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5 Items in the Official 'Gay Agenda' for 2013

By Daniel Villarreal

You know how the President of the U.S. delivers a State of the Union address every year?

Well, the Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force makes a State of the Movement address every year as well in which he or she lays out their assessment of how the last year went and what the organization plans to focus on over the next year — their 'gay agenda,' if you will.

On Friday, the NGLTF's current Executive Director Rae Carey laid out her organization's five-point 'agenda' for fighting LGBT inequality in 2013, and its specifics may surprise and delight you.

Here's what she said:

- Carey promised to "push the president to issue an executive order to protect LGBT people working for federal contractors ... until Congress gets their act together and passes the [trans-inclusive] Employment Non-Discrimination Act."

- She pledged "to finish the work of burying 'don’t ask, don’t tell' by allowing transgender people to serve openly and same-sex married service members to get the same benefits as their straight peers."

- Carey said the NGLTF "will continue to play a leadership role in partnering with immigration rights organizations in advocating for the many areas of comprehensive immigration reform that affect our community, including security for binational same-sex couples, respectful and appropriate treatment of transgender and HIV-positive immigrants, and ensuring that families are not separated for years on end as a result of our immigration laws," adding that "creating a path to citizenship is an LGBT issue."

- In regards to future elections, Carey said, "In the coming months the Task Force and our colleagues at the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center will be sharing with the movement post-election research we conducted that takes a hard look at how voters actually behave across ballot measure issues like marriage, immigration, taxes, and education. Our analysis will not only help us as a movement to be smart about when we put forth ballot measures but on exactly which voters will vote for and against them based on how they vote on other issues."

- The NGLTF also unveiled the Organizing Academy, a new, free online grassroots training program that pledges to train and support more than 1,000 grassroots activists annually.

Recounting 2012's Election Day victories, Carey said, "We [must] resist the pressure to become smaller, to narrow our sights, to be lulled into thinking we are near the end of our work."

"We will never be whole, we will never be free, until every single one of us feels safe to express ourselves sexually, intellectually, and spiritually and finds support in our homes, places of worship, and workplaces."

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