FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 15, 2012
GetEQUAL Praises Obama Administration Action to Stop Deportations
LGBT Activists Look to President to Sign Workplace Non-Discrimination Executive Order on Day of “Pride Month” Reception
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Earlier today, the White House announced that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an announcement that it will stop deportations of and grant work permits to undocumented young people who would have been eligible for the proposed 2010 legislation known as the DREAM Act. GetEQUAL — a national civil rights organization working toward the full equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans — praises that step by the Obama Administration to protect the hard-working young Americans who have fought for the DREAM Act over the past 10 years.
“President Obama’s administration has absolutely taken the right step today in extending the American dream to undocumented youth across this country,” said Robin McGehee, executive director of GetEQUAL. “We’re thrilled that the president has stood with DREAMers across the U.S. today and has finally extended the ‘hope and change’ to them that he promised in 2008. And as the president hosts LGBT advocates at the White House today to celebrate LGBT Pride Month, we call on President Obama to issue the Executive Order that we have been calling for since the beginning of the year — an Executive Order to bar discrimination by federal contractors based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
“Today’s news is truly a dream come true for me and for so many other DREAMers across the country,” said Felipe Matos, GetEQUAL’s national field director and an undocumented gay man. “The DREAM movement really saved my life when I had lost hope in being able to stay in the country that I love — and today’s announcement is the result of hard work, good organizing, and bold action from my friends and family across this country. I’m still reeling from the news and overjoyed by the announcement — but my heart has just enough room in it for an LGBT Executive Order. It’s my hope that President Obama will make today especially historic by signing another Executive Order — one that will guarantee that I have the right to work freely and openly as an immigrant, but also as a gay American.”
Over the past few months, GetEQUAL has pressured the president directly and indirectly to sign such an Executive Order, staging a direct action at the White House Easter Egg Roll involving a gay couple and their daughter who would be directly impacted by such an executive action, and visiting Obama for America campaign offices across the country to pressure campaign staff and volunteers (see Easter Egg Roll press release here – http://bit.ly/LrkNTI – and OFA office visits press release here – http://bit.ly/MbgeO9). Over 1000 volunteers signed up to take action at their local OFA office, and GetEQUAL is planning an upcoming protest at a big Democratic fundraiser in Miami on June 26 if the Executive Order has not been signed.
GetEQUAL is a national, direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. Emphasizing direct action and people power, the mission of GetEQUAL is to empower the LGBT community and its allies to take action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way. For more information on GetEQUAL, please visit: http://www.getequal.org. You can follow GetEQUAL on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/getequal, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GetEQUAL, or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/getequal.