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Trade Your Signature for Equality

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January 9, 2009

Tomorrow, our friends over at Join the Impact are having another national event to support LGBT equality. They’re calling it the “Nationwide DOMA Protest,” but it’s actually much more than that. Tomorrow’s event is a day of action, with people in cities across the country taking to the streets to gather signatures on an open letter to President-elect Barack Obama, asking him to follow through on the promises he made to LGBT people during the campaign.

Last February, Barack Obama’s campaign released an open letter to the LGBT community. In it, he said that, if elected President, he would work to:

  • Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and ensure that states treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws
  • Enact a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
  • Enact the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes against our community
  • Confront the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the stigma surrounding it
  • Amend the Uniting American Families Act to afford same-sex couples the same rights and obligations as married couples in our immigration system

The open letter Join the Impact is asking people to sign tomorrow reminds President-elect Obama of his promises to the LGBT community and gently reminds him that we’re counting on him to make good on those promises. I have to say, if his administration is willing and able to follow through on this list, it would have a dramatic positive impact on gay lives, all across the country.

I hope you’ll take part in this national day of action tomorrow. You can even get started today! There’s more information about what activities are going on in your community here. Whether you stand on a street corner, bring the letter to a party, or circulate it among friends, co-workers and neighbors (as I’m doing), the signatures you collect will help ensure that the next administration does as much to forward LGBT rights as the last one did to hurt them.

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