Obama Commemorates Stonewall

  • metta

    Posts: 44483

    Jun 30, 2009 6:05 AM GMT


    President Barack Obama Monday, with First Lady Michelle Obama standing at his side, delivered a sweeping, nearly 20-minute speech that paid tribute to the LGBT movement and promised concrete steps toward equality would be taken during his administration.

    I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I've made, but by the promises that my administration keeps,” Obama said to the applause of about 250 attendees midway through his speech.

    The president acknowledged the frustration felt by many LGBT activists who have felt that his administration has not moved quickly enough on key pieces of legislation, such as repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” and overturning the Defense of Marriage Act.

    “We've been in office six months now,” he said in an assured, matter-of-fact tone, “and I suspect that by the time this administration's over, you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration.”

    On policy, the president called on Congress to repeal what he called the “so-called” Defense of Marriage Act, but he also stopped short of repudiating the Justice Department’s brief supporting DOMA, which drew intense reaction from activists when it was filed earlier this month.

    “I want to add, we have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate old divides,” he said, “and fulfilling this duty and upholding the law in no way lessens my commitment to reversing this law.”

    Obama also urged passage of Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and a fully inclusive Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bill.

    The president reiterated his campaign contention that the discriminatory “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy undermines the effectiveness of the nation’s military.

    “In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security,” he said to cheers from the crowd. “Now, my administration is already working with the Pentagon and members of the House and the Senate on how we'll go about ending this policy, which will require an act of Congress.”

    Obama admitted that each passing day that finds no resolution to the ban brings “deep disappointment” to those who continue to be discharged. But he also seemed to dismiss the idea of issuing an executive order to suspend the policy in the short term.

    “As commander in chief, in a time of war, I do have a responsibility to see that this change is administered in a practical way and a way that takes over the long term” he said, adding that he has asked the secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs chairman to develop a plan for implementing repeal.

    Obama detailed the birth of the modern LGBT movement outside the Stonewall Inn in 1969 before reaching his conclusion.

    “The truth is when these folks protested at Stonewall 40 years ago no one could have imagined that you -- or, for that matter, I -- would be standing here today,” he said. “So we are all witnesses to monumental changes in this country. That should give us hope, but we cannot rest. We must continue to do our part to make progress -- step by step, law by law, mind by changing mind. And I want you to know that in this task I will not only be your friend, I will continue to be an ally and a champion and a president who fights with you and for you.”


    Full Speech Can Be Found Here:
  • metta

    Posts: 44483

    Jun 30, 2009 4:52 PM GMT
    hmmm....no comments???

    well....I just want to say to the people who think that we are not giving Obama a chance that I am giving Obama a chance. But I'm not going to do it quietly. We made a big mistake in doing that with Clinton, who is also a moderate. I really think that we need to push Congress and the President to act in order to see actual change. And I have even heard politicians, such as Howard Dean, express the very same sentiment.

    We Must Not Be Silent.

    Pushing the administartion and Congress does not mean that we have given up on them. It never did.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 4:54 PM GMT
    Talk..Talk...Talk...all he ever does is talk. A Stop Loss Order could be signed in an instant. And it doesnt take a Pentagon study to do it. the people are there...they just stay there....doing their jobs as they always have.
  • metta

    Posts: 44483

    Jul 02, 2009 7:29 PM GMT
    Why Obama Will Not Have a 'We Shall Overcome' Moment on Gays


    For two reasons. First, the "We Shall Overcome" moment was one of remarkable circumstance.



    Which leads to the second reason: President Johnson believed in voting rights for people of color much more than President Obama believes in civil rights for the LGBT community. Mixner notes how the words 'marriage' and 'civil unions' went unspoken in the President's remarks on Monday. He opposes marriage equality, has backstopped for DOMA and continues the ban on gays in the military via inaction.

    And while the Obama administration blames their dallying on the press or the political situation, they should be reminded that that didn't stop Johnson. Repeatedly in early 1965, the press said that a voting rights bill simply wasn't in the cards for this session of the 89th Congress. Too much else was going on, and besides, they just passed some civil rights legislation in '64. What's your rush?... But Johnson was resolute. In February, he met with Dr. King in the White House and promised that a voting rights law would get through, one way or another. And so he did. While Selma burned that week, he maneuvered... leading to that special joint session.


    Story here...