It is disturbing that we still must talk about this issue. Historical we have already had to fight this, at home and abroad – and yet today we are seeing a resurgence of bigotry, hate, and discrimination based on religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, ethnicity, and country of origin. We are better than this! We are better together, and we can accomplish more together, when we realize that these so-called differences are truly artificial. Bottom line… we all bleed red. We need laws to protect minorities, and we need the willingness to enforce them. People need to feel safe and secure in all manner of public accommodation. This issue is quite personal to me, and probably to many others. I have a daughter, whom I love dearly, who is gay. I will go to my grave fighting for her right to be who she is – not who anyone else thinks she should be.

Protections in housing, employment, education, marriage, parenting rights, and health care are essential to ensuring the equal pursuit of happiness and economic security for all individuals and their families. I will continue to work with others across our state to fight discrimination and bullying – and to make equality for everyone a reality.