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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Message from the Founding Executive Director of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates Selisse Berry

I’ve just returned from the inauguration of our 44th president, Barrack H. Obama, in Washington, D.C. The energy and the sense of community I experienced there was incredible and life affirming. Cynthia and I attended the Equality Gala, co-sponsored by Out & Equal, and connected with friends from all over the country.

The jubilation and pride we saw throughout the capital area was euphoric. I remember in June 2007 when Barrack Obama said, "While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. 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."
This represents a historic opportuntiy for all Out & Equal supporters to make progressive change in workplaces across the country. Already President Obama and Vice President Biden have included LGBT Civil Rights in their official plan, which is available on the President’s website They include:

Strengthen Civil Rights Enforcement
Obama and Biden will reverse the politicization that has occurred in the Bush Administration's Department of Justice. They will put an end to the ideological litmus tests used to fill positions within the Civil Rights Division.

Combat Employment Discrimination
Obama and Biden will work to overturn the Supreme Court's recent ruling that curtails racial minorities' and women's ability to challenge pay discrimination. They will also pass the Fair Pay Act to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
Expand Hate Crimes Statutes

Obama and Biden will strengthen federal hate crimes legislation, expand hate crimes protection by passing the Matthew Shepard Act, and reinvigorate enforcement at the Department of Justice's Criminal Section.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Editorial Comment/Statement from the Founder of

Re: Pastor Rick Warren vs. Reverend Gene Robinson Inauguration Roles

Yesterday, held a very successful protest outside of Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church with our guest speaker, Robin Tyler and her lawfully wedded wife, Diane Olson. We believe that Pastor Warren delivering the invocation at the Presidential inauguration is both insulting to the gay community as well as harmful. While we firmly believe President-Elect Obama's message that we can only bridge our differences by communicating with people that we don't always agree with, Pastor Warren's participation at an event that is meant to unite and not divide would appear, however unintentionally, to give validation to his dangerous views that gay marriage is like child molestation or incest.

When openly-gay Reverend Gene Robinson was invited to speak at the kick-off party for the inauguration, it was meant to be an olive branch to the gay community. While delivering a prayer at a rock concert is a far cry from delivering the invocation at the inauguration, it was intended to mend fences. Imagine my dismay when I returned home from our peaceful protest to find that Reverend Robinson's prayer of peace had not been broadcast by HBO. They are claiming that they were asked to keep the prayer as part of the unaired "pre-show" by the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

The gay community deserves and is demanding an explanation for this insult and omission from both HBO and the Presidential Inaugural Committee. At the very least, it shows a shocking lack of foresight and consideration for a significant percentage of the nation's citizens and their loved ones, and we deserve and demand an apology. We aren't going anywhere and the number of people who support us is growing and these insults will no longer go unaccounted for and unnoticed.

All the best,

Josh Einsohn, Founder

Saturday, January 17, 2009 Offers The Community A Unique Opportunity on Autonomy

The year 2009 has finally arrived and we are collectively filled with such a dichotomy of emotions. President-Elect Obama is poised to become the first African American president and the economy is rearing its ugly head leaving us spinning with a sense of wonder.

The recession has obviously affected most of us on some level. It is possible that we will see at least one or more of our friends face a lay-off from their current place of employment. Sometimes life forces us to change our lives around despite our reluctant efforts to hold on. As scary as this appears, there is still hope.

Read on.....