In a statement released Thursday The White House has said that it will dedicate the Harvey Milk “forever” stamp — on its first day of issue on May 22nd which is Harvey Milk Day in California.
Milk will be the first openly LGBT elected official to be featured on a U.S. stamp.
The stamp image is based on a circa 1977 black and white photograph of Milk in front of his Castro Street Camera store in San Francisco taken by Daniel Nicoletta of Grants Pass, OR. Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, VA, was art director for the stamp.
Harvey Milk was a visionary leader who became one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S. when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk’s achievements gave hope and confidence to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in the United States and elsewhere at a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility and discrimination. Milk believed that government should represent all citizens, ensuring equality and providing needed services.
Harvey Milk was assassinated, along with San Francisco mayor George Moscone, on Nov. 27, 1978.
In 2009, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
The public is invited to attend the May 28 Harvey Milk Forever Stamp special dedication ceremony in San Francisco. The dedication will take place at 3:30 p.m. at San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlet Place.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday that the Obama administration WILL NOT revisit the idea of issuing an executive order barring anti-gay federal job discrimination which President Obama REFUSED to sign last month in the wake of the failed vote among ExxonMobil shareholders to adopt a non-discrimination policy for LGBT workers.
The failed EO which would have required federal contractors to institute LGBT non-discrimination policies would have affected ExxonMobil which has won more than $1 billion in federal contractors in the past decade. In the last fiscal year, the company claimed $158 million in federal contracts alone.
But the White House insists that getting ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) passed in Congress and signed into law is the correct way to proceed. Even though ENDA has been introduced in every Congress since 1994 and has not been able to get very far because of the Republican opposition against it.
Jay Carney proved today just how far removed and short-sighted the Obama Administration is on ENDA and/or any kind of non-discrimination policy for LGBT workers into some kind of law
From The Washington Blade:
Blade: In the past decade, Exxon Mobil has taken more than $1 billion in federal contracts. In the wake of this vote, will the administration revisit the idea of issuing that executive order, barring federal contractors from taking money if they don’t have non-discrimination policies based on sexual orientation and gender identity?
Carney: Well, we don’t expect that an EO of that nature will be issued at this time. We are working, as I’ve said in the past, with Congress. We support legislation that has been introduced, (ENDA) and we will continue to work to build support for it. We believe that the legislative avenue here is the right avenue to pursue at this time.
Blade: How can the legislative avenue be right at this time when Republicans control Congress? How will that legislation get through the Republican-controlled Congress?
Carney: Well, because it’s the right thing to do
If Jay Carney and the Obama administration think that ENDA will pass a Boehner controlled Republican House “because its the right ting to do” they are just plainly either stupid or insane and we are in huge trouble.
An excellent post from Kerry Eleveld at Equality Matters:
Friday morning, Mike Allen’s Politico Playbook confirmed that Brian Bond, the de facto White House liaison to the LGBT community, is leaving to join the Democratic National Committee. Via Allen:
“BRIAN BOND joins DNC as director of constituency outreach. He has been at White House Office of Public Engagement for past two years and has been on frontlines of key initiatives, particularly on LGBT front.”
Truth be told, Bond was not a chief political advisor to the president on LGBT issues and he didn’t carry the title of “special assistant” (or higher) to the president – a rank that affords people clout and ensures them a certain amount of access to the Oval Office. John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, has primarily served as the lead on LGBT issues in the context of this administration. Bond was more likely to be relaying and implementing what had been decided by others.
Ahhhhh, smells like re-election time is nearing as The White House has launched a website solely dedicated to highlighting President Obama’s accomplishments related to the LGBT community over the past 4 years and what he “promises for the future” (if elected that is.)
According to Brian Bond, Deputy Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement, who only deals with gay fluff and not substance::
In honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) History Month, The White House launched our first ever LGBT specific constituency webpage: http://wh.gov/lgbt . This webpage is designed to keep you updated on how the President and the Administration are Winning the Future for LGBT Americans.
Please take a look at our Winning the Future for LGBT Americans factsheet http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/factsheet_lgbt.pdf and sign up for our e-mail updates http://www.whitehouse.gov/webform/sign-updates-issues-impacting-lgbt-community that will keep you up to speed with what is going on in the Administration. We encourage you to spread the word about this site to your friends, families, and the communities you work with.
Never mind that the list of accomplishments are rather puny as compared to the promises that Obama made us to help him get elected in 2008 Or the fact that when Obama HAD the window of opportunity to push Congress and do substantial LGBT Equality work between 2008 and 2010 he didn’t and pushed the LGBT community to the back of the bus. Then we have the DADT repeal became a long and drawn out clusterfuck, and not to mention the fact that Obama and the Department of Justice decided not to defend DOMA only AFTER the GOP broke the Democratic stronghold on both houses and the GOP could still defend it.
This is really nothing more than more smoke, mirrors, and the ole razzle dazzle to try to get the LGBT Community back behind him, to open those “gAy ATM’s” once again, and get him re-elected.
The really pathetic thing is. We don’t have much of a choice
Michelle Obama and Jill Biden’s initiative to “support and honor America’s service members and their families.” entitled “Joining Forces” kicked off today with an opening ceremony which included remarks from President Obama. But it seems that the only military families and members who were aren’t being honored and included are the gays and lesbians ones
Michelle Obama and The White House purposely did not invite Gay and Lesbian Military groups and organizations from attending the ceremony while other with few or no military families in their constituencies.
Servicemembers United, who represents gay and lesbian troops and veterans, complained that the White House had barred civilian representatives of gay and lesbian military families from the event.
“It is rather unfortunate that both East Wing and West Wing staff have refused to allow a representative of gay military families to even be in the room at an event that is supposed to honor their commitment and sacrifice” Alex Nicholson, from Servicemembers United siad. “”[t]he First Lady’s office has used the continued enforcement of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ as an excuse to exclude us, even though they know that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ does not apply to the civilians who work at their advocacy and service organizations. Many straight organizational representatives have been invited to this event, including some with few or no military families in their constituencies. “Yet our thousands of gay military families are shut out from being represented today because of nothing but lingering political homophobia. Gay and lesbian military families should not have to fight this hard just to stand in the back of the room in 2011.”
Communications Director for Michelle Obama Kristina Schake, , explained the decision in an email to CBS News.
“The President has been crystal clear that the Administration is moving forward with the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ quickly and efficiently,” she said. “However, it still remains the law. The White House, including the First Lady and Dr. Biden, look forward to working with the families of gay and lesbian service members after certification occurs and repeal goes into effect.”
Way NOT to go there Mrs. Obama.
Sure is a good thing Jackie Kennedy and Lady Bird Johnson didn’t feel that way before the 1965 Civil Rights Act was signed. Martin Luther King would have never met with Kennedy and Johnson before the signing.
via CBS News
On Monday there were many posts flying around the blogosphere referencing a Wall Street Journal article which stated that the DADT repeal is as good as dead because behind closed doors both Dems and Repubs were working together (bipartisan) to remove it from the National Defense Authorization Act so that the NDAA could pass quickly during the lame duck session of congress.
Yesterday Dan Pfeiffer, White House communications director, said in a statement on, “The White House opposes any effort to strip ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ from the National Defense Authorization Act.” and the Human Rights Campaign. calls the removal of the DADT repeal nothing more than “”background noise” that does not have the support of Democratic leaders in the Senate.
The $64,000.00 question is can we believe them?
Probably not. Both the White House and The Human Rights Campaign have betrayed our trust numerous times.
Obama and The White House also opposed any effort to remove the public option from healthcare. And on LGBT rights how many promises have been made and been broken? How many words of “support” have been given. with no tangible movement made? Saying Obama’s White House opposes something means nothing..it is just words, how many times have we heard words of support without any actions or pressure from the White House so there could be some actual advancement of LGBT Civil Rights.
And as for the HRC. For 2 years they squandered and wasted the opportunity of having a Democratic President, Legislature, and Senate by allowing Obama and the DNC to push us to the back of the bus in lieu of recognition cocktail parties and kind words. ENDA is DEAD, DOMA repeal off the table, The Domestic Partner Benefit’s Act has disappeared because of how much it would cost to give same-sex partners the same rights as their straight counterparts. And all this has happened because the HRC squandered the small window of opportunity that we actually had to make any advancements and lying to u saying that “there is a plan”. Which turned out to be bullshit.
If the DADT Repeal is not passed during the lame duck session and even if it is we need to re-think and restructure our strategy on how to move forward on LGBT rights. If the past 2 years has proved anything it is that we cannot trust the White House to do the right thing. And whats even sadder is that we cannot trust or allow Gay Inc. (HRC, NGLTF, etc.) to be involved. They squandered and wasted the best opportunity that the LGBT rights movement has had in over 20 years and now while everyone is blaming the Democrats for the failure of advancement and everyone is over looking the fact that Gay Inc is just as responsible, if not more for the lack of advancement of ENDA, DOMA, DADT and the Domestic Partnership Benefit’s and Obligations Act because it was in their charge to actually work for it. It is their JOBS (And quite well paying ones) to do that and NOT go to cocktail parties, and feed us line after line of “there’s a plan” bullshit.
The next move is ours. The outlook for any future substantial movement forward on LGBT rights is dark over the next few years. Now is the time we need to review and change our strategy which has not been working And we need to clean house of those in Gay Inc. who say they represent us and do nothing.
It’s only then we do this will we make any real advancements.
“”Fuck you, you pack of co-opting cowards. Seriously. You can do a more than offer hope. You have the power to make it better. Right now. Suspend enforcement of DADT. Don’t appeal the decision by a federal judge that declared DADT unconstitutional. Stop defending DOMA in court. Keep your promises. Make it better. And if you’re not going to keep your promises or do what you can to make it better, White House, then you could at least have the simple human decency to shut the fuck up.
State-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT people legitimizes the kind of anti-gay attitudes and beliefs that lead directly to anti-gay bullying at the ballot box and anti-gay bullying in schools. You can do more. Enough with the speeches. Enough with the pretty words—particularly lifted ones. Fuck you.” – Dan Savage, responding to the White House’s posting of an “It Gets Better” message from Brian Bond, Deputy Director of the Office of Public Engagement
Dan’s pissed, I’m pissed and you should be also. It’s far beyond the time that we take our activism and anger back to the streets and out of HRC and its Corporate Boardroom asskissing ways.
As it stands now , the White House is just as culpable for these poor teens’ deaths as the people who bullied them, and also the violence, harassement, and discriminination that we as LGBT adults deal with everyday because they send the message loud and clear that LGBTs are second class citizens whose rights and dignity are forfeit to pretty much any other interest the administration holds. And the HRC is just as culpable for kissing thier ass and putting thier interests before that of our community as a whole.
It’s about fucking time WE STOOD UP and did something.
Andy Towle over at Towleroad reached out to the White House today to get a response to yesterday’s ruling declaring “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” unconstitutional.
This is the response that he recieved from White House spokesman Shin Inouye:
“The Justice Department is studying the decision, including the question of its scope and immediate effect and we expect them to announce their next steps after that review is completed. The President remains committed to legislative repeal of DADT, and he will continue to work with lawmakers to achieve that goal this fall. And he will continue to work closely with Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on an ongoing study of how to best implement the repeal.”
Blah, blah, “study,” blah, fuckin’ blah.
“The President remains committed to legislative repeal of DADT”
Translation: He’s going to let this go to Congress where it will fail miserably after the November Republican Reclamation of Congress, which was doubtless the plan all along.
Know what Obama. Fuck you I want my vote back!
Well while I sit here STILL waiting for MY invitation to Tuesday’s White House LGBT reception It seems that I wasn’t the only one not invited this year. The Human Rights Campaign’s Prissydent Joe Solmonese is also missing from the guest list. (Which is a shame, because we all know how much Joe enjoys COCK-tail parties.)
So what’s it REALLY saying that Obama lapdog Solmonese isn’t going? Who knows?
Maybe it was because Solmonsleaze didn’t do the job he was supposed to do for Obama and keep the gay community quiet and off Obama’s back, and give cover for him for not pushing ahead on any gay rights initiatives. Or maybe Joe just has an emergency fitting at Dolce and Gabina for a new $1000.00 suit.