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Standing for equality

Joshua Jarrett, LGBT Chair of the Florida College Democrats

In recent years, while we have seen big movements toward equality, we have also seen some of the most open – and not so open – attacks on the community. That's why the fight for LGBT equality is more relevant today than it has ever been.

Pride celebrations are important to recognize the diversity of our community and celebrate the progress we've made, like ending the disastrous Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. But they are also a call to action and a reminder of how far we still need to go.

As chair of the LGBT Caucus for the Florida College Democrats I was especially proud to see allies like OFA Florida showing their support last weekend at Orlando's Pride celebration. It's one thing to talk about equality; it's another to actually get out there and work for it.

A true ally who has time and again turned his words into action is President Obama, who has led the way forward. From common sense legislation like the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, the President has been a strong advocate.

Each year there are those opponents of change who work against our progress—they don't believe all Americans should have the same opportunities or protections. But amid all the intolerance and hatred, one thing is certain: President Obama has our back.

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