Obama declares June as LGBT Pride month

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President Barack Obama declared June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month. He cited the steps forward his administration has made in appointing more openly gay people to high ranking positions, repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and making progress in eliminating discrimination in federal housing and employment practices.

However, no mention was made about recognition of relationship statuses, such as support for marriage or civil unions. His statements came as hundreds of couples lined up at courthouses around Obama’s home state of Illinois on the first day the state will be recognizing civil unions between same-sex partners.

Obama’s address also cited his opposition to anti-gay legislation around the world, such as the Uganda ‘Kill the Gays Bill.’

“Because we recognize that LGBT rights are human rights, my administration stands with advocates of equality around the world in leading the fight against pernicious laws targeting LGBT persons and malicious attempts to exclude LGBT  organizations from full participation in the international system,” Obama said in the statement.

He emphasized his support for hate-crimes legislation and the prevention of bullying of LGBT people.

“At home, we are working to address and eliminate violence against LGBT individuals through our enforcement and implementation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. We are also working to reduce the threat of bullying against young people, including LGBT youth,” Obama said.

The Obama administration has been a lightning rod for gay-rights supporters, as many have wanted faster and more effective action while others are continuing to voice their support of his tactics. Last month the Human Rights Campaign announced their endorsement of Obama for re-election in 2012. This comes despite his voiced opposition to gay marriage. However, the HRC cited steps such as an the allowance of same-sex partners in hospital visitation rooms and the eventual repeal of DADT in their endorsement.

Obama concluded his statements, saying, “Every generation of Americans has brought our Nation closer to fulfilling its promise of equality.”

In 1999, then-President Bill Clinton announced June as the first LGBT Pride Month and issued a proclamation. Since then, each June, which commemorates the Stonewall Riots and the birth of the gay-rights movement in the U.S., is recognized as Pride Month.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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  1. If memory serves the WH had a site like this before but they took it down to avoid being embarassed and to pander to the bigot vote.

    Obama remains adamantly opposed to our equality so it hardly matters whether he or his Republican opponent, who’ll also oppose equality, wins or loses. In any case our fight will be won by mass campaigns and mass actions, like the 2009 NEM, the March on Washington which led to the almost immediate passage of the tepid, even for liberals, hate crimes bill.

    People have been confusing our fight and the Democrats need to get elected (to be corrupt, get rich and become powerful) for decades. Every time they do we lose. E V Debs was the founder of my union and he famously said “It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don’t want and get it.”

    The logical extension of the willingness to go along with Obama’s long record of bigotry and contempt for our communities is not unlike the ongoing support for Clintons sponsorship of DADT and DOMA. Clintonistas still maintain that DADT and DOMA were a good thing because they prevented a) the rise of fascism, b) the opening of anti-gay death camps or 3) Republican versions of DADT or DOMA that would be even worse (without an explanation of how that would even be possible).

    On Tuesday, November 6, 2012 vote for socialist or labor (if Trumka unleashes the Labor Party) candidates or join the millions of smart voters, about a third of all eligible voters, who’ll just sit it out rather than give their votes to either party of bigots. (Unless something like Prop 8 is on the ballot and then do vote on that.)

    Instead of voting for bigots our energy should be put to constructive uses building more mass actions and campaigns for a comprehensive and inclusive Civil Rights Amendment. Even an inclusive ENDA, with all its weaknesses, would be a big step forward.

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