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Obama Issues Letter to LGBT Community, Rallies Gay Supporters

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The Obama campaign released video of the candidate thanking his campaign staff in Chicago over the weekend. It's indicative of the transparency the internet has brought and the willingness of the Obama campaign to utilize it. Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Obama also released a statement regarding gay pride month as well as an open letter to the LGBT community (read it, AFTER THE JUMP)

Andrew Belonsky at Queerty did a great wrap-up of an Obama campaign conference call to gay supporters which happened late on Friday on which former HRC executive director Elizabeth Birch and current president Joe Solmonese participated, explaining Obama's 50 state strategy and urging Clinton supporters to rally behind the party.

Obama also received the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign over the weekend.

More, AFTER THE JUMP...


***OBAMA'S LETTER TO THE LGBT COMMUNITY***

I’m running for President to build an America that lives up to our founding promise of equality for all – a promise that extends to our gay brothers and sisters. It’s wrong to have millions of Americans living as second-class citizens in this nation. And I ask for your support in this election so that together we can bring about real change for all LGBT Americans.

Equality is a moral imperative. That’s why throughout my career, I have fought to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans. In Illinois, I cosponsored a fully inclusive bill that prohibited discrimination on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity, extending protection to the workplace, housing, and places of public accommodation. In the U.S. Senate, I have cosponsored bills that would equalize tax treatment for same-sex couples and provide benefits to domestic partners of federal employees. And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non- Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat samesex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples -whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage. I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does. I have also called for us to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and I have worked to improve the Uniting American Families Act so we can afford same-sex couples the same rights and obligations as married couples in our immigration system.

The next president must also address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. When it comes to prevention, we do not have to choose between values and science. While abstinence education should be part of any strategy, we also need to use common sense. We should have age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception. We should pass the JUSTICE Act to combat infection within our prison population. And we should lift the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. In addition, local governments can protect public health by distributing contraceptives.

We also need a president who’s willing to confront the stigma - too often tied to homophobia - that continues to surround HIV/AIDS. I confronted this stigma directly in a speech to evangelicals at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, and will continue to speak out as president.

That is where I stand on the major issues of the day. But having the right positions on the issues is only half the battle. The other half is to win broad support for those positions. And winning broad support will require stepping outside our comfort zone. If we want to repeal DOMA, repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and implement fully inclusive laws outlawing hate crimes and discrimination in the workplace, we need to bring the message of LGBT equality to skeptical audiences as well as friendly ones - and that’s what I’ve done throughout my career. I brought this message of inclusiveness to all of America in my keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention. I talked about the need to fight homophobia when I announced my candidacy for President, and I have been talking about LGBT equality to a number of groups during this campaign - from local LGBT activists to rural farmers to parishioners at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Dr. Martin Luther King once preached.

Just as important, I have been listening to what all Americans have to say. I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans. But neither will I close my ears to the voices of those who still need to be convinced. That is the work we must do to move forward together. It is difficult. It is challenging. And it is necessary.

Americans are yearning for leadership that can empower us to reach for what we know is possible. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit. Join with me, and I will provide that leadership. Together, we will achieve real equality for all Americans, gay and straight alike.

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Comments

  1. Does anyone get the sense that Obama is a pandering fraud? He seems to have a message for every audience. Problem is, he can't logically reconcile his conservative black base with the GLBT community. They are poles apart, basically.

    This is one gay man who will NOT be voting for Obama.

    Posted by: jason | Jun 9, 2008 8:23:34 AM


  2. Jason

    Does anyone get the sense that you are a log cabinite repub who also hates the Clintons?

    Have you ever voted for anyone not a repub?

    Obama constantly mentions gay rights to conservative religous African American communities. A tough crowd to do so to and yet he always does, bridging that gap you claim is insurmountable.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Jun 9, 2008 8:32:18 AM


  3. Sure Jason, like McCain acknowledges ANYTHING? Get your head out of your ass and try acting like an adult.

    Posted by: Mary, Late Dowager Queen of the British Empire | Jun 9, 2008 8:32:28 AM


  4. Read the text of Obama's speech carefully. He's vacillating already. This is vacillation masquerading as an embrace. Most blacks are churchy types on a par with the religious right, and Obama is no different.

    Posted by: jason | Jun 9, 2008 8:45:22 AM


  5. Jason, ALL politicans are pandering frauds.
    Don't for a moment think I've forgotten THIS:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-ehrenstein31oct31,0,4417577.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail

    But what we must NEVER forget is the power we have. He needs our votes. And it's obvious that no LBGT individual with an ounce of sense is going to vote for McSame.

    WE HAVE "HAND"!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 9, 2008 8:46:45 AM


  6. I won't be voting for McCain but I certainly won't be voting for Obama. I'll sit it out, thanks.

    Posted by: jason | Jun 9, 2008 9:03:10 AM


  7. "Most blacks are churchy types on a par with the religious right, and Obama is no different."
    Fabulous. It's wonderful to have lived to see the day when white gay men can freely express their racism, just like anyone else.

    Posted by: coolbear | Jun 9, 2008 9:04:32 AM


  8. Why sit out?

    This is how I tell true Hillary supporters from posers. A true Hillary supporter that for whatever reason can not and or will not vote Obama can write in Hillary's name.

    Did you support Senator Clinton? Something tells me you didn't

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Jun 9, 2008 9:05:59 AM


  9. "Most blacks are churchy types on a par with the religious right, and Obama is no different."

    Wow, way to break out your broad brush there Mary. If church is the reason for our alleged narrow-mindedness, what is yours?

    Posted by: felipe anuel | Jun 9, 2008 9:09:16 AM


  10. Jason

    You still haven't answered these questions

    1- Have you ever voted for a non repub?
    2- Dis you actualy support Senator Clinton?

    You bypass those and say you won't vote mccain but in the end you still never answered

    "Have you ever voted for a non repub?"

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Jun 9, 2008 9:16:28 AM


  11. I'm concerned that LGBT's are blinded by the one issue of gay marriage. It's really not something that I'm very passionate about. I'm more concerned with the war in Iraq, the economy, taxes, and the environment.

    I honestly don't know who I want to vote for even if I vote at all. I'm so disenfranchied with the whole process. I mean deep down, I really don't think anything will change regardless of who is president. I've lost a little bit of hope for this country.

    Posted by: Matt | Jun 9, 2008 9:25:05 AM


  12. What a lying sack of shit. His "dedication" to GLBT issues lost all credibility when he refused to remove McClurkin from his gospel tour when the Human Rights Campaign asked him to. He needs his black churchies more than he needs gays.

    Posted by: Chris | Jun 9, 2008 9:32:11 AM


  13. So long Hillary, the best President we never had...

    “The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, “It’s a Girl.”

    -S. Chrisholm

    Tucker Carlson:
    “When she comes on television I involuntarily cross my legs”

    Neil Cavuto:
    “Men won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because she reminds them of their nagging wives.”

    Barack Obama:
    “The default candidate for Democrats in this race was always going to be Hillary Clinton because she’s Hillary Clinton as opposed to Hillary Rodham”

    Barack Obama’s choice of song at his Des Moines victory party was Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” which played the lyrics on the loop “ I got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one”

    Marc Rudov:
    “Men are allowing women to take over the world”

    “She’s not called a B-word because she’s assertive and aggressive; she’s called a B-word cause she acts like one”

    Stephen Kaus:
    “She’s Sister Frigidaire”

    Barack Obama:
    “You challenge the status quo and suddenly the claws come out”

    Christoper Hitchens:
    [her actions] “Made her look soppy and bitchy”

    Barack Obama:
    “I understand that senator Clinton, periodically when she’s feeling down launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal”

    Keith Olberman:
    “Someone should take her into a room where only he come out”
    “She teared up one moment then attacked Obama the next”

    Longtime Obama supporter Steve Cohen on whether Hillary should drop put:
    “Glenn Close should have stayed in the tub”

    Pete Snyder:
    “I think someone is going to have to go out there and take her behind the barn”

    Chris Matthews:
    “ She’s the She-Devil”

    “The only reason she’s a presidential candidate is because her husband fooled around”

    Jack Cafferty CNN:
    “The question is which Hillary Clinton is going to show up…at Thursdays debate in Austin Texas, Mrs. Clinton showed a softer side, a couple of days later she morphed into a scolding mother talking down to her child, she wasn’t finished, she resembled someone with multiple personality disorder”


    -Because of the way this country treats women, we may have nominated perhaps the most unqualified Presidential nominee ever.

    Posted by: daveynyc | Jun 9, 2008 9:38:47 AM


  14. Lincoln was less "qualified," if I'm interpreting your ludicrous definition of "qualified" to mean strictly legislative experience. How did he do?

    Dave/Jason, you can feel free not to vote for Obama if you want, but don't pretend it's because he's "unqualified" or "hates gays." McCain will appoint conservative supreme court justices who threaten real harm to gay rights. Think about it.

    Posted by: Morgan | Jun 9, 2008 9:50:18 AM


  15. Daveynyc

    Are you going to vote mccain?

    Favors TOTAL repeal of Roe vs wade with no exceptions even in case of rape, incest, and or life of the mother?

    Is threatening Iran with nukes thinking China and Russia will just sit back and let us F up their ties to Iran, Iran's oil, Iran's natural gas reserves, etc............You might as well pick a US city you don't mind see going up in a mushroom cloub because if we nuke Iran then China and or Russia will nuke at least 1 of our cities in retaliation.

    McCain's surrogate Lindsey Grahm this weekend on Stephenopolus show asked if mccains tax and health care policies were in lines with bush's. The answer = "ABSOLUTELY"

    Mccain stumped against civil unions in AZ

    I f you are not going to vote Obama, then write in Hillary's name and stay out of the way. You are actively supporting mccain at this point wether intentional or not.

    As Senator clinton said "...there is just too much at stake." When she endorsed Obama

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Jun 9, 2008 9:52:06 AM


  16. I was a Hillary supporter and part of me doesn't want to go to the polls and even vote. Obama id DEFINITELY not my first choice for a number of obvious reasons. Still I will vote, and Obama is the lesser of two evils that I will now be voting for. I won't be immature and write down Hillary's name or go for a third party.
    I truly believe the LBGT community needs to look into ll of the issues both men support and find which one they feel comfortable supporting. Neither are perfect, neither have a great outlook on equal rights for us and for gay marriage. I just think if we go with Obama there is a better chance he will consider us then McCain ever would.
    As for ho wpeople saw Hillary just like stars you only get to see one side of her. now people are seeing her compassionate, human side. before she had to sell herself and be who we thought we wanted her to be as a president. As DaveNYC said a lot of people disliked her because of her lack of male anatomy. Sadly all people could see in this race was black and female. I wish they would have put that aside and looked at their qualifications and stand on things rather then the fact that neither were a white male.

    Posted by: Angelmonster | Jun 9, 2008 10:00:35 AM


  17. Barack will be completely gray by 2009.

    Posted by: A.J. | Jun 9, 2008 10:01:01 AM


  18. or even considerThat someone would vote for McBush and be posting on this site is amazing, I guess they forgot two words from HRC that actually matter SUPREME COURT. I guess to some, their emotional attachment to a candidate trumps common sense and the right to equality that we deserve and sure as all out won't get under a McBush administration and God forbid he gets the chance to put more anti-gay judges on that bench.

    Posted by: Marc | Jun 9, 2008 10:20:35 AM


  19. Another college educated, successful business owner, white, gay male not voting for Obama! Let your insults fly!

    Posted by: anon | Jun 9, 2008 10:23:44 AM


  20. "Anon," And yet you are not even man enough to post under your name. What a pathetic waste of DNA.

    Posted by: rudy | Jun 9, 2008 10:45:02 AM


  21. Rudy,
    Anon is my name.

    Posted by: Anon | Jun 9, 2008 11:01:13 AM


  22. "Most blacks are churchy types on a par with the religious right, and Obama is no different."

    Jason,

    This is such a boldly racist statement. It's great to see how gay men are willing to label a 40 million Americans as "churchy." Where's your proof? Oh, that's right, who needs proof when it's easier to stereotype 40 million human beings!

    It's not like the Religious Right doesn't stereotype all gays as promiscuous, disease carrying child rapists. Doesn't it make you feel good to have something in common with Fred Phelps or James Dobson?

    First, get this through your thick skull: African-Americans are human beings, individuals, who are not robots who think, pray, walk, and talk alike. There are Baptist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Jewish, and Buddhist African-American worshipers! Moreover, African-Americans are not the people who have created the system that oppresses gays of all races. That would be white males who have controlled this society for the last few hundred years. (Along with gay white men like Larry Craig and the other closet cases in the GOP are only happy to spew homophobia while they can get a little tail on the side.) The major GOP operatives who used gay marriage and anti-gay rhetoric to get out the vote were not African-Americans.

    Second, have you ever read a history book? If you did, you would understand that African-Americans have been the most loyal voting bloc of the Democratic Party for the last 40 years. Thus, they have secured the election of the progressives who have passed LIBERAL legislation. So, you should be a little more thankful for African-American voters. If they weren't there voting for Democrats, liberal judges would not have been placed on the Supreme Court.

    Third, not voting is like voting for McCain who is NOT a friend of the gays. Presidents appoint federal judges for lifetime appointments. How many Rightwingers do you think Bush appointed? How many more do you think McCain will appoint?

    Fourth, get over Donnie McClurkin. Obama has repeatedly spoken out about gay issues to mainly straight crowds throughout the campaign. Hillary never did this.

    Fifth, yes, Hillary faced sexism (mainly from white men like Chris Matthews and Republican operative) but she and her surrogates engaged in blatant racial politics. Sexism does not trump racism. Crying victim while engaging in bigoted behavior weakens one's position.

    Finally, it's about the general election! If you think that John McCain is some moderate, you're kidding yourself. Read about McCain's history on gay rights and women's rights.

    McCain has embraced the Religious Right that many gays like Jason denounce. He sought the endorsement of John Hagee, who says that the anti-Christ will be a gay Jew.

    What kind of Supreme Court justices do you think McCain will appoint? The answer is jurists like Scalia and Thomas who voted against repealing the sodomy laws!

    Hillary lost. It's time to move on and focus on the endgame. If you can't get over your bigotry (Jason) or remorse of Hillary's defeat, then you are just going to help the GOP get elected.

    Posted by: noah | Jun 9, 2008 11:04:24 AM


  23. Harvard student NOT voting for Obama!

    Posted by: Leah | Jun 9, 2008 11:04:42 AM


  24. I just don't see how he can say the federal government has no place discriminating against anyone, and then says civil unions, separate but equal, are the ways to achieve equality. Just makes me wonder in what other ways will he leave our community behind.

    But of course I'm going to vote for him, because anything else would be stupid. Not to mention LGBT issues are just a very tiny percentage of the issues that I care about. All of us are more than just lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender...every political issue, not just so-called LGBT ones, affects us as much as it does everyone else. So while we should absolutely criticize Obama when he fails us, we can't let that be our only criteria for judging him. That's not how politics works.

    Posted by: Justin | Jun 9, 2008 11:29:08 AM


  25. I still do not get the animosity towards Obama, which now seems to me much more obvious than the animosity towards Clinton (which I never really noticed in the first place).

    If we take (on the gay blog) just gay issues, Obama and Clinton were very close. I never bought into the "blame Hillary for Bill's supposed backing of DOMA and DADT" line, and even defended Bill often on that. But in fact on gay issues Obama is marginally _better_ than Clinton: he is for repealing DOMA and he spoke to non-gay groups ("black churchies"?) about gay issues.

    There is a HUGE difference between Obama and McCain on gay issues, and there's no way anyone could not see that. Even if I didn't care about them, there are many other reasons to vote Obama: the war, health care, the environment, you name it. I've just spent a year mostly in Central/Eastern Europe, and I would frankly welcome not having to feel embarrassed about my country's policies and about the stupidity of the American voter (let's not repeat 2000 and 2004, please!).

    GOP trolls go away.
    The rest of you please stop your bickering and support the Democratic candidate!

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Jun 9, 2008 11:31:10 AM


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