February 27, 2011

Obama Fights for LGBT Equality

Posted in News at 5:18 am by brittanylschmidt

When President Obama took office in 2008, he created a gay-rights agenda that would fight for equal rights for the LGBT Community.  While the LGBT Community is starting to see Obama’s promises come true, such as repealing the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell‘ policy and passing the Matthew Shepard’s Hate Crimes Act, his new decision to stop support of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 gains more support and hope from LGBT Community than ever before.

You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman.-President Obama

Late this month, Obama declared the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, which bans recognition of same-sex marriages and allows states to refuse recognition of same-sex marriages, as unconstitutional and urges the Justice Department to stop defending it in court.

According to Charlie Savage and Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times journalists, Obama favors civil unions and maintains a nuanced position on same-sex marriages.  Same-sex advocates suggest that Obama will soon embrace their cause due to his administrations new stance.  John Aravosis, founder of Americablog.com, said,

“I think the gay community got to him. I’m not convinced we got to his heart, but I think we got to his political head.”

I think John Aravosis is correct when he says the gay community has Obama’s political mind because Obama is continuing to support and aid the LGBT Community in many different ways. However, I don’t think it is correct to say they don’t have his heart.  Even if the LGBT Community doesn’t have his whole heart, they still have his unwavering support, which I think is much more important.

Yes, I do think Obama has a good heart and cares deeply for this country, but the important thing to remember is he believes in equal opportunity for all, no matter what your gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation happens to be.

Obama has gone above and beyond to promote the LGBT Community because he believes in this country and that discrimination against gays and lesbians needs to end.  Although he has not distinctly said he supports same-sex marriages, it is not something to dwell on because he has been more than willing to help the LGBT Community and end discrimination against them.

I believe strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away and passing laws that extend equal rights to gay couples.- President Obama

In October 2009, Obama gave a speech at Human Rights Campaign Dinner addressing the progress of equal opportunity for LGBT Community.  During this speech, he talked about the different opportunities and plans he wants to incorporate into his presidential term.  He plans to pass an inclusive employee non-discrimination bill, arguing that no one should be fired because they are gay.

I once again argue against John Aravosis’s claim that the LGBT Community has Obama’s political support, but not his heart.  I think this short passage from his speech reaffirms that Obama does care and completely understands the LGBT Community.  Obama talks about the Human Rights Campaign policy and how it is about more than any policy they can make into a law.

It’s about our common humanity and our willingness to walk in someone else’s shoes: to imagine losing a job not because of your performance at work but because of your relationship at home; to imagine worrying about a spouse in the hospital, with the added fear that you’ll have to produce a legal document just to comfort the person you love to imagine the pain of losing a partner of decades and then discovering that the law treats you like a stranger.- President Obama.

This passage shows more than President Obama believing in equal opportunities for all, but his understanding of the way these laws affect people.  He realizes how hard it would be to lose a job based on sexual orientation or not be able to comfort a sick spouse in the hospital.  I think this shows that Obama not only supports the LGBT Community, but also has the heart and determination to change it.

Although Obama has planned on helping the LGBT Community since his first day in office, some conservatives think he is trying to shift the attention from spending cuts to social causes.  This is a biased way to look at the progress that President Obama has made for this country.

A president should not focus on one problem, fix it, and then move onto the next one.  A good president should be working on multiple problems within society at one time.

Just because he is working on ending discrimination towards the LGBT Community, doesn’t mean he forgot about the economic issues.

I think Obama is a president who knows how to multi-task and realizes that many issues need to be handled all at once, rather than one at a time.

I believe President Obama is doing the right thing and I completely support him for  his fight against hate, discrimination, and intolerance.  I believe everyone deserves equal opportunity no matter what your sexual orientation might be.  There is no doubt in my mind that a world of acceptance will bring a better economic and political future.


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