When President Obama spoke for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act at the annual Human Rights Campaign fundraising dinner, he furiously criticized the Republican candidates for not defending a gay American soldier.
The audience at a Republican presidential debate had openly booed an Iraq soldier who had asked the candidates via video “if they would repeal the 1993 law, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, that banned gays from serving openly in the military.”
“We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens,” Obama said in the keynote address at the annual convention of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest U.S. gay lobby group, according to Canada.com in the October 2 article by Malathi Nayak from Reuters.
"You want to be commander in chief?" he asked. "You can start by standing up for the men and woman in uniform" and support them even when it is not politically convenient.
This remark was quickly followed with President Obama’s support of the repeal of the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He urged the U.S. Congress to repeal the Defense of the Marriage Act, a 1996 law that has defined a marriage only legal when it is between a man and a woman, not gays. However, Presidential candidates Congresswoman Michele Bachman (MN-6) and former US Senator for Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, support the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
Obama discussed opening up human rights and opportunities for all people, not restricting rights and opportunities for gay people. In doing so, he drew a hard line in the sand between GOP conservatives and Democrats.
“I don’t have to tell you there are those who don’t want to just stand in our way, they want to turn the clock back, who want to return to the days when gay people couldn’t serve the country openly, who reject the progress that we’ve made,” Obama said in the Canada.com article.
To support his stance on equal rights for gays, News One reports that Obama has already enforced several policies in reference to gay rights:
• Obama’s administration has allowed the State Department to offer same-sex benefits for gay employees.
• Obama has proposed that the Pentagon repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t tell” policy.
• Obama placed a freeze on all current efforts to remove open gays from the military.
• He has spoken at the annual dinner of the HRC campaign, the largest US gay rights organization.
• The Justice Department and EEOC are now enforcing employment discrimination laws, after eight years of neglect. This visible impact affects all gays in the United States.
In a true democracy, there is no reason why people should have to fight for their core beliefs, even though they differ, wondering if they have a seat on the bus because of who they are.
Governments Remove Sexual Orientation from UN Resolution Condemning Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions“This vote is a dangerous and disturbing development,” said Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director of IGLHRC. “It essentially removes the important recognition of the particular vulnerability faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people - a recognition that is crucial at a time when 76 countries around the world criminalize homosexuality, five consider it a capital crime, and countries like Uganda are considering adding the death penalty to their laws criminalizing homosexuality.” How Many Gays Must God Create?Here in Minnesota the GOP controlled House and Senate have proposed a constitutional amendment outlawing same sex marriage. Hearings began last week and among all the typical nonsense Representative Steve Simon (DFL Hopkins/St. Louis Park) gave his thoughts on the matter and put everyone in their places when he asked how many gay people must God create before we accept that he wants them around? Head of Florida abstinence-only group claims gay Africans "have destroyed people's lives"Project SOS is a Jackonsville-based organization that has taught abstinence-only-until-marri age curricula to over 350,000 Florida students (according to its website) since its founding. In large part, it's been able to do this because of federal funding: since 2002, the group has received more than $6.5 million from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, including a recent $454,000 grant received late last year.
Dr. Pam Mullarkey, Project SOS's founder, is a particularly vocal opponent of reproductive freedom and comprehensive sex education. In a year when House Republicans are unashamedly propagating lies about Planned Parenthood (in order to defund the organization), it's important to remember that there are people just like them in the field, sharing the same lies with countless families and young people. Here is what Mullarkey wrote about Planned Parenthood in 2009: