With the US Presidential race tightening, Barack Obama is stepping up his efforts to reach out to the gay and lesbian community.

Hailing what it describes as a “significant expansion” of their national and grassroots LGBT team, the Obama campaign has announced that out Representative Tammy Baldwin, the Chair of Hillary Clinton’s National LGBT Steering Committee, and Tobias Wolff, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania who chaired Obama’s LGBT Policy Committee during the primary season, will serve as the co-chairs of the campaign’s new National LGBT Steering and Policy Committee.

“I am proud to support Barack Obama for President and work hard for his election because we share a commitment to equality for all Americans. This is our quest and our common goal,” said Congresswoman Baldwin.

“From now through November, we will reach out aggressively to our fellow LGBT Americans to ensure that they know there is only one candidate in this race who will stand up for equal rights and build a coalition that can deliver the change that we desperately need,” Baldwin continued.

In addition to Baldwin and Wolff, other grassroots leaders who held leadership positions in both Obama and Clinton’s primary campaigns have joined forces to lead the national grassroots mobilisation of LGBT voters.

Obama Pride, as the effort will be called, hopes to organise networks of activists in all fifty states who are committed to identifying, registering and turning out lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender voters for Senator Obama in November.

There will be five national co-chairs of Obama Pride. In alphabetical order, they are:

Marsha Botzer who served as co-chair of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Board of Directors during 2005-6.

Mandy Carter, a member of Hillary Clinton’s North Carolina LGBT Steering Committee, who has been organising North Carolina African Americans and LGBT people for years, and has served as a member of the DNC.

Jesse Garcia, President of the Dallas Stonewall Democrats who served on Hillary Clinton’s National LGBT Steering Committee.

Campbell Spencer, an active supporter of Hillary Clinton’s campaign this year, who is now President of Boost Strategies in Washington DC.

Eric Stern, lead organiser of LGBT support for John Edwards during the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, who has served in a leadership role in Obama’s LGBT organising efforts since February of this year.

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