October 12, 2009

Do Ask and Do Tell

In an historic speech to the Human Rights Campaign 13th Annual National Dinner on October 10, Barrack Obama made a commitment to ending discrimination against LGBT people in the military, in the workplace, and their families. Some excerpts from his moving speech:

"And I'm here with a simple message: I'm here with you in that fight. For even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot -- and we will not -- put aside issues of basic equality..."

"My expectation is that when you look back on these years, you will see a time in which we put a stop to discrimination against gays and lesbians -- whether in the office or on the battlefield. You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman. You will see a nation that's valuing and cherishing these families as we build a more perfect union -- a union in which gay Americans are an important part. I am committed to these goals. And my administration will continue fighting to achieve them..."

"And that is why -- that's why I support ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country. I believe strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away and passing laws that extend equal rights to gay couples...For while there will be setbacks and bumps along the road, the truth is that our common ideals are a force far stronger than any division that some might sow. These ideals, when voiced by generations of citizens, are what made it possible for me to stand here today. These ideals are what made it possible for the people in this room to live freely and openly when for most of history that would have been inconceivable. That's the promise of America, HRC. That's the promise we're called to fulfill. Day by day, law by law, changing mind by mind, that is the promise we are fulfilling.

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