July 3, 2009
Take note that he waited as long as he could to have his little reception. Was probably hoping something would come up.
June 29, 2009
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT LGBT PRIDE MONTH RECEPTION [partial transcript - emphasis added]
18 minutes of nothing. He does not actually say anywhere what he believes in especially when he gets to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He actually says he must be a responsible c-i-c during a time of war. How is discharging West Point grads, fluent in Arabic, with two tours of Iraq and more than willing to do a third, in any way responsible?
After greeting and introductions.
You have my thanks for the work you do every day in pursuit of equality on behalf of the millions of people in this country who work hard and care about their communities — and who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
Now this struggle, I don’t need to tell you, is incredibly difficult, although I think it’s important to consider the extraordinary progress that we have made.
“We”? What has he actually done?
There are unjust laws to overturn and unfair practices to stop. And though we’ve made progress, there are still fellow citizens, perhaps neighbors or even family members and loved ones, who still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; and who would deny you the rights that most Americans take for granted. And I know this is painful and I know it can be heartbreaking.
So do something. Now.
And yet all of you continue, leading by the force of the arguments you make but also by the power of the example that you set in your own lives…For we know that progress depends not only on changing laws but also changing hearts.
Yes. His. Does anyone believe that he would do anything if he didn’t have to as head of the Democratic Party? I sure don’t.
And that real, transformative change never begins in Washington.
Sure looks that way.
Indeed, that’s the story of the movement for fairness and equality — not just for those who are gay,
Yes it is – for those in the room – for those who he is talking to it’s about nothing else. It’s a gay pride month celebration – not a generic oppressed person’s reception.
but for all those in our history who’ve been denied the rights and responsibilities of citizenship; who’ve been told that the full blessings and opportunities of this country were closed to them. It’s the story of progress sought by those who started off with little influence or power; by men and women who brought about change through quiet, personal acts of compassion and courage and sometimes defiance wherever and whenever they could.
He mentions Frank Kameny, fired as an astronomer because he was gay, the Stonewall protests and HIV/AIDS.
So this story, this struggle, continues today – for even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot — and will not — put aside issues of basic equality. We seek an America in which no one feels the pain of discrimination based on who you are or who you love.
And I know that many in this room don’t believe that progress has come fast enough, and I understand that. It’s not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half century ago.
But I say this: We have made progress and we will make more. And I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I’ve made, but by the promises that my administration keeps. And by the time you receive — [interrupted by applause. What was the rest of this sentence?] We’ve been in office six months now. I suspect that by the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration.
In 4 years or 8?
And how many partners will have died alone because their partner wasn’t allowed to be with them?
How many more brave Americans are going to be dismissed from the military – losing the pension and benefits that they risked their lives for?
How many more children are going to go unloved and abused in group homes because gay couples were prevented from adopting them?
How many survivors are going to be destitute because they were unable to receive their partner’s benefits?
How many partners will go without basic physical, dental and mental health care because they were excluded?
How many will be victims of a crime that goes unpunished as a hate crime because they are not one of the recognized “groups” ?
He recites all he’s done…
Now, while there is much more work to do, we can point to important changes we’ve already put in place since coming into office. I’ve signed a memorandum requiring all agencies to extend as many federal benefits as possible to LGBT families as current law allows.
Nothing about changing it. He had to because of Secretary Clinton.
And these are benefits that will make a real difference for federal employees and Foreign Service Officers, who are so often treated as if their families don’t exist. And I’d like to note that one of the key voices in helping us develop this policy is John Berry, our director of the Office of Personnel Management, who is here today.
Then he has the nerve to mention DOMA – after he allowed it be passed.
I’ve called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to help end discrimination — (applause) — to help end discrimination against same-sex couples in this country. Now, I want to add we have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate old divides. And fulfilling this duty in upholding the law in no way lessens my commitment to reversing this law. I’ve made that clear.
Mentions Matthew Shepard’s parents and the hate crimes bill.
I’m also urging Congress to pass the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, which will guarantee the full range of benefits, including health care, to LGBT couples and their children. My administration is also working hard to pass an employee non-discrimination bill and hate crimes bill, and we’re making progress on both fronts. Judy and Dennis Shepard, as well as their son Logan, are here today. I met with Judy in the Oval Office in May — and I assured her and I assured all of you that we are going to pass an inclusive hate crimes bill into law, a bill named for their son Matthew.
In addition, my administration is committed to rescinding the discriminatory ban on entry to the United States based on HIV status. The Office of Management and Budget just concluded a review of a proposal to repeal this entry ban, which is a first and very big step towards ending this policy…And that’s why this past Saturday, on National HIV Testing Day, I was proud once again to encourage all Americans to know their status and get tested the way Michelle and I know our status and got tested.
Curious how he doesn’t say what his status is. He waits till the end to mention DADT.
And finally, I want to say a word about “don’t ask, don’t tell.“ As I said before — I’ll say it again — I believe “don’t ask, don’t tell” doesn’t contribute to our national security. In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security.
Where did he say that it was discriminatory. Where did he say what HE thinks about it?
Now, my administration is already working with the Pentagon and members of the House and the Senate on how we’ll go about ending this policy, which will require an act of Congress.
That may be true but it does not mean he can’t do anything. He can sign an order to suspend investigations and dismissals because of DADT. Exactly what 77 Members of Congress requested he do in a letter sent 6-22. If DADT discriminated just against Black servicemembers would there even be a discussion?
Someday, I’m confident, we’ll look back at this transition and ask why it generated such angst, [the policy to his non-reaction?] but as Commander-in-Chief, in a time of war, I do have a responsibility to see that this change is administered in a practical way and a way that takes over the long term.
Precisely. But immediately – not in the long term. Since he took office at least 265 servicemembers have been dismissed, including Arab linguists.
Is there anything more important right now than troops – trained troops – in particular Arabic/Farsi speaking ones? He just said he is not going to do anything: someday…time of war (which it still will be in 4 years) …practical…long term. He normally operates by polling and 3/4 Americans believe DADT should be done away with. And yet, he is doing nothing and has no intention of doing anything.
Knights Out and other groups – you are going to need to get LOUD and in his face. Every day. Are there any out reporters in the WH press corps? What’s Helen Thomas’ stand? What about Joe Biden? You are going to have to hammer away and make it so it is politically expedient for him to suspend it. And there is no way that is going to happen unless he’s forced. It’s clear what he thinks of the LGBT community. But DADT goes beyond into every community. 3 out of 4 Americans are on your side – use them. Lt Choi stay visible and keep mentioning that you speak fluent Arabic. Drive home how important it was to be able to communicate with Iraqis one on one. Lt Col Fehrenbach make sure as many people as possible know that barry looked you in the eye and made a promise. He’s already passing the buck.
That’s why I’ve asked the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop a plan for how to thoroughly implement a repeal.
And non-thoroughly he could stop the discharges. Today.
I know that every day that passes without a resolution is a deep disappointment to those men and women who continue to be discharged under this policy — patriots who often possess critical language skills and years of training and who’ve served this country well. But what I hope is that these cases underscore the urgency of reversing this policy not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it is essential for our national security.
That is as much an understatement as it gets. Never even mentions Lt Choi whose hearing was the next day. And “these cases” are human beings – Americans - who volunteered knowing that they would not be able to be themselves and yet they loved their country so much they volunteered anyway. And after combat tours they get discharged without full benefits and pensions. $40k/yr, an education and medical care is more than a disappointment – it is an existence. And it is something they are owed – no matter what gender their partner is. And barry as their ultimate commander should be taking care of every single one of them.
Now, even as we take these steps, we must recognize that real progress depends not only on the laws we change but, as I said before, on the hearts we open. For if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that there are good and decent people in this country who don’t yet fully embrace their gay brothers and sisters — not yet.
What about him? He states nothing personal. If he is so determined – then why doesn’t he say his beliefs out loud? What effect would they have on the military leaders and Congress? Instead, he thinks about how it will affect his future.
Are there any LGBT servicemembers who have taken video of what they have survived in combat only to be discharged? Are there any documentaries? Can you get discharged servicemembers — as many as you can of the 265 discharged since he’s been in office – to make 30 second videos and post them on YouTube? What about distinct incidences that went bad (other than 9-11 intelligence) because there was no Arabic-speaking servicemember?
What he’s going to do? Talk.
That’s why I’ve spoken about these issues not just in front of you, but in front of unlikely audiences — in front of African American church members, in front of other audiences that have traditionally resisted these changes. And that’s what I’ll continue to do so. That’s how we’ll shift attitudes. That’s how we’ll honor the legacy of leaders like Frank and many others who have refused to accept anything less than full and equal citizenship.
Forget shifting attitudes. He needs to become a man of his word by taking a stand as commander in chief and doing something other than telepromptering. He never mentions the real group he is pandering to by doing nothing – it’s not the jermiah wrights – it’s the Rick Warrens.
The truth is when these folks protested at Stonewall 40 years ago no one could have imagined that you — or, for that matter, I — (laughter) — would be standing here today. So we are all witnesses to monumental changes in this country. That should give us hope, but we cannot rest. We must continue to do our part to make progress — step by step, law by law, mind by changing mind. And I want you to know that in this task I will not only be your friend, I will continue to be an ally and a champion and a President who fights with you and for you.
The only way they are going to know that is if you do something, barry. Now – not in 4 years. In 6 months you’ve turned off some of your base and repeatedly dissed the LGBT community. What are the chances the evangelicals and other minds that need changing are even going to listen to you on another 6?
You, Sir, are a coward, and by no means or stretch of the imagination, a man of your word.
And in no sense can you call yourself Commander in Chief when you do not care equally about each and every servicemember, as evidenced by your intentional non-action and doubletalk on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.