Thursday, July 2, 2009

Obama and LGBT (in)action

by Thúy-Lan Võ Lite

In lieu of mixed feelings in the LGBT community about President Obama - some think he's moving too slowly in fulfilling his campaign promises, while others are willing to be patient - it's pretty ironic that his inaction on Tuesday is definitely something we all can celebrate. According to the AP, the 30th marked the deadline for our president to appeal the decision in Schroer v. Library of Congress, which affirmed that transgendered individuals are covered by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Library of Congress offered Diane Schroer a job as a terrorism analyst but revoked the offer a day after she informed a library official that she was undergoing a sex change. The ACLU filed a lawsuit on her behalf in 2005, and on April 29 of this year, "a federal court awarded [her] maximum damages of $491,190 for back pay, other financial losses and emotional pain and suffering after finding the Library illegally discriminated against [her] because of her sex." (In the previous administration, the Justice Department tried to argue that the Civil Rights Act applied only to women and men, not people transitioning between the two; how close-minded is that?)

While it's certainly good news that this important court decision remains, it's hard not to be anxious about the rest of the promises the President has made to LGBT citizens. There's so much left to be done; I'm still waiting for DOMA to be repealed, for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to disappear, and for full health care coverage for same-sex partners of federal employees...

Cross-posted from the Feminist Majority Foundation blog

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