Thursday, December 11, 2008

Keep Obama Honest on Civil Rights

Last month, we elected Barack Obama as our 44th President on the promise that he'll reverse course on the assault on people's rights and help our nation make progress again on advancing civil rights. Next month, Obama will take office. So how long must we wait to see those promises fulfilled?

Why should we wait much longer?

We shouldn't have to. Really, we can't allow inequality to persist any longer. That's why we must start working now to urge President Obama and the Democratic Congress to get working!

One great place where they can start is with repealing DOMA, the "Defense of Marriage Act". In reality, DOMA defends no one's marriage. Rather, it prevents same-sex couples from exercising what should be their rights as legally recognized couples. Now that issues of LGBT equality are on the forefront of the national agenda and most Americans believe gay & lesbian couples should have all the same rights as straight couples, we must make sure that DOMA is repealed.

Another important LGBT civil rights issue to tackle is workplace discrimination. Believe it or not, someone can still be "legally" fired in 30 states simply for being a "f*gg*t". We're in desperate need of a national anti-discrimination policy, and that's why ENDA must become law as soon as possible. That's also why "Don't Ask Don't Tell" must be repealed, as far too many brave people in the military are discharged simply for being queer. There should be no "heterosexual litmus test" to hire employees, so DADT must be repealed as ENDA becomes law.

Now of course, we don't just have work to do on LGBT rights. We also must work to advance women's rights, including women's reproductive rights. We can start by pushing for the passage of the Freedom of Choice Act, which will prevent any further erosion of the principle of freedom of choice originally decided in Roe v. Wade. Oh yes, and if the anti-choice forces really want to work with us to reduce the need for abortion, why don't they join us in protecting access to family planning & contraception?

OK, so choice shouldn't be the end of advancing women's rights. There's far more for us to do as well. Believe it or not, women are still not guaranteed fair pay for the hard work they do. And believe it or not, there's still no guarantee of equal rights for women in the Constitution yet. This must change, and we must change this soon.

It's about time that America treat all her citizens equally, regardless of gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Are you ready to make this change happen? I am. Now, we must demand that the new President & Congress make it happen!

Please tell President-Elect Obama to keep his word & support equal rights for all! Oh yes, and please ask the same of your members of Congress. They promised us change we can believe in, so now's the time to deliver.


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