(Community Matters) Over 3,000 attended the Human Rights Campaign’s national dinner in DC tonight. Tickets sold out even before it was announced that President Obama would be the speaker.
A whole bunch of queers dressed to the nines and looking fine . . .
In the LGBT community, there’s a lot of controversy over whether or not the President is living up to his promises. Plenty of room for differing opinions, and it’s plenty important to keep pressure on the President, Congress, the D party and LGBT leaders. And, this President has come into office with more challenges than any predecessor in decades.
I continue to believe he must muster political capital to pass healthcare reform, and I believe he pulled our economy off the precipice of another Great Depression. Yet, I see zero excuse for the HIV travel ban to not have already been rescinded and share my community’s impatience for full LGBT equality.
Undoubetedly, more LGBT families will be impacted by the recovery of our economy and healthcare reform than by same sex marriage and military service combined – though these too must be corrected. I, personally, agree after healthcare so as not to lose a single D vote as we might very well do once a few conservative southern Democrats lose in their opposition to LGBT civil rights legislation. Concrete, strategic steps are underway by this administration for full LGBT equality.
I am empathetic with my impatient friends. And, while sitting on a first row table with the treasurer of the DNC, the executive director of the DNC’s LGBT council, a vice chair of the DNC and a White House political director (all gay), listening to our president express zero tolerance for discrimination and promising to help pass hate crimes legislation (which should have a final vote next week), employment nondiscrimination legislation (most Americans don’t know it is perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay/lesbian), overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, reverse the Defense of Marriage Act, end the HIV travel ban and seek legislation allowing equal benefits for LGBT federal employees . . . . I believe him. President Barack Obama will end federal government discrimination against LGBT Americans.
While pleased, I regret the President didn’t lay out a timeline for reversing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. And, he should have spoken out against efforts to reverse local/state allowed marriage in Maine and Washington DC.