Congresswoman Barbara Lee Commemorates the 52nd Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) today released the following statement commemorating the 52nd  anniversary of the Stonewall riots:

"On June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, the police arrested LGBTQ+ patrons on fabricated charges that were based solely on prejudice.  Frustrated by this mistreatment, Marsha P. Johnson, a Black drag queen, and Sylvia Rivera, a Latina queen, led the demonstration as the first two to actively resist the police. As we take today to recognize this remarkable achievement, we must honor and remember that it was a movement born out of resistance and a push for LGBTQ+ liberation. 

"In the last half-century, we have made incredible advances for LGBTQ+ rights. However, despite these accomplishments, we still see hatred, violence, and discrimination perpetrated against the LGBTQ+ community. Just five years ago, 49 people were killed at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando as a result of LGBTQ+ discrimination. There is also persistent violence against the transgender and gender-nonconforming community as trans people are almost four times more likely to experience police violence and seven times more likely to experience physical violence when interacting with police.

"Pride Month and every month, we must champion the certainty that love is love and every person should be able to celebrate their authentic self.  I am proud to be a founding member and Vice-Chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus and have spent my Congressional career fighting to ensure equality for LGBTQ+ people.  

“I was proud to support the Equality Act in the House, which ensures that all LGBTQ+ individuals are granted the full protections guaranteed by federal civil rights law.  I will keep fighting until it passes the Senate and President Biden signs it into law.  

“The LGBTQ+ community has shown leadership from our teachers, soldiers, parents, and leaders. It is our responsibility to continue the fight for liberation just as those in Stonewall did before us.”