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

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

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

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

They should boo him out of the room.

Leonard Drake

October 5th, 2009

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

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

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

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

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


October 5th, 2009

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

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

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

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

…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

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

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

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

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.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts


Another Temporary Hiatus

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1971: Minnesota Couple Stake Claim To First American Same-Sex Marriage

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1954: "Perverts Vanish" From Miami

Born On This Day, 1907: Evelyn Hooker

Born On This Day, 1925: Fr. John J. McNeill

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.