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White House to Hold Trans Issues Meeting

White House to Hold Trans Issues Meeting

In a White House first, trans groups have been invited to a closed-door meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to exclusively discuss federal trans-related issues. The meeting will take place Friday, April 29, and will not be open to the public.

It is expected that a federal, trans-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) will be a topic of discussion as well as health policy as it relates to trans people, but a formal agenda has not been announced. 

From The Washington Blade:

Shin Inouye, a White House spokesperson, said the meeting, which is set to take place Friday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, will include transgender leaders who work on federal policy.

“OPE routinely holds meetings with various stakeholders to discuss various policy issues,” Inouye said. “Friday’s meeting, like most OPE meetings, will be closed press and off the record.”

Additionally, Inouye said the meeting will be the first ever for the Office of Public Engagement where transgender issues are the sole focus of discussion.

“While transgender issues have been covered in previous OPE meetings, and transgender leaders have been included in other OPE meetings, this would be the first time OPE has held a meeting solely focused on transgender issues,” Inouye said.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said she plans to attend the meeting.

“This is the first president who has allowed trans people — really allowed LGBT people — to bring forward problems and then advocate for them,” Keisling said. “In the Bush administration, we couldn’t even do that. They wouldn’t even listen to us. They didn’t care what our problems were. In fact, they were making most of our problems.”

[Read more from trans advocates over at Washington Blade.]

With the United States House of Representatives dominated by the GOP it would seem doubtful that there will be any significant moves on a federal ENDA.

As such, advocates have pressed for President Obama to issue an LGBT-inclusive executive order on workplace discrimination. This would only impact businesses contracting with the federal government and would not be as lasting as an Act of Congress but would be a good stop-gap measure until conditions are more favorable for ENDA.

Whether this possibility will be discussed during Friday’s meeting is unknown, but you can read more the precedent for an executive order here.

For more on ENDA, please click here.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to brainchildvn.

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24 comments

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8:25PM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

A lifetime, of hiding secrets. Being raised, in families, not realizing the truth. A truth to one's nature, GOD's Plan, Journey, I am 59 Vintaged, 60 in dead heat, to make my acquaintance. I am Transwoman, M to F SRS, 39!! Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, under local. Intense.

At the age of 21 I was a computer programer. I wrote programs in Basic, RPG, COBAL. In the olden days it was necessary to wire the boards, from key punch, sorter, to comuter. I loved my job. I decided a most difficut decision. To this day my sisters do not speak to me. I share these experiences to show transgender individuals have much to contribute. As I read this petition, I am emotional. That a Great, Historical Man addresses a human right, brings honor to My cause. Equality. We, Transgender people(s) are an asset to Our Country. Grant us the opportunity to proof Our value. Thank you. Mr. President.

1:54AM PDT on May 2, 2011

a step in the right direction

1:30AM PDT on May 2, 2011

I put all my energy behind this initiative which could be a first step towards something even better. I believe that by saying things like "this will do no good" we are condemning a possible advance to failure before it's hardly started. Yes, it may not be enough but at least it's a start so let's applaud and celebrate and support it so that it gains stength and can go much further.

10:13PM PDT on May 1, 2011

am grateful that the president is finally taking action on this issue.thank you william

6:40PM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

It's about time that somebody stands up for Trans-Folk in this country. They're much higher on the food-chain in some other countries... while revered in others.

Hope something good materializes from it all :-)

11:10AM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

This is great to read about; however, 'The Capilatistic Compromiser' President is just going to compromise their human rights away.

10:34AM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

Thanks Obama that takes real GUTS!! Hope you all talk about what happened to an individual at a Mcdonalds not to long ago.....The beating i am referring to

9:36AM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

We should make them decide to issue stimatisation of homophobia, and strike all 'marriage acts', DOMA, and DADT from fed and state books as violations of the Fed Constitution. People's private consenting-adult bedroom escapades are no-one elses business!

9:34AM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

Good start, but probably fruitless since the makeup of the current congress is moronic & asinine.

8:10AM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

This may be a promising sign, I hope so!

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