THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Joe Mirabella Headshot

Why Charlene Strong's Visit With the President Could Change Everything for the LGBT Community

Posted: Updated:

ENDA's chances of passing this year are minimal. The LGBT community can still be legally fired for just being who they are for the foreseeable future. Don't Ask, Don't Tell's repeal remains in limbo. The repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act has not even been discussed seriously in Congress.

Obama certainly has his hands full, but the LGBT community still hopes he can put the full force of his Presidency behind a swift change in law. Some question whether he understands how important his roll in this movement is. That could change very soon. Charlene Strong is scheduled to meet with President Obama on June 22.

Who is Charlene Strong and what makes her so special? On a personal note, she is a friend. I love her dearly. But you don't need to know her as well as I do to consider her a friend. Her story is so powerful it moved a reluctant Washington State Legislature to protect gay and lesbian families with a limited Domestic Partnership law. Then, three years later, her story moved Washington State voters to give gay and lesbian couples all the same state rights as straight married couples under an expanded Domestic Partnership law. It was the first time in U.S. history voters approved the expansion of rights for gay and lesbian families at the ballot box.

Her story continues to move people from ambivalence, to support. Charlene Strong's message is a reminder to the LGBT community that anything is possible. I have no doubt her story will move President Obama to action.

What is her story? Watch the trailer from her documentary For My Wife:

Charlene is not stopping with the President. She wants the country to hear Kate's story, so Kate's life can continue to inspire understanding and support for LGBT community.

"There is real damage because of discrimination and it will continue without full equality," Charlene said, "Anyone today who is told they cannot be by their loved one's side as they die would explode in outrage."

For My Wife will screen on June 21 in Philadelphia and June 24 in Washington DC.

Cross Posted on Bilerico.com