OP-ED: Pride Month in Wisconsin – Letting LGBTQ+ Joy Outshine Right-Wing Attacks

In Wisconsin and nation-wide, the month of June commemorates LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

This month, Wisconsinites will celebrate the progress we’ve made, while also acknowledging the many challenges we still face in the movement to ensure we all have the freedom to be ourselves and pursue our dreams – regardless of who we love or how we identify.

Wisconsin is unique in that the Badger State is home to vibrant LGBTQ+ communities and has been the backdrop of monumental moments in LGBTQ+ history – being the first state to pass a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and the first state to elect three openly LGBTQ+ representatives to Congress.

Across the state, 14 cities and counties have banned the harmful and discredited practice of conversion therapy, and 2 counties along with 8 cities have passed nondiscrimination protections at the local level. Recently, the city of Racine joined Madison and Milwaukee with a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.

But, the same politicians who have worked for decades to dismantle freedoms like abortion rights are trying to tear down the great work being done in Wisconsin, by launching similar attacks against the LGBTQ+ community.

These politicians, like Republican Assembly Leader Robin Vos at the state level and Republican Congressman Tom Tiffany at the federal level, are trying to insert themselves into even more of our personal healthcare and lifestyle decisions, like: who we can marry, what sports our kids are allowed to play, what our kids learn in school, and what healthcare we pursue or have access to.

This Pride Month and beyond, we must come together as Wisconsinites to push back against anti-LGBTQ+ attacks and demand that our elected officials ensure the Badger State is a place where all are welcome, all feel safe, and LGBTQ+ joy shines through – because regardless of identity, we all deserve to live authentically and love freely 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.