The largest-ever National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change continued today with a galvanizing “State of the Movement” speech by Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey, and dozens of workshops, panels and exhibits. Early in the morning, the Obama administration held a town-hall meeting with conference attendees.
Obama administration officials take questions from the LGBT community at Creating Change.
The day kicked off with a Q&A session with senior appointees from the Obama administration to discuss the White House, administrative agencies and the LGBT community. We were joined by Gautam Raghavan, LGBT liaison from the White House Office of Public Engagement; John Trasviña, assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development; Ana Ma, chief of staff, Department of Labor; and Amanda Simpson, special advisor to the assistant secretary of the Army, Department of Defense.
The officials spoke on a broad range of issues that affect the LGBT community, including international human rights, dealing with foreclosures and the housing crisis, ensuring employment protections for LGBT people, health care coverage for transgender people, youth homelessness and a broad range of other issues during the hour and a half long session. There were extended discussions about housing discrimination, including existing housing protections for LGBT people and families in state and local jurisdictions.
The appointees also credited the vast gains in LGBT equality through federal administrative agencies to the New Beginning Initiative, a coalition of more than two dozen organizations convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force collectively working to secure concrete federal administrative agency policies that benefit the lives of LGBT people and families. The panelists highlighted that through the relationship building and policy advocacy efforts of the New Beginning Initiative, officials are working to securing LGBT-inclusive policies throughout the federal government.
Later in the afternoon, Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey delivered a rousing “State of the Movement” address in which she proclaimed that “we’re not a single -issue movement.” For our full coverage and the speech, go here
If you want to see Carey’s standalone speech, watch here:
At the end of the plenary, Michael Adams, executive director of Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), gave the SAGE Advocacy Award for Excellence in Leadership in Aging Issues to Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary of Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As a federal appointee by President Obama, she played a leading role in the Administration on Aging’s decision to fund the creation of the country’s first and only National Resource Center on LGBT Aging.
Assistant Secretary of Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Kathy Greenlee accepts the SAGE Award.