View Full Version : Obama to gays: I’m totally going to help you out, just not right now (with video)
06-29-2009, 10:50 PM
What does a president get from a gay audience when he’s publicly against gay marriage, unwilling to take bold action to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and so terrified of the political consequences of challenging the Defense of Marriage Act that he’ll actually defend it in court?
Why, he gets “thunderous applause,” of course — if he’s a Democrat.
I’ll be charitable and assume that this audience isn’t representative of all gays demanding equal rights, that they’re a handpicked bunch of chumps congregated to cheer The One on no matter how many promises he breaks. The alternative is too depressing...
06-30-2009, 12:39 AM
POTUS to LGBT: "Welcome to Your White House !
ABBA's "Dancing Queen" filled the East Room, as more than 200 prominent gays and lesbians gathered for the first ever celebration of Pride month at the White House. The President and First Lady entered to thunderous applause. President Obama told the group he is committed to equality for their community.
"This struggle continues today, for even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot and will not put aside issues of basic equality," he said, "We seek an America in which no one feels the pain of discrimination based on who you are or who you love."
Many gay and lesbians believe the President has been slow to act on major issues like the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, and the Defense of Marriage Act. The President asked the group to focus on what has been accomplished so far.
06-30-2009, 12:41 AM
President Obama tells crowd at White House to give him time to reverse laws
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Obama honored Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month with a White House reception Monday where he likened the struggle for gay rights with the struggle of African-Americans for civil rights.
With first lady Michelle Obama at his side, the president told the cheering crowd filling the East Room that his administration would work to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gays in the military.
"I know that many in this room don't believe that progress has come fast enough, and I understand that," Obama said. "It's not for me to tell you to be patient any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African-Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half-century ago."
The "don't ask, don't tell" policy bars military officials from asking about a service member's sexual orientation but also bars the service member from revealing it, and allows the dismissal of a service member if a same-sex orientation is discovered.
"I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security," Obama said to applause. Ending the policy requires an act of Congress and will take time, he added.
The Defense of Marriage Act effectively bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions, even as individual states legalize them. It is one of the most divisive political issues in America, strongly backed by conservatives -- particularly the religious right.
"We have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate old divides," Obama said. "And fulfilling this duty in upholding the law in no way lessens my commitment to reversing this law."
He also is pushing for passage of a law guaranteeing full benefits including health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples and their children, as well as bills to strengthen laws against hate crimes and prevent employment discrimination based on sexuality, Obama said.
"There are unjust laws to overturn and unfair practices to stop," he said. "And though we've made progress, there are still fellow citizens -- perhaps neighbors or even family members and loved ones -- who still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes, who fail to see your families like their families and who would deny you the rights that most Americans take for granted. And I know this is painful, and I know it can be heartbreaking."
Obama cited the roots of the gay rights struggle in the Stonewall riot 40 years ago, when police raided a New York nightclub and sparked a demonstration that lasted for days
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