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Obama Condemns Intolerance, Homophobia at Holocaust Museum

Yesterday, Obama spoke at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's annual 'Days of Remembrance' ceremony in commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust:

Bama "To this day, there are those who insist the Holocaust never happened - who perpetrate every form of intolerance — racism, antisemitism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and more — hatred that degrades its victim and diminishes us all. Today, and every day we have an opportunity, as well as an obligation to confront these scourges. To fight the impulse to turn the channel when we see images that disturb us, or wrap ourselves in the false comforts that others' sufferings are not our own...

Watch a segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

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    "As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law. That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination. And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states."

    "One of the candidates for president strolled onto the stage at a massive megachurch in suburban Orange County Saturday night and started joking easily with the Rev. Rick Warren, maybe the most popular evangelical leader in America -- but just plain "Pastor Rick" to the candidate. He talked about his certainty that "Jesus Christ died for my sins, and I am redeemed through him," said Americans should be soldiers in the fight against evil, and defined marriage as between a man and a woman -- "and God is in the mix."

    So much for equality.

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Apr 24, 2009 4:12:35 PM

  2. No Matter what - these words have not been heard to echo in the Halls of the White House since the Clinton days!! Thank you B.O.

    Posted by: alex in boston | Apr 24, 2009 4:21:09 PM

  3. Thank you B.O. for insinuating marriage equality for gay couples is unholy by stating "God is in the mix."

    Thank you B.O. for inviting Pastor Rick Warren to speak at your historic inauguration AFTER Warren appeared on national TV and compared being gay to pedophilia, bestiality, and incest.

    And thank you B.C. for signing the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) AND for urging John Kerry, in the waning days of his Presidential run, to come out against marriage equality as a sure fire means to drum up more votes.

    thank you... Thank You... THANK YOU!!!!!

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Apr 24, 2009 4:37:12 PM

  4. Believe that the institution of marriage is something sacred that should be reserved for heterosexuals and implicitly protected from homosexuals is exactly the type of homophobia President Obama pretends to find intolerable.

    Grow a set and do what is right or shut your lying mouth.

    Posted by: Travis | Apr 24, 2009 4:51:30 PM

  5. It is so easy to say things like this. Not many will argue you are wrong. But I will believe this president when he starts doing some of the things he promised like repealing DADT. Right now I am not sure of him. But it is early. Let's hope...

    Posted by: Rann | Apr 24, 2009 4:52:27 PM

  6. It is very easy to comdemn intolerance. Let's see some action. That is when I will start believing him. He promised to repeal DADT. When he does, it will mean something.
    Actions do indeed speak a lot louder than words.

    Posted by: Rann | Apr 24, 2009 4:57:39 PM

  7. Heh. I love how people pretend that Obama is anti-gay simply because he invited Rick Warren to give a prayer at the inauguration. You boys have fun supporting your completely non-viable Naderesque candidates, but I'll be here enjoying the most pro-gay president we've had in a long, long time.

    I'm not big fan of Christianity, but I am a big fan of Obama. Mark my words, he might not yet be ready for gay marriage, but he'll get a lot done for LGBT equality. I would even put money on him changing his position on marriage as momentum continues to grow in the next couple years.

    Posted by: Aaron Rowland | Apr 24, 2009 5:05:01 PM

  8. Well, most of the country still loves him. Richard Brooks said his speech on the economy was "a masterpiece"--coming from a Conservative it kinda' frightened me; but, hell, they admire his brilliance.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 24, 2009 5:10:02 PM

  9. Talk is cheap...especially from someone who changes his story repeatedly to suit whichever audience to whom he's speaking.

    @Aaron - you are the gay equivalent of an Uncle Tom.

    Posted by: paul c | Apr 24, 2009 5:20:43 PM

  10. "Today, and every day we have an opportunity, as well as an obligation to confront these scourges."

    Uh, Mr. President, you just indicted yourself on at least seven counts.

    Count 1: this is your first mention of gays—and an indirect one at that—since December—and, then, it was only because you were defending annointing Rick "Gay = Pedophiliacs" Warren as symbolic President's Personal Pastor."

    Count 2. refusal to use the opportunity/obligation of the recent reintroduction of the House DADT repeal bill to tell ALL Americans that you want DADT repealed.

    Count 3. refusal to use the opportunity/obligation to use the recent reintroduction of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill to tell ALL Americans that you support it.

    Count 4. Americans from every walk of life have been talking about the recent wave of marriage equality victories and advances—except their President. Someone in your name totally destroyed any transformative, Change value of a positive statement about the Iowa victory by casting it in terms of states' rights—thus affirming the "right" of others states to REFUSE gays full citizenship—and needlessly and with great harm reminding Americans that you oppose real marriage equality.

    Count 5: refusal to use the opportunity/obligation to use these events to tell ALL Americans that you want federal DOMA repealed.

    Count 6. refusal to use the opportunity/obligation of your multiple public references to unemployment, or when signing the Lily Ledbetter women's pay bill, to tell all Americans that you want to see ENDA passed and antigay job discrimination in 30 states stopped.

    Count 7: refusal to use the opportunity/obligation to condemn the rise in gay/trans hate crimes and the growing number of America's children killing themselves because our society still teaches them that being called "Fag" is a knife to their tiny hearts.

    How does the President plead?

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Apr 24, 2009 5:25:22 PM

  11. Count 8: refusal to use the opportunity/obligation of countless mentions of Iraq to condemn the rise in gay murders there.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Apr 24, 2009 5:30:56 PM

  12. I am especially pissed off at his refusal on #8. It's bad enough that he gave a lousy statement regarding the Iowa decision, and now isn't speaking out against the wholesale slaughter going on in the Middle East?!?


    Posted by: DR | Apr 24, 2009 5:44:26 PM

  13. When I read his first memoir, Dreams . . ., I was struck by his experience of being an outsider (in Hawaii, in college, in Indonesia, in Chicago), his empathy for all peoples, and his ability to see how we are all connected. We have never had a president with such intelligence, empathy and understanding about how the world is connected from the streets of Kenya to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. He is doing the right work, and this speech is part of that path, reminding how hatred against any is hatred against all. Disparage away, fellas, but this one is a keeper.

    Posted by: jno | Apr 24, 2009 5:46:42 PM

  14. You bitter misinformed homos are gonna continue to Bash Obama here,I swear to god you bitches are no different from those bitter white right-wingnuts who are still bitter about losing the election last november,to the point that everything the president does (no matter what it is) aint up to their standards.Yall here at towleroad aint no different.Id like to have a camera at hand so I can see how stupid yall will look and feel in the case that Obama takes action on the LGBT issues that we are all very concerned about.For those who still indeed hold even a single iota of support for Obama,you disgruntled jackasses condemn/dimiss and try and make that person feel unworthy,you belittle the person for christ sake.Sounds alot like those DAMN racist white right-winged conservative losers.LIKE I SAID:

    Once an Obama hater ALWAYS an Obama hater.

    Posted by: Sean | Apr 24, 2009 5:55:20 PM

  15. Once a fake Agent of Change full of moth-eaten platitudes that mesmerize the willingly fooled but devoid of action always a fake Agent of Change full of moth-eaten platitudes that mesmerize the willingly fooled.

    But I DO have an Obama t-shirt.

    For sale.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Apr 24, 2009 6:00:26 PM

  16. Oh no! Paul called me an Uncle Tom! How ever can I emotionally recover? /snark

    The reality is, there is a lot of progress that can be made on the federal level over the next few years. DADT can be repealed, ENDA and Hate Crimes can get passed, immigration and tax policies can be adjusted to provide for LGBT equality, maybe even Federal domestic partnership legislation. You're delusional if you think Obama would veto any of the above. Bush & McCain, on the other hand, would have. A vote for anyone other than Obama during the general was a proxy vote for McCain.

    Andy's comment section has more and more become a ridiculously angry ultra-liberal queer Free Republic. Let's get our feet back on the ground and try to focus a bit on working together to achieve everything we can.

    Posted by: Aaron Rowland | Apr 24, 2009 6:02:21 PM

  17. my, my, my don't we have a collection of bitter shrews in this bunch.

    Posted by: alguien | Apr 24, 2009 6:04:59 PM

  18. oh leland. Always so clever with your words. But I hope you're wrong this time.

    Posted by: jno | Apr 24, 2009 6:05:49 PM

  19. Well, damn. Now I wish I had voted for McCain/Palin.

    Posted by: crispy | Apr 24, 2009 6:13:03 PM

  20. You've got to love those people who think that Obama should squander all of his political capital exclusively on LGBT issues. Never mind the fact that he is fighting with the GOP on the economy, torture, foreign policy, climate change, spending, taxes etc. You know what the biggest change that we've had over the last 8 years....LGBT rights have advanced and the White House is not trying to use it as a political football.

    The right is screaming fire on all fronts, and increasingly proving how irrelevant they really are. The key, keep the GOP focused on issues that are a winner for democrats with the public, and ignore that which can be controversial. The result, dominoes are falling on the marriage issue, and the GOP has NO ammunition to use against the White House. Thus when they try to bring it up, they look like they are focused on irrelevant shit.

    Posted by: Lee Adama | Apr 24, 2009 6:29:40 PM

  21. The Obama hatred is pretty bad here. Are you pining for the Republican alternative, or for the sell-outs of the Clinton years? I have a feeling that when Obama's presidency is over, we will have most (if not all) we want, and we will be thankful that he was politically astute enough to do it right.

    Posted by: Mike | Apr 24, 2009 6:31:06 PM

  22. I luv it....those who won't even grade him by HIS OWN STANDARDS.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Apr 24, 2009 6:42:08 PM

  23. Sorry guys but this former Hillary supporter still looks at the TV in amazement everytime someone says "President Obama". I never thought I'd see the day.

    No, I'm not happy with his LGBT policies, however, I'm willing to give him a chance to do things his way. We Hillary girls got our asses handed to us by not thinking this man knew what he was doing.

    Never underestimate Barack Obama.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Apr 24, 2009 6:43:19 PM

  24. I see Obama in the same way i see the current UK labour government. While not totally up for 100% gay equality, hes certainly a big improvement. In the UK we went from an anti-gay conservative government, that was opposed to any mention of 'gay' in school sex education (to the point that it was actually illegal), to a government that brought in civil unions. While not full marriage, its a damn big step in a short time. Be thankful for what you have, 12 months ago you had almost nothing, now your a big step closer.

    Posted by: Rovex | Apr 24, 2009 7:04:36 PM

  25. People are never happy or appreciate the changes...those unhappy beings are takers, they don't realize...that for 8yrs we had a goverment that shamed us and robbed us; Bush.

    Obama has done what no other president since Clinton...he is stamding up for us...big changes are happening...slowly but surely...I feel it...I'm young, so i know day when i'm ready...It'll be possible.

    Thank You Obama...and the lgbt fighters.

    Posted by: Bosie | Apr 24, 2009 9:36:34 PM

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