Editors' Note: Guest blogger Jon Hoadley is Executive Director of Stonewall Democrats, the national organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and allied Democrats. With more than 120 local chapters, Stonewall Democrats works to elect more pro-equality Democrats to public office and to improve the Democratic Party on issues of equality.
The Stonewall Democrats membership was excited when President Obama nominated Tom Daschle for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Daschle was a proven partner in issues of equality and science-based approaches to public health. But, by withdrawing his nomination, Daschle leaves President Obama with a crucial vacancy to fill in his cabinet.
The good news is that President Obama is reportedly considering a number of great candidates to replace Tom Daschle as his nominee for HHS. These are individuals who will help the President pass comprehensive health care reform while keeping in mind the LGBT community's health-related needs, including respect for our families and inclusive data collection.
However, at least one of the candidates rumored to be in the running has been less than helpful to our community and the broader equality movement. Fortunately, we now have a White House that listens to the concerns of the LGBT community and our allies. So, we need your help.
I need you sign our petition urging President Obama to make sure an equality-minded progressive is in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services.
You can sign our petition at: www.stonewalldemocrats.org/hhspetition
Here's what our petition says:
"President Obama, we need a Secretary of Health and Human Services who has a proven dedication to the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans. Please nominate a candidate who has a clear commitment to protecting LGBT families, supporting science-based approaches to public health, promoting equal access to health care for all Americans, and in making sure that LGBT Americans are counted health-related studies."
Now, imagine a Secretary of Health and Human Services who will go to bat for us, advising the President and Congress to add protections for our families, supporting science-based approaches to HIV/AIDS research, expanding women's health programs and dedicating funding for suicide prevention among LGBT youth. These are just some of the areas that the Secretary of Health and Human Services impacts LGBT Americans.
President Obama is considering candidates that do have that have that kind of commitment to the issues of equality. However, some rumored candidates have obstructed our movement for equality, so we need to do everything we can to make sure that someone who shares our values serves in this important post.
Sign our petition and help us make sure we have a strong supporter of equality and LGBT families leading the Department of Health and Human Services. Click to add your signature.
After eight years, its good to have a White House who listens to our concerns. So, use this new access and add your voice to our efforts so that we can share this information with the White House.