President Barack Obama’s second term holds ‘great promise’ for continuing progress for LGBT people

ObamaInaugurationThe National Gay and Lesbian Task Force responded to President Barack Obama’s inaugural address today and the promise for continuing progress on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues during the president’s second term.

Statement by Rea Carey, executive director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

President Obama is the most pro-LGBT president in American history. His first term was filled with monumental gains for LGBT people and our families, including the passage of a federal hate crimes law, repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and his declaration of support for the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. These next four years hold great promise for continuing progress in ensuring that LGBT people are fully recognized and valued as part of this country’s strength, spirit and solution.

In his speech today, President Obama powerfully noted that ‘our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity. … That is our generation’s task — to make these words, these rights, these values  — of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — real for every American.’ We couldn’t agree more.

It’s now time for the president — and for all of us — to finish the job of ensuring that every American gets a fair shake. President Obama has repeatedly shown he is willing to fight for us. We have another four years to keep the momentum going, and will be vigilant in pursuing policies to ensure our community is not left behind. This includes pushing for federal LGBT employment protections, ending the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, combating HIV/ADS, preserving a social safety net, and much more.

America deserves nothing less than a president who will treat all families fairly. We congratulate President Obama and his administration and look forward to working with them in this second term to build a stronger future for LGBT people and opportunity for all.

Some key Task Force priorities during Obama’s second term

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is calling on the Obama administration and Congress to:

  • Pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (federal LGBT employment protections).
  • Repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
  • Ensure that transgender people can serve openly in the military.
  • Protect funding levels for the Ryan White CARE Act.
  • Improve federal LGBT data collection efforts to help eliminate disparities facing LGBT people.
  • Ensure that government contractors, grantees and others who receive federal funding don’t discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment decisions.
  • Work with federal agencies to update their policies to be inclusive of transgender people.
  • Ensure that federal funds are not used to discriminate against LGBT people and their families.