About 100 gay and lesbian families are
expected to participate in Monday's White House Easter Egg Roll,
reports the AP.
White House officials said tickets to
the traditional springtime event had been distributed to GLBT
organizations. Several gay groups confirmed they were invited,
including Family Equality Council, Human Rights Campaign and National
Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
“The Obama administration actually
reached out to us as an organization, and said we want gay families
there, and they are an important part of the American family fabric,”
Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Boston-based Family
Equality Council, told the news service.
The annual event – which dates back
to 1878 – takes place on the South Lawn of the White House
beginning at 8:30AM Monday.
The courting of gay and lesbian
families is a dramatic reversal from Bush administration protocol.
When more than 100 gay parents attended the event in 2006,
conservatives howled at their presence, accusing the parents of
trying to “crash” and politicize the family event.
“We feel so welcomed and embraced,
and that in a very real way, I think we can just go as a family and
enjoy it,” said Brooklyn resident Colleen Gillespie, who
participated in the 2006 event. “We don't have to fight for our
right to exist and be treated fairly.”
Chrisler, who is helping to organize
this year's effort, said she expects to see more than 100 gay and
lesbian-headed families at the event.