Monday, June 14, 2010

Advocate: View From Washington: Pride?

Kerry Eleveld has a piece in the Advocate about the advances the Administration has made on LGBT issues. She writes:

"Last week, the Obama administration made what is arguably one of the largest federal equality advancements for transgender Americans in the history of this country when it revised an antiquated passport policy to allow people to accurately declare their gender identity without having undergone gender reassignment surgery.

Unsurprisingly, the change emanated from the Department of State, where secretary Hillary Clinton has continually used her authority to the fullest extent possible to advance equality on behalf of the global community’s minorities and most disadvantaged – not least of which include women and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals here at home and around the world.

In fact, the State Department exceeded Mara Keisling’s expectations. Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said she had expected to see the policy emerge by the end of the year. “It came faster than I thought,” she marveled.

This change absolutely happened on the Obama administration’s watch and President Barack Obama deserves credit for it, but I can’t help but note the pattern that has developed at the State Department and draw some conclusions. Chief among them is what’s possible when the top few decision makers at State – including secretary Clinton herself – are more inclined to make an unabashed push on behalf of equality rather than a tepid one."

You can read the entire piece here.

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