Kicking A Lion

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Posts Tagged ‘obama

Contact President Elect Obama

Voice your opinion of his choice to lead the Inauguration prayer, Rick Warren:

Rick Warren is the hate-mongor from Saddleback Church which twists the Bible to fit his format.  He uses faith to drive fear and is openly hostile to the GLBT community.

Written by kickingalion

December 18, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Gay man backed as Navy secretary

Some top retired military leaders and some Democrats in Congress are backing William White, chief operating officer of the Intrepid Museum Foundation, to be the next secretary of the Navy – a move that would put the first openly gay person at the top of one of the services.

The secretary’s job is a civilian position, so it would not run afoul of the ban on gays serving in the military, but it would renew focus on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take office.

“He would be phenomenal,” said retired Gen. Hugh Shelton, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997 to 2001, pointing to Mr. White’s extensive background as a fundraiser for veterans’ and military causes.

Retired members of the Joint Chiefs have contacted Mr. Obama’s transition team to urge them to pick Mr. White, and members of Congress said he would be a good choice for a service secretary.

“He’s very capable,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, whose district includes the Intrepid Museum, a retired aircraft carrier berthed on the Hudson River in New York City.

Mr. Nadler said Mr. White has become a friend of the military, and particularly the service members and their families, both through the Intrepid and through Fisher Houses, which offer a place to stay so families can be close to military members who are receiving medical care.

A spokeswoman for the Obama campaign said they won’t comment on personnel decisions.

Others are in consideration, such as Juan Garcia, a former naval aviator who was defeated for re-election to his seat in the Texas House. Mr. Garcia is friends with Mr. Obama from their Harvard Law School days and was chairman of Mr. Obama’s Texas campaign.

Democratic members of Congress from Texas sent a letter to Mr. Obama earlier this month supporting Mr. Garcia for the position.

A spokesman said Mr. White would not comment.

If Mr. White were nominated, he likely would face questions during a Senate confirmation hearing over how his nomination would square with the military’s policies on gays.

In 1993, President Clinton signed into law a ban, and White House and congressional leaders settled on a new policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Under it, gay service members must keep their sexuality private or face expulsion. About 12,500 people have been discharged under the policy.

Supporters of the ban said nominating Mr. White would send the wrong signal.

“It’s a matter of judgment, and I think that would be very poor judgment on the part of the commander in chief,” said Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, which opposes gays serving in the military. “It would be very demoralizing to the troops.”

But Mr. Nadler said the military policy that says gays are a threat to unit cohesion is “nonsense,” and it shouldn’t apply to Mr. White anyway because as secretary “he’s not in the foxhole, he’s not on the ship.”

Gen. Shelton called Mr. White’s work at both the Intrepid Museum and the Fisher House Foundation “legendary.”

“He has always been a staunch advocate of our men and women in uniform,” Gen. Shelton said.

–Stephen Dinan

Written by kickingalion

December 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm

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Obama Infuriates Gays: Chooses extremely anti-gay preacher Rick Warren for inauguration prayer

Written by kickingalion

December 18, 2008 at 4:16 pm

First Openly Gay Person Named to Obama’s Cabinet

Barack Obama’s selection of Nancy Sutley as chairwoman of the Council on Environmental Quality marks the first prominent, openly gay or lesbian to join his cabinet.

The news was widely covered in the gay press and Web sites.

“President-elect Obama’s nomination of Nancy Sutley is another step toward full equality for gay Americans,” Chuck Wolfe, president of the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute, said in a statement.

“It sends a signal to young people that they can participate in their government at its highest levels, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender or ethnicity.”

Sutley is currently the Los Angeles deputy mayor for energy and environment and the mayor’s rep on the board of directors for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She also was a member of Hillary Clinton’s California Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender steering committee during the state’s primary.

Sutley has spent more than a decade in senior environmental, energy and water policy-making positions in California, according to The New York Times. A former aide to Carol Browner, the former EPA director during the Clinton administration and now Obama’s czar for policy, Sutley also has experience dealing with budget and legislative matters at the state and federal level. She is closely tied to figures in Los Angeles city and California state politics.

Sutley, 46, holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University and a master’s in public policy from Harvard.


Written by kickingalion

December 17, 2008 at 4:22 pm

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Obama’s Education Secretary Proposed Gay High School

Barack Obama’s choice for Secretary of Education, Chicago schools chief executive Arne Duncan, recommended the opening of a high school for gay, lesbian and transgender students.


The proposed 600-student School for Social Justice Pride Campus would cater to gays but be open to other students as well, according to the Chicago Tribune.


“If you look at national studies, you see gay and lesbian students with high dropout rates,” Duncan said on Oct. 8.


“Studies show they are disproportionately homeless.


“I think there is a niche there we need to fill.”


Supporters of the school asserted that it would help students find a safe education environment. A 2003 school district survey cited by the Tribune showed that gay and lesbian youths are three times more likely to miss school because of safety concerns.


Opponents have called the plan a misuse of public funds.


New York City opened a similar school in 2003, named for openly gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, who was assassinated in 1978.

–Jim Meyers

Written by kickingalion

December 17, 2008 at 3:15 am

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Activists pin hopes on Obama banning transgender bias

Six months ago, a highly decorated retired Army colonel told Congress of instantly going from “hero to zero” in the eyes of a prospective employer when she disclosed that she was in the process of changing gender.

Since that hearing, Congress has done nothing to protect transgender workers, despite evidence of outrageous job discrimination.

But a federal judge has stepped in to say that the Library of Congress broke the law against sex discrimination by rescinding the job offer it had made before learning David Schroer was becoming Diane.

“The evidence establishes that the Library was enthusiastic about hiring David Schroer — until she disclosed her transsexuality,” James Robertson, a U.S. district judge for the District of Columbia, ruled in September.


“The Library revoked the offer when it learned that a man named David intended to become, legally, culturally, and physically, a woman named Diane. This was discrimination ‘because of … sex’,” the judge continued.

Schroer’s transition is being followed by another one in political Washington, of course. And the American Civil Liberties Union, which is handling her case, is hopeful that the new administration won’t fight the decision.

Already, the judge is preparing to order remedies, such as requiring the Library of Congress to hire Schroer and pay her back wages or monetary damages.

But the ruling, while a groundbreaking warning to other employers that they might be sued and held liable for similar discrimination, doesn’t automatically protect anyone beyond Schroer. In fact, federal judges disagree over whether federal sex discrimination laws cover transgender Americans.

A growing number of companies as well as 13 states — California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington — and the District of Columbia have enacted transgender protections. But most transgender workers are on their own in a workplace or job interview.

The ACLU is heartened, though, that President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team, in an historic first, includes “gender identity” in its nondiscrimination policy for appointment-level jobs in the next administration.

The legal group hopes, as president, Obama will take the next step — signing an executive order formally banning job discrimination based on gender identity within the federal civilian work force.

President Bill Clinton signed a similar order banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in civil service jobs. The ACLU wants Obama to expand it to cover government contractors as well, both based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

That still, unfortunately, would leave transgender workers vulnerable at private companies.

So the ALCU and other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups are urging the Democratic-led Congress and Obama to fulfill campaign promises by outlawing job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity — whether by Uncle Sam or his private-sector sisters.

Schroer’s ongoing legal battle over a job to provide expert policy analysis to Congress on terrorism underscores the need for swift action next year.

As David, she gave her country 25 years, including 16 in Special Forces with 450 parachute jumps and combat experience in Panama and Haiti, followed by directing a 120-person classified Pentagon organization that tracked and targeted terrorists.

It’s only right that the government repay Diane — as well as other transgender Americans — with equal job opportunities.

–Deb Price

Written by kickingalion

December 15, 2008 at 5:04 pm

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Obama to Name Out LA Deputy Mayor to Environmental Post

A Democratic aide has confirmed to The Advocate that President-elect Obama is preparing to name openly gay Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Nancy Sutley as a senior member of his environmental team, as reported Wednesday by the The Los Angeles Times.

Sutley, who currently serves as deputy mayor of energy and the environment, will be named chairwoman of the Council of Environmental Quality, which helps develop environmental policy and advises the White House on such matters.

The announcement comes at a time when gay Democrats have been beginning to express concerns over the absence of LGBT representation in President-elect Obama’s senior-level appointees. Sutley originally supported Sen. Hillary Clinton in the primaries and was a member of her Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Steering Committee in California. But following the election, Obama asked her to join a team that is reviewing the Environmental Protection Agency. She will become the first out person named to a prominent position in the administration by President-elect Obama.

Sutley has a rich background in environmental public policy at both the federal and state levels, having served on the California State Water Resources Control Board, as energy advisor to Governor Gray Davis, and as the Deputy Secretary for Policy and Intergovernmental Relations within the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As an appointee to the EPA, she helped shape water and air pollution policy, lobbied Congressional leadership, and formulated budget and legislative priorities. (Kerry Eleveld,

Written by kickingalion

December 10, 2008 at 4:27 pm