White House Aide: Obama Should Concentrate on Transgender Issues ‘In Whatever Time We Have Left’

By Pete Winn and Lucas Zellers | November 30, 2011 | 7:01pm EST

Gautam Raghavan, associate director, White House Office of Public Engagement

(CNSNews.com) – President Obama “has been pretty clear” in his support for big-ticket items on the homosexual activist agenda – like trying to repeal the "so-called" federal Defense of Marriage Act -- according to a top White House liaison to the LGBT community.

But now, “in whatever time we have left” in office, the White House has an opportunity to concentrate on lesser-known items on the LGBT activist agenda – including HIV/AIDS and helping homeless transgendered teens, Gautam Raghavan, associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, said Tuesday night.

Raghavan told an audience at the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management  that the president has been pretty successful in pushing the homosexual activist agenda.

“I think it will come as no surprise that there are sort of the big-ticket items out there -- I think the president has been pretty clear since the very beginning about his support for a fully-inclusive Employee Non-Discrimination Act, so that’s been out there for a while, and also for a repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act through legislative means. So those are certainly priorities that will continue to be priorities for the President, for all of us,” Raghavan said.

But Raghavan said the White House should address the remainder of the gay agenda.

“I think one thing that I’m really interested in is everything else that’s out there,” Raghavan told the audience.

“I think that we have the ability in whatever time we have left to do some really good work, and these are issues that mean a great deal to the day-to-day lives of LGBT people across the country, and so I think we have the opportunity now to really zone in on some of those things,” Raghavan said.

“Just to name a couple off the top of my head, HIV/AIDS continues to be a huge problem within the LGBT community; there are still ways in which we can make progress for transgender Americans,” he said.

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“I’m sure you’re aware that just nine days ago was Transgender Day of Remembrance, and so we’re always looking at ways in which we can ensure security and safety and equality for ‘trans’ people;

“I think if you look at homelessness as an epidemic amongst LGBT youth; and then certainly bullying is something that we hear a lot about, and so there are a lot of other things that are left to be done too.”

According to the White House Web site, the Office of Public Engagement is “the open front door to the White House.”

The Office of Public Engagement is “the embodiment of the president’s goal of making government inclusive, transparent, accountable and responsible,” according to the White House Web site.

“We create and coordinate opportunities for direct dialogue between the Obama Administration and the American public, while bringing new voices to the table and ensuring that everyone can participate and inform the work of the President,” the White House said.

“The Office of Public Engagement helps open the two-way dialogue, ensuring that the issues impacting our nation’s proud and diverse communities have a receptive team dedicated to making their voices heard within the Administration, and even more importantly helping their concerns be translated into action by the appropriate bodies of the Federal Government.”

Prior to joining the White House, Raghavan was the deputy White House liaison for the U.S. Department of Defense and headed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Working Group.

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