Blog Posts Related to the LGBT Community

  • WATCH LIVE: White House LGBT Conference on Safe Schools & Communities

    Today, hundreds of teachers, students, school administrators, law enforcement officers and officials, elected officials, and interested members of the public will join Obama Administration officials in Arlington, Texas for an important conversation on ensuring safe schools and communities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people across the country.

    The White House LGBT Conference on Safe Schools & Communities is hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Education, and The University of Texas at Arlington. This event is the third in a series of White House LGBT Conferences that are being held across the country to empower grassroots leaders, community organizers, advocates, and interested citizens by connecting them with Federal government information, resources, and opportunities.

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    The following portions of the Conference will be live streamed here:

    9:30 – 9:45 AM EST               Opening Plenary
    9:45 – 10:45 AM EST             Panel on Safe Communities
    10:45 – 11:45 AM EST           Panel on Safe Schools
    Noon – 1:00 PM EST             Keynote remarks by White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Attorney General Eric Holder
    5:30 – 6:00 PM EST               Closing address by Judy Shepard, mother of the late Matthew Shepard and co-founder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

    Gautam Raghavan is the Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement

  • On the Road in Detroit: Focus on Housing & Homelessness

    Across the country, organizations and individuals are doing important work to address the housing needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and prevent homelessness among members of the LGBT community.  Earlier this month, hundreds of advocates, community organizers, and interested members of the public came together in Detroit, Michigan for the White House LGBT Conference on Housing & Homelessness to participate in an important dialogue with the Obama Administration on these issues.  The Conference was hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the Ruth Ellis Center, a Detroit-based center for runaway and homeless LGBT youth.

  • U.S. Departments of Justice and Education Resolve Harassment Allegations in Anoka-Hennepin School District

    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. 

  • Celebrating Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at the SLDN National Dinner

    Valerie Jarrett Speaks at the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network 20th National Dinner

    Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett delivers keynote remarks at the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network 20th National Dinner in Washington, D.C., Saturday, March 3, 2012 (Photo by Chris Burch/SLDN).

    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:

    Good evening.

    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. 

  • On the Road in Philadelphia: Focus on LGBT Health

    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.

    OPM Director John Berry addresses participants at the White House LGBT Conference on Health

    OPM Director John Berry addresses participants at the White House LGBT Conference on Health, February 16, 2012, in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo courtesy of Mattera Photography for Mazzoni Center)

  • WATCH LIVE: White House LGBT Conference on Health

    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

     

  • Commitments to the LGBT community in the 2013 Budget

    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.  

  • On the Road in Chicago: Celebrating Every Family

    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.”