Obama said the right thing in calling for repeal of DOMA

The Philadelphia Inquirer
July 2, 2009
President Obama extended an olive branch to gay-rights activists last week who are upset that he hadn't moved fast enough on issues important to them. Obama campaigned on a promise to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, and to overturn the military's "don't ask, don't tell" rule, which bars gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military. Obama told the gay and lesbian audience he invited to the White House to mark the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion to judge him not by the "promises I've made, but by the promises that my administration keeps." [Link]

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OPINION: The New Republic: Obama—Ask For Gay Rights

NPR.org
July 6, 2009
During the campaign, Obama said all the right things (well, almost all—like most national politicians, he wouldn't endorse marriage equality). He invoked the importance of winning "equality" and "dignity" and "respect" for gays and lesbians. Now he is president, and one of the perks of being president is that you get to lead. But, when it comes to gay issues, leading does not seem to interest this White House. [Link]

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One Birthday, One Reception and Some Very Hard Work

Out For Justice (NCLR Blog)
June 30, 2009
Kate Kendell, Esq. of The National Center For Lesbian Rights talks about her whirlwind trip to Washington D.C. with her 13-year-0ld son, Julian, to attend President Obama's LGBT reception in the East Room of the White House. "It was clear to me that the President believes in full equality as a core value, a human value. That fact is reassuring. It is also clear that we as a community must continue a relentless drumbeat, insisting that the President act NOW to do all he can to make that commitment to equality a reality." [Link]

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OPINION: 40 Years After Stonewall, Still Second-Class Americans

The New York Times
June 27, 2009
It’s a press cliché that “gay supporters” are disappointed with Obama - we should all be. Gay Americans aren’t just another political special interest group. They are Americans who are actively discriminated against by federal laws. If the president is to properly honor the memory of Stonewall, he should get up to speed on what happened there 40 years ago, when courageous kids who had nothing, not even a public acknowledgment of their existence, stood up to make history happen in the least likely of places. [Link]

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Representative Jared Polis on DOMA and that DOMA brief

AMERICAblog
June 29, 2009
Congress is in recess, so Rep. Polis was in his district Monday, not at the White House party. For those who don't know him yet, Polis is an openly gay, first-term Democrat from Colorado. Chuck Todd interviewed Polis on Hardball about Obama and gay issues. I found the DOMA segment particularly interesting. Polis made it quite clear that the problem was the DOMA brief. Polis explained, as we and many others have explained, that the Obama administration didn't have to defend the law and certainly didn't have to respond in the way they did:



[Link]

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President Obama Recommits Himself and His Administration to LGBT Campaign Promises

Law Dork, 2.0
June 29, 2009
The President of the United States, the leader of the free world, spent 20 minutes this afternoon telling the world that he views Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as harmful to national security, that he is calling on Congress to repeal the “so-called” — his words — Defense of Marriage Act, and that he wants a fully inclusive ENDA and hate crimes bills on his desk. In all, I think the President used today well to acknowledge our impatience while not diminishing it, saying, “It’s not for me to tell you to be patient.” The President clearly recommitted himself and his Administration to the campaign promises he made to us. Yes, I want to see more action, and, sure, there is room for improvement — particularly in regards to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — but I am glad to hear directly from our President that he realizes our struggle and wants to work with us — and use his role in the White House — to advance LGBT equality. [Link]

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White House Reaffirms Commitment to Repeal So Called Federal DOMA

The White House Briefing Room
June 29, 2009
Today's event is more than just a reception honoring LGBT Pride month. It is an opportunity for the Administration to provide the world with a snap shot of the real heroes across the country that do the day-to-day work fighting for equality. People like State Representative Patricia Todd in Alabama to Sheriff Lupe Valdez in Dallas, and many other local LGBT elected officials that will be here today. And it’s people – ordinary families – that by simply living their lives openly are changing hearts and minds. It is also an opportunity to welcome the people upon whom shoulders we stand, people like Frank Kameny, as well as Phil Wilson, Bishop Robinson and Ambassador Hormel, and those who stood up to bigotry at Stonewall. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We will work together to pass Hate Crimes and ENDA and to end DADT and DOMA, but today is an opportunity to celebrate who we are and affirm who we are as Americans. [Link]

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Political Shifts on Gay Rights Lag Behind Culture

New York Times
June 27, 2009
"America is changing more quickly than the government,” said Linda Ketner, a gay Democrat from South Carolina who came within four percentage points of winning a Congressional seat in November. “They are lagging behind the crowd. But if I remember my poli sci from college, isn’t that the way it always works?” [link]

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A grassroots movement to end DOMA

People For the American Way
June 24, 2009
The so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has got to go. And with the support of our members, People For the American Way is going to wage the fight to make sure that happens. Marriage equality for same-sex couples is now a reality in six states, and there will be more to come soon. But even as barriers are being broken down in the states, DOMA remains a roadblock to legal recognition of same-sex couples, to legal and social equality, to benefits and protections that committed, loving families have the right to enjoy -- around healthcare decisions, child custody and so much more. The effort to repeal DOMA is a true ground-up, "movement-style" campaign and that's why we need as many people involved and invested in it as possible. [Link]

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Gay couples can use married names on passports

The Associated Press
June 19, 2009
Gay couples traveling overseas can now show passports that feature their married names. Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, a New York-based group that campaigns nationally for gay marriage rights, said the change in passport regulations is a "very small step in the right direction," but falls "far short of the work that needs to happen to keep the federal government from discriminating against gay couples across the country." [link]

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