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Obama Blasts GOP For Failure To “Stand Up For the Men and Women Who Wear The Uniform”

Jim Burroway

October 2nd, 2011

In remarks before a gathering of the Human Rights Campaign, President Barack Obama blasted Republicans for standing silently on stage while audience members booed a gay American soldier during a GOP debate last week. Six candidates — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, pizza magnate Herman Cain, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — have maintained their silence for more than a week. Obama called them out:

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We don’t believe in a small America. We don’t believe in the kind of smallness that says its okay for a stage full of political leaders, one of whom could end up being the President of the United States, being silent when an American soldier is booed. We don’t believe in that. We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens. We don’t believe in them being silent since.

You want to be commander in chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient.

We don’t believe in a small America. We believe in a big American, a tolerant America, a just America, an equal America that values the service of every patriot. We believe in an America where we’re all in it together and we see the good in one another. And we live up to a creed that is as old as our founding, “E Pluribus Unum” — out of many, one. And that includes everybody. That’s what we believe. That’s what we’re going to be fighting for. I am confident that’s what the American people believe in. I’m confident because of the changes we’ve achieved these two and a half years, the progress that some folks said was impossible.

Obama recounted his accomplishments since taking office: the passage of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, the lifting of the HIV travel ban, the enactment of regulations requiring hospitals to allow gay partners to see and make decisions for their loved ones, and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He also reiterated his support for repealing the Defense of Marriage Act:

I vowed to keep up the fight against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. There’s a bill to repeal this discriminatory law in Congress, and I want to see that passed. But until we reach that day, my administration is no longer defending DOMA in the courts. I believe the law runs counter to the Constitution, and it’s time for it to end once and for all. It should join “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the history books.

Comments

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PC
October 2nd, 2011 | LINK

Well, it certainly didn’t take him very long to speak out on it.

Or did it?

Ray Harwick
October 2nd, 2011 | LINK

PC, if you mean does the President bray about his list of accomplishment every day, no. But he’s in campaign mode right now and I guess you’re saying he ought to just not say anything. Let’s review the record on the Right. Here’s a list of the equality breakthroughs we’ve had from Bachmann, Perry, Romney, Cain, Santorum, Gingrich, Paul and, well, whomever they throw up there next:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Keep the great stuff the Right has done for our community in mind and it’ll help you at least remember who *not* to vote for.

Stephen
October 2nd, 2011 | LINK

It’s amazing to me that this president, the most supportive and constructive we’ve ever had in the White House so far as gay Americans are concerned, is given no credit for the very real things he has done. And usually not more than sneering concessions that yes, the Republicans most likely would not have done as much. He’s keynote speaker at the HRC!!!!!! Good God almighty, what does it take for him to get some credit? I can think of no other president in the history of the US who has had to deal with so much against him, so many interests, so much money, so much malign intent. I don’t know how the man gets our of bed in the morning.

If we don’t say thank you, how can we help, what’s next – why should he bother with issues that are important to us? We should be trying to help him, not sneering from the sidelines, chipping away at him, saying he’s just like all the rest. He really isn’t. We haven’t had someone this brilliant, or determined, or accomplished in charge in a very long time. Let’s try to appreciate what has been done, because it’s not inconsiderable.

The president of the United States of America was keynote speaker at our premiere gay-rights organization! If you don’t find that astonishing then I can’t help you. But you might stop to consider that ALL of the Republican candidates will be addressing that Value Voters summit next week and they will not be talking about how to protect our rights.

Timothy Kincaid
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

Ray,

Here’s one that Romney did: administer the nation’s first legal state-wide same sex marriage policy. While he opposed it, he did enforce the law.

Of course, somehow I doubt that will be the centerpiece of his campaign

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