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Thursday, June 2, 2011

We've got Pride, now it's time to GetEQUAL!

I don't know if you can hear it, but I can...
From immigration reform to peace action to environmental justice to LGBT rights – many are issuing the same call to our President: “We are tired of waiting -- actions speak louder than words!”
These grassroots roars aren't misplaced -- while some of our national organizations are content to go ahead and throw their early support behind President Obama's re-election, many grassroots activists are furious at the slow pace of progress and believe that we have much more to strive for before we hand over our dedicated service, our hard-fought dollars, or our votes to a specific campaign or candidate. And it makes me furious to listen to someone so eloquently state his support for our equality but, with a year and a half until the next election, choose to fundraise off our community rather than work to bring us closer to full equality.
On Tuesday, the White House issued its annual "Pride Proclamation" -- a beautifully-written piece that does nothing to provide the "liberty and justice for all" that we've been promised. In fact, the proclamation isn't even as strong as last year's statement, which at least made strides toward supporting marriage equality! [1]
It's time for us to hear more than beautiful speeches from a President who has the power to change our lives for the better, but as yet hasn’t demonstrated the political will to do so. We deserve a President who is unequivocal in his support for our inherent dignity and equality.
There are hundreds of changes the President could make that would bring us much closer to full equality [2], but those changes remain in dusty binders rather than on the law books. It's time to dust off those binders and to start taking action to deliver equality, rather than just writing about it:
The President is asking for LGBT votes and dollars, while doing little to deliver the kind of change we deserve and merely "evolving" on things as fundamental as marriage rights. How long must we wait to see the political will in our President that we see from his speechwriters? How many more “Pride Proclamations” must we read before we gain the most basic rights we deserve as people, let alone as Americans?
Help us send a message to the White House and to this Administration that we cannot in good conscience say we are "IN" for any campaign that isn’t willing to recognize us as full human beings under the law. Help us make clear to President Obama and any others courting our votes over the next year and a half that piecemeal equality is not enough -- we're "in" to GetEQUAL, not to line a campaign's coffers:
As Kerry Eleveld recently wrote, our new reality is that "the right thing to do is also the popular thing to do." [3] Now is the time to see the President "come out" for us!
Show us you're serious, Mr. President. Embrace full federal equality for LGBT people now -- anything less is merely lip service!
Get Out! Get Active! GetEQUAL!
Robin McGehee, Director
[1] "Obama Issues Pride Proclamation -- With No Mention of Relationship Recognition" --
[3] "Doing The Right Thing For 2012" --
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