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LGBT FAMILIES TO PARTICIPATE IN WHITE HOUSE EGG ROLL

By Culturekiosque Staff

WASHINGTON, DC, 12 APRIL 2009 - Unlike his predecessors, whose campaign rhetoric was often peppered with rose-hued calls for inclusivity, President Obama makes good on the promise.

In the US, many of the secular celebrations of Easter involve activities centered around eggs. Hard boiled eggs are dyed and decorated, given as gifts and hidden within and without the home as part of an Easter Egg Hunt. Games have been devised, including tossing and attempting to catch un-cooked eggs, and a race involving rolling an Easter egg across an expanse using a spoon. That latter one is known as an Egg Roll (not to be confused with the savory edible from Chinese cuisine).

The White House grounds historically have been opened to an invited public of families with children to roll eggs across the lawn as part of a secular celebration. (See article: History of the White House Easter Egg Roll ). As with anything governmental having to do with families, non-traditional families were often excluded.

In 2006 over 100 families with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) parents attended the White House Easter Egg Roll, organized by Family Equality Council (formerly Family Pride). At the time, it was unclear whether LGBT families were truly welcome at the White House, but the families enthusiastically participated and the country had an opportunity to see and hear from LGBT families in an unprecedented way. This year, another 100 LGBT families or more will attend the popular Easter Monday Egg Roll, but this time the White House has specifically encouraged them to participate in this time-honored event. President Obama was the first presidential candidate to openly affirm the equal value of LGBT families, in an August 2008 letter to Family Equality Council's Executive Director, Jennifer Chrisler.

Then Senator Obama stated that we must "do more to support and strengthen LGBT families. Because equality in relationship, family, and adoption rights is not some abstract principle; it's about whether millions of LGBT Americans can finally live lives marked by dignity and freedom."

"I was thrilled when the White House called on the Family Equality Council to encourage our supporters, tens of thousands of LGBT families nationwide, to apply for tickets to this year's Easter Egg Roll," said Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director of Family Equality Council. "It's clear to me that when the Obama Administration thinks about American families, they think about LGBT families, as well. For too long our families suffered under administrations that simply ignored us or attacked us outright, often for the sake of short-term political gain. Americans are tired of divisive politics. In a time of national crisis, all Americans - all families - should come together to renew this country. LGBT families will take this opportunity to show up and be counted as part of this great effort."

In light of the Obama's recently hosting the first-ever Seder dinner at the White House, it can be said that if there is a hallmark of this very young administration, it is the swiftness and resolve with which President Obama has made good on his promise to bring a new spirit of inclusiveness to Washington. It perhaps is not surprising that these remarkable developments are being little-noticed by popular media. When you've always been invited to the party, the fact that there is a party is not considered news. But for those who feel, essentially for the first time, specifically invited and warmly welcomed, it is the best news of all.

2009 White House Easter Egg Roll

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