NGLTF Meets With White House

May 13, 1996

In a meeting today with White House officials, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Melinda Paras urged the Clinton Administration to oppose "second class citizenship" for gay and lesbian families. Paras, referring to the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, pointed to the President's own upbringing in a "non-traditional" family in urging his opposition to the measure.

Paras, in a meeting with White House liaison Marsha Scott, cautioned against the President bending to Right-wing efforts to undermine the millions of families who do not fit the Right-wing's definition of the so-called "traditional family."

Upon leaving the meeting, Paras learned of the statement today issued by White House spokesman Mike McCurry reflecting the President's opposition to same-gender marriage. Paras issued the following statement in response to the White House announcement:

"The President knows from his own family experience what it is like to be part of a 'non-traditional' family. He should reject this construct of second class citizenship for families that don't fit the narrow image of the 'traditional family' as defined by the religious right-wing. This anti-marriage legislation is one piece of a larger agenda to attack and undermine millions of American families, including gay and lesbian families, single parent households, families in which grandparents are raising children, and couples without children.

"NGLTF calls on the President to use the power of his office to move the American people beyond this wedge issue and into a new understanding of the roles all our families can play in America's future."

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is a progressive organization that has supported grassroots organizing and pioneered in national advocacy since 1973. Since its inception, NGLTF has been at the forefront of virtually every major initiative for lesbian and gay rights. In all its efforts, NGLTF helps to strengthen the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender movement at the state level while connecting these activities to a national vision for change.


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.