(August 6, 2015) Today is the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which prohibited racial discrimination in voting, and expanded the enfranchisement of African-Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities.

The U.S. Supreme Court greatly diminished the scope and power of the VRA in 2013, when they ruled in Shelby Country v. Holder that Section 4(b) of the Act is unnecessary and unconstitutional.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders joined the call today for restoration of the Voting Rights Act, and issued the following statement from Executive Director Janson Wu:

“The right to vote is the bedrock of the democracy that we cherish.  But as we speak, states, counties and cities all across the country are pushing through laws making it harder for marginalized people to vote. Today it’s not enough for us to commemorate the great achievement of the Voting Rights Act – we must take action to restore its scope and power.  We must lift our voices and urge our members of Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act.”