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Obama Delivers 2013 State of the Union Address, Avoids Employment Non-Discrimination Act Again

Obama SOTU

President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech last night and while mentioning LGBT Americans twice he did not tackle the subject of employment non-discrimination directly once again only alluding to it off handedly and talking about benefits for gay and lesbian solders which make up about .0005 % of the population.

Said Obama:

As long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad, and we will maintain the best military in the world.  We will invest in new capabilities, even as we reduce waste and wartime spending.  We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families – gay and straight.  We will draw upon the courage and skills of our sisters and daughters, because women have proven under fire that they are ready for combat.  We will keep faith with our veterans – investing in world-class care, including mental health care, for our wounded warriors; supporting our military families; and giving our veterans the benefits, education, and job opportunities they have earned.

It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love

 

Heather Cronk of GetEQUAL:

“Time and time again, President Obama continues to pay lip service to employment equity, but refuses to take the simple step of signing an Executive Order that would end LGBT discrimination by federal contractors — and that would prevent taxpayer dollars, including taxpayer dollars from LGBT Americans, from going to discriminatory companies.  He had his pen out today to sign other Executive Orders — it’s incumbent on the LGBT community to ask why he decided to put that pen away before protecting 25% of the American workforce from workplace discrimination.”

Its time for Obama to put up or shut up because his words and crumbs aren’t fooling anyone except the Human Rights Campaign any longer.  Obama needs to use his political capital to push ENDA as one on HIS initiatives (rather than if you bring it to me I will sign it) or sign the Executive Order, which is at least a start in the right direction.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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