, the ACLU is tracking 515 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in our state legislatures, embedding hate and cruelty into the letter of the law.

LGBTQ+ rights are personal for me, and so many other Americans across the country. For the sake of our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and friends, we can’t — and won’t — let extremists roll back the clock on progress.

The monumental progress I highlighted just a minute ago originated in the Courts. I’m deeply grateful that the Courts made the right decision on issues like marriage equality, but we shouldn’t have to rely on the whims of nine justices. We need to make these victories permanent through Congress. That’s why in 2022, I helped pass the bipartisan, bicameral Respect for Marriage Law, which enshrines marriage equality into federal law. 

We can — and must — do the same when it comes to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. I’m incredibly proud to be a member of the Equality Caucus and a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, which will ban this discrimination outright. We’ve now passed the Equality Act twice through the House. I urge House leadership to bring it up for a vote once again. Equal treatment isn’t a partisan issue. We can send a message of acceptance to our country by sending this bill to the President’s desk.

Finally, we must stop the mistreatment of our LGBTQ+ community. That’s why I am introducing the Elder Pride Protection Act with Congresswoman Angie Craig of Minnesota, an Equality Caucus Co-Chair, which will combat the runaway abuse facing LGBTQ+ seniors nationwide. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this critical, humane legislation.

Let’s never forget the words at the heart of our country, found in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The best way that we can forward the Founders’ vision is by standing for LGBTQ+ equality.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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