Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Obama Address Stirs Gay Leaders

At least we have come to a point where Obama is more LGBT inclusive in his State of the Union Address. Early in his speech he stated, “It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard & meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.” Then later addressing gay & lesbians in the military he added, “We will ensure equal treatment for all service members & equal benefits for their families – gay & straight.” Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director Family Equality Council stated, “Tonight the President made clear that every American deserves to have a shot at the American dream regardless of where they live, what they look like or who they love.” Allyson Robinson, Veteran & Executive Director OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network stated, “President Obama was very clear tonight in his assertion that lesbian & gay service members & their families must be treated equally by the nation they serve.” However Rea Carey Executive Director National Gay & Lesbian Task Force stated, “We have often said that President Obama is the most pro-LGBT president in history. His first term was filled with monumental gains for LGBT people & our families, including the passage of a federal hate crimes law, repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ & his declaration of support for the freedom to marry for same-gender couples. But the state of the union for many LGBT people remains one of economic inequality & insecurity. We urge President Obama to use his leadership to help get us over the finish line during his second term.” Carey added that the president should issue an executive order banning companies that contract with the federal government from discriminating in employment based on sexual orientation & gender identity. And that President Obama should “pressure” Congress to pass ENDA the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.


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