Oh how kind of the incoming Obama administration to listen to the concerns of the wee gay community. Having pandered to the gay community during his entire campaign, the president-elect appears ready to actually hear what we have to say. Over a week ago, “gay activists met with members of President-elect Barack Obamaâ€™s transition team last week in a two-hour session focused on policy issues and presidential appointments,” reports Southern Voice. Of course, this was before Obama selected Pastor Rick Warren to say a prayer at his inauguration.
“Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, said transition team officials were attentive during the meeting and very appreciative of the clarity of recommended policy changes. ‘They were taking notes, they were listening, they were responding, they were asking questions, they were a very, very engaged transition team and that bodes well for our community moving forward,’ she said.
“About 60 people attended the Dec. 10 meeting, including transition leaders such as John Podesta, co-chair of Obamaâ€™s transition team; Jim Messina, who is in charge of Obamaâ€™s personnel decisions; Mike Strautmanis, director of public liaison and intergovernmental affairs; Melanie Barnes, whom Obama tapped to become the White Houseâ€™s domestic policy director; and Parag Mehta, the transition teamâ€™s liaison for minority groups, according to activists.
“Carey said activists also told transition officials that the gay community is interested in being part of the major issues of the day, including the economic crisis or health care reform.
“Activists made it clear that the gay community wants to be â€œpart of creating solutions to these problemsâ€ and asked transition officials to make sure that â€œLGBT people are not left behind when these discussions are taking place,â€ Carey said.
“Solmonese said his role at the meeting was to discuss non-legislative changes that Obamaâ€™s administration could make to improve the lives of gay and transgender Americans.
“He said he presented the transition team an 80-page document of proposed changes.”