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Letters to President-elect Obama: Carole Midgen

Letters to President-elect Obama: Carole Midgen

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Open letters from 26 gay men and lesbians.

Dear President Obama,

Congratulations on your barrier-breaking election. You have helped this nation scale a mountain from which we shall never retreat.

And you thought that two years of campaigning for your new job was tough. Are you sure you want this job? Because you're inheriting a heck of a mess, I'm going to focus on what should be easy decisions for you, the Includer: LGBT issues.

First of all, your perspective on LGBT liberty needs to evolve. If it makes you feel better, it's not just you--most top-rung candidates fear being forthright about LGBT issues. But let's face it, Mr. President, this is the civil rights issue of the 21st century.

I have raised an eyebrow over your association with Colin Powell, who advocated the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. On the other hand, you have stated that DADT will be history under your leadership. I am thankful for that.

I am looking forward to your implementation of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Too many state and local antidiscrimination laws are ineffective, and federal law is needed.

We need your avid support for more protections of LGBT youths in our schools. It is unacceptable that children are dying simply because they are honest about who they are.

And we need similar protections for LGBT folks at the other end of the age spectrum: Gay seniors in nursing facilities have become targets for ignorant and bigoted caregivers from whom they have no escape.

Use your own experience with discrimination to open up a dialogue about LGBT issues with communities of color.

Most of all, lead with an open, progressive outlook that includes the full rainbow of Americans. There really is gold at the end of that choice.

All the best,

Carole MigdenFormer California state senator

More Letters to the President-elect:Tammy Baldwin, Democratic member of Congress from Wisconsin

Daniel Tammet, author of Born on a Blue Day

Evan Wolfson, Executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry

Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign

Melissa Etheridge, singer-songwriter

Michelangelo Signorile, radio host and author of Queer in America

Tammy Bruce, radio talk-show host and author of The New American Revolution

Kenji Yoshino, professor at New York University School of Law and the author of Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights

Vestal McIntyre, author of You Are Not the One and the forthcoming Lake Overturn

Jarrett Lucas, codirector of the 2008 Soulface Q Equality Ride

Michael Lowenthal, author of Charity Girl and Avoidance

Suzanne Westenhoefer, comedian and star of the documentary A Bottom on Top

Jim Buzinski, CEO and cofounder of Outsports.com

Perez Hilton, blogger, radio host, and television personality

Carole Midgen, former California state senator

Pam Spaulding, Durham, N.C.-based blogger

Paris Barclay, Executive Producer/Director HBO's In Treatment

Lorri L. Jean, CEO, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center

Jeffrey Prang, Mayor of West Hollywood

Jorge Valencia, Executive director and CEO of Point Foundation

Mark Leno, California assemblyman

The Reverend Doctor Troy D. Perry, founder and moderator emeritus, Metropolitan Community Churches\

Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality

Donna Rose, transgender activist

Peter Tatchell, LGBT human rights campaigner and spokesman for OutRage!

Rachel B. Tiven, Executive Director, Immigration Equality

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