Gay, Lesbian Families Headed To W.H. Lawn

Gay and lesbian families have been invited to participate in this year's White House Easter Egg Roll, and host Rebecca Roberts visits one of them. Jamie Grant and her partner, M'Bwende Anderson, will be taking their two children to the White House on Monday.

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REBECCA ROBERTS, host:

Tomorrow brings another holiday tradition here in Washington.

Mr. RILEY GRANT(PH): I want to go to the presidential Easter egg hunt with the Obamas and anybody from all over the world.

ROBERTS: Actually, it's an Easter Egg Roll, but you can't blame 10-year-old Riley Grant for getting it wrong. He's never been to the White House Easter festivities before.

In past years, families like his didn't feel all that welcome.

Ms. JAMIE GRANT: Hi, I'm Jamie Grant. I live here in Washington, D.C.

Ms. M'BWENDE ANDERSON: Hi, my name's M'Bwende Anderson, and I'm Jamie Grant's partner and the parent of Ella(ph) and Raleigh.

Ms. ELLA GRANT: (Unintelligible)?

ROBERTS: Jamie and M'Bwende and their children are one of many lesbian and gay families formally invited to this year's White House Easter Egg Roll, a definite break from previous administrations.

So tomorrow, Riley and his little sister, Ella, who's not quite two…

Ms. GRANT: (Unintelligible).

ROBERTS: …will all join the Obamas at the White House to race Easter eggs along the South Lawn.

Jamie Grant works at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, one of the organizations that's been given tickets for the Easter Egg Roll.

Ms. GRANT: We've been working closely with the Obama administration since they came in. And I think given that LGBT families have sort of been cut out of the construction of family in, you know, former administrations, I think, you know, the Obama administration wanted to make a special effort to let us know that we were welcome, which has been really incredible. So we're all going.

ROBERTS: Jamie and M'Bwende say they know the invitations are more symbolism than solid policy, but they say symbolism is nothing to sneer at.

Ms. ANDERSON: There have been so many sort of empty promises. I mean, I think that this is - you know, like you said, it's symbolic, but I think it's a great - a strong gesture, anyway, into something that's been traditionally not welcome.

Ms. GRANT: You know, before when LGBT families would come, it's really been - we've been crashing the party, trying to make ourselves visible. And, you know, just the feeling that we're all part of the fabric of American life and to show our part, I mean, just really thrilled to be able to do it.

ROBERTS: Riley and Ella and thousands of their closest friends will be rolling eggs on the White House lawn starting at 8 a.m. tomorrow. And they might just get to meet the latest addition to the Obama family, Bo, a six-month-old Portuguese water dog.

Few topics have been as hotly debated as the possible presidential pooch. News leaked yesterday that Malia and Sasha's new pet, a gift from Senator Edward Kennedy, was already settled in at the White House. Anonymous sources told the Washington Post that so far, Bo has been quite well-behaved and has shown no desire to chew on any historic furniture.

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