White House Site Updated With Lengthy List Of Commitments To LGBT Rights

Within seconds of President Obama’s swearing in, the official home page of the White House was updated with a lengthy list of commitments to further LGBT rights.

Support for the LGBT Community

"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in
1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT
rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core,
this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this
nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by
treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."

— Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

  • Expand Hate Crimes Statutes:
    In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest
    category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of
    such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand
    federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because
    of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender
    identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama
    passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit
    them against the law.
  • Fight Workplace Discrimination:
    President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and
    believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be
    expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an
    increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their
    employees’ domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual
    orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The
    President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that
    would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples:
    President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples
    legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama
    also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact
    legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and
    benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended
    to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized
    unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved
    one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and
    other employment benefits, and property rights.
  • Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage:
    President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006
    which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and
    prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or
    other unmarried couples.
  • Repeal Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell:
    President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
    Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to
    repeal the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy. The key test for military
    service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to
    serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has
    spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military
    because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300
    language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than
    50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military
    leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our
    national defense goals.
  • Expand Adoption Rights:
    President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all
    couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He
    thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home,
    whether the parents are gay or not.
  • Promote AIDS Prevention:
    In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and
    begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that
    includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce
    HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health
    disparities. The President will support common sense approaches
    including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about
    contraception, combating infection within our prison population through
    education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through
    our public health system. The President also supports lifting the
    federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates
    of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to
    confront the stigma — too often tied to homophobia — that continues
    to surround HIV/AIDS.
  • Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS:
    In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has
    quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than
    one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced
    the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development
    of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides
    are a class of products currently under development that women apply
    topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.

Comments

  1. JerzeeMike says

    This is really saying a lot to the LGBT community. It is my most fervent hope he lives up to these promises, only time will tell. All the same, to have this go up on the official White House website is incredibly significant.

  2. Alex says

    I hope this comes to pass.

    I doubt that McPalin would have done the same, so at least this is a glimmer of hope considering how crappy it’s been for the LGBT movement since the election.

  3. Jim says

    I am truly AMAZED by the astonishing list of goals for the LGBT Community CLEARLY and BOLDLY stated on the action list under “Civil Rights” by the new President Obama Administration! WOW!
    I had no idea that this would be so clearly evident. Although these goals remain to be realized, I am already more than hopeful about being recognized as a 1st Class Citizen under the presidency of this revolutionary figure. Please, please, let it be true!!!

  4. Darren says

    As much as I have been an anti-bushie for the last 8 years and pro-Obama now for 2, I need to say this.

    Words are pretty Mr. President, but they must be matched by deeds.

    Do not throw our community under the bus (like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and DOMA) or you will not receive our support in 4 years.

    Best of luck to you, Mr. President.

  5. says

    We need to prepare ourselves for the ridiculous attacks from those who are hell-bent on religious tyranny, for every single advance listed above will be accompanied by H8, H8, and more H8. Those against us will be FREAKING OUT at the notion that we ARE equal (inside) and we ALREADY DESERVED the rights we hope to achieve long ago. And we need to STOP “protecting” others AND ourselves from the reality of our existence.

    BE NOT AFRAID – BE OUT!

  6. MikeMick says

    More words. Talk to me when you put some skin in the fight. But more important, just do good things for the whole country. That’s why I voted, donated and volunteered.

  7. says

    Now that Rev. Warren’s uninspired prayer is finally in the dustbin of history, we can focus on the stuff that ultimately matters: the above commitments (imperfect on marriage, yes, but huge progress from where we are now) and making sure that Obama honors these commitments.

    He’ll be facing all kinds of political realities that will make it easy for us to be overlooked, which is why it’s time for us to be as politically savvy as possible. At least we have an opportunity now, one we never had under Bush, and one we wouldn’t have had under McCain/Palin. I hope we can meet the Obama administration halfway and make the best of this opportunity to move forward one step at a time.

  8. MikeMick says

    More words. Talk to me when you put some skin in the fight. But more important, just do good things for the whole country. That’s why I voted, donated and volunteered.

  9. Leland Frances says

    Any regular Towleroad reader is aware of my back and forth journey of opinion regarding Barack Obama.

    But despite that, and recent events that only renewed my worst fears, because I remember watching on the evening news the violent attacks on peaceful civil rights demonstrators in the 1960s on the days they happened, the screams, the blood, the police dogs, the tear gas, the tears, again and again; because I watched the 1963 Great March on Washington and heard Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech live, and the shattering annoucement of his assassination five years later, I could not help but tear up when a biracial man, Barack Obama, first appeared at the top of the stairs of the Inaugural Platform.

    And far more than the dropping of the G-word in this or that speech, or administration appointments, or the invitation to a lesbian to ride a train, or Bishop Robinson to pray, this symbolic nailing to the White House door—BY the White House—a list of most of what it will take to finally make us first class citizens renews my HOPE about what is to come.

  10. Puff says

    But he’s the first PRESIDENT to post such statements. Let’s give him some recognition. He at least seems to want to help. And I’ll take civil unions now and marriage later. Things happen in stages.

  11. voodoolock says

    i find the pessimism of the obama detractors extremely disturbing. i do not think hillary would have posted this list of LGBT rights onto the white house website as immediately as this has been done.

    i am a fighter for LGBT rights. i know what a victory it is for a president to even acknowledge all four letters of the acronym.

    personally, i am offended by the negativity of some of these posts. if you represented the LGBT community, i’d stop all of my work for your rights. you are shrill, weak, bitter, whiny, and in the midst of a temper tantrum. go take a nap, and come back and fight when you feel better.

    this is much work to be done to repair the rights for all citizens of this country and the rest of the world. join in the fight for all, and we will be eventually accepted as equals.

  12. voodoolock says

    i find the pessimism of the obama detractors extremely disturbing. i do not think hillary would have posted this list of LGBT rights onto the white house website as immediately as this has been done.

    i am a fighter for LGBT rights. i know what a victory it is for a president to even acknowledge all four letters of the acronym.

    personally, i am offended by the negativity of some of these posts. if you represented the LGBT community, i’d stop all of my work for your rights. you are shrill, weak, bitter, whiny, and in the midst of a temper tantrum. go take a nap, and come back and fight when you feel better.

    this is much work to be done to repair the rights for all citizens of this country and the rest of the world. join in the fight for all, and we will be eventually accepted as equals.

  13. ERB says

    on a side note…did anyone get as creeped out as me with the way Warren pronounced Sasha and Malia Obama’s names? Seriously, I thought he was going to molest them on stage in front of everyone *shiver* such a dirty fucking man

  14. CK says

    It is great to see these points posted so prominently…

    As I posted in another comment about the inauguration, it’s up to us to make sure this happens. We need to constantly be there, making a noise, in the administration’s face, so they KNOW that these ideals that they have laid out HAVE To be put in motion. We cannot wait for someone else to step and take action, we need to all be out and proud and hold all politicians accountable to these promises.

    Somehow, my gut tells me we won’t have to fight hard to get this done, I believe that President Obama will carry it through! It’s a good day! No, a GREAT day!

  15. Anonymous says

    It took George Bush months to get a real website up in 2001. This guy really has his act together. He will be a great president — I am sure. After the darkness of the last eight years, there is some light.

  16. crispy says

    >>Any regular Towleroad reader is aware of my back and forth journey of opinion regarding Barack Obama.

    We all just chalked it up to age-related dementia.

  17. walker says

    “Those exact statements have always been on his site, nothing new
    POSTED BY: ALICIA | JAN 20, 2009 1:47:48 PM”

    What is new my dear Alicia is that he is now president and this information is posted on a .gov –

    I choose to believe that change is coming, and until today I did not. Until I read this post I did not believe he was any different.

  18. Equal means equal says

    Great list, and such a refreshing contrast from the James Dobson-controlled room temperature IQ fool who preceded him. But indeed he is “not there yet” about marriage, and thus we must educate him, and others with the same view, on how hurtful that is.

    And that evil f*cker Rick Warren…will tarnish my thoughts about Obama forever. I don’t care how unimpressive his speech was; Warren should never, ever have been given that job.

  19. Damon says

    “Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.”

    Just awesome. Simply awesome.

  20. clint says

    I personally think the Warren moment was inspired, because it showed how utterly vapid and irrelevant the man really is, and we saw how what we voted FOR utterly triumphed over what we just voted OUT. Rev. Lowery sealed that deal, don’cha think?

  21. Jersey says

    I agree Clint. I’m very glad Warren gave his forgettable speech (whatever you call it) while bush was still president and Lowery gave that totally inpired one after Obama became President. I also love that Obama moved those promises from his campaign to his list of goals to accomplish while in the white house. It gives us a concrete record to judge him on when it comes to our issues. Now if he’ll block that drilling in the Grand Canyon/evangelical-healthcare-worker-right-to-deny-care/torture crap immediately I’ll be ecstatic. I’ll even not pitch a fit if it takes him a moment to attend to our specific needs.

  22. FunMe says

    Here’s really hoping that Obama does follow up with ACTIONS.

    We, teh GLBT community need to keep his feet to the fire. Nothing will get done if we become complacent and think someone will help us. We have to PRESSURE Obama and his administration to follow up his HOPE with ACTIONS.

  23. Mike says

    I still don’t understand why they continue to lump that last part about empowering women and HIV/AIDS with the rest of the LGBT stuff, or even civil rights.

  24. Paul R says

    I can’t believe how negative some of you are. Yes, they’re “just” words, but did the Bush (or even Clinton) administration ever touch any of these issues? Needle exchange? Apprpriate sex ed? Prison sex? Gender identity? Of course not.

    No, it won’t all happen overnight. Still, this is a major step forward, and that can’t be ignored or denied. He’s on our side.

  25. Leland Frances says

    Ah, Crispy, thank God for the “jaws of life”—I see they were able to pull your head out of Obama’s ass just in time to reclaim your place as his Official Turd.

    You once again prove that his blind idolizers are worse than his critics any day.

    Fortunately, the only button you will ever control is the one marked “Enter” on your keyboard.

  26. Derrick from Philly says

    What would this blog be without CRISPY and LELAND? All me. So, thank God for both of them.

    Thank you, PAUL R. Many Americans still don’t know quite what gay people are. Atleast under President Obama we are officially considered a legitimate form of human life.

    I know now that an American President and the Congress can govern from the right or from the center–they cannot govern from the left. THe people won’t have it. That’s why Democratic Presidents move to the center while running for president, and basically stay there when they are elected(Carter & Clinton). They repay us (on the left)with federal judges, and that’s one of the things that President Obama will surely do.

  27. Sargon Bighorn says

    For those that keep saying, “I hope Obama follows up on these promises” or similar sentiments, did you not listen to his speech? The Gov/Obama can only do so much. If you are not a “community organizer” or an “activist” or a “leader” in the Gay Civil Rights struggle now is the time to Rise Up! Awake to the Dawn! Ring you Bell! or what ever metaphor you want to use to make Gay Civil Equality a reality. Obama is willing to work with us, Gay Americans still have to do all the heavy lifting. Get the whining out of your system today for the work starts tomorrow.

  28. damien says

    The best and most astonishing part about this to me:

    He listed them right underneath the category of “Civil Rights”.

    It makes me feel good that he’s at least trying to treat gays the same as every other citizen instead of partitioning them off into their own little section. It’s time America realizes that we ARE just like every other citizen – not all shirtless, thong-and-glitter-wearing gogo boys.

  29. noah says

    Jeffrey,

    Thank you! Did any of you bother to read the terror-filled reaction on World Nut Daily? Seriously, that should put more than smile on your face and spring in your step.

    It is pretty shocking that some of you don’t understand the significance of Obama putting these goals on the White House website. That is not some campaign website. That is the official website of the President of the United States!

    Anyone who visits the site from any nation now knows that GLBT rights are Civil Rights! They state to the world the American president plans to fight for the rights of GLBT Americans.

    Queers should be jumping up and down about this. Obama didn’t wait until the next day or week to put this up. His commitment was post just hours after his inauguration.

    That was Obama dropping the gauntlet to homophobes across America. They are all on notice as to what he plans to do.

    Some of you folks don’t seem to understand that this is war just as tough and vicious as the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The forces of bigotry are not going to take this lightly. They are not going to roll over and go along with this. They will scream, kick, fight and do whatever they can to prevent this legislative agenda.

    Obama is president. He is not wizard. He is not a king. To pass this legislation, he needs the backing of Congress and populace. If you want this agenda to succeed, you have to get off your butts and fight just as hard as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Joseph Lowery and others.

    What people continue to ignore is the dirty fact that a reported 50% of eligible gay voters in California sat home on Nov. 4 and did not go to the polls to vote against Prop 8. Think about that! If people want change, they have to get off their butts and work for it.

    Could you imagine 50% of Asian Americans sitting home if they were going to lose the right to marry? I don’t think so. Read a history book. The U.S. once banned Asian women from immigrating to the U.S. to directly prevent the population growth Asians.

    The GLBT community has to realize that getting Obama to fight for them requires that they fight for him and with him. If the community is not there for him, someone else may well be. That’s politics. Go back re-watch “Milk” to see how successful Harvey Milk was in politicking with others.

  30. crispy says

    Oh, Leland. I’d be Obama’s official turd any day.

    There’s nothing wrong with being a critic. But being a constant douchebag has gotta be bad on your already pockmarked, liver spotted complexion.

  31. Sargon Bighorn says

    NOAH I love you and want to have your Babies, all your babies, did I say all? Oh Noah….Let’s start now. Can I be with you Noah? Did I mention I want to have your babies? Noah can I ride in your boat, you float mine! NOAH ROCKS!

  32. says

    Noah: I did read the full commentary on the WND website, and I do realize that putting the issues regarding LGBT civil rights on the White House’s page (under the Agenda, no less) puts us front and center on the cultural battle line.

    While today is most certainly a day for celebration of a hard-won victory, it is by no means the end of the war. In fact, it is just the beginning of the next major battle.

    I expect that disgruntled conservatives, angry for the loss of power on Capitol Hill and in the White House, will not hesitate a second to make LGBTers their personal whipping persons. We’re in for a very, very tough battle, and the closer we get to the goal, the harder we’re going to have to fight in order to not lose ground.

    No, Noah, I’m not fooling myself about what we’re up against. But you’ll forgive me if I enjoy a bit of schadenfreude as regards the conservatives’ consternation.

  33. robertmalcolm says

    To me this is an historic list. You would have NEVER seen this under McCain/Palin … NEVER. And as many have noted it’s not merely on his campaign web site but the official web site of the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES. Of course, having all these things become a reality is the logical next step but at least his commitment is now there for ALL to see. I just hope WE can see them all through which would go a long way to finally making us first class citizens.

  34. mcNnyc says

    Great WISH LIST!

    Glad someone there knows how to cut and paste.

    And the gay blogs will feed it to the masses.

    And we can feel so good about our place once again.

  35. DJ says

    THANK YOU Noah! You pretty much clarified in a more thorough way what Ive been trying to tell some of the ill-informed bitter homos on this blog as well as 2 others.If we want are rights that bad WE as a community need to get off our ASSES and take ACTION rather than some of you who would rather TROLL around douche-bagin’ and do absolutely NOTHING to CONTRIBUTE to the cause.But as long as those who are superficial,pretentious,materialistic,hidden-agenda type,narcissistic dirt-queen who would rather spend 5-7 days a week at the damn gym trying to create this overly-dramatic physical appearance of themselves and searching for the blow-job Mr.Right Now have their say we cannot and will not,accomplish much.I have no reason to sugarcoat.

  36. Dave says

    mcnnyc: Wish list or not, it’s the official wish list of the President of the United States. Now our job is to put tremendous pressure on legislators to make them happen. The President has effectively said he will sign pro-GLBT legislation. We have to push it through Congress.

    So go back to ENDA and remind the public of all the places that we can be fired for being gay, regardless of our actual job performance. The public doesn’t know about this and so doesn’t see a need to fix it.

    Instill outrage in every community that we are not granted our right to pursue happiness – a right called for by the President during his inauguration. Remind the churches that came out in favor of limited rights of their statements. They can’t back down or they will be publicly humiliated for abandoning their word.

    Force legislators to act. Make it personal for them and for the public. Don’t make it about equal rights, because that ship has sunk. Make it about making America and Americans the best we can be and ride the wave of Hope.

    In states where we already have substantial rights, push for full marriage. In states where we have no rights, push for ENDA and hate crime legislation. Do it in every state that doesn’t grant us protected status and the right to marry. In those few states where we have full rights, organize backup, funding and organization for those states where we have none.

    Fail to do this and we will continue to see our rights eroded. The ball is in our court now and I’m game. Are you?

  37. John in CA says

    Obama will sign this legislation if it gets to his desk. But there’s no guarantee that will happen.

    Congress isn’t really unified ideologically. Since 2006, the House has moved pretty steadily from the right to the left. With Pelosi, Hoyer, Waxman, Frank, and Conyers in key positions, it is almost assured that the House leadership will rubber stamp any piece of gay rights legislation that has broad public support (e.g. Matthew Shepard Act, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and repealing DADT).

    But the Senate has barely changed at all. The Democrats may have 13 more seats in the Senate now. But it is still essentially a center-right body. Majority Leader Harry Reid is a Mormon. And his record suggests he’s probably a “closeted” social conservative. The Blue Dogs in the Senate are a force to be reckon with. And with the election of the likes of Jim Webb, Jon Tester, and Claire McCaskill — they’ve only become bolder in the last few years. Most senators are also free agents. They do what they want and they’re unpredictable. And then there’s the always present threat of a filibuster.

    The Senate is our achilles’ heel. And there’s little doubt that’s where the religious right will focus their lobbying efforts.

  38. Paul R says

    John in CA, the Senate often votes along solidly partisan lines, and always has if the leadership enforces it. And I don’t follow your reference to the Blue Dogs: they’re fiscal (not social) conservatives, and they’re based in the House, not the Senate. Evan Bayh proposed forming a similar group in the Senate last month, but I don’t think it’s in place yet. And even Jim Webb supports civil unions (though I’ll grant you that he also supports DADT).

    Obama will likely retain his almost unheard of sway over the party, and even the GOP will go along with some of it; otherwise during the 2010 elections they’ll be accused of impeding progress and even more will get voted out. I’m not predicting that Congress will suddenly become a highly productive lovefest, but I do expect Obama to achieve a lot of his legislative agenda over time.

  39. Daniel says

    I feel like i often write a comment pertaining to this topic:

    “more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals”

    that’s 1 more reason i find the past W.Bush admin (LOVED typing out those words…) so odious.

    I’m reading dozens of comments on this thread & no one sees this quote leap out at them but me?! WTF are 50 arabic speakers being kicked out of the military for when we have 2 wars going on in Arabic speaking countries. WTF.

    On abc, sally quinn accidentally said Obama had already repealed DA/DT & it took a few seconds before Charlie Gibson & G. Stephanapolous could correct her. God, those few fleeting seconds felt WONDERFUL when i thought, “Really? Has he issued an executive order repealing it already?!” What a thrill to imagine DA/DT ends.

    I hardly think of myself as a pro-military person, but it’s an outrage to read that quote above. We’ve been in afghanistan about 7 years, y’all. And they’re STILL kicking arabic speaking gays out of the military w/ impunity.

  40. Nikki says

    Daniel, it’s too bad you don’t have a screen capture of that ABC moment. I would have liked to have seen that. And nobody should be kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. (Off topic, I also felt it was unnessary to kick out a married man who was sleeping with the widow of another soldier.)

    I’m not in the armed service, though. Perhaps some of the military LGBTs here can explain what’s going on and why any of this (what happens privately within one’s bedroom) is considered so bad for morale people have to be kicked out?

  41. Rich B-N says

    Look carefully – the website says “…President Obama BELIEVES…” and “will work with…” It does not say “… Obama will…” His intentions are wonderful, and I am impressed that he so boldly posted them right on the presidential website. But it will be up to US as AMERICAN CITIZENS to make sure his intentions become reality. Social activism is the only way for us to gain these rights.

    In the past, it seems the country treated the President like a paternal figure, sitting back and waiting to see what “Daddy” would do to take care of us. But what is inspiring about BO44 is that he has inspired Americans to say, “Now that we have a true leader, let’s all work together to help him accomplish the goals WE ALL WANT.” We seem ready to take responsibility to assure the government is BY THE PEOPLE and FOR THE PEOPLE. And isn’t that the way it was always meant to be?

  42. glennmcgahee says

    Am i missing something? I know I heard Joe Biden state that he and Barack Obama were opposed to gay marriage. He said they believed marriage is between a man and a woman. Obama had robocalls throughout California urging vote yes on Prop 8. It was his voice, I didn’t hear him say he supported marriage for us once, did you?

  43. Yeek says

    I will approach this new administration with “evidence-based respect.” Or perhaps I should call it “deed-based respect.”

    Obama is one small negative deed (Warren) in the red at the moment. He will have ample opportunity to balance the scales in the other direction, and if he does I will be properly thrilled. If he makes the effort to deliver, I will make the effort to let go of some of my skepticism. But he has to go first.

    The words are beautiful. But we’ve got to keep our feet on the ground and our eyes open.

  44. says

    Glenn, once again: the robocalls were not made or approved by Obama. While both Obama and Biden said they believed marriage was between a man and a woman, they were also both VERY emphatic about wanting same sex couples to have equality under the law. Biden, in the interview I recall, became very passionate about that.

    Obama was specifically against Prop 8. Unfortunately that fact was not used in robocalls by the No on 8 folks.

  45. says

    “Am i missing something?” Yes, you are, Glenn. You’re missing many things.

    Obama is wrong on marriage; he’s also a political realist. (As you know, the robocalls in CA were not made by the Obama campaign; he opposed Prop 8.) The LGBT agenda now on the official White House home page is the most progressive in presidential history. Reducing everything to “Obama is opposed to gay marriage” is ridiculously simplistic. Which candidate with a shot of winning would you have preferred? Did that candidate support full marriage equality? Believe it or not, there are actually other issues some of us have concerns about.

    Yes, Obama will have to prove himself with actions, as would any president. But, since it’s Day 1, we might want to give him a few more hours. We also might want to invest our time in developing politically savvy strategies for demanding our rights, instead of bitching about what won’t happen, because no one’s going to hand them to us on a silver platter. You don’t think we have a better opportunity now than we did under Bush, or would have under McCain, honestly?

    For today, I’m just thrilled that the right wingnuts of the world are apoplectic because they believe Obama symbolizes the end of everything they believe in. If that’s not cause for celebration, I don’t know what is.

  46. says

    I think this is a bold and meaningful move by Obama. Past politicians made these sorts of promises at expensive, invite-only dinners in Marriott ballrooms, only to walk the promises back when the general public got word and got riled up.

    Now the White House is informing the public in this most broad and modern way. Hard to walk it back now.

    Of course we will have to hold Obama and his Administration accountable.

    There is a great story, told by Roger Wilkins, that President Johnson was very weary after the fight for the Civil Rights Act. He got in touch with MLK and said, in effect, “you gotta mobilize your people to make me do the Voting Rights Act.” He did, and it was done.

    It’s how politics works. Polity is the people. The peoples will. You gotta bend it, move it, keep the pressure on. Support, and hold accountable, your allies in the work.

    Whining and fretting that Obama will back down will NOT get us there. Sorry. I feel your pain, but get up and work and walk and yell and donate and get uncomfortable — AND WIN.

  47. richard s says

    It was fairly obvious that what he needed to say to get elected, and what he wished to say to all LGBT people was not expedient. Watch what he does not what he says. As you would with any High Official.

  48. says

    Exactly, Ralf, thanks for the astute comment!

    Negativity without positive, constructive ideas towards accomplishing our goals accomplishes zilch. Giving politicians reasons to follow their best instincts can only be to our advantage. Obama’s work starts now, so does ours, building on all the work we’ve done so far.

  49. says

    ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. BUT WHO’S GOING TO ACT?
    “WE” need to act and speak. Don’t let Harvey MILK be yet another movie for Oscar. Harvey went for office, Obama went for the office. Where is the next “Obama got milk?”

    It’s saddening seeing not much has changed for us for so long. Soon I have to part with my foreign-born partner for the past 12 years because my country does not let him stay even we love each other so deeply. We only ask for the right to stay here together! PASS UAFA!

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