Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ladies (and gentlemen) in waiting: GLBT rights and Obama's priorities

Politico discusses the waiting game the GLBT community is playing with the administration of President-elect Barack Obama:

“You can bet that the community is going to be watching, and they’re going to want to hear what his plans are and when they think he can move legislatively,” said Denis Dison, a spokesman for The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute.

“There are also some pretty politically savvy people in the movement who understand that what he has to tackle are the things that are going to affect all of us,” Dison continued. “Gay people are just as affected by the economy as straight people. I don’t think anyone is going to expect him on Day One to start working on equal rights issues.”

The article points out that national GLBT groups are currently focusing on the transition and have helped place 7 openly GLBT people on the team. That's a good start and it will help make certain that our concerns don't get lost in the mix. Of course, the piece only speaks to the priorities of the administration. What the Democratic leadership in Congress plans is another matter. Members of Congress with large GLBT and allied constituencies may press for some legislation next year, such as the Matthew Shepard Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal hate crimes protections. It would be hard to imagine Obama not signing such legislation if it reached his desk in 2009.

Update: Andrew Sullivan tells us reports that a repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell will be delayed until 2010 may be false.

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