Valerie Jarrett Hub




White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett Apologizes for Calling Homosexuality a 'Lifestyle Choice'

Yesterday's post about Jonathan Capehart's Washington Post interview with White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, in which she referred to anti-gay bullying victim Justin Aaberg's sexuality as a "lifestyle choice", inspired a great deal of comments.

Jarrett Today, Capehart defended Jarrett, saying she's "no bigot", and published an apology from Jarrett for her use of the term.

Jarrett's statement:

"In a recent interview I was asked about the recent tragedies about gay youth who have committed suicide, and I misspoke when I referred to someone's sexual identity as a 'lifestyle choice.' I meant no disrespect to the LGBT community, and I apologize to any who have taken offense at my poor choice of words. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not a choice, and anyone who knows me and my work over the years knows that I am a firm believer and supporter in the rights of LGBT Americans. Most of all, I hope this does not distract from the issue I was asked about -- the desperate, tragic decision by some young people who feel that their only recourse is to take their own lives because they are being bullied or harassed because they are gay, or because others believe they are gay. We must instill in young people respect for one another, and we must set an example of mutual regard and civility to create an environment that is safe for every person, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."


Watch: Senior White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett Says Gay Bullying Victim Justin Aaberg Made 'Lifestyle Choice'

Jarrett

Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, in an interview with the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart, discusses the recent string of suicides related to anti-gay bullying, and describes meeting Minnesota teen Justin Aaberg's family backstage at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, where she recently gave a speech.

She also calls Aaberg's sexuality a "lifestyle choice":

"They were aware that their son was gay. They embraced him. They loved him. They supported his lifestyle choice. But yet when he left the home and he went to school he was tortured by his classmates."

Watch (starts around the 3:45 mark), AFTER THE JUMP...

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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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WH Adviser Jarrett: Obama to Start Military Gay Ban Repeal 'Right Away'

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Rachel Maddow talked to Senior White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett about Obama's plans on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" following the State of the Union speech last night.

Said Jarrett: "He's going to begin a process starting right away to move forward with that and in the days and weeks again he will outline for you and for the general public specifically how he'll do that."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "WH Adviser Jarrett: Obama to Start Military Gay Ban Repeal 'Right Away'" »


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