Eric Holder To LGBT Lawyers: You Have ‘Solemn Responsibility’ To ‘Safeguard’ Rights

EricHolderLGBTEric Holder delivered a keynote speech to kick off the LGBT Bar Association’s annual Lavender Law Conference this evening.

The Attorney General celebrated the Obama administration's pro-equality successes, including often-overlooked accomplishments like the Justice Department Civil Rights Division's work with local law enforcement on LGBT discrimination and filing the first indictment under a federal hate crimes law, but he also reminded the lawyers that much work needs to be done, and challenged them to use the current "momentum" to win equal rights.

"I’m also here to ask for your continued help, to draw on your considerable passion and expertise, and to reiterate the Department’s commitment – and my own – to building on the momentum we’ve established, and ensuring that the recent successes we’ve seen are just the beginning," Holder said, according to the Washington Blade. "As current – and aspiring – leaders of the bench and bar, everyone here tonight understands what’s at stake. You realize how important every hard-fought legal victory – large and small – really is."

With their positions and appreciation of the law, said Holder, the men and women gathered have a "solemn responsibility" to fight for equality:

You are – or soon will be – uniquely situated to use the power of the law, as well as your own gifts and knowledge, to help build a more fair, more equal, and more just society. And you have not only the power, but – I believe – the solemn responsibility, to do precisely that: to safeguard the rights and freedoms of everyone in this country, and to carry on the critical but unfinished work that lies ahead.

Of course, this never has been – and never will be – easy.  But as I look around this room, I can’t help but feel optimistic about where your efforts will lead us – and how far our collective commitment will take us – in the months and years ahead.  With the benefit of your partnership and the strength of your passion, I know that we can – and I’m confident that we will – continue the work that has become both our shared priority and common cause.  And I look forward to all that we will surely accomplish together.


  1. jason says

    What has Eric Holder actually done for us at the legislative level? Like Obama, he’s all talk, no action. This is one of the reasons why Obama is going to the lose the election.




  3. says

    That Lawyer General celebrated that Obama administration’s pro-equality success, which includes often-overlooked achievements much like the Rights Team Civil Rights Division’s talk with local criminal court about GAY discrimination in addition to health history the initial indictment within any federal detest offences legislations.

  4. StarGem says

    This is the same guy who’s DOJ filed a brief defending DOMA comparing gays to child molestors. It’s not so long ago that I’ve forgotten or forgiven. He’s certainly all over the map.

  5. andrew says

    Just imagine what a president Romney’s AG would say in his speech before the LGBT Bar Association. LOL LOL LOL.Don’t worry Jason, we will never know, because the Mittster ain’t going to win.

  6. jason says

    I’m voting for Mitt and that’s that. Democrats change their views according to their audience. They are not gay-friendly in the slightest. Again, what has Obama done for us at the legislative level excluding DADT repeal, which he reluctantly signed into law?

  7. andrew says

    @Jason: Which Romney are you voting for? The one who said he would be a better friend to gay people than Ted Kennedy or the one who opposes marriage equality? Are you voting for the Romney who was strongly pro choice or the one who now favors a constitutional amendment to ban abortions? He is the flip flop king. He is a man with no core values who will say anything to get elected. In the words of that strong defender of traditional marriage, Newt Gingrich, “he is a liar”.

  8. StarGem says

    Well, Jason, there is the Hate Crimes Act, which has already had one high-level prosecution. There is the Hospital Visitation Act. There is the Federal Employees Health Care act. Etc… Etc…

  9. David M. Greer says

    holder must have brass balls the size of volkswagens to even show up. this is the same holder that directed his DOJ in 6/09, to defend DOMA…

    not only defend, but use a boilerplate of bush’s doj’s doma defenses. SHAME.

  10. Bill Perdue says

    Eric Holder to American people. Obama and I can murder you on a whim.

    Holder is typical of the right wing functionaries who were chosen by Obama and infest the corridors of power in DC.

    Outside the Beltway 03 06 2012 “Eric Holder: Yes, We Can Kill American Citizens Without Trial… Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. asserted on Monday that it is lawful for the government to kill American citizens if officials deem them to be operational leaders of Al Qaeda who are planning attacks on the United States and if capturing them alive is not feasible.

    “Given the nature of how terrorists act and where they tend to hide, it may not always be feasible to capture a United States citizen terrorist who presents an imminent threat of violent attack,” Mr. Holder said in a speech at Northwestern University’s law school. “In that case, our government has the clear authority to defend the United States with lethal force.” While Mr. Holder is not the first administration official to address the targeted killing of citizens — the Pentagon’s general counsel, Jeh Johnson, did so last month at Yale Law School, for example — it was notable for the nation’s top law enforcement official to declare that it is constitutional for the government to kill citizens without any judicial review under certain circumstances.”

    To date the Killer in Chief has murdered countless thousands of civilians and GIs including three US citizens (that we know of) including an New Mexico cleric and his 16 year old 10 19 2011 “The extra-legal assassination of New Mexico cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was certainly controversial in its own right, but reports about the assassination targeting some sort of terrorist convoy seem to be crumbling under evidence and the number of children killed in the attack.

    Among the slain was also Abdel-Rahman Awlaki, Anwar’s 16-year-old son, one of his cousins Ahmed Abdelrahman Awlaki, and several of their friends, who were all teenage boys.

    And despite the stereotype, the teenage boys weren’t out “doing terrorism” in some vague non-specific manner in the Shabwa Province. According to a statement from relatives, they were out to dinner, eating “under the moon light” when US missiles landed.” (As far as I know father and son we killed in separate incidents. Bill Perdue)

  11. Brian in Texas says

    It must be pretty weird waking up every morning as a gay man and have to turn a blind eye to all of the progress we’ve made over the last 4 years with this administration, because of your foolish hatred for President Obama or Democrats.

  12. TerryA says

    Wow, reading this, Barack Obama is the worst enemy the GLBT community has ever faced. I guess, he’s what, committing systemic genocide on the GLBT community? Gosh, in just a few months we might have a Romney Adminstration, with domestic policy driven by our bestest friends in the world, Tony Perkins and the FRC. Won’t THAT be something to look forward to?

  13. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Jason, Bill Perdue, etc

    You can try to impress mommy, daddy, and your Uncle Zeke and Aunt Hattie with how self-hating you are, but it won’t work. Your homophobic relatives will always hate you because you’re queer. They won’t love you even if you vote for Romney. They won’t love you even if you join the American Nazi Party. They won’t love you even if you put on a hoop skirt with the Confederate flag sewn on it, set your hair on fire and run down the middle of Main Street. They’ll do what they always do, which is punch you in the mouth and throw you out of their house during the holidays. All that effort for naught.

  14. Diogenes Arktos says

    @Jason: “Democrats change their views according to their audience.”

    I don’t think this form of hypocrisy is the unique preserve of ANY group.

    In the case of Romney: Look at the Facebook page Mitt Does Worse and its corresponding website. There are webpages (e.g Steve Benen on the Maddow blog) which chronicle all of Romney’s lies, with links to suitable counterattacks. And you single out Democrats?

  15. andrew says

    Mr Obama is the best friend LGBT people have ever had in the White House. He is also a better friend to working class and middle class Americans than the unregulated free market capitalist Romney and the Ayn Rand lover Ryan. This out and proud gay white Navy veteran will proudly once again vote for OBAMA/BIDEN.

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