Press

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force responds to President Obama's State of the Union address

Date: 
January 25, 2011

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"If the president is truly serious about job creation and boosting America's economic well-being, he must provide leadership and action in helping to pass employment protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and ending the costly and unjust federal marriage ban."
— Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force responded to President Obama's State of the Union speech tonight.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"President Obama spoke pointedly tonight of the dire need to get our economy moving again. We couldn't agree more and urge his administration and Congress to work together to ensure that everybody — including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people — have the opportunity to contribute their talents, skills and expertise to this nation's workforce. The repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ which the president noted tonight, was a tremendous victory that will put an end to systemic discrimination against competent, qualified lesbian, gay and bisexual service members. But let us not settle there. Fact is, the state of the union for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people remains largely one of inequality, as we can still be fired from or denied employment in many parts of the country for nothing other than bias, and marriage inequality relegates our families to second-class status. If the president is truly serious about job creation and boosting America's economic well-being, he must provide leadership and action in helping to pass employment protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and ending the costly and unjust federal marriage ban. Our country can and must do better. The president should pave the way."

More from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is currently calling on the president and Congress to:

  • Stand firm in protecting the Affordable Care Act.
  • Pass employment protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, particularly in light of the nation's current unemployment crisis.
  • Repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
  • Pass legislation such as the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act to grant benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees.
  • Pass federal anti-bullying legislation such as the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act.
  • Strengthen Social Security: no benefit cuts.
  • Pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation, including measures like the Uniting American Families Act and the DREAM Act.
  • Pass pay equity legislation such as the Paycheck Fairness Act and pass paid sick-leave legislation that supports working people.

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, founded in 1974 as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., works to build the grassroots political power of the LGBT community to win complete equality. We do this through direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation and pass pro-LGBT legislation and other measures. We also analyze and report on the positions of candidates for public office on issues of importance to the LGBT community. The Task Force Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation incorporated in New York. Contributions to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund are not tax deductible.