Blog Posts Related to the LGBT Community
U.S. Departments of Justice and Education Resolve Harassment Allegations in Anoka-Hennepin School DistrictPosted byon March 8, 2012 at 10:11 AM EDT
Education is the great equalizer. Yet students cannot learn if they are afraid to go to school. Students cannot learn if they are being harassed and threatened. Students cannot learn if they feel that school administrators don’t and won’t protect them.
In the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education investigated whether the learning environment in the schools was unsafe and unwelcoming for students who did not conform to gender stereotypes, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. Some students were afraid to go to school because they were repeatedly harassed. Some students faced threats, physical violence, derogatory language, and other forms of harassment on a daily basis. As a result, some students stopped attending school for periods of time, dropped out, and even contemplated or attempted suicide.
- Posted byon March 4, 2012 at 3:30 PM EDT
On Saturday, over 1,000 gay and lesbian service members, veterans, and military families gathered for the first Servicemembers Legal Defense Network national dinner since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” last September. At the dinner, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, delivered a keynote address commemorating the occasion.
Here are her prepared remarks:
You know, Aubrey, after an introduction like that I think the smart thing for me to do would just be to say thank you and sit right back down. I deeply appreciate your kind words. Thank you for your many years of leadership at SLDN, and for your friendship. I know I speak on behalf of everyone here when I say how much you will be missed when you step down.
Last Wednesday, President Obama and the First Lady hosted an extraordinary event at the White House—a dinner in honor of the veterans of the War in Iraq. During his toast, the President said, “You taught us about sacrifice—a love of country so deep, so profound, you were willing to give your lives for it.”
On the President’s behalf, thank you to all of the servicemembers and veterans who are here tonight. You’ve put your lives on the line in order to keep us safe. We will never forget what you’ve done for America, and President Obama is committed to making sure that we serve you as well as you have served us.
I also want to recognize all of the military families who sacrifice so much, and who also deserve our appreciation and recognition. Let’s give them a big round of applause.
I’d like to thank one of the co-founders of SLDN, Michelle Benecke and Dixon Osburn, who is here tonight. And finally, I’d like to thank the board, staff, and supporters of SLDN for making tonight possible.
- Posted byon February 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM EDT
Last Thursday, advocates, community organizers, health care providers and medical students, elected officials, and interested members of the public joined Obama Administration officials in Philadelphia for an important conversation on the health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The event – the White House LGBT Conference on Health – was hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and Mazzoni Center. Over 300 attendees from 22 states participated in the day’s events at Thomas Jefferson University.
- Posted byon February 15, 2012 at 5:35 PM EDT
Tomorrow, advocates, community organizers, doctors and medical students, elected officials, and interested members of the public will join Obama Administration officials in Philadelphia for an important conversation on the health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
The White House LGBT Conference on Health is hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Mazzoni Center. This event is the first in a series of White House LGBT Conferences that will be held across the country to empower grassroots leaders, community organizers, advocates, and interested citizens by connecting them with Federal government information, resources, and opportunities.
The conference will begin with a morning plenary featuring remarks by Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius, Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) John Berry, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Obama administration officials.
Watch the entire morning session (from 9:00 to 11:45 AM EST) live.
Gautam Raghavan is the Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement
- Posted byon February 14, 2012 at 11:17 AM EDT
President Obama laid out a blueprint in his State of the Union address for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values. The President released a budget that illustrates how we put that blueprint to work for all Americans, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans.
- Posted byon February 13, 2012 at 4:45 PM EDT
On Saturday, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, delivered the keynote address to over 1,200 fellow Chicagoans at the 2012 Equality Illinois Gala. In her remarks, Valerie recounted the progress we’ve made during the first three years of the Obama Administration. She reflected on what these changes have meant for people like Dennis and Judy Shepard, Janice Langbehn, and Col. Ginger Wallace.
We should be proud of the laws we’ve passed, the policies we’ve enacted, and the strategies we’ve put in place… The couple that can walk down the street holding hands without being afraid. The family that can face life’s most difficult moments together. The service members and their loved ones who are no longer required to deny who they are. We love this country, and we have changed it.
As she later noted, the progress we’ve made is a part what President Obama has called our “inexorable march towards a more perfect union.”
- Posted byon February 9, 2012 at 12:08 PM EDT
Across America, community and public service partnerships are having a positive impact on our economic recovery.
I saw this in Iowa last week, when I addressed the First Friday Club, a monthly gathering of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) residents from the Des Moines area. Over the course of the last year, this community has raised over $25,000 to award as college scholarships to local high school students who are working to combat homophobia in their schools.
- Posted byon February 7, 2012 at 10:00 AM EDT
On this, the 12th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, I remember my sister-in-law’s fight with the disease. Tragically, she did not win that fight – she left behind a devastated husband and five-year old daughter. But it is in her memory, and the memory of all the friends and loved ones we have lost, that we vow to keep working toward the day when HIV/AIDS is history.
This past December, on World AIDS Day, President Obama spoke about the United States’ commitment to ending HIV/AIDS. In a speech at George Washington University, he told the audience, “Make no mistake, we are going to win this fight. But the fight is not over … not by a long shot.”
Sadly, this is especially true in the African-American community. Black Americans represent 12 percent of the U.S. population, but they account for 44 percent of new HIV infections. Among young black gay men alone, infections have increased by nearly 50 percent in just three years, and black women account for the largest share of HIV infections among women. We each must do our part by getting tested regularly, and by educating those in our community about what they can do to help end the epidemic.
President Obama is committed to doing his part as well. In 2010, he released the nation’s first comprehensive HIV/AIDS plan. Together with Secretary Clinton, he has helped assemble a coalition of governments, healthcare professionals, and service providers. They have set a goal that would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago: an AIDS-free generation, in which virtually all children are born HIV-free, and prevention tools help them stay HIV-free throughout their lives.