Last night we gathered with other members of the LGBT community to celebrate President Obama’s historic statement. Now we are proud to say that not only is he our first African-American president, he’s also the first American president to come out in support of marriage equality. Here’s a video of our community’s thoughtful, emotional, playful and silly responses to this joyous occasion for America…
At the event, I also had the honor to also speak with Stephen Hill, the gay soldier who was booed at a Republican debate. President Obama’s leadership on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had an enormous impact on him personally. Today was a continuation of the journey from an America where a soldier is booed by people who claim to support soldiers, to an America where all of our soldiers have the same rights, legal protections, and social dignity.
Now we face a choice. We can passionately and wholeheartedly stand by the President or we can let Mitt Romney take the Presidency. The news that came out today about how Romney bullied gay people in high school is disturbing. Combined with his reaffirmation that he is against equal rights for LGBT people, the picture of his mentality is becoming clearer. The way he almost lost it when talking to a reporter might be an indicator of how unhappy he was about our happy day.
In the following video, Governor Romney says, “3,000 years of human history shouldn’t be discarded so quickly.” Evidence of slavery predates written records. Duration of existence is not an indicator of quality in the context of discrimination.
Last night President Obama took the time out of his busy day to send me this very nice email…
Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:
I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
I hope you’ll take a moment to watch the conversation, consider it, and weigh in yourself on behalf of marriage equality:
I’ve always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.
But over the course of several years I’ve talked to friends and family about this. I’ve thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, I’ve gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.
What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.
Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn’t dawn on them that their friends’ parents should be treated differently.
So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.
OK maybe that email wasn’t directly from the President to me. However, the courage of his recent actions feels like a direct message to me. The message I hear is, “I see you. Your life matters. You are real to me.”
No related stories.