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EXCLUSIVE: What GetEQUAL’s Robin McGehee Told the White House Today

Melanie Nathan;- 11-17-2010 – Today Robin McGehee did something most unusual for a school mom turned activist.  A lesbian mom and  executive Director of an LGBT organization GetEqual Robin took the words of LGBT grassroot into the White House.

From, yesterday chained to the fence of the White House, to being dragged off, feet scraping ground, by two burly arresting  police officers , to  a meeting inside the White House with Brian Bond and a Member of the President’s Domestic Policy Council and a White House legal Counsel on LGBT issues.

Robin called me moments after the meeting, her voice breaking with emotion as she walked down the Pennsylvania Blvd, cell phone in hand, another moment of true grass roots activism.

She told me, “when the White House found out that the bloggers had been informed and broken the news of our meeting they were angry. But I told them that I was not willing to do any back room deals – but that I wanted to be transparent. That I wanted my LGBT community to see and hear everything that happens.  It is their equality at stake and they deserve that. She said she would rather leave than not be transparent.”

Mr. Bond told Robin McGehee, who points out that she was there as an activist, a mother, a lesbian and representing GetEQUAL, that he would then be unable to speak because he did not want what he said “used against them” but that he would listen. She told, he listened and he made notes.

McGehee told him that she would like to hear from the White House where LGBT equality legislation stood, specifically that she wanted to hear about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

She asked for an Executive Order by years end.  She asked why the White House was not going ahead with an executive order to stop discharges; she said the LGBT community was insisting on it at the very least; Why is DADT different from any other legislation? Why is the President not pushing and persuading Senator Snowe and Collins, the fence sitters? Why is the President not spending some political capital here for DADT?

She told Bond that not one single member of the Military should be discharged and that the President ought to be reflecting that by his actions.

Mr.  Bond told Robin that they  are working as hard as they can; saying “ we want to see that happen” – Robin pushed further and said there is a difference between wanting to make it happen and making it happen. It must happen.

McGehee said although she was there about DADT- she could not allow the opportunity to be exclusive to that as the only LGBT issue; and so she pulled out a picture of her two children and introduced them to the group.  She said that Although she realized DOMA may not be repealed at this time, she wanted the President to revert to his old pre- Presidential campaign position on marriage equality where he did support same sex marriage.  “Everyday  that our families live without dignity, the President should think of going back to his original stand  and he must support marriage equality- as person of faith he  should think of our dignity.  Remember he came out and said that his religious beliefs precluded him from endorsing same-sex marriage for gays- well,  as a person of faith the President ought to reflect on his denying our families and community the right to live with dignity.

Additionally she asked that the White House stop all future Federal Contracts that do not include protections for Transgender people; and she informed him it was her belief that if in fact this happened it would encourage more corporations who wanted to Contracts to do the same.

We also asked for the LGBT community to have a cabinet position.

Two weeks ago I had a meeting with Robin McGehee and Kathy Drasky from OUT4Immigration at a fabulous San Francisco Sushi Restaurant – thank you BLOWFISH.

It was there, while talking about the Uniting American  Families Act and my hope it would be included with the DREAM Act in the lame duck session. I also showed Robin my Binational Visa and Pledge campaign. I spoke to Robin about the binational same sex community ‘s dissatisfaction and desperation.  That we were fed up with being the unnoticed of all gay issues, yet our UAFA- having the highest amount of co-sponsorship of all LGBT equality bills, in Congress.  We also discussed my views and writings about UAFA being stuck in Immigration reform.

SO Robin did not let us down and she spoke up “I told Mr. Bond that we wanted to see passage of the Uniting American families Act. That not one more person who has an American partner should be deported, separated or living in exile.  I told him, Mel about your binational Visa as a stop gap measure, and asked the President to get it done – and he wrote it down. I stressed he must stop the deportations of gay and lesbian spouses and partners. If we do not get UAFA this lame duck session  then the President must ensure no more deportations and getting our permanent partners Visas to come into the Country.

Robin McGehee did the Lgbt movement a great deed today.  The White House may well have heard the voices  of everyday gays and lesbians.  I believe we will see action and if we do not there will be more fences, more chains, and more noise.  Robin is inviting transparency as we move towards our basic civil rights, in the form of a real movement that is birthing as we speak. The movement that demands full equality.

In the meantime – call your Senators and ask what they are doing to broker the REPEAL of DADT in this Session and while you are at it, mention UAFA being included with DREAM ACT in this lame duck session.

Melanie Nathan
nathan@privatecourts.com

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12 Responses to EXCLUSIVE: What GetEQUAL’s Robin McGehee Told the White House Today

  1. LOrion

    November 19, 2010 at 12:18 am

    Wow, wow, wow! So very good for her. All of it.Enough cowering and cringing for the Right OBAM. Get a spine and defend the equality we are granted under our constitutional rights. Thank you much Robin and Melanie! Yes Stop Discharges, yes Full Enda, yes UAFA and CIR with Dream Act. ..
     
     

  2. Alison

    November 18, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    From the bottom of my very British heart, thank you both and do please keep up the good work on the front line! After nine years in exile, the missus desperately wants to go home to the US and we’re the lucky ones because we do at least have the option of living here together! My thoughts go out to all those couples who are separated right now. Let’s hope change is coming soon!

  3. Jay

    November 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Robin and GetEqual are awesome. Thank you, Melanie, for the article and thank you, Robin, for your courage and persistence.

  4. Steve Rosenberger

    November 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Can someone please tell me why the f*ck is there a White House LGBT “liaison” – if that person will only listen – but not speak – in a meeting???

    There are no words for the depth of my loathing of this pathetic Administration.

    Except one: SHAME!

  5. Shannon Drury

    November 18, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Forget Palin’s fake mama grizzlies–Robin is the real deal.  Keep fighting for all the pissed-off moms out there, Robin!  We’re behind you!

  6. Janice

    November 18, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Thank you Mel. Thank you Robin. The White House probably wanted to quietly sweep this under the carpet, but Robin wouldn’t let them. Let’s placate the crazy woman who chained herself to the fence, so that she thinks we’re sympathetic to her feelings, and she’ll go away and shrink back into the closet!……Good for you Robin in not allowing them to get their own way.

    Another thing I am getting sick of lately, is the criticism on here of those who work day in and day out to fight for our issues. If it is justified criticism then that’s fine, but do it constructively people. Don’t shoot the messenger! Just realize that without those who are willing to keep on fighting day in day out for our rights, we would be getting nowhere at all. If you think it’s easy to work tirelessly for the rights of others, then you are sorely mistaken. I know for a fact that people like Melanie Nathan wear themselves out every single day working for the likes of us. That is working for nothing……do you get that criticizers?
    Perhaps those who want to pick think they can do better? Maybe if we all stood up and shouted, maybe if we all went that extra mile to fight for our causes, maybe just maybe if we put our money where our mouth is so to speak, we might become a force to be reckoned with!
    There is power in numbers people……don’t shoot down those who are on your side. Help them, guide them, support them, because I’m sure at times they wonder if they are alone in fighting for our issues!

    • JacksonBear1968

      November 18, 2010 at 8:30 pm

      @ Janice, You tell em Sister…it really ticks me off that I’m one, of the few GLBT Activists, in Mississippi, that has actually Lost my voting rights. I was in a march many years ago for GLBT Equality…I stopped an officer from hitting someone by stepping in front of the line…I got beat and a Felony for aggravated assault….we didn’t have an ACLU chapter then. I sacrificed my right to vote to stand up for what I believe in.
      GAY America needs to wake up…OUR RIGHTS…will never be, until we push like they did in Stonewall. Being Militant is not the answer but you can make a difference COME OUT of that CLOSET and find out who your true friends and family are and make a stand. Stop the Bullying and the suicides of teenagers, they need us more then ever your not doing anyone good unless your OUT and PROUD and get noticed.

  7. shelleybear

    November 18, 2010 at 1:18 am

    I hate to say this, but did she ask why N0bama authorized the appeal of BOTH court rulings that asserted the D.A.D.T. is unconstitutional?
    Because, if he hadn’t appealed ,this horrible policy would have died right then and there.

  8. Tif

    November 18, 2010 at 12:01 am

    It’s a good list, but I’m not sure what makes this list of demands news breaking.

    And nothing was apparently said about “equal civil rights” or “full federal equality.”

    But what I APPLAUD loudly for, however, is the fact that Robin refused to have an off-the-record conversation. BRAVO!! BRAVO!! And thank you for standing up for this most important of principles!!! Transparency begins….

  9. Bridgette P. LaVictoire

    November 17, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    LGR and AmeriBlog are not the only ones covering the fact that after this meeting, Obama began a push to get Senators on board for repeal- something that he has not done up until now, and something that you seem to be willing to ignore. Your hatred for Ms McGehee and her group aside, something has changed and we are waiting to see if it has changed enough to get this passed.

  10. Jude

    November 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Thank you Melanie! Thank you Robin! We won’t stop. Legislators – Federal, State, City, etc, need to get that message. My friends are done waiting. I’m done waiting.

  11. cindy

    November 17, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Great article and event! As a soulforcee, arrested around the country over the past 12 years – I know how hard it is to give up all your rights in a single moment of civil disobedience. Great job – thank you for inspiring us ALL to do more as we stand up for those who cannot or will not (yet).