Thursday, September 2, 2010

Okay, but what about jobs?

In its first 19 months, the Obama Administration has...

By Andrew Tobias | Contact

Democratic National Committee DNC Equality Tobias

DNC treasurer Andrew Tobias is the author of several books, including The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need and The Best Little Boy in the World.




  1. Reversed an inexcusable US position by signing the UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
  2. Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees in 2009 and, further, in 2010
  3. Endorsed the Baldwin-Lieberman bill, The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009, to provide FULL partnership benefits to federal employees
  4. Signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act
  5. Lifted the HIV Entry Ban effective January 2010
  6. Released the first Presidential PRIDE proclamations since 2000
  7. Hosted the first LGBT Pride Month Celebration in White House history
  8. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Harvey Milk and Billie Jean King
  9. Appointed the first ever transgender DNC member
  10. Issued diplomatic passports, and provided other benefits, to the partners of same-sex foreign service employees
  11. Committed to ensuring that HUD’s core housing programs are open to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity 
  12. Conceived a National Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Elders -- the nation's first ever -- funded by a three-year HHS grant to SAGE
  13. Testified in favor of ENDA, the first time any official of any administration has testified in the Senate on ENDA
  14. Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded existing United States federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability -- the first positive federal LGBT legislation in the nation's history
  15. Hired and appointed a record number of qualified LGBT Americans (like these), including more than 15 Senate-confirmed appointments
  16. Sworn in Ambassador David Huebner
  17. Changed the culture of government everywhere from – among others – HUD and HHS to the Export-Import Bank, the State Department, and the Department of Education

18.  Appointed Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, instead of conservatives who would have tilted the Court even further to the right and virtually doomed our rights for a generation.  To wit (quoting McCain): "I've said a thousand times on this campaign trail, I've said as often as I can, that I want to find clones of Alito and Roberts.  I worked as hard as anybody to get them confirmed. I look you in the eye and tell you I've said a thousand times that I wanted Alito and Roberts.  I have told anybody who will listen. I flat-out tell you I will have people as close to Roberts and Alito [as possible]."

19.  Named open transgender appointees (the first President ever to do so)

20.  Banned job discrimination based on gender identity throughout the Federal government (the nation's largest employer)

  1. Emphasized LGBT inclusion in everything from the President’s historic NAACP address (“The pain of discrimination is still felt in America.  By African American women paid less for doing the same work as colleagues of a different color and a different gender.  By Latinos made to feel unwelcome in their own country.  By Muslim Americans viewed with suspicion simply because they kneel down to pray to their God.  By our gay brothers and sisters, still taunted, still attacked, still denied their rights.”) . . . to the first paragraph of his Family Day proclamation (“Whether children are raised by two parents, a single parent, grandparents, a same-sex couple, or a guardian, families encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things”) and his Mothers Day proclamation ("Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by two parents, a single mother, two mothers, a step-mom, a grandmother, or a guardian.  Mother's Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate these extraordinary caretakers") . . . to creating the chance for an adorable 10-year-old at the White House Easter Egg roll to tell ABC World News how cool it is to have two mommies . . . to including the chair of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce along with the Secretary of the Treasury and the President of Goldman Sachs in the small audience for the President’s economic address at the New York Stock Exchange . . . to welcoming four gay couples to its first State Dinner
  2. Recommitted, in a televised address, to passing ENDA . . . repealing Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell  . . . repealing the so-called Defense of Marriage Act
  3. Spoken out against discrimination at the National Prayer Breakfast ("We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are -- whether it's here in the United States or, as Hillary mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda.")
  4. Dispatched the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to call on the Senate to repeal Don't Ask / Don't Tell, in the meantime dialing back on discharges
  5. Launched a website to gather public comment on first-ever federal LGBT housing discrimination study
  6. Appointed long-time equality champion Chai Feldblum one of the four Commissioners of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  7. Eliminated the discriminatory Census Bureau policy that kept our relationships from being counted, encouraging couples who consider themselves married to file that way, even if their state of residence does not yet permit legal marriage
  8. Produced U.S. Census Bureau PSAs featuring gay, lesbian, and transgender spokespersons.
  9. Instructed HHS to require any hospital receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds (virtually all hospitals) to allow LGBT visitation rights.
  10. Appointed Retired Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer, an early public champion of open service in the military, to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services
  11. Required all grant applicants seeking HUD funding to comply with state and local anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT individuals.
  12. Adopted transgender recommendations on the issuance of gender-appropriate passports that will ease barriers to safe travel and that will provide government-issued ID that avoids involuntary "outing" in situations requiring ID, like hiring, where a gender-appropriate driver's license or birth certificate is not available
  13. Extended domestic violence protections to LGBT victims
  14. Publicly invited shunned MIssissippi high school prom student to the White House 
  15. Extended the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover employees taking unpaid leave to care for the children of same-sex partners
  16. Issued guidance specifically to assist LGBT tenants denied housing on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity
  17. Issued a National HIV/AIDS Strategy praised as "long-overdue" by the Task Force, Lambda and others
  18. Successfully fought for UN accreditation of IGLHRC (the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission) -- against Republican attempts to block it
  19. Convened the first-ever anti-bullying summit to craft a national strategy to reduce bullying in schools.

The Administration will continue to make steady progress on our issues whether we help strengthen its hand or not.  But the stronger it is, the faster that progress will come



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