The Obama Administration may be one of the first in this nation’s history to focus so much on LGBTI rights. Their plan is ambitious, and may hinge on securing enough votes to override filibusters out of the more Conservative areas of this country. While both President-Elect Obama and Vice-President-Elect Biden have come out against same-sex marriage, their platform is to push for civil unions across the country.
Here are the point by point plans without the spin…
Hate Crimes- The Obama Administration is planning on pushing for inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity into the Federal Hate Crimes laws.
Workplace Discrimination- President-Elect Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and this would expand discrimination protections to LGBTI employees of companies.
Civil Unions- The repeal of the Clinton Era Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is one of the issues that the Obama Administration hopes to address. Doing away with this will do two things. The first is to allow for couples joined in, what is basically, a civil marriage to gain all Federal rights and benefits and to allow for people to be married or gain a civil union in one state and have those rights cross the boarder.
Repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell- This is one of the paramount issues facing our military right now. While this compromise was originally envisioned as a stepping stone to allow the military to move beyond the policies which would force any gay or lesbian person from the services, it is a major issue at a time when our military is stretched to the limits. Obama-Biden intends to repeal this and allow for gays and lesbians to serve openly in our military.
AIDS Prevention- President-Elect Obama wants to promote an across the board approach to preventing AIDS including sex education which includes contraception information, and making contraception available through the public health system. He also seeks to remove the ban on needle exchange programs.
Removing AIDS Stigma- President-Elect Obama wants to help erode the stigma that surrounds HIV/AIDS while also combating homophobia to which this stigma is often attatched.
AIDS Research- There will also be a focus on AIDS research focusing on both a cure and on prevention in this Administration. They hope to focus especially on means by which women can protect themselves from HIV/AIDS.
While it would be nice for President-Elect Obama to speak out on LGBTI rights and his plans on these subjects right now, it is doubtful that we will hear from him until after the inauguration. This is a time of transition and the nation’s focus is mostly on the economic situation. However, I suggest that we make sure that after 20 January, the Obama Administration both has the power to enact these sweeping changes as well as remembers that we helped to elect the then Senator to the Presidency. (You can read more here)
Sei is a trans-lesbian who lives in Vermont and has a strong passion for LGBTI rights. She has a BA in History and her hobbies include sci-fi, anime, fantasy, action movies, video games, and more. You can visit her Blogger profile here.