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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Remarks By Commerce Secretary Gary Locke at NGLCC Annual Business and Leadership Conference

Thank you for those kind words.

It’s wonderful to be here today, and I want to thank the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for inviting me to speak.

The partnership between the Chamber and the Obama administration has been strong from the outset.  In fact, the chamber was the first LGBT organization invited to the White House – one week to the day after President Obama took office. 

Since then, the administration has continued to seek progress on a variety of issues important to the LGBT community, from the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” to combating anti-gay bullying through the “It Gets Better” campaign.

I'm proud of the progress we're making on these issues, and I’m proud to have taken similar steps when I was governor of Washington state. Back in 2002, I signed a bill requiring schools to write anti-bullying policies that protected kids from taunting, including bullying that arose because of sexual orientation.  Standing with me that day was a mother named Gabi Clayton, whose bisexual son Bill had taken his life after facing unbearable bullying.  That’s a tragedy no mother, no father should ever have to endure, and the Obama administration will continue to fight against this discrimination and harassment wherever we find it. 

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