While each year we celebrate America’s independence with family and friends, this year we have something extra to celebrate.

Last Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down bans on marriage equality in all 50 states, granting same-sex couples the same rights as all other married, committed couples.

“This ruling is a victory for America,” President Obama said. “This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts. When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.”

As we celebrate America’s independence and this historic ruling, we should remember that there is more work to do for LGBT rights.

Millions of LGBT people in all 50 states are denied explicit, reliable protections from discrimination in the workplace, as well as housing and public accommodations.

Approximately 225 American cities and counties prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment ordinances that governed all public and private employers in those jurisdictions.

We are still facing staggering rates of HIV in the U.S. and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States are gay and bisexual men.

Earlier this year, HRC documented high rates of anti-transgender violence, particularly against transgender women of color. While conversations about the transgender community are growing, we must continue to combat violence and advocate for full inclusion.

All children and youth, including LGBT children and those with LGBT parents, deserve to feel supported at home, in school and in the community.

There are LGBT people around the world live in fear and isolation because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. They can be criminalized just for being their true, authentic selves. 

Today, we reaffirm our commitment the LGBT community, at home and abroad, as we embark on a continued journey for progress, equality and change.

Filed under: Community, SCOTUS

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