Thursday, November 29, 2012

White House LGBT Update: Dignity, Equality, and Justice


The White House

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Good morning,

Today, I have a number of important updates to share with you.  From observing World AIDS Day to commemorating the 20th Anniversary of GLIFAA to marking Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Obama Administration is firmly committed to advancing dignity, equality, and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. 

Feel free to share this news with your colleagues and networks, and please encourage them to sign up for updates.

Gautam Raghavan
Office of Public Engagement
The White House 

Watch Live: White House Observes World AIDS Day

A red ribbon is displayed on the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 30, 2010, in advance of World AIDS Day. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) (Official White House Photo)

Later today, the White House will observe World AIDS Day with an event you can watch online at  Senior leaders will discuss the progress we have made over the last year, including towards meeting the targets set by President Obama one year ago, and the next steps we will be taking to turn the tide on this epidemic.

Watch live starting at 1:00 p.m. EST

And then check out this blog post on World AIDS Day by Grant Colfax, Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, and Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development and Democracy for the National Security Staff.

What Does $2,000 Mean to You?

President Barack Obama delivers remarks regarding the need for Congress to extend the middle class tax cuts, in the South Court Auditorium of the White House, Nov. 28, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Yesterday, surrounded by Americans who had written into the White House in support of his plan, President Obama renewed his call to prevent a tax increase on the middle class.

"If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year," the President said. "A typical middle-class family of four would see its income taxes go up by $2,200. That's $2,200 out of people's pockets. That means less money for buying groceries, less money for filling prescriptions, less money for buying diapers. It means a tougher choice between paying the rent and paying tuition. And middle-class families just can't afford that right now."

To help find an agreement President Obama pledged to keep up the pressure -- meeting with lawmakers, labor leaders, and business executives. And he called on the American people to speak up and add their own voices to the debate.

Add your voice - tell us what $2,000 means to you and your family.

Secretary Clinton Commemorates the 20th Anniversary of GLIFAA

Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA), the State Department's officially recognized employee affinity group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees.

Today, under the leadership of Secretary Clinton, LGBT employees at the State Department and their families have a level of benefits and recognition never before seen in foreign affairs agencies of the U.S. government. 

In closing her remarks, Secretary Clinton noted:

So this is not the end of the story. There's always more we can do to live our values and tap the talents of our people. It's going to be an ongoing task for future Secretaries of State and Administrators at AID and for people at every level of our government. So even as we celebrate 20 years with Ben Franklin looking down at us, I want you to leave this celebration thinking about what more each and every one of you can do – those who are currently serving in our government, those who have served in the past, and those who I hope will decide to serve – to make not only the agencies of our government but our world more just and free for all people.

Read Secretary Clinton's remarks and watch archived video of the event

White House Commemorates Transgender Day of Remembrance

On Tuesday, November 20th, a group of transgender community advocates met with Administration officials to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance and discuss ways in which we can work together to ensure dignity, equality, and justice for all people.

The Obama Administration is committed to preventing violence against all people, including all members of the LGBT community, and this meeting was an important opportunity to explore ways to make our communities and neighborhoods safer.

Read more about the meeting

Spread the Word: Summer 2013 White House Internship Program Application

The application deadline for the Summer 2013 White House Internship Program is January 27, 2013!

White House Interns are a wonderfully diverse group of community leaders and campus trailblazers. They come from all over the country and have unique dreams. They begin the Internship Program with a passion for public service, and during their time at the White House, they find ways to couple that passion with new skills so that they're better equipped to serve after their internships are done. 

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, 18 years of age on or before the first day of the internship, and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution)
  • Graduated from an undergraduate or graduate program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution) no more than two years before the first day of the internship
  • A veteran of the United States Armed Forces who possesses a high school diploma or its equivalent and has served on active duty, for any length of time, in the two years preceding the first day of the internship

Learn more about the White House Internship Program and encourage eligible candidates to apply.

Tweet of the Week

Read a statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Draft Resolution on Extrajudicial, Summary, and Arbitrary Executions

In Case You Missed It 

President Obama and McKayla Maroney

President Barack Obama jokingly mimics U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney's "not impressed" look while greeting members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams in the Oval Office, Nov. 15, 2012. Steve Penny, USA Gymnastics President, and Savannah Vinsant laugh at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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