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Illinois gay rights group critiques President Obama’s State of the Union Address

conferenceAccording to an article posted by ChicagoPride, an Illinois gay rights group has had some issues with President Obama’s State of the Union address, and, in particularly, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

On February 12th, President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address and made reference to providing equal benefits for gay and lesbian service members and their families.  While it is true that this is an important issue, there are many other issues facing LGBT Americans.  These issues include the passing of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), advancing comprehensive immigration reform that includes same-gender couples, and striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Executive Director of The Civil Rights Agenda, the largest Illinois LGBT civil rights advocacy organization, leader Anthony Martinez, “many LGBT leaders and community members had hoped that the President would choose this moment to aid in advancing important policy issues affecting LGBT Americans.”

“The President has continually been an advocate for LGBT Americans, as exemplified in his inaugural address this year.  Although that is the case, he must use some of his political capital to advance issues such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and comprehensive immigration reform that includes same-gender couples.  Also, as we work to pass marriage equality in Illinois, we must overturn the Defense of Marriage Act to ensure that Illinois same-gender couples in a marriage can access the over 1,300 federal benefits that come with the word marriage.  These are issues that affect all LGBT Americans, but they are especially important to LGBT people of color and low-income families who have always had a harder time navigating the system and struggled to be heard.  It is our hope that in his second term he will focus more resources and energy on bringing the LGBT community closer to full equality, but only time will tell.”

If, for any reason, you have been the victim of employment discrimination, whether it is based on your sexual orientation, race, gender, or anything else, you have been wronged.  You should contact the help of a dedicated Illinois lawyer immediately.

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