Blog Posts Related to the LGBT Community

  • Promoting Equality in LGBT Health

    Last month while I was in Chicago, I had the opportunity to attend a great event hosted by Equality Illinois to discuss the President’s commitment to combating barriers and promoting equality for LGBT people and underscore some of the important work that is being undertaken at the Department of Health and Human Services.
    Some of the efforts that I shared highlight the importance of equality, including the updated Health Plan Finder tool on  This update will enable all LGBT Americans to search specifically for insurance plans that include coverage for domestic partners, compare the cost sharing and benefit choices of health plans, and choose the best option to meet their needs; including finding coverage for all members of the family.  Individuals can also access’s regular features, such as sorting based on enrollment, out-of-pocket expenses or other key categories.  

  • President Obama Supports Same-Sex Marriage

    Yesterday, during an interview with ABC News, President Obama said, “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

    It’s no secret the President has gone through some soul-searching on this issue. He’s talked to the First Lady about it, like so many couples do.  He’s heard from folks—gay and lesbian friends, staff members in long-term, loving relationships, as well as brave young servicemen and women he got to know through the fight to end Don’t, Ask Don’t Tell.  

    He’s sat around his kitchen table with Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. As the President said during the interview, “it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently.  It doesn’t make sense to them. And frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change of perspective -- not wanting to somehow explain to your child why somebody should be treated differently when it comes to eyes of the law.”

    In the end, the President said, he believes it's important to "treat others the way you would want to be treated."We need to recognize that people are going to have differing views on marriage and those views, even if we disagree strongly, should be respected.  

    Newspapers across the country commented on yesterday’s news.  Let’s take a look at a few of them:

    New York Times: “It Has Always Taken Strong National Leadership To Expand Equal Rights In This Country, And It Has Long Been Obvious That Marriage Rights Are No Exception. President Obama Offered Some Of That Leadership On Wednesday.” “It has always taken strong national leadership to expand equal rights in this country, and it has long been obvious that marriage rights are no exception. President Obama offered some of that leadership on Wednesday. ‘I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,’ Mr. Obama said in an interview with ABC News that the White House arranged for the purpose of giving Mr. Obama a forum to say just that….Mr. Obama consciously presented his change of position (he used to favor so-called civil unions but not marriage) as a personal journey. He said he thought about ‘members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together,’ and about ‘those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage.’ That process will seem familiar to Americans of his and older generations who have reached the same place, or are still getting there. Polling shows that younger Americans have firmly supported same-sex marriage for some time. Mr. Obama said denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples ‘doesn’t make sense’ to his daughters. ‘Frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective,’ he said.” [The New York Times, 5/10/12]

  • Reactions to President Obama’s Support for Marriage Equality

    Yesterday, in an interview with ABC News, President Obama articulated his support for marriage equality, saying “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

    In the last 24 hours, we have received countless statements of support from individuals and organizations across the country, including labor unions, environmental groups, social justice and civil rights advocates, and organizations advocating for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. 

    Here are some of those statements:


    “Working people believe in equality and fairness and that’s why we are happy to stand with millions of Americans and with President Obama in supporting marriage equality.

    “LGBT working people face numerous inequities in the workplace and in society as they struggle to care for their families. Civil unions do not guarantee the 1,138 rights, benefits and responsibilities that are triggered by the word "marriage” under federal law.

    “Most important, we should respect and honor our friends, neighbors, and family members who want to take care of their families and their loved ones – whatever their sexual orientation. We are proud to come together for a more just America.”

  • On the Road in Atlanta: Focus on HIV/AIDS

    Dr. Grant Colfax at the White House LGBT Conference on HIV/AIDS

    Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, speaks at the White House LGBT Conference on HIV/AIDS at Morehouse School of Medicine, Thursday, April 19, 2012 (Photo courtesy of Morehouse School of Medicine).

    Last month, the White House Office of Public Engagement and Office of National AIDS Policy partnered with Morehouse School of Medicine to host the White House LGBT Conference on HIV/AIDS in Atlanta, Georgia. Hundreds of advocates, community organizers, health care providers, elected officials, and interested members of the public joined Obama Administration officials in Atlanta for an important conversation on the impacts of HIV/AIDS on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

    There have been tremendous advances in HIV testing and treatment. But there is still much work to do: there are nearly 50,000 new HIV infections in the United States each year. Among these new infections, nearly two-thirds are among men who have sex with men, with infection rates the highest among black men. And gay men are 44 times more likely to be HIV-infected compared to other men in the United States.

  • Ending Bullying in Our Schools & Communities

    Recently, I watched the movie BULLY with my mom.  We were both deeply moved by the film and the stories it tells of students, families, and communities impacted by bullying.

    Earlier today, we screened BULLY at the White House.  We were joined by bullying prevention advocates from a range of communities – LGBT, AAPI, faith, disability, and others – as well as educational partners and key Obama Administration staff who work on these issues every day, including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  Before the film, a panel of nationally recognized experts on bullying prevention spoke from their perspectives about challenges and opportunities, and after the film, we heard from Lee Hirsch, the director and filmmaker, and several of the students and families who were directly impacted by bullying and intolerance and whose stories were featured in the film.

  • 2012 Citizens Medal: Open for Nominations

    For more than 40 years, the Presidential Citizens Medal has recognized Americans who have "performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens." On Monday, the President invited you, the American public, to nominate everyday heroes for one of our nation’s highest civilian honors.

    Who is your hero? Who has gone above and beyond, performing extraordinary deeds of service? Help us recognize the exemplary citizen from your community -- and bring them the public attention they deserve by nominating them for this year’s medal.

    Here is an inspiring example of a hero honored last year:

  • Public-Private Partnerships, Ingenuity and $11M Tax Credit Provides Innovative Housing Solutions for Philadelphia’s LGBT Seniors

    Ed Note: The following is a cross-post that originally appeared on the Department of Housing and Urban Development blog.

    Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is proud to spotlight a new Philadelphia housing development recognized as a pioneering innovation in U.S. housing solutions for low-income LGBT seniors.

    A new public-private housing initiative, co-developed by the dmhFund and Pennrose Properties and spearheaded by dmhFund President Mark Segal, has secured $11 million in tax credit financing from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) – making it possible to break ground on a six-story, 56 bedroom, $19 million project, intended to house LGBT seniors aged 62 and over who earn less than 60 percent of the Philadelphia median income.

  • LGBT Families at the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll

    Earlier this week, thousands of families gathered for the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll – including LGBT families from as far away as Utah and as nearby as Maryland.  Here’s what some of them had to say:

    “This event was truly a monumental moment for my partner and myself.  This was an event for my boy that he will never forget.  The excitement that he expressed throughout the day was priceless!”

    “Just spending the day with my partner and seeing that smile on my boy's face was my highlight.  This was truly a family oriented event that focused on keeping active, exercising, and eating healthy.”

    “To play with our twins on the White House lawn -- the quintessential American family experience. Thank you to the Obamas for opening their home to us.”