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I don't have a question, just a very humble thank you. I just saw your post explaining Obama's recent executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the workplace, and immediately teared up. Hi, I'm Janessa. I'm 17, and I'm lesbian. Sometimes the way our society orients around the topic of homosexuality is a bit frightening. It feels like something a high schooler shouldn't have to deal with. But this order gives me strength. So thank you, for this huge leap.
We answered:

Thank you for having the courage to share your story! The President and everyone in his Administration is fighting for you every day. Stay strong!

pennmaster asked:
A woman looking into going into media arts and commercial arts fields, I'm likely to be paid significantly less for my skills than a man with the same abilities. Will you continue to fight for equal gender pay?
We answered:

Yes! And here at the White House, the President has insisted on equal pay for equal work. The President signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against their employees who share compensation information. The President has called on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, and of course, the very first bill he signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

jorjor08 asked:
How is the president working towards marriage equality?
We answered:

The President supports marriage equality. As you may know, the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” last June. Since then, President Obama’s administration has extended federal benefits wherever possible to legally-married same-sex couples. This is one way in which he has worked toward expanding equality for LGBT Americans.

I recently saw an answer to a question stating that federal workers are protected from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Is there any prospect for such protection for non-federal employees?
We answered:

As the President said on Monday: “Congress has spent 40 years — four decades — considering legislation that would help solve the problem.  That’s a long time. And yet they still haven’t gotten it done…but I’m going to do what I can, with the authority I have, to act. The rest of you, of course, need to keep putting pressure on Congress to pass federal legislation that resolves this problem once and for all.”

imreallypunny asked:
Do you have plans to improve education for LGBT students? Making sure schools are safe from bullying by teaching kids that there is nothing wrong with being gay. Possibly using a safe zone program of some sort, that allows youth to speak to a counselor and work through their feelings about their gender and sexuality. It could also be a safe place for children to come out to their parents. So they are less likely to grow up with repressed feelings of inadequacy and self hatred.
We answered:

The President hosted the first-ever White House Summit on bullying prevention. The President, the First Lady and the entire Administration are committed to ensuring that every student has the opportunity to learn and thrive in the classroom. You can check out the President’s It Gets Better video here.

As a mom, I know what it’s like to worry about whether my child was safe while she was at school. Sharing best practices helps ensure all children are protected.

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