SANTA FE, NM -- Today, Governor Bill Richardson released the following statement regarding Gay Lesbian Bisexual & Transgender Pride Month:
"I am very pleased to join my friends in the GLBT community and Americans across the country in celebrating Pride Month. This month is a deserved commemoration of the contributions of GLBT Americans to the United States and a welcome symbol of how far we have come as a nation.
"We must also acknowledge that we are in the midst of a difficult struggle for basic human rights and we have a long way to go. This month is a worthy symbol of our progress towards full civil rights for every American, but we cannot ignore the challenges we still must conquer before we can truly move forward and create a better society.
"I have been a strong, dedicated, and proud supporter of the GLBT community throughout my time in public service. In Congress, I voted against the Pentagon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. I continue to believe that it is wrong, shamefully wrong. This policy is not only detrimental to GLBT Americans, it is harmful to the security of every American, as badly-needed military personnel are discharged for no other reason than that they are gay or lesbian.
"As Governor of New Mexico, I have led the charge for equality in my state. We expanded anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity. We provided state health insurance for domestic partnerships. And I signed into law the state's first hate crimes legislation for crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. I have fought hard for a Domestic Partner Rights Act in New Mexico and I will not stop fighting until the legislation is passed.
"As President, I will not rest until we have fulfilled America's most basic promise -- that every human being is created equal and that every American is due certain basic, inalienable rights. I know that until the human rights of every American are guaranteed, the rights of all Americans are demeaned."