Melissa Etheridge on Sexual Orientation: ‘This Is What God, My Creator, Gave Me’

By Penny Starr | June 19, 2013 | 1:18 PM EDT

Singer, songwriter and lesbian activist Melissa Etheridge spoke at a gay 'pride' event Tuesday at the Justice Department. ( Starr)

( – Singer, songwriter and lesbian activist Melissa Etheridge said LGBT people have advanced their agenda, because they have accepted their sexual orientation.

“All of us agreed to wake up in the morning and go, ‘Indeed, this is who I am,’” Etheridge said at a gay “pride” event on Tuesday at the Department of Justice. “This is what God, my creator, gave me.”

Attorney General Eric Holder introduced Etheridge and lesbian Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) at the event to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees at the agency.

“The department is really working to recruit, to hire, to develop and to retain and support a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of the nation we are all privileged to serve,” Holder said.

Calling it the DOJ “family,” Holder said the agency “includes an increasing number of openly gay and lesbian United States attorneys, senior department leaders, United States marshals and career employees.”

Etheridge said the LGBT community is “part of history,” particularly if the Supreme Court rules in the coming weeks that the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8, which defines marriage as the union between one woman and one man, are unconstitutional.

“I believe we’re going to be part of history. We were the generation that just stepped forward in the most loving, rainbow kind of way,” Etheridge said.

“It’s an amazing time,” she added. “I’m proud to be part of it.”