Task Force responds to President Obama’s State of the Union address

Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey responded to President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight with the following statement:

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.

In addition, 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.

In terms of the State of our Movement, Rea Carey’s annual address at this year’s National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change will be held on Friday, Feb. 4. There’s still time to register for the conference if you haven’t yet had the chance.