Two gay philanthropists and business owners in Greensboro, N.C., were among 25 signatories of a letter urging leaders of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
Bob Page and Dale Frederiksen, who own Replacements, Ltd. and contribute to a variety of progressive and LGBT causes, joined other wealthy gay leaders in the letter sent to House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, according to Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post.
Other signatories of the letter include LGBT movement business leaders Bruce Bastian, Terry Bean, Tim Gill and Andrew Tobias, as well as others like high-profile TV host and personal finance adviser Suze Orman.
Read the letter below:
Dear Speaker Boehner, Senator Reid, Senator McConnell, and Representative Pelosi:
We are successful LGBT Americans who now or in the past have earned an annual income of $1,000,000 or more.
America has been good to us: it has provided the foundation and opportunity to succeed. We want that same opportunity and possibility for all Americans, but we are concerned about the future of our community and our country.
At the end of this year, a series of deadlines will require our leaders to make important decisions that will have a huge impact on the economy — and on the LGBT community. If Congress fails to act, across-the-board cuts to vital programs will be triggered even as taxes go up on the middle class.
For LGBT Americans, this “fiscal cliff” isn’t just an abstract concept. A report released by the Center for American Progress, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, and a coalition of 23 national LGBT organizations outlines the real and lasting impact it would have.
Across-the-board cuts would compromise LGBT health by reducing programmatic funding used to address the health care needs of gay and transgender Americans, impair the federal government’s ability to investigate claims of workplace discrimination, and remove critical resources from government agencies working to prevent bullying and school violence.
At the same time, higher tax rates would further endanger middle class and working class members of our community. LGBT Americans have lower levels of income than other Americans, according to a recent Gallup report, and face additional economic obstacles caused by the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the lack of federal workplace protections.
In the recent election, many of us contributed significantly to re-elect the President, and we support the President’s vision of a country in which everyone has a fair shot and does his or her fair share.
We urge Congress to work with President Obama to avoid the fiscal cliff with a balanced approach, and to preserve the middle class tax cuts while allowing tax cuts for the best off to expire. It’s the right thing to do.
The Honorable Bruce W. Bastian
Karen K. Dixon & Nan Schaffer
Dale Frederiksen & Bob Page
Nanette Gartrell, MD & Dee (Diane) Mosbacher MD, PhD
Glenn Johnson & Michael Melancon
Suze Orman & Kathy Travis