2012 Election | Barack Obama | Health | Kathleen Sebelius

The White House's Charm Offensive

Picture 30The White House is organizing a tour to reach out to LGBT Americans around the country. From the Obama administration's Office of Communications:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The White House Office of Public Engagement (OPE) will partner with key Departments and Agencies to host a series of conferences around the country specifically focused on LGBT Americans.  From February to June 2012, OPE will convene these White House LGBT Conferences to provide grassroots leaders, community organizers, advocates, students, and interested citizens an opportunity to hear directly from the Administration on our efforts to ensure health, well-being, security, justice, and equality for LGBT Americans.

So -- agencies responsible for housing, health, whathaveyou will partner with the OPE, rent a hall, roll into town, and talk to you. The first engagement of the administration's charm offensive will take place in Philly on February 16th, and shall feature Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Venue TBA, and ditto with subsequent engagements -- though the press release promises sessions devoted to "Housing & Homelessness, Safe Schools & Communities, and HIV/AIDS Prevention."

By the way -- the press release went out over email. I tried and failed to find the original announcement at whitehouse.gov. If you should come across it, please do post the link.

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  1. So Brad I've heard a lot of complaints. What are your solutions?

    Posted by: Frank | Jan 28, 2012 8:18:47 PM

  2. "Friendly homophobes are really no different from antagonistic ones."

    In reality, Brad, they are different. Labeling the president with the most pro-gay policies in history a homophobe seems a stretch (or a lie), but, in any event: DADT would not have happened on a Republican president's watch, ditto hate crimes expansion to include lgbt people, ditto DOJ ending defense of DOMA, ditto visitation rights, ditto reasonable SC nominees etc. If that's what a "friendly homophobe" in the White House means, I'll take it. (You also misunderstand how the office of the president works. Was he perfect? No. Was he the obstructionist you paint him to be? No. It's Congress's job to craft legislation.)

    Under the leadership of any of the viable(ish--none are particularly viable) Republicans currently seeking the presidency, NONE of those things would have happened, not one. Instead, DADT would be the law of the land, a constitutional marriage amendment would be given the green light, the DOJ would be attacking binational couples and defending every DOMA case going thru the court system, hate crimes would cover the religious but not us, some would even meddle in a state's right to pass equality (those selective advocates for state's rights), and the list goes on. That's what an antagonistic homophobe is. Just cause they're honest about doesn't make them preferable. Rick Santorum is a really honest homophobe, so should we prefer him to that "secret homophobe" Obama?

    Of course Obama wants our votes. All politicians want votes and campaign money. But I'd certainly prefer a president who panders to me than one who panders to people who seek to destroy our lives. We'll vote for Obama in 2012 with open eyes and a functioning brain that knows which direction he's headed, the same direction mainstream Dem's across the country are headed (hint: equality). Some will give $, some won't. Their choice. The one thing we know for 100% sure is that he will be the pro-gay candidate. Anyone who would like to offer an electable and more pro-gay alternative must have some extremely top secret information. Cause the rest of us don't know who that is? Any suggestions?

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 28, 2012 8:59:11 PM

  3. @STUFROMOZ - I may vote for Mr. Obama again this year because he may be the only alternative to the outright bigotry of the GOP, but if I do, it will be while holding my nose. As BRAD points out, Obama expended none of his considerable 2008 political capital on gay civil rights, and the outreach to the LGBT community at this juncture will serve only to rub our noses in that fact.

    Posted by: Keppler | Jan 28, 2012 10:13:56 PM

  4. I can't believe all the cynicism I'm seeing in the comments. Ridiculous. I love that Obama ended DADT. I love that this administration acknowledges that we exist period! This is a positive thing. You haters must be republicunts.

    Posted by: Adam | Jan 28, 2012 10:30:46 PM

  5. Its very simple. If you are gay and you vote republican, you are telling the world that you agree with the GOP that you are the immoral piece of second class trash they think you are.

    Posted by: Justin | Jan 28, 2012 10:33:14 PM

  6. "BRAD" (above) and some of the other Obama-hating nay-sayers posting here are about as misinformed as any FOX-News-watching Neanderthal. The ignorance of these folks is positively infuriating.

    Anyone who really is paying attention--who works in Wasington or personally knows Obama or many of his staff--knows Obama is truly and honestly on our side. The pace of progress might be too slow, but this administration is, without question, the most pro-LGBT president in our nation's history. There are DOZENS of concrete examples. Listening to some of the Obama Administration's people--including some openly LGBT appointees--this weekend at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's "Creating Change" conference in Baltimore has convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that Obama is the real deal.

    To "BRAD" and others I say: "WAKE UP" and learn thd truth. Stop attacking our allies. You are only helping the enemies of fairness. Stop carping from the sidelines and DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE.

    Posted by: Carl | Jan 29, 2012 1:34:44 PM

  7. The Obama administration is a great friend of LGBT folks. It is important that we all get out and vote for the reelection of Mr Obama. I have no doubt that the second term will be even better. Toward the second half of Obama's second term we can begin to look toward Andrew Cuomo, Martin O'Malley and other progressives to keep our nation moving forward on the path toward true equality for all Americans.

    Posted by: Jack | Jan 29, 2012 5:47:52 PM

  8. MATTS, yes you are naive. Cheers & hugs!

    Posted by: FunMe | Jan 29, 2012 9:51:57 PM

  9. Brad (Jan 28, 2012 7:26:07 PM): very well said!

    In this day and age, I'm still surprised people think we should applaud someone just because they have a "D" when they have done very little lifting for our GLBT equality rights. Sure things have slowly passed, but it's because of our pressure and our continued putting the administration's feet to the fire.

    That's the way the civil rights movement headed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did it. That is the way we will do it, too.

    Posted by: FunMe | Jan 29, 2012 9:57:04 PM

  10. @ FUNME, BRAD and others:

    You really don't get it. You accuse Obama of not doing the "heavy lifting" for us. Some of you whack jobs actually say he (and by extension, his people) are homophobes.

    Take a basic civics lesson, please. The Executive Office is does not have magic powers. Obama is not king, and he can't change law by decree. Nor does he have a magic wand.

    What you apparently don't realize is that we ARE the Obama administration. There are dozens of LGBT people working INSIDE this administration. Obama has had more LGBT appointees than any president in history. I have met some of them. I know some of them personally. And straight folks are working inside this administration truly *get* our issues. You can talk to them at length, and know they are not just paying lip service. Their understanding is real, complete, and sincere.

    I'm beginning to believe that some of you bitter nay-sayers are either a.) self-hating Republican trolls, or b.) so addicted to failure that you wouldn't know success if it bit you in the ass.

    Obama explicitly supports the LGBT community on almost every single issue we care about, except for marriage, a topic on which he has said he is "evolving." And personally, if his slowness to evolve on marriage means he stands a chance at another term in office, I'm happy to wait.

    Here is a long list of pro-LGBT accomplishments by the Obama administration:


    With or without you, those of us who are willing to work our allies will succeed. It won't happen all at once, and it won't happen overnight. It will happen, little by little, piece by piece, the way it has since the beginning of time.

    Posted by: Carl | Jan 29, 2012 11:00:38 PM

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