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Last Week’s “Historic White House Meeting” Exposes PATHETIC Agenda. WH asks: “Hold Our Feet To the Fire” – SO LET’s DO THAT: FAX BRIAN BOND at White House to DEMAND our CIVIL RIGHTS!

AEB-PleaseSayYesIt’s TIME TO FAX THE WHITE HOUSE!!!

Apparently, The Equality Federation met with the White House Staff on our Agenda (see posting below).

It appears the White House is consoling our community with:
DADT “probably later” (employment for 15,000, out of 30 million of us).
ENDA is too hard.
UAFA didn’t even come up it appears.
And our Equal CIVIL RIGHTS is a missing dream – somehow overlooked by a mixed-race President and our entire movement!!!???

LET’S SET A NEW STANDARD – and NICELY DEMAND our FULL CIVIL RIGHTS!

Please PRINT AND MAIL, or FAX (WH FAX: 202-456-2461) this flyer:

http://bit.ly/PleaseFileAEBmailer  (jpeg).

To:

BRIAN BOND
Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Liaison to the LGBT Community
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Please include your e-mail address (as requested by the WH’s contact instructions)

For free on-line fax: faxzero.com, or rapidfax.com (both can be done online without a landline phone).   You need the PDF to free fax.  Here that is:

https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B3zgWwWHKayXZWI3YTExMWYtNTUyMy00ZTY3LThkNWItN2Q4YjRmOTdhMmFm&hl=en

If you want to complain directly about this pathetic agenda for equality call:

BRIAN BOND: 202-456-1414. WH switchboard will put you to his voice mail.

They won’t know what the AEB is – but they’ll figure it out.

They don’t seem to know what Civil Rights are either.

Let’s remind them.

xoTif

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: XYZ
Date: Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 8:15 AM
Subject: Historic White House Meeting

Dear Tif,

Last week, Florida Together participated in a historic far-ranging White House discussion between members of the Obama administration and the Equality Federation, the national umbrella organization for statewide equality groups. As Executive Director, I was proud to represent Florida Together at the briefing. As the only person from Florida to attend the briefing, I wanted to share with you a summary of the meeting.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
Tina Tchen, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, opened the gathering by asserting that the administration fully expects the provisions of the Defense Authorization Bill ending the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy to win congressional approval by year’s end. The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed the legislation and the U.S. Senate will soon consider the bill.

Tchen said that the administration was prioritizing DADT over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) because it could attach DADT to other legislation, making it much easier to move through Congress. By contrast, ENDA- which would outlaw employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and expression – is stand-alone legislation that faces more congressional hurdles. In the current political climate, securing a
firm commitment of 60 Senate votes to support ENDA is proving far more difficult than the administration anticipated. These obstacles have not, Tchen claimed, diminished President Obama’s support for the legislation.

Acknowledging that some LGBT advocates are quite frustrated with the president’s progress on equality issues, Tchen urged statewide leaders to let the White House know when their constituents are displeased.

“When you are frustrated,”she stated, “you should speak out and hold our feet to the fire.” LGBT Health David Hansell, acting assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), provided an overview of the work currently being done on LGBT health. Through a coordinating group, the agency is including LGBT concerns in decisions made by its 10 divisions. Hansell outlined provisions of the Affordable Care Act that will benefit LGBT Americans including expanded access to health coverage and abolition of insurance companies’ practices barring those with preexisting conditions and imposing lifetime caps on pay-outs. As HHS adopts the thousands of forthcoming mandates and policy statements needed to implement federal health care reform, LGBT health and family advocates will have extensive opportunities to shape outcomes.

Hansell then offered a status report on President Obama’s April 2010 memorandum directing hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding to allow patients to decide who can visit them. The memo also bars discrimination based on a variety of characteristics including sexual orientation and gender identity.

The public comment process on the proposed visitation policy ends on Aug. 27. A draft policy outlining HHS regulations that would guarantee that hospitals honor advanced directives will soon be posted for 180 days of public comment. The subsequent regulatory change will make much clearer who is allowed to make decisions on a patient’s care if he or she is unable to do so.

In upcoming months, Hansell stressed, there will be unprecedented opportunities for LGBT advocates to offer recommendations on a number of concerns including adoption, youth, homelessness, seniors, and sex education. Historically, the federal government has not tracked data identifying the needs of LGBT youth or seniors, Hansell asserted, but is now implementing processes to do so in order to ensure that these vulnerable populations
receive adequate funding and services.

Hansell said the LGBT community can best ensure that these new directives are enforced by working with the local or state office administering the specific program. If that doesn’t resolve the problem, advocates should contact the HHS Office of Civil Rights.

Hansell then fielded questions pertaining to transgender people. When the public comment process determining what federal benefits insurance companies must provide begins, he called for the LGBT community and health care advocates to vocalize the need to include gender reassignment surgery. Hansell claimed that HHS is already determining how best to assist homeless transgender youth. Raphel Bostic, assistant secretary for policy development and research for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), then detailed current administrative efforts to redress housing inequities in the LGBT community. 2010 marks the first time that HUD is
including this issue in its once-a-decade study on housing discrimination. Because theFa ir Housing Act does not include sexual orientation or gender identity, it is important to determine how federal policies and practices must be modified to ensure that all Americans are treated fairly in the housing and mortgage policies and funding.

DADT Repeal
Gauram Raghavan, deputy White House liaison to the Department of Defense, provided a status report on the repeal of the DADT policy. He repeatedly stressed that the core issue is not whether the policy will be changed, only when and how DADT will be ended. An interagency working group is currently conducting forums and surveys at numerous U.S military installations in the United States and abroad. The group will submit its final recommendations to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates by December 1st.

When Equality Federation representatives challenged Raghavan on the content and methodology of the surveys being used to gauge military attitudes on LGBT people, Raghavan said that he understood why LGBT servicemembers have taken offense to some of the questions and have raised concerns about whether confidentiality is properly protected. He assured the audience that the data will only be used to determine how the Pentagon needs to structure its post-DADT training programs to combat stereotypes and fears about LGBT people.

After Mo Baxley, executive director of New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coaltion, questioned why LGBT soldiers continue to be expelled during this process, Raghavan responded that the law is still in effect and therefore must be enforced. He claimed, however, that Gates has taken steps to ensure that the law is no longer abused. For example, military officials are no longer permitted to accept third-party testimony against an accused soldier. In the past, the use of such evidence created situations where jilted lovers or disgruntled colleagues could railroad or blackmail a comrade.

Bostic added that the Pentagon is exploring how qualified soldiers who were expelled under DADT could reenter the armed services. When asked whether policy changes that would permit transgender citizens to serve are also being considered, Bostic said that might be the case in the future and asked for contact information from advocates who can advise the Pentagon on this issue.

Family and Medical Leave, HIV/AIDS Policy
Jeremy Bishop, special assistant to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, explained forthcoming changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act that will benefit LGBT families. Jeffrey Crowley, Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, followed with an overview of the 2010 national strategy on HIV and AIDS.

Marriage Equality
In the meeting’s closing stages, Brian Bond, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and liaison to the LGBT community, took questions from the audience. Given recent statements reaffirming President Obama’s opposition to same-gender marriage in the wake of a decision striking down California’s Proposition 8, Equality Federation members pressed him on the contradictions posed by the president’s call for the
repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and his support for civil unions instead of full marriage equality.

Bond asserted, “There is still a lot of work to do” before DOMA will be repealed. “Look at the trouble we’re having with ENDA.” he added.But Bond conceded that there are inconsistencies in President Obama’s positions.

In response, Morgan Meneses-Sheets, executive director of Equality Maryland, stated, “Respectfully, we need President Obama to push for full inclusion of the LGBT community on ENDA, on marriage- we need the full get, not the lesser get. The highest office in the land sets the tone for the whole country.” Bond agreed, but expressed frustration at the often intense criticism levied, particularly by bloggers, against an administration that is “99
percent supportive of your issues.”


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9 comments to Last Week’s “Historic White House Meeting” Exposes PATHETIC Agenda. WH asks: “Hold Our Feet To the Fire” – SO LET’s DO THAT: FAX BRIAN BOND at White House to DEMAND our CIVIL RIGHTS!

  • Donna Ellis

    My husband and I have a gay child. DOMA, ENDA and DADT affect her rights and we’ve been waiting a LONG time for an end to these injustices. They keep getting shoved to the bottom of the agenda! PLEASE deal with them NOW and stop treating our kids like second class citizens! Donna Ellis, PFLAG Phoenix!

  • J Todd Fernandez

    Thank you Donna!!! Please call the White House and ask for the LGBT liaison, Brian Bond, at 202-456-141. And fax fax fax.

  • Toni Broaddus

    Why is the failure of our agenda the President’s fault? CONGRESS WILL NOT VOTE ON LGBT LEGISLATION. Are you all also calling & faxing your Representatives & Senators in Congress? Some of you are (and thank you!!), but MOST OF YOU ARE NOT. How many of you have ever set up a district meeting with your federal Reps or Senators? How many of you regularly call to ask your Reps or Senators to help move the LGBT agenda? This Congress is completely dysfunctional and it’s a miracle that we’ve seen any progressive legislation pass at all. And the President can’t make that happen if our community won’t step up and do their part. So call Brian if you want — but he’s not the one with the ability to make Congress move on our issues. In fact, he’s one of the best allies we have inside the White House. Your time would be better spent calling out your representatives in Congress for their cowardice and failure to act to protect their LGBT constituents.

  • J Todd Fernandez

    We are MOST DEFINITELY calling on people to MEET IN-DISTRICT with their Representatives. This is THE CALL of The AEB Project for the August Recess which extends until SEPT. 12. See FB page: http://bit.ly/AEBnow.

    BUT SADLY, the ONLY mainstream group I’ve heard call for in-district meetings has been IMMIGRATION EQUALITY, which hosted an excellent conference call on “how to” get and have those in-district meetings for UAFA. Kudos to Julie!

    But they are the ONLY GROUP I’ve seen push this meeting idea.

    Is the Equality Federation planning any promotion on this front? It would be wonderful and I’m sure you could TURN IT OUT. Maybe get a celebrity as a draw?

    If you promote something like this, please share this observation on Confidentiality of Congressional Conversations. http://bit.ly/CongressBYthePeople

    I think the Equality Federation is one of our GREAT HOPES. I understand the WH ran the meeting. But LET’S RUN OUR OWN GAME.

  • J Todd Fernandez

    I’d like to add that personally I agree CONGRESS is the MAIN Target. But not exclusively, and it was President Kennedy in ‘63 who filed the bill that became the ‘64 Civil Rights Act.

    It would be a fitting statement for Obama to file this bill now.

    It could inspire the base to vote in the mid-terms! Played right, he could be a hero worthy of a Nobel Prize TODAY.

    What’s the hold up!?

  • Barney Frank (Note from AEB Project - this is NOT Congressman BF - not sure who it really is)

    Tif, get over your worship of the Democrats. THEY ARE NOT ON OUR SIDE. It’s so pathetic the way us queers will just accept the abuse from the Democrats and still support them. Real activists recognize who our allies are and who are allie are not. The Democrats are not our allies. Quit pretending that Obama is a nice guy. He’s been dropping bombs on children since the fourth day of his administration. He’s okay’d torture, bailed out banks while schools in your community crumble, and laughed at us when we reminded him about his campaign promises. You can not serve two masters, Tif. You can either fight for lgbt equality or you can support the Democrats. You can’t do both.

    If you think that faxing or writing or calling Congress makes ANY difference, you are completely naive, exactly as the Democrats want you to be. Real change comes from ordinary people upsetting “business as usual”. Tossing your emails in the trash is business as usual. Money talks, folks. When was the last time you donated $50,000 to the DNC?

  • Stephen Zollman

    agreed with what Mr. Frank has stated….we need a leader on our issues to put the pressure on Congress to act on our issues…

    We do need to define who are true allies are and support only them in this upcoming election..

  • J Todd Fernandez

    Democrat worship? Not sure where that seeped into this, but the strategy would be the same either way: put our Civil Rights in the forefront of the conversation.

    Obama has recently said he prefers to be a good 1 Term President, than a mediocre 2 term president.

    What greater badge of honor could he have than having filed and passing a Civil Rights amendment putting SO+GI in America’s Civil Rights laws. We can not wait to see if he is relected, we need him to be a hero now.

    The mood is there for him to be bold and do great things.

    But the AEB Project is going after Republican supporters FOR SURE.

    The ‘64 CRA was VERY bi-partisan. The shift is at hand in the republican party. If only we seize it.

    This IS ULTIMATELY NOT ABOUT OBAMA. IT IS ABOUT OUR MOVEMENT.

    IF WE DEMAND THE AEB, IT IT WILL HAPPEN.

    The balance of public opinion and the President’s desire to STAND UP FOR PRINCIPLES – is ALL tilting in our favor. Now is the time.

    Plus ASKING EVERYONE TO FILE THE AEB – will clarify – WHO and WHO ISN’T our FRIEND. This is true of our own LGBT groups and those like the ACLU, NOW, PFAW, Carter, Clinton, Laura Bush and Oprah. It’s also true of the President.

  • kristina

    Hi, I was wondering if you can email me your contact information. I am working on a school project on Civil Activists and would love to interview you. Thank You.

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