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USA: Bisexuals at the Table

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

BisexualOn Monday, Sept 23, 2013, I found myself in Washington, DC, in a room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. With me were 31 other bi activists from around the US – and one from Canada – to meet with White House staff and federal government officials for an historic event, a true first of its kind. The meeting was a bisexual public policy roundtable, and there was a total of about sixty of us in attendance.

That day happened to be National Celebrate Bisexuality Day. For years, bisexual activists have asked for a place at the proverbial table. Now we finally had one. We had three hours to state our case and share with the federal government the unique and debilitating challenges facing our community, to hear from them the things they were doing or want to do to partner with us for change, and to build relationships that will hopefully save and improve bisexual lives.

Sounds very active, huh? Jam-packed? It was! Then why did I use the passive-voiced, “I found myself” in the opening sentence of this essay? That’s because that’s what I did. Oh, I worked to get myself in that room. I worked hard to keep myself in that room, and I busted my butt to make the most of my time in that room. But I also found myself in that room.

Authored By Amy Andre – See the Full Story at the Billerico Project

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USA: White House Held First Meeting on Issues for Bisexuals

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

BisexualThe White House held another first-of-its-kind meeting this week, this time to discuss the issues US bisexuals face.

Dot 429 reports:

Some people might see the idea of discussing bisexual issues as redundant; the B in “LGBT” does, after all, stand for “bisexual,” and legislation such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is inclusive of the bisexual community. However, the president of BiNet USA, Faith Cheltenham, told the Washington Blade, “Our community is definitely in desperate need. When we do come out, the things that happen to us are different than what happens to gays or lesbians. We won’t get promoted sometimes because we’re out and people think we’re flaky.” Cheltenham, who is married to a straight man, pointed out that many bisexuals suffer discrimination from both the gay community and the mainstream community. She also cited a 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which found that sixty-one percent of bisexual women have been on the receiving end of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking due to their sexual orientation, compared to forty-four percent for lesbians and thirty-five percent for straight women.

Bisexuality gets so little coverage on both the mainstream and LGBT press – believe me, we’re always on the look-out for articles and news relating to our bisexual brothers and sisters. So it’s great to see this meeting taking place.

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USA: White House to Hold Roundtable on Bisexual Issues

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

White HouseThe White House announced that they are planning a September roundtable on bisexual issues – the first of its kind. The Washington Blade reports:

In an email invitation dated Aug. 16 and obtained this week by the Washington Blade, White House LGBT liaison Gautam Raghavan refers to the event as a “a roundtable discussion on issues of importance to the bisexual community” and says it’ll take place Sept. 23 at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House. “Participants and administration officials will discuss a range of topics including health, HIV/AIDS, domestic and intimate partner violence, mental health, and bullying,” Raghavan writes.

I think it’s a good first step. Bisexual issues get short shrift in the LGBT universe.

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USA: Even After Inaugural Address, White House Says Marriage is a State Issue

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

White HouseWhite House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked today if the Obama administration’s position on marriage has shifted following his inaugural remarks yesterday that “our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

It has not, the Washington Blade reports:

NBC News’ Kristen Welker was first to ask whether the remarks — which suggested a national call to support marriage equality — represent a shift in Obama’s way of thinking from his previous position that marriage should be left to the states and not handled at the federal level.

Authored By Andy Towle – See the Full Story at Towleroad.com

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USA: No Comment From White House in Prop 8 Case

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

No Comment From White House in Prop 8 CaseWhite House Press Secretary Jay Carney continues to stay mum on whether the Obama administration will participate before the Feb. 28 deadline in pending litigation before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8.

Asked on Tuesday by NBC News’ Peter Alexander if the White House would “publicly advocate” against Proposition 8 — as well as the right for same-sex couples to have federal benefits precluded under the Defense of Marriage Act — Carney deferred comment to the Justice Department while reiterating the Obama’s previous action against DOMA.

“For comment on specific Supreme Court cases, I would point you to the Department of Justice,” Carney said. “On the issue of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, the administration’s position on this is well known, and has been. And that’s the President has determined that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional and that his administration will no longer defend equal protection challenges against it in the courts, and the DOJ has participated in the DOMA cases consistent with that position and asked the Supreme Court to resolve the question. So that is the DOMA issue.”

Authored By Chris Johnson – See the Full Story at The Washington Blade

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Lady Gaga: I’d Chain Myself to the White House for Marriage Equality

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Finding some extra time on her paws, Lady Gaga took to the Twitter on Friday where she had a short question and answer session with her Little Monsters.

According to Gay Star News, when asked what she would do next to help legalize gay marriage, Her Monstrosity responded, “chain myself to white house singing bad romance on repeat.”

Authored By Lester Braithwaite – See the Full Story at Queerty

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USA: White House Keeping Distance From Prop 8 Litigation

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

USA: White House Keeping Distance From Prop 8 LitigationWhite House Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to directly answer a question about whether the Obama administration wants the U.S. Supreme Court to take up litigation challenging California’s Proposition 8 or allow a lower court ruling striking down the same-sex marriage ban to stand.

In response to a question from the Washington Blade, Carney deferred to the Justice Department on whether the White House wants the high court to take up the case as a way to obtain a national ruling on same-sex marriage, or, as the plaintiffs have asked, let the ruling from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stand to allow gay couples in California to marry immediately.

“That’s quite a question and I will ask you to direct it to the Justice Department,” Carney said. “I’m not going to make policy toward Supreme Court cases from here.

Authored By Chris Johnson – See the Full Story at The Washington Blade

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Washington, DC: About That White House Wedding Proposal…

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Liz & ScoutThe couple who got engaged during the annual White House LGBT Pride Reception went on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Show this weekend to share their story. But it was Harris-Perry who offered up the big idea of a White House wedding.

For their part, the couple isn’t even sure when the date will be. If the anchor gets her way, though, the White House might want a little more background on how their love unfolded.

In her own words below, Liz Margolies shares the story of how she and Scout met, and how it all played into her decision to say “yes” when he got down on one knee at the White House of all places and proposed:

I met Scout at the annual meeting (November 2008) of the National Coalition for LGBT Health. We both run national LGBT health projects; his embedded in the huge Fenway Institute, mine a tiny organization of its own. It was my first time there. I was introduced to him by a mutual friend and, while he was clearly interesting and attractive, I dismissed him immediately as a “player.”

Full Story from The Advocate

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Washington, DC: Couple Engaged at White House Gets Hateful Reaction

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Couple Engaged at White House Gets Hateful ReactionWhen I dropped down on one knee and asked my sweetie if she’d marry me, I thought the risk was that she’d say no; I didn’t understand that doing it publicly would unleash a torrent of criticism, mockery, verbal abuse, and death threats.

Last Friday, I did propose, and despite both my girlfriend’s and my own ambivalence about the institution of marriage, I acknowledged publicly that, yes, I did want to spend the rest of my life with her and wanted to do it in a publicly sanctioned form. My girlfriend, Liz, is a bit larger-than-life, the nicest woman in the world, a passionate LGBT cultural competency trainer, but, as she says, “the fiercest 120 pounds you’ll ever meet.”

With a woman like that, it’s go big or go home. So I chose the most fearless place I could think of to pop the biggest question: the central hall of the White House, in front of 500 other amazing LGBT community advocates at the president’s annual LGBT Pride reception. It felt like she took forever to say yes, but she finally did, and it was amazing.

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USA: White House Advisor Dodges Marriage Equality Plank Question

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

David Plouffe and Marriage Equality PlankWhite House senior adviser David Plouffe declined on Sunday to say whether President Barack Obama would support or fight a gay marriage plank in the Democratic Party’s platform.

“We don’t even have a platform committee,” Plouffe said on ABC’s “This Week.” “We are going to work through the platform process.”

Full Story from

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