On Monday, thousands of signatures from the GetEQUAL community made an impact at the White House.
Since 1878, the White House has been inviting families to the annual Easter Egg Roll. GetEQUAL has been offered these tickets before, but normally we decline them -- until we're fully equal, we'll choose the White House fence over the White House lawn. But when we were offered tickets this year, we knew exactly how to leverage our recent petition to President Obama.
We gave our tickets to GetEQUAL organizers Jarrod Scarbrough and Les Sewell, who flew with their daughter from New Mexico to DC to use the event as a platform to advocate in favor of an Executive Order that would protect their family (and millions of others) from workplace discrimination. By taking their story to the mainstream media airwaves, they helped to highlight the discrimination that millions of LGBT Americans and their families suffer under on a daily basis. And Jarrod and Les' story actually prompted a question from NBC News in Monday's White House press conference about the Executive Order -- the first time a non-LGBT reporter has asked a question about it! 
While Jarrod and Les may not have had the opportunity to speak directly to President Obama, we know the White House is talking and that they're making a decision right now about whether to sign this piece of paper. We also know that decision means the White House will be weighing whether taking a stand for LGBT equality is good or bad politics.
Click here to check out the video of Jarrod and Les:
This Executive Order barring discrimination by federal contractors based on sexual orientation or gender identity is, to quote the Vice President, a "big f'ing deal." It doesn't cover the entire country, but it does cover all employees of all companies that do business with the federal government -- including their subsidiaries. That makes up almost a quarter of the American workforce -- and it creates policies and regulations that would be difficult to overturn.
The Executive Order also reaches into the heartland of this country -- as there are loads of federal contractors in places like Texas and Missouri and Kentucky who are currently working under the stress of knowing that they could be fired tomorrow for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
Of course, this Executive Order isn't the same as a legislative solution like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. And pushing for this Executive Order doesn't mean we shouldn't also be working to make progress on getting ENDA through Congress. But it does mean that we have a substantial executive action on the table that has the support of 73% of likely 2012 voters...and that includes 60% support among self-identified conservatives! Who wouldn't want to sign something with that kind of support?!
If you haven't already signed our petition to the President to sign the Executive Order, you can sign it here: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6535/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=9903.
If you've signed the petition already, share it with your friends using Facebook and Twitter. The more momentum we can show, the more clearly we can prove that pushing for equality doesn't require a super-majority of Democrats in Congress -- instead, it's something that can happen no matter what the timing. Simply put: equality looks good on Easter *and* on Election Day. Help us spread the message!
Heather Cronk, Managing Director
P.S. -- We were able to break into the mainstream media and get a question asked of the White House Press Secretary for the cost of three plane tickets to DC and a little staff time. Help us continue to have a big impact at a low cost by donating $5, $10, or whatever you can afford here: www.getequal.org/donate.
 "White House silence on couple's Easter request for exec order" -- http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/04/09/white-house-silent-on-couples-easter-request-for-exec-order
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