The right to petition our government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Not long ago the Obama administration created an online way for us, we the people, to do just that: press our public officials to take action on the issues of utmost importance to us. If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure that it's sent to the appropriate policy experts and issue an official response.
Well, as President Obama embarks on a second term, we think it's high time that he use his executive, and moral, authority to demonstrate to a skeptical world and recalcitrant Congress that the federal government of the country that claims to be a beacon of freedom, democracy and human rights for all will finally begin to treat its own lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens with dignity, respect and full and equal treatment under the law by enacting executive orders, amending existing ones and promoting legislation that sets a government-wide precedent for equality.
This should include but is not be limited to:
- Nondiscrimination protections for employees of federal contractors based on sexual orientation and gender identity
- Prohibition of federal funds being used to discriminate against LGBT Americans
- A moratorium on deportations of foreign same-sex partners of LGBT Americans
- Strong promotion of legislation to prevent bullying and harassment of students
- Strong promotion of legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and action to include LGBT federal workers and their families in all federal benefits programs
- A statement declaring his specific second-term priorities regarding full LGBT equality in his 2013 State of the Union address
In order to get the White House to respond to this petition, we need to gather 25,000 signatures by Feb. 7. Please, add your name to the petition HERE, and share it with your family, friends, allies and online networks.
And if you need some inspiration, we encourage you to read Langston Hughes' powerful poem "Democracy."