In a video released last week, a precocious 10-year-old's plea for workplace protections for her two gay dads is touchingly simple.
"What I want my dads to get for this Father's Day would be job security," Florida fifth-grader Alegra says in the short clip posted to YouTube on June 14. "Please President Obama. It could help so many families like mine."
Alegra's dads, Jarrod Scarbrough and Les Sewell, are longtime LGBT advocates. The family recently made local headlines after a failed attempt to secure a marriage license in Tampa Bay in 2012. Florida does not permit same-sex marriage.
The video, which was released by national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy group GetEQUAL, notes that Alegra's dads live in one of 29 states that do not protect against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and one of 34 that do not offer similar protections for gender identity discrimination.
Members of GetEQUAL are pushing for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban sexual orientation- and gender identity-based discrimination at the federal level. ENDA has been unsuccessfully introduced in Congress several times often throughout the past decade; however, a version of it was recently endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev).
While the bill awaits passage, however, GetEQUAL is advocating for an executive order.
“The pleas of children like Alegra are being echoed all over the country,” Heather Cronk, co-director of GetEQUAL, said in a news release. “It’s our responsibility as a country to advocate for children who are facing extreme hardship or who live with the fear of that hardship because President Obama has not used his pen and signed an executive order promised to us five years ago."