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Obama To Speak At HRC Dinner

Jim Burroway

October 5th, 2009

Barack Obama's LGBT Civil Rights ScorecardIt’s eleven months after the election, and we still don’t have hate crimes protection. That was supposed to be the easy one. Now even that is in doubt. But we’re still gonna gather at his feet and be thankful for the crumbs, aren’t we?

President Obama will speak to a gathering of gay rights activists this weekend, a day before thousands of people are expected to march on Washington in a demonstration calling for greater legal protections for gays, lesbians and transgendered Americans.

Mr. Obama\’s appearance on Saturday at the annual dinner for the Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights advocacy group, represents a significant show of support for gay rights at a time when many prominent gay and lesbian activists have been questioning the president\’s commitment to their issues.

“Significant show of support”? How about something tangible we can really use, besides a great speech and a Salisbury steak.



October 5th, 2009 | LINK

I read a comment on another blog related to this story where the commenter remarked that Obama had become like the adults in the Peanuts cartoons. Being only a wha-wha-wha sound.

I replied that I thought he was behaving more like Lucy with the football. Trotting out with ball every so often and imploring Charlie Brown to take just one more run at it, then, as always, jerking the ball away at the last minute. And the HRC acts just like Charlie Brown, falling for Lucy’s words every time, forgetting her actions (or lack thereof), and finding themselves flat on their backs later on without having moved the football down the field.

I won’t be there, so another pretty speech doesn’t mean much to me anymore. I’ll be out here in the real world waiting to see what actually changes.

As someone else noted, the only good thing is that it will piss off the Christianists.

October 5th, 2009 | LINK

People at the dinner need to press Obama about marriage equality in Maine and record it too. They need to ask him about marriage equality in Maine until he gives an answer.
Vote NO on Question 1 in Maine

October 5th, 2009 | LINK

The real world is where most of us live, and from where the pressure has to come, about ENDA, repeal of DADT, hate crimes, etc. I will be surprised, happily so, if President Obama delivers a speech about concrete actions, including a time line. But it would be a very big surprise.

October 5th, 2009 | LINK

They should boo him out of the room.

Leonard Drake
October 5th, 2009 | LINK

Patrick, that would be very nice. Unfortunately, I highly doubt they would. Sometimes, I wonder why I still contribute to their cause.

The bumper sticker looks nice, but I can always call their number and obtain those for free, so… It would be nice if there was a “Act UP”-style PAC created to deal with Obama’s inaction related to our cause.

Lindoro Almaviva
October 5th, 2009 | LINK

And after all this the HRC is still going to give him a hero’s welcome? One more reason I am not giving any money to the HRC; they are no longer fighting the establishment, they are part of the establishment.

Emily K
October 5th, 2009 | LINK

Money talks. Close down the gAy-T-M. It angers me to no end that since I’m an impoverished nothing artist living pretty much anonymously in Philly my voice amounts to jack squat in my government. What’s the point?? I feel like moving to another country.

October 5th, 2009 | LINK

Perhaps someone should arrange for LGBT activist Lane Hudson to be in the audience and then when President Obama starts talking about LGBT civil rights, he can yell out “YOU LIE!

October 5th, 2009 | LINK

Yelling “You lie!” is useless though. We already know that.

October 5th, 2009 | LINK

I’ve thought about it – rather than having people boo, I would rather they remain silent. No applause, no booing, no acknowledgment of his existence. It’s seems much more symbolic and appropriate.

But this is the HRC. So, they’ll no doubt lavish praise on him.

Regan DuCasse
October 6th, 2009 | LINK

I don’t get why HRC is doing so much ass kissing. The President clearly keeps showing up, but leaving gay folks EMPTY handed.
He has shown a remarkable lack of backbone. Yes, this country is in serious financial straits. But a disenfranchised minority will ALWAYS suffer more while it’s happening, yet Obama looks to gay people for support and not insulting him….as he, by default, insults the gay community.

No more waiting. Real lives and real people and their real family issues, don’t have the luxury of waiting.

October 6th, 2009 | LINK

Yes, Regan: real lives, real people in the real world should be the focus. I’m highly skeptical, though, that will be the focus at the Equality Dinner. And I’d guess there will be neither boos nor silence, but a standing ovation.

Skip Kotzbacher
October 6th, 2009 | LINK

I can really understand the frustration in the GLBT community and my partner and I have been supporters of HRC for almost 25 years. We are proud of that and I personally have great admiration for this President, I say be patient but persistent and hope that he will come through on at least a few of the promises he made. Let’s face it, few people in this country care about our life, our cause, and our lack of equality, it is going to take much more time and patience is required. I’m not saying he shouldn’t be held accountable for what he said while campaigning but I’m not ready to give up on him yet, just the fact that he will attend the dinner is a big deal for me after 8yrs of Bush. Maybe I”m just getting older and don’t care, but I really do think he is our best hope for real change from the top. I’m going to be patient, at least another six months before I give up and get depressed.

Richard W. Fitch
October 6th, 2009 | LINK

…And here he is again – Rep Patrick Murphy (D-PA) organizing an after hours session for members of the House to speak-up, speak-out on DADT.

Timothy Kincaid
October 6th, 2009 | LINK

I am not at this time a great admirer of this President. However, I do want to remind us that a gay rights advocacy group is being addressed by The President of the United States. It is a big deal.

Am I cynical about whether he will give a glowing speech with words of passion and conviction… but no specifics or follow-through? Yes. I am.

Nonetheless, in the midst of our disappointment over his behavior to date, and though this is likely only symbolic, it is a symbol that is in some ways beneficial.

We should appreciate that President Obama is coming. And for that I am grateful.

Ken in Riverside
October 6th, 2009 | LINK

Timothy, I appreciate your moderate tone but I’m afraid that this is only symbolic of a decrease in political risk associated with asking gays for their money.

I’m receptive to arguments that we shouldn’t expect the impossible. However, we shouldn’t forget that repealing DADT is supported by more than 70% of the population. I think Andrew Sullivan says it best:

To translate this: the Democratic Party, with solid majorities in House and Senate and a Democratic president in the White House refuses to end discrimination against gay servicemembers, who are risking their lives for this country at a time of war. The Human Rights Campaign has no ability to translate over 70 percent public support for a measure into votes (ending employment discrimination against gays has over 80 percent support but HRC is so irrelevant it hasn’t been able to get that passed for two decades).


But Obama tells us, “the time’s not right.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr tells us, “Man’s inhumanity to man is not only perpetrated by the vitriolic actions of those who are bad. It is also perpetrated by the vitiating inaction of those who are good.”

October 6th, 2009 | LINK

I think that HRC may be sending the wrong message to Obama. In politics, there is no reason to support someone who is not supporting your causes. I won’t be contributing to or voting for this President unless and until he makes good on some of his promises to the gay community (the least important of which is Hate Crimes). I contributed to his campaigns in the past and won’t do so again, unless I have a very good reason. I think that is the message that he should be getting from all gay and lesbian Americans.

October 8th, 2009 | LINK

Wouldn’t it be a great idea to just mail Obama a bunch of paper plates- the idea being that since his own plate is “too full”, we’ll lend him some of ours so he has room.

Could make for a good fundraiser.

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