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GetEQUAL gay activists plan 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' protest during President Obama's visit to Miami

This is a news release from gay-rights group GetEQUAL, released on Sunday and embargoed until 5 p.m. Monday:



GetEQUAL, along with a group of Florida and national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender activists, surround Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning’s house demanding President sign Executive Order Stopping Discharges

MIAMI, FL (October 11th, 2010)– Earlier Monday evening from 5:00 pm until 6:30 pm (ET), GetEQUAL, a national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and other Floridian activists, unleashed a barrage of protests by air, land, and sea targeting President Obama for his failure to sign an executive order barring gay and lesbian servicemembers from being discharged under the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. 

President Obama attended a star-studded Democratic Party fundraiser at NBA star Alonzo Mourning’s bayfront estate.  During the hour and a half President Obama was at Alonzo's home for this big-money, Democratic Party fundraiser, LGBT activists confronted him at every turn, demanding he finally show some leadership and stop the discharges of openly gay and lesbian servicemembers by signing an executive order.  Video and photos from today’s action will be released shortly and will be available at:  www.getequal.org and www.youtube.com/getequal


As the Presidential motorcade drove into the private estate located in Coconut Grove, activists held four 10 ft. signs demanding President Obama “End the Discharges Now,” and reminding him that “We’ll Give When We GetEQUAL”.  The LGBT activists were stationed on the motorcade route directly outside of the private estate and at a park roughly a quarter of a mile down the road.

Inside the event, Democratic congressional candidate and Army veteran, Anthony Woods, who was discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, approached President Obama to inform him what the protests were about, and to remind him of his campaign promises.


While the President was inside the private fundraiser, another round of protests were unleashed from the bay just outside the event.  From the bay abutting Mourning’s home, a second swarm of LGBT activists arrived by boats with two 40 ft. signs and shouted via bullhorns “End the Discharges Now” and “We’ll Give When We GetEQUAL”. 


During the second swarm by boat, LGBT activists also launched two, large 8 ft weather balloons carrying 10 ft. long banners reading “GetEQUAL.org”.  Those weather balloons were anchored in the water directly in front of the tent hosting the dinner reception  and highly visible to guests. 

“President Obama has failed to deliver on his campaign promises to the LGBT community, and we will continue to remind him of that failure,” said Robin McGehee, co-founder and director of GetEQUAL.  “If the President is going to travel around the country asking for our dollars and our votes, then we are going to travel with him and insist that he first give us some of the hope and change he he promised.  As of now, we’re still hoping.”

President Obama’s Department of Justice is set to soon announce whether or not it will appeal a federal court judge’s ruling that the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law is unconstitutional. 

“Regardless of the spin coming out of the White House, President Obama has the power to dramatically impact the course of civil rights history for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” continued McGehee.  “Unfortunately, all we have yet to see from the President, who the LGBT community overwhelmingly supported, is excuses, delays and passing the buck off to someone else.  That isn’t change we can believe in, that’s just more of the same.”

Back in June 2009, during an LGBT Pride Month reception at the White House, President Obama stated, “"And finally, I want to say a word about "don't ask, don't tell." As I said before -- I'll say it again -- I believe "don't ask, don't tell" doesn't contribute to our national security. (Applause.) In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security. (Applause.) I know that every day that passes without a resolution is a deep disappointment to those men and women who continue to be discharged under this policy -- patriots who often possess critical language skills and years of training and who've served this country well. But what I hope is that these cases underscore the urgency of reversing this policy not just because it's the right thing to do, but because it is essential for our national security." (Office of the Press Secretary (2009, June 29). Remarks by the President Pride Reception Retrieve from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-lgbt-pride-month-reception)


GetEQUAL is a national, direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. Emphasizing direct action and people power, the mission of GetEQUAL is to empower the LGBT community and its allies to take action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way.  For more information on GetEQUAL, please visit: http://www.getequal.org.  You can follow GetEQUAL on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/getequal, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GetEQUAL, or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/getequal.


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More stupid. Can anyone explain how this HELPS us? It is childish to think that if we piss off Obama enough he'll finally use his "magic wand" and change the votes in the US Senate. GetEQUAL keeps making us look stupid and trying to suggest that is somehow beneficial. I hope we remember these silly publicity stunts on November 3rd.

These clowns DO NOT speak for the LGBT community.

I'm gay, and they sure as hell speak for me. He could stop the discharges today with an executive stop loss order.
Don't Ask Don't Give until we GETEQUAL.

Hi Andrew, I'll tell you how this helps. President Obama has a track record of only responding to people who stand up to him. Krugman and Stiglitz tell him he needs $1.5 trillion for the stimulus, the Republicans say no, so what does Obama do, he cuts the stimulus and loses us the House in the process.

Or take Joe "you lie" Wilson. He yells at Obama. So what does Obama do? The Democrats re-open the HCR bill and edit it to make sure Wilson's anti-immigrant concerns are met.

It's the way it always works with this President. Yell at him, and he caves. Ask him nicely to keep a promise, and he ignores you (and calls you fringe, and whiners).

So yes, that's how it helps. I challenge you to find any instance in which being nice to this President got him to keep a major promise. I can find you lots of instances in which being mean to him got him to cave (read the NYer piece on how he caved on climate change, for example).

I supported the guy in the primaries. I have no idea who got sworn in as President.

That's your childish opinion John. You can "embarrass" or "irritate" anyone into submission or agreement. We don't have 60 votes in the US Senate and you think Obama has a "magic wand."

GetEQUAL is a waste of $1 million dollars. Thankfully, most of the media is ignoring this bunch of misfits.

This is such a great day for the US Supreme Court to finally settle such an absurd practice in our country. DADT violated countless civil rights and resulted in how many missions and objectives that could have benefited our National Defense. Thank God we have advocates like LT Choi. I saw his coming out story on this site "ourscenetv.com"


I really hope this only opens up more ppl's minds about LGBT rights in America

Two days after that dramatic Miami protest of DADT, the White House announced they would be appealing the Injunction.

Bigger banners next time? More weather balloons? Better megaphones?

We applied faux "pressure" and the White House responded. We got punished.

What's next from these GetEQUAL clowns?

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