President Obama Issues LGBT Pride Month Proclamation

Whitehouse President Obama has released a proclamation for LGBT Pride Month in which he covers his achievements for the LGBT community since taking office, including the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, legislation toward repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", and implementing executive branch nondiscrimination policies. Obama also discusses his administration's work to combat bullying, and fight AIDS.

There is no mention of the Defense of Marriage Act or marriage equality in the proclamation. 

Read the full proclamation, AFTER THE JUMP...

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2011

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

The story of America's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community is the story of our fathers and sons, our mothers and daughters, and our friends and neighbors who continue the task of making our country a more perfect Union. It is a story about the struggle to realize the great American promise that all people can live with dignity and fairness under the law. Each June, we commemorate the courageous individuals who have fought to achieve this promise for LGBT Americans, and we rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Since taking office, my Administration has made significant progress towards achieving equality for LGBT Americans. Last December, I was proud to sign the repeal of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. With this repeal, gay and lesbian Americans will be able to serve openly in our Armed Forces for the first time in our Nation's history. Our national security will be strengthened and the heroic contributions these Americans make to our military, and have made throughout our history, will be fully recognized.

My Administration has also taken steps to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans in Federal housing programs and to give LGBT Americans the right to visit their loved ones in the hospital. We have made clear through executive branch nondiscrimination policies that discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the Federal workplace will not be tolerated. I have continued to nominate and appoint highly qualified, openly LGBT individuals to executive branch and judicial positions. Because we recognize that LGBT rights are human rights, my Administration stands with advocates of equality around the world in leading the fight against pernicious laws targeting LGBT persons and malicious attempts to exclude LGBT organizations from full participation in the international system. We led a global campaign to ensure "sexual orientation" was included in the United Nations resolution on extrajudicial execution -- the only United Nations resolution that specifically mentions LGBT people -- to send the unequivocal message that no matter where it occurs, state-sanctioned killing of gays and lesbians is indefensible. No one should be harmed because of who they are or who they love, and my Administration has mobilized unprecedented public commitments from countries around the world to join in the fight against hate and homophobia.

At home, we are working to address and eliminate violence against LGBT individuals through our enforcement and implementation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. We are also working to reduce the threat of bullying against young people, including LGBT youth. My Administration is actively engaged with educators and community leaders across America to reduce violence and discrimination in schools. To help dispel the myth that bullying is a harmless or inevitable part of growing up, the First Lady and I hosted the first White House Conference on Bullying Prevention in March. Many senior Administration officials have also joined me in reaching out to LGBT youth who have been bullied by recording "It Gets Better" video messages to assure them they are not alone.

This month also marks the 30th anniversary of the emergence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which has had a profound impact on the LGBT community. Though we have made strides in combating this devastating disease, more work remains to be done, and I am committed to expanding access to HIV/AIDS prevention and care. Last year, I announced the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States. This strategy focuses on combinations of evidence-based approaches to decrease new HIV infections in high risk communities, improve care for people living with HIV/AIDS, and reduce health disparities. My Administration also increased domestic HIV/AIDS funding to support the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and HIV prevention, and to invest in HIV/AIDS-related research. However, government cannot take on this disease alone. This landmark anniversary is an opportunity for the LGBT community and allies to recommit to raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and continuing the fight against this deadly pandemic.

Every generation of Americans has brought our Nation closer to fulfilling its promise of equality. While progress has taken time, our achievements in advancing the rights of LGBT Americans remind us that history is on our side, and that the American people will never stop striving toward liberty and justice for all.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2011 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA

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Comments

  1. Proclamation good.

    Legislation better.

    Posted by: Speck | May 31, 2011 6:54:49 PM


  2. One step at a time, Speck, we're getting there. :)

    Posted by: Matt Wolf | May 31, 2011 7:44:22 PM


  3. Ok, now try to imagine any Gay Pride proclamation coming from a McCain/Palin presidency. Obama is light years ahead of the republicans.

    Posted by: will | May 31, 2011 8:32:00 PM


  4. But, But...I want it all NOW!! Gee, I hope he learned the lesson so many in our community wanted to teach him last fall. We sure showed him. Thanks (in part) to us just look at all the wonderful things the Republicans have done at a state level for us. It's magical. We're our own worst enemy.

    Posted by: Mike | May 31, 2011 8:40:36 PM


  5. I am glad we have a smart and progressive president. I think we are back on the right track. One step at a time.

    Posted by: Akira | May 31, 2011 9:19:00 PM


  6. He doesn't seem to mention ENDA either. That has been "close to being passed soon" for more than 30 years. Excuse me for getting a bit impatient for more action.

    Posted by: jrex | May 31, 2011 9:30:48 PM


  7. talk is cheap. And it appears most of you apologists are cheap AND easy. what a disgrace.

    Posted by: gaylib | May 31, 2011 9:36:40 PM


  8. We don't need worst enemies as long as our allegedly Democratic President continues to openly endorse bigotry against gay men and women. But hey, who cares about marriage equality as long as we can be blown apart in Iraq or Afghanistan, defending the freedoms of straight folks?

    Posted by: Roscoe | May 31, 2011 9:40:00 PM


  9. McCain isn't president, so it doesn't even matter, so don't bring it up.

    Posted by: M. Bergeron | May 31, 2011 9:44:21 PM


  10. Uh, gee. Thanks, Obama. An entire month? And here I thought we already had the whole summer for our Pride parades. I must have imagined it all.

    Let me guess... this proclamation is - wait for it - historic?

    How is your position on same-sex marriage "evolving?"

    Posted by: Max | May 31, 2011 9:47:08 PM


  11. Obama does nothing while in office (dragging his feet on DADT repeal for 2 years, and opposing marriage equality) and his apologists are shouting 'Hosanna!' because he threw them a meaningless token. Thankfully, other commenters have already noted that this "proclamation" is a transparent attempt to dole out scraps to gay people to keep us content.

    More perturbing still, every time he proves how little he cares about gay equality, these zealots have to remind us, "it never would have happened under McCain!"
    Civil rights aren't up for compromise and "good enough" doesn't do. Obama may be relatively better than McCain, but he opposes our civil rights, and that is enough to merit criticism.
    And I definitely won't celebrate every time he mentions that we exist.

    Posted by: I'm God | May 31, 2011 10:17:48 PM


  12. Thankfully we do not live in Moscow.

    Posted by: Max F. Grump | May 31, 2011 10:32:38 PM


  13. thanks for the proclamation, mr president. during the democratic primary, i was an avid clinton supporter, b/c i thought electing her, we knew what we were getting ourselves into. compared to you, she was a known commodity. and while i still dream that a competent woman will be president of the usa one day, in the not-so-distant future, i am so very happy that you won.

    a lot of people, understandably, have a lot of pent up expectations. and it's their duty to remind their elected representatives of what is right, of what should be done, and criticize them when results are not produced.

    i do wish that people also had a more pragmatic view of what today's politics, today's legislative, and today's judiciary realities are, before they criticize.

    Posted by: daftpunkydavid | May 31, 2011 10:36:20 PM


  14. It *does* seem a big like going backwards, tho, when there's nothing about marriage equality or relationship recognition in this proclamation - whereas those were mentioned each year in 2009 and 2010. (Obama in 2009: "Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include ... supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples ...." - - - and Obama in 2010: "That is why we must give committed gay couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple, and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.")

    If I were to view this cynically, I'd say he's "evolving" in the wrong direction. But it's cynical enough to recognize the 2011 version as simply more of a re-election effort, focusing solely on actual accomplishments in office. Yawn.

    As always with Obama, I'd prefer some action with my words ... but I do appreciate wonderful words by a powerful voice.

    Posted by: Zlick | May 31, 2011 10:56:45 PM


  15. Gosh, I feel so proud. Finally, it's politically popular to endorse Teh Gays. Maybe someday, if polling allows, he'll support the ERA.

    Posted by: bob | May 31, 2011 10:58:05 PM


  16. Oh goody. A proclamation of support from a liar who has done almost nothing for the lgbt community. You don't "support" a community and then do everything to work against them. DADT is still the law of the land and so is DOMA. ENDA isn't even on the agenda Federal civil unions? Forget about it. The homophobe-in-chief offers nothing but words, words, words. I didn't elect him to get a proclamation of support for pride month. I voted for him because I thought he was a change. I elected the man who campaigned. You know the one that disappeared as soon as the inauguration took place. You people go ahead and elect him, see if you get anything put pretty words.

    Posted by: Brad | May 31, 2011 11:16:30 PM


  17. Given the disastrous setbacks to gay civil rights Republicans are attempting to pull at the state level around the country and as a result of the Republican majority in the House, yes, we are fortunate to have the most pro-gay US President in history in the White House. He will be the better candidate on gay rights in 2012; there is no question about that.

    Does that mean that he shouldn't be pressured every step of the way on his promises? Of course not. We need to keep the pressure on while understanding that having leadership we can work with and pressure is much better than have leadership that will not only oppose every step forward but actively turn back the clock. Seriously, as the results of the Republican takeover in 2010 become painfully clear, to say an imperfect but pro-gay Democrat is only "relatively better" than any Republican contender for the same office is just stupid.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 31, 2011 11:33:22 PM


  18. Obama has failed to deliver on his promises to the glbt community.

    Posted by: bria | Jun 1, 2011 12:36:31 AM


  19. I hope all the whiners on this site enjoy it while it lasts. The next Republican President won't give a damn about lgbt rights just like most of the 43 other presidents.

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Jun 1, 2011 1:10:44 AM


  20. ^ Exactly the bull that I described. Legitimate criticism is met with cries of "it could be worse!"

    Well, it could always be worse, but it won't get better until we hold people accountable. Fawning over Obama because he doesn't pass discriminatory laws is ridiculous. Hold your applause until he actually does something.

    Posted by: I'm God | Jun 1, 2011 1:42:24 AM


  21. Yawn. The Easter Eggs on the WH lawn were a real treat but these unending assurances of fierce advocacy are getting tiresome from Obama. The only fierce thing he's done was to sabotage same sex marriage in 2008 in California, Florida and Arizona. That was fierce.

    It's election time and he wants our votes but everyone with any brains at all knows that he's going to throw us under the bus again and again. "The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that's out always looks the best." Will Rogers

    He betrayed us, immigrant and imported workers, unions, the memory of the miners and oil rig workers murdered by their bosses, GIs and civilians caught in his six wars of aggression for oil, land and resources. And he'll do it again. And again. Obama is a political prostitute - betrayal is what he's paid to do. He's repeatedly demonstrated his contempt of us and working people.

    Voting for Democrats or Republicans over and over again and expecting something new from them is the clinical definition of insanity.

    On November 6th 2012 vote socialist or join the 1/3 of the electorate who just sit it out. (Unless some important referendum or proposition is on the ballot.)

    Mass actions, not elections are the key to change so organize demonstrations against the bigots in both parties.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Jun 1, 2011 2:03:50 AM


  22. "Can't we all just get along?"

    Posted by: Jack | Jun 1, 2011 2:12:06 AM


  23. talk is cheap. And it appears most of you apologists are cheap AND easy. what a disgrace.

    Posted by: gaylib | May 31, 2011 9:36:40 PM

    You clinton C0cksucker! Vote republican in 2012..You Clinton p*ssyeating apologist for them!

    Posted by: chris dachocolatebearcub | Jun 1, 2011 3:01:39 AM


  24. I suppose it's very easy to bash Obama and say he hasn't done enough for the gay community. Yes, I realize many of you are already rolling your eyes going "oh god not another Obama fan." But here's your mistake: I'm no Obama fan. I completely agree that he could have done more since he took over the presidency. On the other hand, he can't repeal DADT and DOMA. Congress can and in order for that to happen it's going to take legislator votes, which just aren't there. Many of you seem to have a knack for forgetting that republicans in Washington really hate us and they won't have a change of heart if Obama came out with a public statement in full support of gay marriage. Republican senators hate Obama and their only mission in the Senate is to undo every accomplishment of Obama. They've even been explicit about this a couple of times as I recall.

    I don't believe Obama is personally opposed to gay marriage. I'm fully convinced the reason he withholds a public statement coming out FOR gay marriage is that he wants to be re-elected. I want to accuse him of political opportunism but how can I? I really believe there's still enough public opposition to gay marriage to put his re-election in danger if he comes out and supports marriage equality before re-election. Our choice is not between Obama and someone better. Our choice is between Obama and a downright hater of gays, who probably would like to see us lynched on tree branches. This country is not that different from extreme Islamist countries. The only thing separating us from these places is a thinly veiled pretense of civility. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

    Posted by: Mark | Jun 1, 2011 4:19:07 AM


  25. Less words, Barry, more action.

    Posted by: johnny | Jun 1, 2011 7:21:17 AM


  26. 1 2 »

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