BY Advocate Contributors
March 19 2010 2:40 PM ET
We met last week with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, USAID administrator Raj Shah, chief of staff to the National Security Council Denis McDonough, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, and White House domestic policy chief Melody Barnes to deliver and explain our recommendations. We are confident from our interactions that they will be taken seriously.
An important issue — that of whether federally funded organizations can discriminate in hiring based on religious beliefs — was taken off the table for the Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and placed, I understand, with the Department of Justice. We will all need to remain vigilant in advocating with the administration that no federal funds should ever be used to discriminate.
It has been a privilege to serve the country and the president in this way. It has also been a loving responsibility to seek to represent the needs and hopes of LGBT people in the process. I have felt your support in contentious times, benefited from the wise counsel of many in our communities, and hope I have borne witness to the strength and compassion of all our LGBT communities as I have represented you on the President’s Advisory Council.