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Letters to President-elect Obama: Joe Solmonese

Letters to President-elect Obama: Joe Solmonese

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Open letters from 26 gay men and lesbians.

Dear President-elect Obama,

Your election as president represents the most profound sense of hope and promise that our community has experienced in decades. For LGBT Americans, the years of Congress and an administration working against us -- literally working to enshrine discrimination into the Constitution -- have come to a close. Our years in the wilderness are over -- and this really is a change we can believe in.

On many occasions throughout this campaign you took the opportunity to directly confront homophobia before religious leaders, and you openly condemned the role that stigma based on sexual orientation continues to play in fueling the devastating spread of HIV/AIDS, particularly within minority communities. You even took that message to Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Dr. King once stood and called for equality, and declared, "We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them."

When you appeared at our Logo/HRC Foundation presidential forum on LGBT issues in August 2007, you reaffirmed your commitment to the LGBT community. You acknowledged that our community's fight for equality is part of what prompted you to get involved in politics. During that forum you told us, "It's the job of the president to talk about these issues in ways that encourage people to recognize themselves in each other."

We know you face enormous challenges on critical issues that affect everyone in our country. The magnitude of those challenges cannot be overstated. You face the daunting task of putting our country back on the right track.

We look forward to working with you during the transition period and, as your administration begins, working to put America on a better path. For us, that path means full equality. You can rely on us to help build the support for strong policy that will improve the daily lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Congratulations, President-elect Obama. We are ready to work with you on the challenges that lie ahead.

Truly,

Joe SolmonesePresident of the Human Rights Campaign

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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