OP-ED: The Importance of Celebrating Pride Month Amid GOP Attacks on the LGBTQ+ Community

As Wisconsinites celebrate Pride this month, many of us will explore and reflect on LGBTQ+ history, celebrate our local LGBTQ+ communities, have important conversations, and work on building a Wisconsin where everyone – regardless of our gender, sexuality, or how we identify – is guaranteed equal rights and freedoms. 

To make the Badger State a better and safer place for LGBTQ+ Wisconsinites to call home, it’s important that we hold this space and momentum not just for one month, but all year long. Part of that work is ensuring that our elected lawmakers support legislation that protects the rights and freedoms of our local LGBTQ+ communities, and holding accountable the politicians trying to do the opposite. 

During the most recent session of our state legislature, Democratic lawmakers introduced multiple LGBTQ+ affirming proposals, like the Wisconsin Equal Right Amendment, which would protect equal rights for LGBTQ+ Wisconsinites under our state constitution, as well as a bill that would expand nondiscrimination laws to make sure no Wisconsinite can be discriminated against based on their gender identity and expression.

But Republicans who have a majority in our legislature blocked every single pro-LGBTQ+ bill from becoming law this session and then introduced bills that would restrict the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ+ Wisconsinites.

For instance, GOP lawmakers introduced bills seeking to put politicians in charge of deciding what health care LGBTQ+ youth and their families have access to and what sports LGBTQ+ kids can play. They also introduced a bill targeted toward LGBTQ+ communities that would censor what our kids can learn in school. 

With these ongoing attacks on LGBTQ+ identities, it’s important we loudly stand with LGBTQ+ Wisconsinites and push back against the lies from politicians who are trying to control us.

This Pride Month and beyond, call your state legislator at 1-800-362-9472 and demand that we all deserve to live authentically without interference from politicians. 

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A Better Wisconsin Together is a state-based research and communications hub for progressives and is an affiliate of ProgressNow.