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Obama’s LGBT Pride Month Speech (VIDEO)

Obama’s LGBT Pride Month Speech (VIDEO)

 

Wednesday saw President Obama address crowds at a White House LGBT Pride month reception.

In his speech, Obama listed the administration’s achievements such as passing the Matthew Shepard Act, ending the HIV travel ban and in passing the legislative repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” †He then said something very particular and very†noticeable:

“I’ve met my commitments to the LGBT community.”

Obama quickly went on to say that there was, of course, still a lot of progress to be made, but this is an president mindful of his re-election campaign, who knows the importance of appearing robust and reminding voters of the achievements he has made. Perhaps overselling, to some, the administration’s progress, Obama couched his muscular rhetoric in his usual crowd pleasing manner by focusing on the big concepts of American freedom, the American Dream and, also, by borrowing a little shine from New York’s recent marriage equality victory:

“But what I also know is that I will continue to fight alongside you. And I donít just mean as an advocate. You are moms and dads who care about the schools that your children go to. Youíre students who are trying to figure out how to pay for going to college. Youíre folks who are looking for good jobs to pay the bills. Youíre Americans who want this country to prosper. So those are your fights, too. And the fact is these are hard days for America. So weíve got a lot of work to do to, not only on ending discrimination; weíve got a lot of work to do to live up to the ideals on which we were founded, and to preserve the American Dream in our time -Ė for everybody, whether they’re gay or straight or lesbian or transgender.

“But the bottom line is, I am hopeful. Iím hopeful because of the changes weíve achieved just in these past two years. Think about it. Itís astonishing. Progress that just a few years ago people would have thought were impossible. And more than that, what gives me hope is the deeper shift that weíre seeing thatís a transformation not just in our laws but in the hearts and minds of people — the progress led not by Washington but by ordinary citizens.

“Itís propelled not by politics but by love and friendship and a sense of mutual regard and mutual respect. Itís playing out in legislatures like New York. (Applause.) Itís playing out in courtrooms. Itís playing out in the ballot box, as people argue and debate over how to bring about the changes where we are creating a more perfect union. But itís also happening around water coolers. Itís happening at Thanksgiving tables. Itís happening on Facebook and Twitter, and at PTA meetings and potluck dinners, and church halls and VFW Halls.

“It happens when a father realizes he doesnít just love his daughter, but also her partner. (Applause.) It happens when a soldier tells his unit that heís gay, and they say, well, yeah, we knew that Ė- (laughter) — but, you know, youíre a good soldier. It happens when a video sparks a movement to let every single young person out there know that theyíre not alone. (Applause.) It happens when people look past their differences to understand our common humanity.

“And thatís not just the story of the gay rights movement. It is the story of America, and the slow, inexorable march towards a more perfect union.”

You can watch the full speech below:

You can read President Obama’s full speech by clicking here.

The administration’s precarious position on same-sex marriage, while perhaps legally consistent, continues to be an albatross, as was shown at a Thursday presser where Obama’s †”evolving” gay marriage stance had to be talked around. You can read more on that here.

Related Reading:

Pentagon Confirms New ‘Voluntary’ DADT Discharges

Hillary Clinton: LGBT Rights an ĎUrgentí Struggle (VIDEO)

U.S. Senate to LGBT Teens: It Gets Better

 

Photo by Chuck Kennedy (Official White House photo) (The Official White House Photostream on Flickr) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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5 comments

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9:34PM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

Sorry, but what was with the constant hand and camera taking pictures?
I'm sure there are enough of the American President on the internet-they can't be that hard to find...

7:59PM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

So... Is he against or for Gay Marriage?

6:10AM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

I think the LGBT community should push to stop making payments into the social security tax system until they are granted the same rights as the rest of America. LGBT couples who have been together for 30 - 40 - 50 years pay into social security like everyone else. But, when they become elderly, they are not granted the same rights around social security as married couples, and they are not allowed to marry. Until the President of the United States stands for equality for all hard working, law abiding citizens of this country, he will not get one more dime of support from me. I am very disappointed in his carefully chosen words and lack of support for that community, who strongly supported him in the last election. The LGBT community should start making some loud statements on tax equality. - it seems that only money talks these days, not justice, equal rights or compassion for the elderly.

11:48AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

I should also clarify what I said, that there "is still so much to do in terms of GLBT acceptance". It's not just in the United States that there is so much to do in terms of GLBT equality and understanding but the world over really. As a nation we're constantly touting ourselves as a beacon of tolerance and compassion and human rights. We really should lead more by example. Getting rid of laws like DOMA, DADT and ensuring all GLBT people have their constitutional rights is a good start.

11:39AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

That's a goodspeech and I'm glad President Obama addressed the issue with a serious and sincere tone but also with a bit of humor as well. It's true that there is still so much to do in terms of GLBT acceptance and in granting them the rights that other citizens have. One day at a time, one step at a time. Thanks Steve.

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Steve Williams Steve Williams is a passionate supporter of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) rights, human... more
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