From: “The White House”
Sent: Thu, 22 Mar 2012 14:40:57 Pacific Daylight Time
Subject: Response to Your Message
March 22, 2012
Thank you for writing. We must stand united to
protect liberty and justice for all our citizens, and I appreciate your
perspective on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights.
My Administration has taken a number of steps to
address issues affecting the LGBT community. On December 22, 2010, I was proud
to sign the repeal of the discriminatory ?Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell? policy. This
repeal strengthens our national security while upholding the very ideals our
service members fight to defend. With the repeal?s swift and efficient
implementation, thousands of Americans in uniform are no longer forced to bear
the added burden of secrecy and isolation in order to serve our country.
Our values are also protected by the Matthew
Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which I was honored to
sign into law. This law adds Federal protections against crimes based on gender
identity or sexual orientation to existing civil rights protections.
In addition to these important developments, I
signed a Presidential Memorandum directing hospitals receiving Medicare and
Medicaid funds to give all patients the compassion and security they deserve in
their time of need, including the ability to choose who can visit them and make
medical decisions. I also extended benefits to same-sex partners of Federal
employees in the Foreign Service and Executive Branch. To help take on
discrimination in all its forms, we are working to ensure core Federal housing
programs are open to all. Additionally, we ended the ban on entry to the United
States for people living with HIV/AIDS and issued the first comprehensive
National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
While we have made great strides, much work
remains in the quest for equality for LGBT individuals. I have consistently
called for the legislative repeal of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA), and my Administration will no longer defend the constitutionality of
Section 3 of DOMA?which I believe violates the equal protection component of
the Fifth Amendment?in court. I have also urged Congress to pass the bipartisan
Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, and I support an inclusive
Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Adoption rights must be secured for LGBT
families, and we need to ensure our children are free to learn in supportive
environments in school. For information about my commitment to preventing
bullying and harassment, along with resources for those facing bullying, please
visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/ItGetsbetter and www.StopBullying.gov.
Thank you, again, for writing. To learn more
about my Administration?s efforts to create a more open and tolerant society,
please visit: www.WhiteHouse.gov/LGBT.