Blog Posts Related to the LGBT Community

  • The Obama Administration Honors LGBT Pride Month

    Earlier this month, President Obama released the 2012 LGBT Pride Month Proclamation as well as a video message.  And on Friday, the President delivered remarks to hundreds of advocates and community leaders, students and faith leaders at the White House LGBT Pride Month Reception. In his remarks, the President described some of the significant steps his Administration has taken over the last few years, including the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:

    And, of course, last year we finally put an end to “don’t ask, don’t tell” -- so that nobody would ever have to ever again hide who they love in order to serve the country they love.  And I know we've got some military members who are here today.  I'm happy to see you with your partners here.  We thank you for your service.  We thank your families for their service, and we share your joy at being able to come with your spouses or partners here to the White House with your Commander-in-Chief.

    Over the last few weeks, members of the President’s Cabinet have also released their own statements and video messages.

  • Update: White House LGBT Pride Month Video Challenge

    Earlier this year, the White House Office of Public Engagement launched the LGBT Pride Month Champions of Change Video Challenge to feature stories of unsung heroes and local leaders who are making an impact in their communities.

    We received a number of inspiring entries from all across the country. If you submitted a video entry, thank you for your participation and commitment to equality for the LGBT community.

    Today, we are featuring six video entries online. Members of the public will have until midnight next Monday, June 25, 2012 to provide feedback by selecting their favorite video.

    Click here to view these six videos and pick your favorite.

    Gautam Raghavan is an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement.

  • President Obama Hosts LGBT Pride Reception at the White House

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the LGBT Pride Month Reception (June 15, 2012)

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the LGBT Pride Month Reception in the East Room of the White House, June 15, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    President Obama today hosted a reception in the East Room to observe LGBT Pride Month. The President welcomed community leaders, students, politicians and members of the armed services for the annual event and paid tribute to the generations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans who devoted their lives to ensuring equality for all.  In his remarks, the President acknowledged that while great progress has been made, the battle is not over yet:

    ... but we will get there. We'll get there because of all of you. We’ll get there because of all of the ordinary Americans who every day show extraordinary courage. We’ll get there because of every man and woman and activist and ally who is moving us forward by the force of their moral arguments, but more importantly, by the force of their example. 

     And as long as I have the privilege of being your President, I promise you, you won't just have a friend in the White House, you will have a fellow advocate for an America where no matter what you look like or where you come from or who you love, you can dream big dreams and dream as openly as you want.

    Read President Obama's full remarks here.

  • The Power of Out

    Ed. Note: This is a cross-post from the Department of Justice blog.

    In the Great Hall of the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building, senior officials, employees and invited guests joined Attorney General Eric Holder to celebrate the accomplishments of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Americans and their allies during the department’s annual LGBT Pride Month Program.   The theme of the event was “The Power of Out,” based on a study by the same name from the Center for Work-Life Policy, which quantifies the loss to individuals and to the bottom line when organizations fail to create a workplace hospitable to their LGBT employees.

    The program began with Marc Salans, President of DOJ Pride, opening the ceremony and introducing a video clip from President Barack Obama regarding LGBT Pride Month.  Attorney General Holder spoke about the department’s efforts to defend the civil rights of LGBT Americans and increase support for LGBT individuals working for the department.

  • LGBT Students Give Secretary Duncan Homework

    Secretary Duncan Speaks with Students from GLSEN and GSA

    Secretary of Education Arne Duncan meets with students from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). (Photo courtesy of the Department of Education)

    Ed Note: This is a cross-post from the Department of Education blog.

    While many students sign yearbooks and trade digits and Twitter handles as school closes, Secretary Arne Duncan began June on assignment: using student input to expand Department efforts to help eliminate bullying against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) student community.

    June is LGBT Pride Month, and to kick off the month, and as part of ED’s Student Voices Sessions, the Secretary met with eight students from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) to hear directly from the students about their experiences and to discuss bullying and possible solutions.

  • DHS Commemorates LGBT Pride Month

    Ed. Note: This is a cross-post from the Department of Homeland Security blog.

    Every day, DHS employees around the world work to ensure the security of our country. They work along our borders, in our airports, in federal buildings and throughout the maritime domain. There are also countless DHS employees that Americans don’t see. At the DHS Pride Ceremony today, I had the opportunity to speak with and thank some of our LGBT employees for their dedication to our Department and our important mission. 

    Secretary Napolitano with the DHS Pride Board of Directors

    Secretary Napolitano meets with the DHS Pride Board of Directors. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security)

  • Kicking Off LGBT Pride Month

    June is Pride Month for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.  This is an opportunity to reflect on the progress we’ve made, and recommit ourselves to the work ahead. 

    To help kick off LGBT Pride Month, today President Obama recorded the following video message to Americans across the country:

    In addition, the President also issued a Proclamation where he describes the progress we’ve made over the last few years and our ongoing commitment to the rights of LGBT Americans. The Proclamation says in part:

    Since I took office, my Administration has worked to broaden opportunity, advance equality, and level the playing field for LGBT people and communities.  We have fought to secure justice for all under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and we have taken action to end housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  We expanded hospital visitation rights for LGBT patients and their loved ones, and under the Affordable Care Act, we ensured that insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to someone just because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.  Because we understand that LGBT rights are human rights, we continue to engage with the international community in promoting and protecting the rights of LGBT persons around the world.  Because we repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans can serve their country openly, honestly, and without fear of losing their jobs because of whom they love.  And because we must treat others the way we want to be treated, I personally believe in marriage equality for same-sex couples.

    Throughout the month, we’ll be posting periodic updates at whitehouse.gov/LGBT. Check back often, and make sure you sign up for updates!

    Gautam Raghavan is an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement

  • On the Road in Minneapolis: Focus on All Families

    Since taking office, President Obama and his Administration have taken significant steps to ensure the health, safety, and equality of families that are headed by or include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.  For example, the Department of Labor has expanded the Family and Medical Leave Act to include children of domestic partners and the Department of Health and Human Services has issued guidance to ensure hospital visitation rights for LGBT patients at hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid.
                   
    Last month, the White House Office of Public Engagement partnered with the Family Equality Council to host the White House LGBT Conference on Families in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Obama Administration officials joined individuals and families from Minnesota and across the country for the half-day event.

    White House LGBT Conference on Families in Minneapolis

    Acting Assistant Attorney General Stuart Delery (left) and ACF Commissioner Bryan Samuels speak at the White House LGBT Conference on Families, April 28, 2012 in Minneapolis, MN (Photo courtesy of Family Equality Council).