Attorney General Eric Holder, Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and singer Melissa Etheridge were among the speakers at a Department of Justice event on Tuesday marking Gay Pride month.

The program, which took place in The Great Hall of the RFK Main Justice Building in Washington, D.C., was themed “Celebrating a Year of Firsts.”

In his remarks, Holder touted the agency's accomplishments.

“Under the landmark Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act – which President Obama signed into law in 2009 – we've strengthened our ability to hold accountable those who commit acts of violence that are motivated by someone's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability – and to achieve justice on behalf of all who are victimized simply because of who they are, or who they love. Over the last two fiscal years alone, we've convicted the most defendants on hate crimes charges in more than a decade. Beyond this work – as part of an Administration-wide commitment to stopping harassment, bullying, and abusive behavior – we have partnered with a variety of agencies, including the Department of Education, to forge new alliances between educators, school administrators, and anti-bullying advocates. We're drawing on the knowledge of experts as well as law enforcement professionals in seeking to promote healthy educational environments. And we're leading by example in this regard, by working to create an open and welcoming environment right here at the Department.”

“Through the internal Diversity Management Initiative I launched in 2010, the Department is working to recruit, hire, develop, retain, and support a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of the nation we're privileged to serve. We're expanding programs for promoting fairness, equality, and opportunity for every member of the DOJ family, which today includes an increasing number of openly gay and lesbian U.S. Attorneys, senior Department leaders, U.S. Marshals, and career employees.”

“As many of you know, two years ago, I approved and expanded the Department's Equal Employment Opportunity Policy to include – for the first time – explicit protections against gender identity-based discrimination. And this morning, I'm pleased to report that – earlier this year – I approved the establishment of a formal LGBT 'Special Emphasis Program' that will help us take these efforts to a new level – by helping to provide the opportunities, and instill the respect, that every public servant needs to develop, to grow, and to thrive – both personally and professionally.”

Holder also noted two cases related to gay marriage currently before the Supreme Court, saying that “we must recommit ourselves to the work that – however the cases are decided – will remain undone.”