Human Rights Campaign | Ricky Martin | Valerie Jarrett

Ricky Martin, Valerie Jarrett Speak At HRC Dinner

Ricky Martin made a surprise appeareance at last night's HRC dinner. He opened the ceremony with several light-hearted quips that reference his recent coming out: "you guys heard I'm gay, right? I'm not sure it made the news."

Rm His speech also included words of inspiration and appreciativeness: “It took me a while, but tonight I’m here and I want to say that I want to add my voice to yours. And I’m so happy to be part of this community...I will honor your courage with my own and I can only be as insoiring to others as you have been to me."

As I reported yesterday, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett attended the dinner and several LGBT-related topics in her speech, such as DADT.

"Building a more perfect union means standing against anyone trying to write inequality into our laws and our Constitution – and repealing divisive and discriminatory laws like DOMA. And it means ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell once and for all. This is a promise the President has made in no uncertain terms.  For the first time in history, the Secretary of Defense has testified in favor of ending this policy.  For the first time in history, we have a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who has argued forcefully for allowing gay men and women to serve their country without having to subvert their integrity. And for the first time in history, the House of Representatives has passed repeal.  Now we’ve got to keep pushing the Senate to do the right thing and get this done."

VjThe family of Justin Aaberg was also present at the dinner. Said Jarrett about gay teen suicide: "Young people are our future. They need guidance.  They need our support.  And this responsibility is far too great to be shouldered by parents alone.  Our whole society has to step up and reaffirm our collective obligation to all of our children.  This includes the responsibility to instill in young people respect for one another. And we adults should set an example of mutual regard and civility ourselves." 

"No young person should have to endure a life of relentless taunts and harassment, just because they’re gay.  On behalf of President Obama, I want to make clear that this administration is firmly committed to working with you and other advocates.  For we all have to ensure that we are creating an environment in our schools, our communities, and our country, that is safe for every person, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."

Watch video of both speeches AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. I liked Ricky Martin's speech, down to earth, humble. And first time in a long time I thought he looked very good.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Oct 10, 2010 2:25:48 PM

  2. Nice words Valerie. Now will our fierce advocate get down from his eleven-dimensional cloud long enough to lift a finger and do any damn thing about repealing DOMA, for example? Or is this just more empty speechifying from our Homophobe in Chief?

    His inaction has real consequences; real people are killing themselves rather than wanting to continue living in Obama's Homophobic America.

    Posted by: Kurt | Oct 10, 2010 2:46:08 PM

  3. Remember suicide victims .... according to Ricky, Neil, Anderson, and the other glitter gays, "It gets better!"

    Posted by: Sheeple | Oct 10, 2010 2:53:29 PM

  4. @Kurt - you really diminish the strength of the word "homophobe" when you use it so freely, especially on a President who is absolutely not a homophobe. Grow up a bit, shall we?

    Posted by: VaVa | Oct 10, 2010 2:54:29 PM

  5. But anyone who publicly opposes gay equality is a homophobe, whatever the reasons or motivation.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 10, 2010 2:59:30 PM

  6. agreed, Tank - institutionalized homophobia

    Posted by: Sheeple | Oct 10, 2010 3:02:29 PM

  7. This dinner is...beyond the pale. Backslapping and fundraising for NO RESULTS. It ought make one cringe to look at this dais of self congratulatory drivel and empty rhetoric. apparently the best we can do. Don't make Roy Cohn right...

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 10, 2010 3:08:08 PM

  8. @ VAVA, grow up and have a critical thought. Barack Obama is not your messiah; Barack Obama sold you out.

    Posted by: Skeptical Cicada | Oct 10, 2010 3:12:36 PM

  9. You got it, Tank -- backslapping and fundraising for NADA.

    Jarrett really gets me. The way she talks about Justin Aaberg's parents you'd swear the kid won the Nobel Prize. HE KILLED HIMSELF BECAUSE OF THE SYSTEM YOU SUPPORT, BITCH!!!!!!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Oct 10, 2010 3:17:14 PM

  10. He's not a homophobe? Really? Why is his Dept of Justice fighting against us in relation to DADT and DOMA in court?

    He doesn't support gay marriage.. he used to, till he had the chance to become president.. his marriage is special and unique because "god is in the mix" as he put it.

    He's a homophobe. The Democratic party sold you out.

    Posted by: Gridlock | Oct 10, 2010 3:26:53 PM

  11. AUGH I just want to scream in response to her: so DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE PROBLEM!! America is such a lie. Right now it's just freedom for homophobes, no freedom for their gay children. "Unless you're gay" qualifies too many of America's rights and privileges.

    Posted by: X | Oct 10, 2010 3:56:39 PM

  12. Gracias Ricky, desde Centro America!

    Posted by: castaway | Oct 10, 2010 4:02:39 PM

  13. Barf

    Posted by: Walt | Oct 10, 2010 4:16:40 PM

  14. Ricky: Bravo, hermano
    Jarett/Obama: Put up or STFU.

    Posted by: Grant | Oct 10, 2010 4:27:14 PM

  15. The A-Listers in their tuxes, sipping champagne, as been said...patting each other on the back at a $275 a plate dinner...they have no relevance to me whatsoever. And to have that dinner in a recent period where there have been a rash of gay kids killing themselves...and a horrific crime in the's worse than tacky. It's tone deaf.

    I'm sure they had a swell time at their soiree last night.

    Posted by: Terry | Oct 10, 2010 4:36:47 PM

  16. President Obama is a homophobe with Muslim connections. I'm not saying he's a Muslim but he has a lot of empathy for the Muslim faith, one of the most homophobic faiths in the world.

    As for the HRC dinner, it was simply a talk-fest designed to get us to like the Democrats. Think votes, people.

    I certainly won't be voting for any Democrat. My relationship with the Democratic Party is over.

    Posted by: jason | Oct 10, 2010 5:27:01 PM

  17. So now you're an astroturf conspiracy theorist, jason? Quack quack says the duck.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 10, 2010 5:36:22 PM

  18. I knew a bunch of people going to this but couldn't bring myself to support this dog and pony show. Valerie Jarrett should have been booed off the stage.

    Posted by: jersey | Oct 10, 2010 5:38:13 PM

  19. Well while the HRC crew were blowing each other last night and valerie jarrett had the audacity to deliver that speech there's been another report of a gay suicide.

    Posted by: Will | Oct 10, 2010 5:53:45 PM

  20. You people are hilarious. It's like your some little band of bitter bitches furiously typing away from your computers at home as if your little temper tantrum comments on a gay blog will really make a change. "Grrr I was sold out! The President is a Muslim and that's why he's a homophobe and hates me!" Really?... Really???? God, take this Tea Party to Glenn Beck's backyard, please. The fact of the matter is, there's a lot of work to do including getting the machine moving on DADT, DOMA, and ENDA... but calling the President a Muslim homophobe is ridiculous and does nothing but attack the advocates we DO have. I mean, really, is this some GetEQUAL rally in here? Attacking the advocates and not the real enemies in the House and Senate - typical.

    Posted by: Real | Oct 10, 2010 5:55:11 PM

  21. Ok, a homophobe is a person attacking you for being gay. A homophobe is a person rallying against you in the streets for loving who you love. A homophobe calls you faggot, dyke, and queer. A homophobe commits hate crimes, says gays can't teach in schools, gays can't be religious, gays are pedophiles, and gays are destroying the fabric of America and the world. Those are all stances right-wing religious extremists and Republican politicians take against gays. Those are the ignorant homophobes. VAVA is right. Calling the President a homophobe because he isn't working fast enough on our legislation is STUPID and ill-informed. Using that word so freely really does retract from its power and meaning.

    Posted by: Chris | Oct 10, 2010 6:08:01 PM

  22. This entire forum has become childish - mostly from those calling President Obama a "Muslim homophobe" - - It's like the Tea Party is in here trying to recruit. When Obama became President the LGBT community had 4 major issues to tackle. DOMA, Hate Crimes, DADT, and ENDA. President Obama got Hate Crimes passed and we're slowly moving on DADT. In 2 years nearly 1/2 of the biggest issues have been tackled. How does that compare to the rest of Presidential history? I don't feel sold out.

    Posted by: Apples | Oct 10, 2010 6:17:43 PM

  23. I have mixed feelings about the dinner. It was the usual bloated evening, but there was substance to it. Today, however, I'm trying to recall if the word "AIDS" ever came up.

    My breezy video recap of the entire evening is available at


    Posted by: Mark S. King | Oct 10, 2010 6:24:12 PM

  24. The HRC/DNC Polyanna's are way too much

    Lets just look at facts

    Obama/DNC sold us a bill of goods and made promised to get out support. They didn;t push, they didn;t fight for us. And either HRC went along with it or was too stupid to realize it. And either of those are entiorely unsuitable.

    These are facts, pure and simple.

    Just like the Dems are going to get slaughtered in Midterms and now all chances of any advances will probably be off the table due to the mishandeling of an Congress, administraion and a Bi-racial President who doesn;t seem to think that Equal Rights is a priority and the leading and ONLY LGBT Rights lobbying group.

    That is part of the problem. HRC has no competition.v

    Posted by: Will | Oct 10, 2010 8:12:35 PM

  25. @Vava - Of course he's a homophobe you stupid cow. Grow up yourself.

    Posted by: Kurt | Oct 10, 2010 8:44:59 PM

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