Tag Archives: transgender

President Obama Appoints Amanda Simpson, First Transgender Woman To Commerce Post

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Amanda Simpson, Senior Technical Adviser to the Commerce Department

Amanda Simpson, Senior Technical Adviser to the Commerce Department

HP/Nick Wing—President Obama has appointed Amanda Simpson, a transgender woman, to be the Senior Technical Adviser to the Commerce Department.

I’m truly honored to have received this appointment and am eager and excited about this opportunity that is before me,” Simpson said in a statement. “As one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds, and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others.

Simpson — a former test pilot and 2004 YWCA “Woman On The Move” — has been active in the aerospace and defense industry for the past 30 years. She most recently served as Deputy Director in Advanced Technology Development for Raytheon, where she transitioned from male to female.

In the past decade, Simpson has been highly active in GLBT issues. In 2005, she successfully worked to have Raytheon adopt gender identity into its Equal Employment Opportunity Policy. That same year, she ran unsuccessfully for the Arizona House of Representatives.

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86 Year Old, Life-long Republican and WWII Vet on Gay Marriage- “What Do You Think I Fought For?”

Posted by Audiegrl

votenoon1maineIn this poignant video below, 86 year old Philip Spooner, who is a life long resident of Maine and a Republican, speaks out on the reason we need marriage equality in this country. The fight for marriage equality in Maine is coming up in two weeks. If the “No on 1” campaign is successful, Maine will become the first state in the nation to successfully defend marriage equality in the voting booth.

Get this video out to as many people as you can.

Transcript: Good morning, Committee. My name is Phillip Spooner and I live at 5 Graham Street in Biddeford. I am 86 years old and a lifetime Republican and an active VFW chaplain. I still serve three hospitals and two nursing homes and I also serve Meals on Wheels for 28 years. My wife of 54 years, Jenny, died in 1997. Together we had four children, including the one gay son. All four of our boys were in the service. I was born on a potato farm north of Caribou and Perham, where I was raised to believe that all men are created equal and I’ve never forgotten that. I served in the U.S. Army, 1942-1945, in the First Army, as a medic and an ambulance driver. I worked with every outfit over there, including Patton’s Third Army. I saw action in all five major battles in Europe, and including the Battle of the Bulge. My unit was awarded Presidential Citations for transporting more patients with fewer accidents than any other ambulance unit I was in the liberation of Paris. After the war I carried POW’s back from Poland, Hungary, and Yugoslavia, and also hauled hundreds of injured Germans back to Germany.

I am here today because of a conversation I had last June when I was voting. A woman at my polling place asked me, “Do you believe in equal, equality for gay and lesbian people?” I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me. Finally I asked her, “What do you think our boys fought for at Omaha Beach?” I haven’t seen much, so much blood and guts, so much suffering, much sacrifice. For what? For freedom and equality. These are the values that give America a great nation, one worth dying for.

I give talks to eighth grade teachers about World War II, and I don’t tell them about the horror. Maybe [inaudible] ovens of Buchenwald and Dachau. I’ve seen with my own eyes the consequences of caste systems and it make some people less than others, or second class. Never again. We must have equal rights for everyone. It’s what this country was started for. It takes all kinds of people to make a world war. It does make no sense that some people who love each other can marry and others can’t just because of who they are. This is what we fought for in World War II. That idea that we can be different and still be equal.

My wife and I did not raise four sons with the idea that three of them would have a certain set of rights, but our gay child would be left out. We raised them all to be hard-working, proud, and loyal Americans and they all did good. I think it’s too bad those who want to get married, they should be able to. Everybody’s supposed to be equal in equality in this country. Let gay people have the right to marry. Thank you

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Why I’m Optimistic About Maine by Paul Hogarth

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Why I’m Optimistic About Maine by Paul Hogarth

Posted by Audiegrl

gay_rights_sign_by_Beyond Chron/Paul Hogarth—I’m back home in San Francisco, after spending 10 days on the ground in Maine with the “No on 1” campaign. After my time there, I truly believe that – with our help – Maine will become the first state in the nation to successfully defend marriage equality at the ballot box, providing a roadmap for California to repeal Proposition 8. Maine activists have been working hard for five years to pass gay marriage, but events in the last few days now point to what should be an historic victory on November 3rd. With only 19 days left, what I’m seeing from the “Yes on 1” campaign reminds me of where “No on 8” was at this point last year – outgunned by the opposition, unable to control the message and at a loss about what to do. If Question 1 passes, it will be our fault for not having done more. But if Question 1 fails, those of us who get involved will have made history – which is why I hope to go back for the last four days. Here are the reasons for my optimism …

An Early Fundraising Advantage

votenoon1maineOne reason why I got involved in this effort was that “No on 1” said they only needed $3 million dollars for the entire campaign – a pittance compared with California efforts. “We’re a cheap date,” said campaign manager Jesse Connolly at this year’s Netroots Nation Convention. New fundraising totals that came out this week show that “No on 1” has already raised $2.7 million (with most of the money coming from Maine residents) – and bloggers are planning a big fundraising push for today that should keep them on track with their goal.

The bigger news, however, is that “Yes on 1” reported only raising $1.1 million – with a campaign debt of $400,000 (our side has no debt.) This provoked their spokesman Marc Mutty (who is on loan from the Portland Archdiocese) to send out an urgent message on October 13th that their cause was under “financial assault.” In the mass e-mail, which can be reviewed in full here, Mutty says they had known from the opposition’s superior ground game that our side had been raising more money. But they had “never dreamed the situation was as dire as it is,” and are now urging their supporters to make a “sacrificial contribution” to pass Question 1.

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More @ Beyond Chron, San Francisco’s Alternative Online Daily

Paul Hogarth

Paul Hogarth

Paul Hogarth is the Managing Editor of Beyond Chron, San Francisco’s Alternative Online Daily, where this piece was first published.

To find out more about Beyond Chron, click here.

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New Justice Official: I’ll Fight Anti-Gay Discrimination

Posted by Audiegrl

Justice Dept. Seeks Action vs. Gay Discrimination

Gay March on Washington 10/11/09

Gay March on Washington 10/11/09

Associated Press/Devlin Barrett—The Obama administration’s point man on civil rights said Wednesday he will seek to fight discrimination against gays, an area in which the Justice Department has had only a small role in the past.

Tom Perez, the assistant attorney general in charge of the department’s Civil Rights Division, said pending legislation in Congress will allow the department to attack discrimination against lesbian, gays, bisexuals and transgender people, a group often referred to by the acronym LGBT.

That would be new territory for the division that has historically gone after discrimination based on race, gender or religion. It would also be a major shift from the division’s work during the Bush administration, which opposed expansion of the federal hate crimes law to prosecute those who attack gays.

Tom Perez

Tom Perez

Perez on Wednesday he gave his first speech to division employees, saying the division must be transformed “so that we are capable of tackling the civil rights challenges of the 21st century,” include issues not historically addressed by the department.

We must fight for fairness and basic equality for our LGBT brothers and sisters who so frequently are being left in the shadows,” he said, and to “ensure that there’s a level playing field in which our LGBT brothers and sisters are judged by the content of their character.”

Allison Herwitt, legislative director for Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights group, called Perez’s words “fantastic.”

What’s so different between this administration and the last is that we have people who want to have these protections in place and to enforce these protections, and you have the top of the Civil Rights Division willing to openly talk about these protections,” said Herwitt.

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Gay rights advocates march on DC, divided on Obama– + Obama Gives Human Rights Campaign Keynote

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WASHINGTON – Thousands of gay and lesbian activists converge for a march from the White House to the Capitol, demanding that President Barack Obama keep his promises to push for civil rights protections from the federal government.

Rainbow flags and homemade signs dotted the crowds as people chanted “Hey, Obama, let mama marry mama” and “We’re out, we’re proud, we won’t back down.” Many children were also among the protesters.

A long journey-  1979

A long journey- 1979

Some participants in the National Equality March woke up energized by Obama’s blunt pledge to end the ban on gays serving openly in the military during a speech to the nation’s largest gay rights group Saturday night. The president also said he would work to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and to give same-sex couples the same civil rights as straight couples.

“I’m here with you in that fight,” Obama said. He acknowledged some had grown impatient that he wasn’t pushing for changes faster but urged advocates to continue pressing him and Congress to act.

Obama’s political energies have been focused on two wars, the economic crisis and health care reform, though he pledged “unwavering” commitment even as he wrestled with those problems.

March organizer Cleve Jones, creator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and a protege of gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk, said he had initially discouraged a rally earlier in the year. But he and others began to worry Obama was backing away from his campaign promises.
“Since we’ve seen that so many times before, I didn’t want it to happen again,” he said. “We’re not settling. There’s no such thing as a fraction of equality.”

Full Story:

For details on today’s march click here:

“Obama Says He Will End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell'” (source)


President Barack Obama pledged to end the ban on Gays serving openly in the military in a speech Saturday, but acknowledged to a cheering crowd that the policy changes he promised on the campaign trail are not coming as quickly as they expected.

Click here for a full transcript of his remarks.

CLICK LOGO BELOW FOR A VIDEO REPLAY FROM C-SPAN

gayrights365Gay.com/—The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, announced today that President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address at the 13th Annual National Dinner on Saturday, October 10th, in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy will also present the first-ever Edward M. Kennedy National Leadership Award to Judy and Dennis Shepard. The award is named in honor of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), a champion in the fight for LGBT equality.

gayweddingsmallWe are honored to share this night with President Obama, who has called upon our nation to embrace LGBT people as brothers and sisters,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “It is fitting that he will speak to our community on the night that we pay tribute to his friend and mentor Senator Edward Kennedy, who knew that as president, Barack Obama would take on the unfinished business of this nation – equal rights for the LGBT community, and for every person who believes in liberty and justice for all.”

More @ 365gaylogosmall

Nominee David Huebner

Nominee David Huebner

Obama Nominates Openly Gay Ambassador

Washington Blade—President Obama is preparing to nominate his first openly gay ambassador, according to a knowledgeable source.

David Huebner, who serves as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s general counsel, will be nominated to become the administration’s ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. A formal announcement was expected Wednesday evening.

Huebner, who currently works at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, specializes in handling international arbitration and mediation cases. Formerly a resident of California, Huebner is now based in Shanghai.

Long active in non-profit and community organizations, Huebner has chaired the California Law Revision Commission and served as president of the Los Angeles Quality & Productivity Commission. He’s also guest lectured on international topics at several schools domestically and abroad.

More @ washingtonblade

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