Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Open Letter to Barack Obama

The following is a letter writing campaign by Join The Impact to President-elect Barack Obama urging him to remain committed to addressing LGBT issues while in office.

"Dear President Obama,

Congratulations on your historic and inspiring victory. Your lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens, along with families, friends, and heterosexual allies, would like to welcome you to the White House. We are thrilled to see that true change has come to this country.

During your election campaign you wrote an open letter to us, making it clear that you were committed to gaining ‘full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country.’ In that letter you asked for our vote and promised 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 Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to outlaw 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

We come to you as esteemed citizens of the United States of America in need of equal protections under the law for all families. The LGBT community is part of this diverse country, but do not share the same rights as their heterosexual brothers and sisters. In the spirit of family, respect, and of course, hope, we will work with you to make these promises become a reality.

We paid attention to the statements you made during your campaign, and we voted for you. Now, as you take office, we ask something in return. Please keep your promises to the LGBT community and provide the leadership needed to achieve true equality for all Americans.

Your Fellow Americans"

The deadline for mailing the signature pages is January 12 for us to get them to Barack Obama on his first day in office.

Please mail to:
Join The Impact
PO Box 141491
Columbus, OH 43214

Print out letter pages here.

Print out signature collection pages here.


SickNTired said...

yes lets all write letters that we know he won't be reading.

Steve Krotz said...

SickNTired - you miss the point. Even though Obama probably won't read most, if not all, of these letters, he and his administration will be made aware of how strong, or weak, the GLBT community's reactions are to what he is doing and what he plans to do.

It's important to keep reminding this new administration that we're still out here and we're closely watching what they do or don't do in support of the GLBT community at large. And whether or not they keep the promises that were made to us.

Again, that's important

Anonymous said...

Dear President Obama, I believe by the time you read this you’ll have been inaugurated. My name is Brian and I am a 39 year-old man living in Los Angeles, California, that has been happily teaching high school and college English for 17 years. I am a two time Fulbright, Fund for Teachers, & Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund recipient and I have earned a Master’s degree as well. I am lucky to have a great life, a promising marriage and a wonderfully supportive family! On August 2, 2008 I married my husband Michael,after having met three years prior. Michael is from Malaysia and is finishing his Registered Nursing program this late fall. Our wedding celebration was the most glorious event of our lives! Over 120 of our friends and family came to encircle us with their love and blessings for a fruitful life together, full of love, intimacy and caring. We decided to get married because we love one another and we share the same values and goals. I also married Michael because he is my hero, having come to the United States just three short years ago to pursue his dreams of becoming a nurse. How brave you must be to leave everything you know behind and come to a different country. I know you can relate to that! I was so very lucky to have snatched him up soon after his arrival. A year later I proposed to Michael in 2006, in a surprise atop the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. It was a dream come true for both of us. When we came together to wed on August 2, 2008, we were both overwhelmingly excited. In West Hollywood park, in a circle of rose petals, friends and loved ones, we had our wedding performed flawlessly by our dear friend Donna, with whom I work with and went to Africa with two years ago on an educational grant. As we approached the park at dusk, a sunset glow hallowed our friends as we joined in the circle as Michael's mother (I surprised him by bringing her from half way across the world without his knowledge.), who flew all the way from Malaysia, and his sister in law, escorted him, as both my parents and stepmother walked me into the circle as well. We then shared tea with the elder guests as a sign of reverence, which was a symbol of Michael's culture. After the tea ceremony my stepmother sang a gorgeous Beatles song to us. Our ring ceremony followed and was very special. Each member of the wedding party held a red ribbon, as our two rings were passed with the ribbon going through the two rings around the circle, as each member of the wedding blessed the rings and held our two hearts. This was an extraordinary bonding experience, for our love is forever blessed by everyone we know. We then exchanged our vows with emotional intensity as we were wrapped in a talis, a tradition of my culture. There was not a dry eye in the park! We broke glass and then headed, with our guests, to our lounge reception next door to the park and celebrated all night. It was the best wedding I have ever been to! It all seemed so extraordinary, yet paradoxically it was just like everyone else who has been married before us. Now Michael and I are bonded in the love of our friends and family to live a beautiful life together: So we thought…On November 4, 2008, our lives changed forever. I had the opportunity to vote for the only candidate I have ever believed in into office. That candidate is you! We congratulate you and the entire country for having won and for running the bravest, most positive election in modern times! You managed to stay above the fray and inspire millions! I am overwhelmed just thinking about it now! Tears of joy filled our eyes as the world recognized the United States, once again as a place of hope! However, in the state of California, we were beginning to hear the overwhelmingly sad news that Proposition 8, a proposition that was in favor of changing our state constitution that marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman, had won. We know you were against Proposition 8, even though you may disagree with the wording of using “marriage” between same sexes.We know from you and Vice President Joe Biden that you both support Civil Unions and that you both support that same-sex couples have the same rights as couples of the opposite sex. We have read your letter to the LGBT community several times as a beacon of hope and I have included your words below as a reminder of all of our commitments to global equality! We are now wondering when will all of this happen? We are aware that politically it may not be expedient. That is too bad for the millions awaiting such change.Michael is graduating from Nursing School and will be a registered nurse upon passing his board exam. He has been offered several great jobs from prestigious hospitals, like Cedar Sinai Medical Center, but when he asks about sponsorship he is shockingly turned down, and the jobs revoked. In 2006, the retrogression from the United States Government went into effect, concerning the distribution of H1C Visas for skilled nurses. This has greatly impacted Michael’s and my future together; and since the United States does not recognize our marriage and with Proposition 8 passing in California, we are losing hope, an ideal we inspired to in my vote for you. Now we are unclear as to when you will take a stand and fulfill the promise you have made for same sex couples all over America. We know the economy and the two wars are priority for our country, however we are curious as to when and how you will make these changes for same sex couples everywhere? Will it be part of the first positive changes you will make for our country? We are worried, terrified and just plain saddened by our, and many others, dilemma. For the first time in our lives we feel that there is hope for us with you in the most important office in the world. We are sure you are inundated with requests and mail. We are asking for you to make an executive order or bring quick legislation in order for many same sex couples to live out their American Dreams! Your aids have been quoted this week that you are eager and willing to fulfill your mandate with executive orders and this excites us! We also know that “small things” get brought up in our legislature daily and get passed with expediency. For instance today, the news reported that there is a bill to make sure American flags are made in the USA. Another example is a bill that is being presented to stop scalpers at your own inauguration. I know that is important to the economy, but how many real lives do that effect? I know there are bigger fish to fry! Around the world, activists are stepping up to demand passage of UAFA. Join us fair-minded people, to demand equal immigration rights for same-sex couples. Anything less is un-American! We will pass the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), but together we will pass it sooner. In the debate we heard in front of tens of millions of people: "…In an Obama-Biden administration, there will be absolutely no distinction from a constitutional standpoint or a legal standpoint between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple."On record you have also said, “Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.”You are brave! You not only have stood up for such issues but you were bold enough to appoint Rahm Emanuel as your Chief of Staff, one of the 118 House co-sponsors of the UAFA.Our time is running out. We are growingly frustrated by the turns of events in California, where we have taken to the streets, and we are terribly worried about our future together. Will we have to leave the United States of America? I cannot even fathom the thought! This has been my home for 39 years and it is where I have established my life. I am AMERICAN! I should not even have thoughts of leaving the country I love in my mind! Michael and I have discussed this a lot and for the first time in our lives we truly feel like second-class citizens. Could you imagine what that must feel like? Could you imagine contemplating those thoughts TODAY when you look into YOUR own family’s eyes? Please help us live the American Dream and end discrimination in our country for good!We wish you (BEYOND) good luck in your endeavors for the world and we look forward to seeing you grow as a leader. We are amazed by the turn of events and we thank you for your consideration and service. We are also at service to you so please do not hesitate to contact us for any reason! Please look at your letter to the LGBT community from your website. Yes we can! Yes we will! Thank you again!Peace!Brian

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