WH Tumblr Q&A on Issues Facing the LGBT Community

WH LGBT Rainbow

Join a Tumblr Q&A on Issues Facing the LGBT Community

This week, the Obama administration took important steps toward LGBT equality and fairness. President Obama’s Executive Order on LGBT Workplace Discrimination went into effect — protecting about 1.5 million Americans from discrimination based on who they are or who they love. The White House also responded to a petition signed by more than 120,000 Americans about banning the practice known as conversion therapy: President Obama agreed.

To continue the conversation about this week’s actions and the Administration’s commitment to LGBT equality, we’re hosting a Tumblr Q&A tomorrow, April 10, at 2:00 p.m. ET with:

Here’s how you can join the Q&A:

  • Starting now, you can post your questions using the Ask Box on Tumblr.
  • On Friday at 2:00 p.m. ET, follow along live as senior officials take your questions.

.

Learn more:

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US LGBT Rights Timeline 1903-2016  (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

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36 thoughts on “WH Tumblr Q&A on Issues Facing the LGBT Community

  1. Friday, April 10, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    11:30 AM
    President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with the Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela
    RIU Hotel, Panama City, Panama

    11:45 AM
    Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs Ricardo Zuniga
    Press Filing Center at the InterContinental Hotel, Panama City, Panama

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    President Obama holds a multi-lateral meeting with SICA Presidents
    RIU Hotel, Panama City, Panama

    2:15 PM
    Vice President Biden delivers remarks at a roundtable discussion on workforce development and investing in job-training programs
    Pacific Gas & Electric, Oakland, California

    3:00 PM
    3:25 PM
    President Obama participates in the Summit of the Americas CEO Forum ‘100,000 Strong in the Americas’ Initiative
    RIU Hotel, Panama City, Panama

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    President Obama participates in a Civil Society Forum
    Hotel El Panama – Panama City, Panama City, Panama

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:50 PM
    President Obama attends the Summit of the Americas Opening Ceremonies
    ATLAPA Convention Center, Panama City, Panama

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    9:05 PM
    President Obama participates in an Official Leaders’ Photo
    Panama Viejo, Panama City, Panama

    9:15 PM
    President Obama attends the Summit of the Americas Leader’s Dinner
    Panama Viejo, Panama City, Panama

    10:00 PM

  2. Another Step Toward Equality for LGBT Workers

    Secretary Thomas E. Perez April 08, 2015 10:57 AM EDT

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Labor’s blog. See the original post here.

    Today, President Obama’s Executive Order on LGBT Workplace Discrimination goes into effect. It prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Because of this Executive Order, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people employed by federal contractors across the country will now receive new legal protections designed to ensure they are judged by the quality of their work, not who they are or whom they love.

    As I said when the Executive Order was announced, this is a civil rights victory consistent with our founding principles. It will mean a more dynamic and inclusive workforce that captures the talents of more of our people. It advances the principle that we should be leaving no one on the sidelines, that America is strongest when it fields a full team.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/04/08/another-step-toward-equality-lgbt-workers

    • Petition Response: On Conversion Therapy

      Valerie Jarrett April 08, 2015 08:42 PM EDT

      Ed. note: Tonight, Valerie Jarrett issued the following response to a We the People petition in support of banning the practice of conversion therapy. You can read it below, or see the response here.

      “Tonight, somewhere in America, a young person, let’s say a young man, will struggle to fall to sleep, wrestling alone with a secret he’s held as long as he can remember. Soon, perhaps, he will decide it’s time to let that secret out. What happens next depends on him, his family, as well as his friends and his teachers and his community. But it also depends on us — on the kind of society we engender, the kind of future we build.”

      — President Barack Obama

      Thank you for taking the time to sign on to this petition in support of banning the practice known as conversion therapy.

      Conversion therapy generally refers to any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.1 Often, this practice is used on minors, who lack the legal authority to make their own medical and mental health decisions. We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer youth.

      When assessing the validity of conversion therapy, or other practices that seek to change an individual’s gender identity or sexual orientation, it is as imperative to seek guidance from certified medical experts. The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially when it is practiced on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm.

      As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this Administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.

      READ MORE: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/04/08/petition-response-conversion-therapy

    • Join a Tumblr Q&A on Issues Facing the LGBT Community

      This week, the Obama administration took important steps toward LGBT equality and fairness. President Obama’s Executive Order on LGBT Workplace Discrimination went into effect — protecting about 1.5 million Americans from discrimination based on who they are or who they love. The White House also responded to a petition signed by more than 120,000 Americans about banning the practice known as conversion therapy: President Obama agreed.

      To continue the conversation about this week’s actions and the Administration’s commitment to LGBT equality, we’re hosting a Tumblr Q&A tomorrow, April 10, at 2:00 p.m. ET with:

      Here’s how you can join the Q&A:

      • Starting now, you can post your questions using the Ask Box on Tumblr.
      • On Friday at 2:00 p.m. ET, follow along live as senior officials take your questions.
    • Release No: NR-272-15

      July 13, 2015 dod.gov

      Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on DOD Transgender Policy

      Over the last fourteen years of conflict, the Department of Defense has proven itself to be a learning organization. This is true in war, where we have adapted to counterinsurgency, unmanned systems, and new battlefield requirements such as MRAPs. It is also true with respect to institutional activities, where we have learned from how we repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” from our efforts to eliminate sexual assault in the military, and from our work to open up ground combat positions to women. Throughout this time, transgender men and women in uniform have been there with us, even as they often had to serve in silence alongside their fellow comrades in arms.

      The Defense Department’s current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions. At a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important qualification for service members should be whether they’re able and willing to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules that tell them the opposite. Moreover, we have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines – real, patriotic Americans – who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that’s contrary to our value of service and individual merit.

      Today, I am issuing two directives to deal with this matter. First, DoD will create a working group to study over the next six months the policy and readiness implications of welcoming transgender persons to serve openly. Led by (Acting) Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson, and composed of military and civilian personnel representing all the military services and the Joint Staff, this working group will report to Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work. At my direction, the working group will start with the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness, unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified. Second, I am directing that decision authority in all administrative discharges for those diagnosed with gender dysphoria or who identify themselves as transgender be elevated to Under Secretary Carson, who will make determinations on all potential separations.

      As I’ve said before, we must ensure that everyone who’s able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so, and we must treat all our people with the dignity and respect they deserve. Going forward, the Department of Defense must and will continue to improve how we do both. Our military’s future strength depends on it.

    • In first, White House hires openly trans staffer

      August 18, 2015 at 9:00 am EDT | by Chris Johnson – washingtonblade

      The White House for the first time has hired an openly transgender person as a member of its staff, LGBT advocates and the Obama administration announced Tuesday.

      Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, who formerly served in trans advocacy as policy adviser for the National Center for Transgender Equality’s Racial & Economic Justice Initiative, has been appointed to a senior position in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. She’s set to begin her new role as an outreach and recruitment director in the Presidential Personnel Office on Tuesday.

      Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Obama, welcomed the addition of Freedman-Gurspan to the White House in a statement to the Washington Blade.

      “Raffi Freedman-Gurspan demonstrates the kind of leadership this administration champions,” Jarrett said. “Her commitment to bettering the lives of transgender Americans, particularly transgender people of color and those in poverty, reflects the values of this administration.”

      According to the White House website, the Office of Presidential Personnel oversees the selection process for presidential appointments and works to recruit qualified candidates for service in departments and agencies across the government.

      Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said she’s “elated” about the addition of Freedman-Gurspan to the White House staff.

      “That the first transgender appointee is a transgender woman of color is itself significant,” Keisling said. “And that the first White House transgender appointee is a friend is inspiring to me and to countless others who have been touched by Raffi’s advocacy.”

      See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/08/18/in-first-white-house-hires-openly-trans-staffer/

  3. Friday, April 10th

    President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with the Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela
    RIU Hotel, Panama City, Panama

    President Obama holds a multi-lateral meeting with SICA Presidents
    RIU Hotel, Panama City, Panama

    President Obama participates in the Summit of the Americas CEO Forum ‘100,000 Strong in the Americas’ Initiative
    RIU Hotel, Panama City, Panama

    President Obama delivers remarks at a Civil Society Forum
    Hotel El Panama, Panama City, Panama

    President Obama participates in a Civil Society Forum
    Hotel El Panama – Panama City, Panama City, Panama

    President Obama attends the Summit of the Americas Opening Ceremonies
    ATLAPA Convention Center, Panama City, Panama

    President Obama attends the Summit of the Americas Leader’s Dinner
    Panama Viejo, Panama City, Panama

    • April 10, 2015

      Remarks by President Obama and President Varela of Panama After Bilateral Meeting

      Hotel RIU
      Panama City, Panama

      11:23 A.M. EST

      PRESIDENT VARELA: We are very happy to have President Obama in our country. We congratulate him on all the effort he’s doing to unite our continent. I think it’s a historic meeting. It’s going to be a very successful Summit of the Americas.

      I think President Obama is going to leave a legacy the way he is supporting Hispanics in the United States, and also his new policy for Cuba for us is very important. And I thank him also for the cooperation that the U.S. government has given us in these past seven years of the administration in different regions like security, education, health. And we look forward to work with him as a regional partner — not just a bilateral relationship, but a regional partner to make America a strong place and continued peace.

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I just want to thank President Varela and the entire team, and the people of Panama, for the incredible hospitality. I had a chance earlier to visit the Panama Canal for the first time and saw the extraordinary progress that’s being made in the new development that will be completed next year. It’s really a symbol of human ingenuity, but also Panama’s central role in bridging the two continents and bringing the hemisphere together.

      And I congratulated the President not only on what I’m certain will be a successful summit, but also the extraordinary progress that Panama has made economically, the transparency and accountability that his government has shown. Panama is a proud democracy, and its ability to engage in elections and peaceful transfers of power I think is a symbol of the progress that’s been made throughout the hemisphere over the last several decades.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/10/remarks-president-obama-and-president-varela-panama-after-bilateral-meet

    • April 10, 2015

      Remarks by the President in Meeting with SICA Presidents

      Hotel RIU
      Panama City, Panama

      11:17 P.M. EST

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, thank you, President Molina. Let me, first of all, thank our friend, the President of Panama, and the people of Panama, Vice President of Panama, for the incredible hospitality and the outstanding arrangements for this summit.

      It is good to see all of you again. The last time we met was in Costa Rica, and we, I thought, had a very productive discussion. And rather than just talk, I think our goal was to make sure that we had concrete actions that we could take that would improve our economies, the opportunities for our people, security in the region.

      And this is very important to the United States, not just because of proximity, not just because our neighbors who are represented here are very close by, but because we have incredible bonds as people. There are Americans who make enormous contributions to our society every single day who come from Nicaragua and El Salvador and Belize, and all the countries that are represented here today.

      And so we have ties of family. We have ties of commerce. We share incredible heritage and incredible history. And so it is very important for us to make sure that the United States stands in solidarity and has a partnership with each of the countries that are represented around this table.

      I will not be long. As President Molina indicated, since the last time we’ve met, it has been the determination of my administration that we find ways that we can more concretely assist many of the countries in Central America so that people in those countries feel that they have opportunity and development. That is in our interest, and that is in your interest, as well.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/10/remarks-president-meeting-sica-presidents

    • April 10, 2015

      Remarks by the President at Opening of the CEO Summit of the Americas

      Hotel RIU
      Panama City, Panama

      3:05 P.M. EST

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, thank you, Luis. First of all, let me not only thank you but thank our host and the people of Panama, who have done an extraordinary job organizing this summit.

      It is a great pleasure to be joined by leaders who I think have done extraordinary work in their own countries. And I’ve had the opportunity to work with President Rousseff and Peña Nieto on a whole host of regional, international, and bilateral issues, and very much appreciate their leadership. And clearly, President Varela is doing an outstanding job here in Panama as well.

      A lot of important points have already been made. Let me just say this. When I came into office, in 2009, obviously we were all facing an enormous economic challenge globally. Since that time, both exports from the United States to Latin America and imports from Latin America to the United States have gone up over 50 percent. And it’s an indication not only of the recovery that was initiated — in part by important policies that were taken and steps that were taken in each of the countries in coordination through mechanisms like the G20 — but also the continuing integration that’s going to be taking place in this hemisphere as part of a global process of integration.

      And I’ll just point out some trends that I think are inevitable. One has already been mentioned — that global commerce, because of technology, because of logistics, it is erasing the boundaries by which we think about businesses not just for large companies, but also for small and medium-sized companies as well. That’s point number one.

      Point number two is that technology is going to continue to be disruptive. I’m glad that my friend, Mark Zuckerberg, is here. Obviously what he’s done with Facebook has been transformative. But what’s important to recognize is, is that it’s not just companies like Apple and Google and Facebook that are being transformed by technology. Traditional industries are being changed as well. Small businesses are being changed as well. How we buy, sell, market, all that is shifting. And that’s not going to go away.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/10/remarks-president-opening-ceo-summit-americas

    • April 10, 2015

      Remarks by President Obama at the Civil Society Forum

      Hotel El Panama
      Panama City, Panama

      4:35 P.M. EST

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Buenas tardes. Thank you, President Varela. Thank you very much, Panama, for hosting this Summit of the Americas. And I thank everybody who’s traveled here from across the region for the courageous work that you do to defend freedom and human rights, and to promote equality and opportunity and justice across our hemisphere and around the world.

      I am proud to be with you at this first-ever official gathering of civil society leaders at the Summit of the Americas. And I’m pleased to have Cuba represented with us at this summit for the very first time. (Applause.)

      We’re here for a very simple reason. We believe that strong, successful countries require strong and vibrant civil societies. We know that throughout our history, human progress has been propelled not just by famous leaders, not just by states, but by ordinary men and women who believe that change is possible; by citizens who are willing to stand up against incredible odds and great danger not only to protect their own rights, but to extend rights to others.

      I had a chance to reflect on this last month when I was in the small town of Selma, Alabama. Some of you may have heard of it. It’s a place where, 50 years ago, African-Americans marched in peaceful, nonviolent protest — not to ask for special treatment but to be treated equally, in accordance with the founding documents of our Declaration of Independence, our Bill of Rights. They were part of a civil rights movement that had endured violence and repression for decades, and would endure it again that day, as many of the marchers were beaten.

      But they kept marching. And despite the beatings of that day, they came back, and more returned. And the conscience of a nation was stirred. Their efforts bent, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, the arc of the moral universe towards justice. And it was their vision for a more fair and just and inclusive and generous society that ultimately triumphed. And the only reason I stand here today as the President of the United States is because those ordinary people — maids, and janitors, and schoolteachers — were willing to endure hardship on my behalf. (Applause.)

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/10/remarks-president-obama-civil-society-forum

    • Obama, Castro Shake Hands at Summit of Americas

      April 10, 2015 9:43 PM Luis Ramirez – VOAnews

      PANAMA CITY—
      U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro greeted each other Friday evening and shook hands at the Summit of the Americas in Panama.

      Obama administration officials said the interaction between the two leaders was informal and there was no substantive conversation.

      Obama and Castro are expected to meet on Saturday.

      Obama said earlier Friday he is pleased that Cuba is being represented for the first time at the summit.

      He said in a speech to civil society leaders at the summit in Panama City that he hopes efforts to restore U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba will improve the lives of the Cuban people.

      Courting change

      Obama said “civil society is the conscience of our countries. It’s the catalyst of change.” He added, “strong nations don’t fear active citizens-strong nations embrace and support and empower active citizens.”

      For more: http://www.voanews.com/content/obama-set-to-engage-cubans-in-panama/2713730.html

    • President Obama meets with the Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela

      Published on Apr 11, 2015

      President Obama meets with President Juan Manuel Santos of Columbia at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama. April 11, 2015.

    • President Obama Meets with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

      Published on Apr 11, 2015

      President Obama meets with President Dilma Rousseff of Columbia at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama. April 11, 2015.

    • President Obama participates in the Summit of the Americas CEO Forum ‘100,000 Strong in the Americas’ Initiative
      RIU Hotel, Panama City, Panama

  4. Joe Biden to visit San Francisco and Oakland this week

    4/07/2015 07:06:02 PM PDT By Josh Richman – bayareanewsgroup.com

    Vice President Joe Biden will visit the Bay Area this week to raise money for House Democrats and preach the administration’s gospel on workforce development.

    Biden will arrive in San Francisco on Thursday for a political event, the White House announced Tuesday. Sources say he’ll join House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

    On Friday, Biden is scheduled to visit a PG&E center in Oakland to discuss the importance of workforce development and investing in job-training programs across the country, the White House said.

    His wife, Jill Biden, is coming as well and plans to visit De Anza College in Cupertino to highlight the administration’s commitment to community colleges and their importance to the nation’s future. Jill Biden — who still teaches English at Northern Virginia Community College — in 2010 hosted a White House summit on community colleges.

    For more: http://www.mercurynews.com/nation-world/ci_27868091/joe-biden-visit-san-francisco-and-oakland-this?source=rss

  5. Hi CR,

    Until now, I have never heard of such a thing as conversion therapy, aimed at “changing” one’s sexual orientation. This sounds like something out of an old Frankenstein movie. Why would someone want to do such a thing to another human being? It’s crazy that we can’t just live and let live.

    The quote in your post and, also, this one by PBO says a lot about where his mind, heart and policies are on the LGBT issues.

    “Tonight, somewhere in America, a young person, let’s say a young man, will struggle to fall to sleep, wrestling alone with a secret he’s held as long as he can remember. Soon, perhaps, he will decide it’s time to let that secret out. What happens next depends on him, his family, as well as his friends and his teachers and his community. But it also depends on us

  6. Hi CR, “This is a 2nd send I did the broken line thing again.” 🙂

    Until now, I have never heard of such a thing as conversion therapy, aimed at “changing” one’s sexual orientation. This sounds like something out of an old Frankenstein movie. Why would someone want to do such a thing to another human being? It’s crazy that we can’t just live and let live.

    The quote in your post and, also, this one by PBO says a lot about where his mind, heart and policies are on the LGBT issues.

    “Tonight, somewhere in America, a young person, let’s say a young man, will struggle to fall to sleep, wrestling alone with a secret he’s held as long as he can remember. Soon, perhaps, he will decide it’s time to let that secret out. What happens next depends on him, his family, as well as his friends and his teachers and his community. But it also depends on us on the kind of society we engender, the kind of future we build.” – PBO

    Congratulation to the LGBT community for the changes they are pushing for and have gotten under this Administration. We are all just one big community.

    We are all in this together with overlapping issues:

    The movie Selma showed Dr. King asking the question in 1965: Who killed Jimmie Lee Jackson? He asked that question even though he knew who pulled the trigger, but his question had to deal with a system and the silence of the many that enabled the pulling of that trigger….

    The same question could be asked for: Emmett Till; Trayvon Martin; Mike Brown; Eric Garner: Tamir Rice; John Crawford III, now, Walter Scott; and the list is way too long and sadly still growing.

    Dr. King’s question was not just to the congregation at Jimmie Lee Jackson’s funeral, but to the nation as a whole. This is a question that each of us has to answer for ourselves, and collectively as a country going forward in order to contained, if not stop, the senseless killing of human beings.

    Before his untimely death, President Lincoln made this profound statement: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” This quote begs the bigger question of today, and that is, if communities start to lose trust in the police, what are they to do? Or what will they do?

    The same question that I started with could be asked about Dr. King’s death, today…

    Btw, Walter Scott was shot down by the police on April 4, 2015, the 47th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination.

    I have to admit that I don’t fully understand what is going on, but I guess everything has a season and reason for happening.

    The HOPE is that young people are taking to the streets and Crying Out for Change!

    And PBO said, today, “We have to have effective policing that’s actually protecting … as opposed to some of things we’ve seen of late”

    One Love=One World-with-Many Beautiful Colors!

    Thank you for Posts!

    • Hi Isaac!

      I too live by the ‘let and let live” policy. I only recently learned that one of Dr. King’s followers, Bayard Rustin, was gay….not that it really matters but it shows a very diverse spectrum of people who were with Dr. King in his fight for equality.

      One Love=One World-with-Many Beautiful People!

  7. April 10, 2015

    Statement by NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on the Situation in Yarmouk Refugee Camp

    We welcome UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s statement on the situation in Yarmouk refugee camp, and join him in calling for an end to hostilities, access for humanitarian assistance, and safe passage for civilians who wish to escape safely.

    The Yarmouk camp has been besieged by the Syrian regime for nearly two years, and its residents have been denied access to food, potable water, and medical supplies. Those Palestinian refugees living inside the camp are now caught between ISIL and the Syrian regime, which continues to indiscriminately attack civilians, including with artillery and barrel bombs, in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2139.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/10/statement-nsc-spokesperson-bernadette-meehan-situation-yarmouk-refugee-c

  8. April 10, 2015

    Presidential Determination — Proposed Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Republic of China Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

    SUBJECT: Presidential Determination on the Proposed
    Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government
    of the United States of America and the
    Government of the People’s Republic of China
    Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

    I have considered the proposed Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Republic of China Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (the “Agreement”), along with the views, recommendations, and statements of the interested departments and agencies.

    I have determined that the performance of the Agreement will promote, and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to, the common defense and security. Pursuant to section 123 b. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2153(b)), I hereby approve the proposed Agreement and authorize the Secretary of State to arrange for its execution.

    The Secretary of State is authorized to publish this determination in the Federal Register.

    BARACK OBAMA

  9. Saturday, April 11, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    President Obama attends the official Summit of the Americas events
    ATLAPA Convention Center, Panama City, Panama

    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    11:30 AM
    President Obama participates in a leaders retreat
    ATLAPA Convention Center, Panama City, Panama

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    President Obama participates in a second Summit of the Americas plenary session
    ATLAPA Convention Center, Panama City, Panama

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    6:50 PM
    President Obama participates in a press conference
    ATLAPA Convention Center, Panama City, Panama

    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    President Obama departs Panama en route Washington, D.C.
    Tocumen International Airport, Panama City, Panama

    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  10. President Obama’s Summit of the Americas Itinerary
    Saturday, April 11th

    President Obama attends the official Summit of the Americas events
    ATLAPA Convention Center, Panama City, Panama

    President Obama participates in a leaders retreat
    ATLAPA Convention Center, Panama City, Panama

    President Obama participates in a second Summit of the Americas plenary session
    ATLAPA Convention Center, Panama City, Panama

    President Obama participates in a press conference
    ATLAPA Convention Center, Panama City, Panama

    President Obama departs Panama en route Washington, D.C.

    • President Obama Participates in a Press Conference After the Summit of the Americas

      Published on Apr 11, 2015

      After the seventh Summit of the Americas, President Obama participates in a press conference before departing Panama. April 11, 2015.

    • Remarks by President Obama at the First Plenary Session of the Summit of the Americas

      Published on Apr 11, 2015
      ATLAPA Convention Center, Panama City, Panama, April 11, 2015.

    • April 11, 2015

      Remarks by President Obama at the First Plenary Session of the Summit of the Americas

      ATLAPA Convention Center
      Panama City, Panama

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Let me begin by thanking President Varela and the Panamanian government for their leadership in hosting this 7th Summit of the Americas. Mr. President, to you and the people of Panama City and all the people of Panama — thank you for your extraordinary hospitality and your outstanding arrangements.

      I, too, want to express my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Chile as they’re managing through a very difficult time. And I look forward to seeing President Bachelet at a future summit.

      When I came to my first Summit of the Americas six years ago, I promised to begin a new chapter of engagement in this region. I believed that our nations had to break free from the old arguments, the old grievances that had too often trapped us in the past; that we had a shared responsibility to look to the future and to think and act in fresh ways. I pledged to build a new era of cooperation between our countries, as equal partners, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. And I said that this new approach would be sustained throughout my presidency; it has, including during this past year. I’ve met that commitment.

      We come together at a historic time. As has already been noted, the changes that I announced to U.S. policy toward Cuba mark the beginning of a new relationship between the people of the United States and the people of Cuba. It will mean, as we’re already seeing, more Americans traveling to Cuba, more cultural exchanges, more commerce, more potential investment. But most of all, it will mean more opportunity and resources for the Cuban people. And we hope to be able to help on humanitarian projects, and provide more access to telecommunications and the Internet, and the free flow of information.

      We continue to make progress towards fulfilling our shared commitments to formally reestablish diplomatic relations, and I have called on Congress to begin working to lift the embargo that’s been in place for decades. The point is, the United States will not be imprisoned by the past. We’re looking to the future and to policies that improve the lives of the Cuban people and advance the interests of cooperation in the hemisphere.

      This shift in U.S. policy represents a turning point for our entire region. The fact that President Castro and I are both sitting here today marks a historic occasion. This is the first time in more than half a century that all the nations of the Americas are meeting to address our future together. I think it’s no secret — and President Castro, I’m sure, would agree — that there will continue to be significant differences between our two countries. We will continue to speak out on behalf of universal values that we think are important. I’m sure President Castro will continue to speak out on the issues he thinks are important.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/11/remarks-president-obama-first-plenary-session-summit-americas

    • President Obama participates in a second Summit of the Americas plenary session
      ATLAPA Convention Center, Panama City, Panama

    • April 11, 2015

      Remarks by the President in Press Conference after the Summit of the Americas

      ATLAPA Convention Center
      Panama City, Panama

      5:26 P.M. EST

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good afternoon, everybody. I want to begin by once again thanking President Varela and the people of Panama City and all the Panamanian people for being such excellent hosts at this Summit of the Americas. Given its strategic location — a place where cultures and commerce of our hemisphere have long intersected — Panama has often been called the “crossroads of the world.” And with Panama’s leadership, our nations have come together to focus on the world, on the future, and on what we can build for the one billion people of the Americas.

      This has been my third Summit of the Americas and my eighth visit to Latin America. And my trip reflects, as I mentioned earlier, a new era of U.S. engagement in the region. Over the past few days we’ve advanced our engagement across the board.

      In keeping with the Inter-American Democratic Charter, we continue to stand up strongly for democracy and human rights. This was the first Summit of the Americas to include a formal role for civil society. As I said at yesterday’s forum, the United States will continue to deepen our support for civil society groups across the Americas and around the world. I’m pleased that there was widespread agreement among the nations here that civil society groups have a permanent role in future summits. And the United States will support this work through the new innovation center we’re creating to empower civil society groups across Latin America.

      How to promote greater opportunity for the Cuban people was also a major focus of my meeting with President Castro, the first between leaders of our two nations in more than half a century. I told President Castro in private what I’ve have said in public — that our governments will continue to have differences and the United States will continue to stand firmly for universal values and human rights. At the same time, we agreed that we can continue to take steps forward that advance our mutual interests. We’ll continue to work toward reestablishing diplomatic relations, reopening embassies in Havana and Washington, and encouraging greater contacts and commerce and exchanges between our citizens.

      I’m optimistic that we’ll continue to make progress and that this can indeed be a turning point — not just between the United States and Cuba, but for greater cooperation among countries across the region.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/11/remarks-president-press-conference-after-summit-americas

  11. Weekly Address: Tuition-Free Community College

    Remarks of Vice President Joe Biden
    Weekly Address
    The White House
    April 11, 2015

    Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Joe Biden and I’m here filling in for President Obama, who is traveling abroad.

    And I’m here with a simple message: middle-class economics works.

    Our economy has gone from crisis to recovery to now to resurgence—with the longest streak of consecutive job growth ever recorded in the history of this country and more than all other advanced countries combined.

    But to make sure everyone is part of this resurgence, we need to build on what we know widens the path to the middle class—and you all know what it is, access to education.

    Folks, the source of our economic power and middle class strength in the 20th Century was the fact that we were among the first major nations in the world to provide twelve years of free education for our citizens.

    But in the 21st Century, other countries have already caught up and twelve years is simply no longer enough—a minimum of fourteen years is necessary for families to have a surer path to the middle class and for the United States to be able to out-compete the rest of the world.

    Consider that by the end of the decade, two out of three of all jobs will require an education beyond high school, from an 18-week certificate to a two-year associate’s degree to a four-year bachelor’s, or a PhD.

    And consider that folks with an associate’s degree earn 25% more than someone who graduated just from high school. And folks who graduate with a four-year degree make 70% more.

    But today, the cost of higher education is too high for too many Americans. Too many folks are priced out of a piece of the middle-class dream.

    And that’s why the President and I have a straightforward plan to remove that barrier and expand the pathway to the middle class—by bringing the cost of community colleges down—down to zero.

    Zero—for anyone willing to work for it and for the institutions that meet certain basic requirements.

    Our plan is no give-away. Students must keep up their grades and stay on track to graduate. States must contribute funding and hold community colleges accountable for the results. And community colleges must maintain high graduation and job placement rates.

    And here’s a key point—community colleges will have to offer courses that are directly transferrable to a four-year degree.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/10/weekly-address-tuition-free-community-college

  12. Sunday, April 12, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    1:00 AM
    President Obama arrives Joint Base Andrews
    Joint Base Andrews

    1:15 AM
    President Obama arrives the White House
    South Lawn

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  13. April 11, 2015

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the Conviction and Sentencing of American Citizen Mohamed Soltan

    The United States condemns the life sentence issued today in Egypt against American citizen Mohamed Soltan. We call for Mr. Soltan’s immediate release from prison. We remain deeply concerned about Mr. Soltan’s health, which has suffered during his 20 month-long incarceration. The President is deeply committed to the welfare of all U.S. citizens abroad and we will ensure that Mr. Soltan continues to receive consular support until he can return safely to the United States, per his wishes.

  14. *******************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ”Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2015 ″

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