Senior White House advisor to speak at national HRC dinner
Senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett will headline the Human Rights Campaign’s national dinner in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Oct. 9.
"Valerie Jarrett is a tremendous addition to the event and we look forward to hearing from one of the president’s closest advisors," said HRC President Joe Solmonese in a statement released on Friday, Oct. 8. "She and President Obama both care deeply about equality and are strong supporters of those of us fighting for LGBT rights."
In addition to Jarrett, Pink, Bette Midler, Lee Daniels, Mo’nique and Modern Family cast members are among those scheduled to appear.
Obama spoke at last year’s dinner, but the Oct. 9 event will take place less than a month after Republican Senators successfully blocked a measure that would have allowed debate on the repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers. And an increasing number of activists have questioned the administration’s commitment to repeal "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell", push for passage of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act and other LGBT-specific items on Capitol Hill.
"Before she appears at a black-tie fundraiser to tout the administration’s ’strong support,’ Jarrett should meet and talk with those who have actually been impacted by this discriminatory law and who continue to fight this uphill battle for the lives and livelihoods of gay and lesbian troops," said Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, in a statement. "To ignore the reality of the administration’s choices, a reality manifested in our daily lives, while appearing at a party hosted by an organization that has given cover to this administration would be incredibly insulting."