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Gay Couple to Attend Easter Egg Roll, Ask Obama to Sign Executive Order Banning LGBT Workplace Discrimination

Jarrod Scarbrough and Les Sewell, a New Mexico couple of 18 years, are attending the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday with their 8-year-old daughter and plan to press the President on signing an executive order banning workplace discrimination against LGBT people, according to a press release from GetEqual and Freedom to Work:

EggrollScarbrough and Sewell are advocating for President Obama to sign an Executive Order banning workplace discrimination by any federal contractor on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Recent reports indicate that this Executive Order has been approved by both the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor, and is simply awaiting the president's signature. The push by Scarbrough and Sewell comes on the heels of a sign-on letter by 72 House Democrats, dated April 2, that calls on President Obama to sign the Executive Order.

"I work for a federal contractor, and there's a piece of paper sitting on President Obama's desk that would give me a little more security for my family," said Jarrod Scarbrough, an employee of United Healthcare. "As so many families gather on the White House lawn next week, I hope that the First Family takes a moment to reflect on how hard gay families like mine work to ensure that we have the stability and security that so many others take for granted. My message -- and the message of my family -- echoes President Obama's campaign slogan: We can't wait. It's time for President Obama to sign this Executive Order."

The couple is holding a press conference by telephone before heading to the White House on Monday.

In related news, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, a group known as the “law firm for the Latino community”, has become the first non-LGBT civil rights group to announce support for an executive order:

In a letter dated April 5, Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, calls on President Obama to take administrative action to prohibit companies that do business with the U.S. government from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“I write to urge you to build on your successful ‘We Can’t Wait’ initiative in one concrete way,” Saenz said. “Specifically, MALDEF asks that you sign an executive order to ban federal contractors from engaging in workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, including LGBT Latinos.”

Saenz urges the president to issue the order because the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, legislation that would bar job bias against LGBT people, has stalled in Congress for years.

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Comments

  1. I am all in favour of workplace protections for us. And there is a whole list of things I'd bring up if I had a meeting with the President.

    But it is not appropriate to turn the Easter Egg Hunt into a political event. I bet their invitiation will be (and should be) revoked.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Apr 6, 2012 12:16:03 PM


  2. Agreed. There's a time and a place. The Egg Roll is about the kids having fun.

    Posted by: DAVID | Apr 6, 2012 12:40:50 PM


  3. Hmmm I think they should ask him. We need to stop making excuses and ask/demand at every opportunity.

    Posted by: Name: | Apr 6, 2012 12:52:29 PM


  4. The ban should be on discrimination on the basis of 'sexual orientation' not 'sexual orientation and gender identity'. It makes no sense to throw in separate demographic characteristics likes gender identity, eye color, or handedness.

    Posted by: DB | Apr 6, 2012 12:56:30 PM


  5. Stupid. How much time do they think they'll have with him? The Easter egg roll isn't like an audience with him. They sound self-important.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 6, 2012 1:25:39 PM


  6. @Mikeboston:
    It is not appropriate that, in 2012, we can still be fired, denied a job, denied housing, and/or kicked out of our homes simply for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Any time there is an opportunity to speak to the president, we should make him aware of what we want and why. When else is this family going to get the opportunity to talk to him in person to let him know how inequality effects them? This mentality within the community that we have to follow certain rules of etiquette is absolutely tiring to me. Our lives and our livelihoods are at stake and we need to make a stink about it any and every chance we get.

    @DB:
    way to be inclusive and everything. Transgender is NOT a sexual orientation, it is a gender identity. Please, name me one case where people have been fired for eye color or handedness in the last 40 years... It doesn't happen. People do get fired or denied housing for their gender identity and that does need to be protected along with sexual orientation.

    Posted by: Michael Diviesti | Apr 6, 2012 1:32:22 PM


  7. There is no such thing as "LGBT people" or "LGBT individuals."

    Posted by: Jack Rickman | Apr 6, 2012 1:47:48 PM


  8. All these comments about how "it's not the right time" are utterly absurd. Considering all the promises he made, albeit as propaganda, he really should be held accountable for his inaction. Stop being liberals and start being gay rights crusaders. Until the Democrats prove their loyalty to you, you're just a convenient voting block, and therefore get what you deserve. You can believe your fanciful delusions of how he'll TOTALLY be on your side after the elections, but until he is, he ISN'T.

    Do you know why NOM's tactics worked? It's because the Democrats themselves threw you under the bus time and time again, and YOU let them. If the Democrats had accepted gay marriage a long time ago, it wouldn't have happened. Make whatever excuses you want, a total lack of leadership, coupled with a devil-may-care attitude, is what's wrong with the Democrats, who are responsible for every pitfall we've ever encountered. And guess who enforced that? That's right; YOU ALL.

    Stop being liberals and start being gay rights crusaders. Stop giving the Democrats a carte blanche over gay issues. And for the love of God, stop defending them. Grow a spine.

    Posted by: Matt | Apr 6, 2012 2:51:26 PM


  9. @Diviesti

    As a forty-something y.o. triple minority - orientation, nationality, and ethnicity - I have seen a lot of discrimination first and second hand. I would never suggest the protections should not be in place. My point is the battle will not be won by disrupting a children's event on the lawn of the White House and could very easily have a negative effect. It isn't etiquette - it's playing the game to our best advantage. If it were a political event, a press conference, a fundraiser - go for it. A day for kids to play on the lawn - shut up and play on the lawn.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Apr 6, 2012 2:55:45 PM


  10. @MikeBoston:
    You do understand that, they aren't planning on disrupting anything right? I mean, at this event, the president (traditionally) walks around and greets attendees. Why not use the one time in your life that you will probably ever have the president's ear to say "hey, you know, my family and I would really like for you to sign that executive order that you promised us in 2008". That is not causing a scene.

    Posted by: Michael Diviesti | Apr 6, 2012 3:12:02 PM


  11. there's a way they could do this that could make a point, to the man who counts, without causing a scene. here's hoping that if they choose to bring this up, they do so in that way.

    and anyone who thinks they can improve their own lives as a gay man by distancing themselves from their trans brothers and sisters is a coward who's in for a rude awakening.

    we're all in this together.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 6, 2012 3:19:54 PM


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    Posted by: Lyam | Apr 6, 2012 3:57:16 PM


  13. Sound like "Media Whores" to me...not the time or the place guys!...

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Apr 6, 2012 4:47:01 PM


  14. This is for your CHILDREN to have fun, not to try and ruin the day with politics, fools. Once this event is politicized, it will never be the same and will probably be discontinued. Congrats.

    Posted by: TonyT | Apr 6, 2012 5:19:36 PM


  15. It seems unlikely that they're planning to throw a tantrum and pelt the President and innocent children with Easter eggs . . . come on, this is a political event, it's not simply a children's party (unless you also believe in the Easter bunny)! They weren't invited cause they're all BFF's. They were invited for political reasons.

    If you're lucky enough to get near the President there are respectful ways to speak about issues that are of importance to you; if it was all about children having fun, they could stay home and the Obamas could hunt eggs in private. The President can deal with 2 guys urging him to support equality--it's not like hissy fits would be permitted when you're on White House property.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 6, 2012 5:50:15 PM


  16. TROLL ALERT!

    Troll alert and so painfully obvious.

    Wonder how this this dud is getting paid to troll on here

    (yup, you heard right. the wing nut trolls get paid to troll on these sites. they are also taught how to make troll like comments, AND told to pretend to pose as one of us. So you'll often hear "I'm gay...BUT" ...just know them, and feel free to call them out on it, then point and laugh.)

    Posted by: IonMovies | Apr 6, 2012 10:08:05 PM


  17. Mike in boston,
    you've got a serious case of homophobia. You need to address it. You advocate for LGBT parents not being allowed to enter this easter egg contest, and you also don't want it to be known that they are gay. You are evil in every sense of the word, and it's time for vile "gays" like you to get out of our way. It's people like you, and your self hate that have made an activist out of me, whereas a few years ago I was indifferent on LGBT related issues. Now I and many of my friends are more engaged than ever before. Thanks for fueling our fire with your bigotry. And you are a bigot. Don't ever let anyone, including yourself, tell you otherwise.

    Posted by: Dynex | Apr 6, 2012 10:11:54 PM


  18. Mikeinboston would certainly not be saying this if his ethnic minority group was being fired based on their ethnicity, and we had a President who did very little about that prejudice. He'd be the first in the streets protesting at every event, children or not. There's a double standard by some people, and even some gays, as to which type of prejudice they value more. And it's precisley complacent people like that who halt true equlity being attained.

    Posted by: USC Trojan Fan | Apr 6, 2012 10:14:59 PM


  19. @MikeBoston

    You say you're a triple minority? I wonder what your reaction would be if this were your nationality and/or ethnicity that compelled employers firing you in many states, and you not being able to feed your family. I doubt you'd be so non chalant and cool. You don't sound very sympathetic toward the plight of GLBT. You can't qualify your comment with 'but I'm gay' some of the most homophobic people I've ever encountered have indeed been gay themselves. You don't really grasp the pain and injustice faced by many gay Americans who can't get a job or keep a job because of work place discrimination toward their orientation, so please spare us the lecture, and go back to being not being useful for our community while others who actually care and have courage work toward change. Thanks.

    Posted by: Kyle | Apr 6, 2012 10:19:28 PM


  20. Hmmm...to those who object this, and object proactive (unapologetically so) gay members of our community fighting for gaining basic rights. Like ya know, not being unemployed and fired based on who they love. Would you feel so careless and indifferent if instead of gays, a black person or Latino could be fired in some 30 states for being black/latino/jewish. If you'd be a little more invested in understanding their urgency to get full equality but not the urgency of gay families and individuals, then you might wanna step back and reevaluate why. Why do you harbor that off balance prejudice. Only an answer you can give to yourself. We can't help you out with that. We're busy trying to get basic rights for ourselves.

    Posted by: Michelle | Apr 6, 2012 10:58:45 PM


  21. Glitterbomb!!!!!

    Posted by: David | Apr 7, 2012 1:57:34 AM


  22. How many fat and/or handicapped and/or transgender, dark skinned classically Congoid people do you see working in your "upscale" urban gay discos?

    What do the guys who work at the right gay gym in your city look like?

    Most of your major employers already have nondiscrimination policies in place. Most of your small employers aren't covered by these laws.

    Posted by: David Hearn | Apr 7, 2012 12:29:55 PM


  23. I think they should keep there mouths shut about political issues. They have been invited into the First Families house for a gathering of families. For a childrens Easter Egg Hunt. There is a time and a place for everything. The Easter Egg Hunt is a time for family not politics. The Obamas have already made a statement that rings loud and clear by inviting them.Can you imagine a republican president inviting them? LOL.

    Posted by: jack | Apr 7, 2012 3:28:14 PM


  24. I can't think of a better time to remind the President of his unmet promises than with the putative beneficiaries of those promises present and visible.

    However one might feel about Jarrod Scarbrough and Les Sewell, protecting the economic security of their children seems like a goal we can all get behind.

    Posted by: Rich | Apr 7, 2012 7:27:56 PM


  25. I have known Les, yes the one in the story, for about 25 yrs. ;arrod not as long, but they are both my best friends. I only have this to say, If this was something about protecting Your family, gay, straight, or whatever, wouldnt You want someone fighting for you, no matter where or when, if you could not??? I damn sure would!! Family is the most important thing, so we should do EVERYTHING we can to protect that!! I have to say to all you haters,"If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem,"what are/have you done to help Lgbtq rights??

    Posted by: Ich bin Kajira | Apr 9, 2012 2:01:35 AM


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