Tuesday, April 16, 2013

White House LGBT Update: April 16, 2013

White House LGBT Update: April 16, 2013
The White House Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Good afternoon,

In this White House LGBT Update, you will learn more about the Obama Administration's ongoing efforts to advance equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, including announcing the Harvey Milk Champions of Change and the President's Budget Proposal for FY2014.

In addition, we continue to closely monitor the situation in Boston.  Earlier today, following a briefing from FBI Director Mueller, Attorney General Holder, Secretary Napolitano, and homeland security advisor Lisa Monaco, President Obama went to the Brady Press Briefing Room to update the American people. The President assured the American people that while it will take time to determine what happened, "we will find whoever harmed our citizens. And we will bring them to justice."

Please 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

Announcing Harvey Milk Champions of Change

In August 2009, President Obama honored Harvey Milk posthumously with America's highest civilian medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  This May, the White House will recognize a group of outstanding openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) state and local elected and appointed officials as "Harvey Milk Champions of Change."  

Established in 2011, the White House Champions of Change Program regularly spotlights ordinary citizens who are doing extraordinary things for to their community, their country, and their fellow citizens.  In that tradition, we will honor as Harvey Milk Champions of Change a small group of LGBT state and local elected and appointed officials who have demonstrated a strong commitment to both equality and public service.

If that sounds like you or someone you know, then we want to hear from you!  Members of the public are invited to nominate LGBT individuals who have been elected or appointed to state or local office, and who have demonstrated a strong commitment to public service.  

Read more about this and then click here to nominate a Harvey Milk Champion of Change before Friday, April 19, 2013 (Note: Under "Theme of Service" please choose "Harvey Milk Champions of Change"). 

Statement by the President on John Berry's Departure

Last Friday, President Obama released the following statement on John Berry's departure:

John Berry has served the American people well as Director of the Office of Personnel Management.  He's streamlined the way federal employees are hired, modernized the workplace, made the federal workforce more diverse, and increased the number of returning servicemembers hired by the government. John has been a champion for federal workers – men and women who devote their lives to vital tasks like securing our borders, curing disease, and keeping the American people safe.  This country is better off because of John's talent and dedication, and I'm grateful to him for his service.

In case you missed it:

The President's FY 2014 Budget and LGBT Families

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the FY 2014 budget, in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 10, 2013. Acting Director of Office of Management and Budget Jeffrey Zients accompanies the President. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The President's Fiscal Year 2014 Budget demonstrates that we can make critical investments to strengthen the middle class, create jobs, and grow the economy while continuing to cut the deficit in a balanced way.  The budget will also address the needs of the LGBT community in some of the following ways:

  • Improve Access to Services under the Violence Against Women Act
  • Strengthen Anti-Discrimination Enforcement
  • Increase Funding for Homeless Assistance Grants
  • Make Communities Safer by Reducing Gun Violence
  • Maintain Affordable High-Quality Primary and Preventive Care
  • Reform our Immigration System
  • Expand Access to HIV/AIDS Treatment, Care, and Prevention
  • Support Federal Employee Domestic Partner Benefits

Learn more about the President's Budget and the LGBT community

LGBT Families at the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll

Earlier this month, thousands of families gathered for the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll. Among them were LGBT families from across the country.  Here's what some of them had to say:

"What an incredible experience for our family to visit the home of the First Family and to take part in this great American tradition. It was so exciting to look around and see the diversity of American families represented. It's a day that our kids will never forget."

"Being out, open, and proud on the lawn of the White House was a moment we will never forget."

"Standing on The White House lawn to celebrate with the First Family and other families of all shapes and sizes from across the nation - two dads, two moms, a mom and a dad, one mom - helped prove the point that kids are kids, no different from each other in their quest for candy and a good time."

"Said the girls, 'Best. Day. Ever!' Their happy dads agree."

Check out a photo gallery of LGBT parents and their kids at the Egg Roll.

Tweet of the Week 

In January, President Obama proposed a series of executive actions to help keep our kids and communities safe, and put forward a set of commonsense proposals for Congress to consider that can make a real difference in protecting our citizens from gun violence. But they are only going to act on them if they hear from the American people.

Our voices are louder when we speak together.  Use this simple tool to pre-set a post to Twitter and/or Facebook that will publish simultaneously with thousands of others.  You can also show your support by signing on through WhiteHouse.gov.

In Case You Missed It 

Vice President Joe Biden jokes with Julia Louis-Dreyfus of the TV show, "VEEP," as she sits at his desk in the Vice President's West Wing office at the White House, April 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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