Obama Issues Proclamation: June 2011 is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month

That’s so Raven Lincoln

Last week, Obama received the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest and most successful advocates for LGBT equality.  (See Deaniac’s post on the subject — “ZOMG! ‘Homophobic Black President’ Gets Big Gay Endorsement!” over at The People’s View.)

President of the Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solmonese, had this to say:

President Obama has improved the lives of LGBT Americans more than any President in history. In 2008 we were promised change and profound change is what we got. More remains to be done and ensuring that President Obama is able to continue the forward momentum toward equality for another term is an absolute priority of the Human Rights Campaign.

Today, Obama announced that June 2011 will be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month:

The story of America’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community is the story of our fathers and sons, our mothers and daughters, and our friends and neighbors who continue the task of making our country a more perfect Union. It is a story about the struggle to realize the great American promise that all people can live with dignity and fairness under the law. Each June, we commemorate the courageous individuals who have fought to achieve this promise for LGBT Americans, and we rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Since taking office, my Administration has made significant progress towards achieving equality for LGBT Americans. Last December, I was proud to sign the repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. With this repeal, gay and lesbian Americans will be able to serve openly in our Armed Forces for the first time in our Nation’s history. Our national security will be strengthened and the heroic contributions these Americans make to our military, and have made throughout our history, will be fully recognized.

My Administration has also taken steps to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans in Federal housing programs and to give LGBT Americans the right to visit their loved ones in the hospital. We have made clear through executive branch nondiscrimination policies that discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the Federal workplace will not be tolerated. I have continued to nominate and appoint highly qualified, openly LGBT individuals to executive branch and judicial positions. Because we recognize that LGBT rights are human rights, my Administration stands with advocates of equality around the world in leading the fight against pernicious laws targeting LGBT persons and malicious attempts to exclude LGBT organizations from full participation in the international system. We led a global campaign to ensure “sexual orientation” was included in the United Nations resolution on extrajudicial execution — the only United Nations resolution that specifically mentions LGBT people — to send the unequivocal message that no matter where it occurs, state-sanctioned killing of gays and lesbians is indefensible. No one should be harmed because of who they are or who they love, and my Administration has mobilized unprecedented public commitments from countries around the world to join in the fight against hate and homophobia.

At home, we are working to address and eliminate violence against LGBT individuals through our enforcement and implementation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. We are also working to reduce the threat of bullying against young people, including LGBT youth. My Administration is actively engaged with educators and community leaders across America to reduce violence and discrimination in schools. To help dispel the myth that bullying is a harmless or inevitable part of growing up, the First Lady and I hosted the first White House Conference on Bullying Prevention in March. Many senior Administration officials have also joined me in reaching out to LGBT youth who have been bullied by recording “It Gets Better” video messages to assure them they are not alone.

This month also marks the 30th anniversary of the emergence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which has had a profound impact on the LGBT community. Though we have made strides in combating this devastating disease, more work remains to be done, and I am committed to expanding access to HIV/AIDS prevention and care. Last year, I announced the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States. This strategy focuses on combinations of evidence-based approaches to decrease new HIV infections in high risk communities, improve care for people living with HIV/AIDS, and reduce health disparities. My Administration also increased domestic HIV/AIDS funding to support the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and HIV prevention, and to invest in HIV/AIDS-related research. However, government cannot take on this disease alone. This landmark anniversary is an opportunity for the LGBT community and allies to recommit to raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and continuing the fight against this deadly pandemic.

Every generation of Americans has brought our Nation closer to fulfilling its promise of equality. While progress has taken time, our achievements in advancing the rights of LGBT Americans remind us that history is on our side, and that the American people will never stop striving toward liberty and justice for all.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2011 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA1

Good news for the LGBTQ community — at least I think so.  I know there are those who will think that this is more lofty rhetoric from a do-nothing president; and if I ask, “How many LGBTQ pride proclamations will be forthcoming under President T-Paw?” I’ll be shouted down by those people, but whatevs.

He got DADT done didn’t?  He’s no longer defending DOMA isn’t he?  He did all this stuff —

1) Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees
2) Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
3) Instructed HHS to require any hospital receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds (virtually all hospitals) to allow LGBT visitation rights.
4) Banned job discrimination based on gender identity throughout the Federal government (the nation’s largest employer)
5) Signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act
6) Extended the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover Gay employees taking unpaid leave to care for their children of same-sex partners
7) Lifted the HIV Entry Ban.
8) Implemented HUD Policies that Would Ban Discrimination Based On Gender Identity
9) Appointed the first ever transgender DNC member
10) Named open transgender appointees (the first President ever to do so)
11) Eliminated the discriminatory Census Bureau policy that kept LGBT relationships from being counted
12) Extended domestic violence protections to LGBT victims

(read the rest of TiMT’s post “DADT to DOMA Obama-‘Breathtaking’, ‘A Monumental Series of Achievements On LBGTQ Rights'” over at The People’s View.)

— didn’t he?

Yes. He did.

It makes one want to yell at the Log Cabin Republicans, who recently announced that they are hell-bent on ousting Obama (to what end, who knows): What’s your major malfunction?!

As Deaniac astutely notes:

[F]or some, clinging to “Obama-is-teh-evil” is more important than actually looking what the President was able to do over, as Solmonese points out, relentless and unified opposition from Republicans. The Republican alternative for gay Americans? They would keep DADT in place, refuse to recognize anti-gay and anti-transgender violence in the nation’s hate crimes laws, and yes, would send gay Americans to jail if they could. They would push to write discrimination into the Constitution, as they have in many state constitutions.

And, as a Facebook pal hilariously notes:

You are now officially as good as black people.

* smiles up at the ghost of Sean Penn in Heaven *

1 Obama has issued a similar proclamation during each year of his presidency.  Clinton issued one in 1999.  And Bush issued — hahahaha.  No he didn’t.

[via The White House]

[cross-posted]

44 replies
  1. 1
    John Puma says:

    This should lead to an “uptick” of BS flux over at the FOX Fraud & Fantasy network.

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    1) Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees

    Big plus for me.

    7) Lifted the HIV Entry Ban.

    BIG plus for my Canuckistani friend who thought he would never be able to visit down here.

  3. 3
    kdaug says:

    The tide waxes.

    Move to high ground (if’n ya ain’t there already), and watch.

    10 years, tops. Likely sooner.

  4. 4
    Steeplejack says:

    @Yutsano:

    Big plus for me.

    What are you talking about? Your biggest long-term relationship seems to be with a cat.

    Er, as was my last one, I suddenly remember. All right, then.

    Steep + many and still unsettled from refereeing the thread two floors down.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Yutsano says:

    @Steeplejack: One never knows the future. In fact one could indeed have possibilities upon the horizon. Some of them even woof. :)

  7. 7

    Ain’t no party like an LGBT party ‘coz an LGBT party don’t stop.

    Yutsy, you bring the cookies, and I’ll bring the raunchy humor. Party at ABL’s place to celebrate! I haz keys to her likker cabinet. Shhhhh. Don’t tell anyone.

    @Yutsano: Which, of course, means I have to post this.

  8. 8
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Best parties at my college, no shit, were the LGBT drag shows. Even the fratboys would show up. But that’s another story.

    PS I’d fucking get off my ass and make spanakopita. Addictive and easy to hork up. What’s not to lurve?

  9. 9
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    Nothing seems to astonish hardcore Repiglicans as much as the fact that most Americans no longer give a single shit about the dreaded homo menace.

    They have woken up in a world they never expected to be in and they don’t know how to handle it. It’s really a strange thing to witness.

  10. 10

    @Yutsano: OK. You make the fud. I’ll bring the booze even though neither you nor I drink.

    @MoeLarryAndJesus: I know. Steve Benen had it right when he said it’s a matter of when, not if. Unfortunately, there will be lots of furious backlash on the way.

  11. 11
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @John Puma:

    Does it ever downtick?

  12. 12
    Jamey says:

    How, exactly, does this lower the deficit or cut my taxes?

  13. 13
  14. 14

    Hooray for Obama! And for the entire Community!

    FWIW, it’s supposed to be about 15 degrees cooler in Ohio today. Those to the east of here, take heart.

    Edited because apparently I can’t spell.

  15. 15
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Jamey: Happy people spend money.

  16. 16
    Aimai says:

    I call this unfair. Why is Obama privileging gay people by giving them a good month, like June? This is nefarious–it’s a slap in the face to black peoplevwho are stuck with February. And he is throwing heterosexual brides under the bus since they have to share their month with gay people. Another betrayal by Obama. I await the anger from all sides.

  17. 17
    amk says:

    But he is still BLACK.

    That’s what counts with ‘obama, teh eeevil’ crowd from both left & right.

  18. 18
    shortstop says:

    @Aimai: Not only that, but thousands of Chicagoans (including dear buds of mine) are getting civil unionized (the best we can do in Illinois right now) on Friday in a mass ceremony. They just had to pick June, didn’t they? I just want to know when we’re going to start celebrating Heterosexual Month. Am I the only one who can speak out loud about the real bigotry going on here?

  19. 19
    lol says:

    Can’t we just agree that this has been the most homophobic administration in the history of the United States and that real progressives (and real gays) don’t care about bones to the base like “Gay Pride Month” or “Hates Crime Act” or “repealing DADT”?

    It’s a slap in the face unless Obama decides to make some *real* progress on gay rights, which he never will, because have you seen this bod? I’ve been working out and I can carry these goal posts all fucking night if I need to.

  20. 20
    boss bitch says:

    Worstest president on gay rights evah.

  21. 21
    jayjaybear says:

    @Aimai:

    And he is throwing heterosexual brides under the bus since they have to share their month with gay people.

    Please…if it weren’t for gay men, their weddings would be tragic messes, therefore they owe us and they can just chalk June up in the repayment column.

  22. 22
    shortstop says:

    @jayjaybear: Excellent. But when equal marriage gains ascendancy across the nation, will demand hugely exceed supply for your planning services? If so, remember, price gouging isn’t nice.

  23. 23
    hunter says:

    “. . . the nation’s largest and most successful advocates for LGBT equality.”

    You must have been reading their press releases. No one else believes that for a minute — in fact, they have developed a sterling reputation over the past few years for being completely incapable of making any headway on gay issues with Congress or anyone else. Anything that’s been accomplished has been done without them.

  24. 24
    suzanne says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I’ll bring the booze even though neither you nor I drink.

    I do!

    There’s a Castle Boutique (sex shop that is in a building shaped like a castle with a moat and drawbridge and shit) right near where I work. On their marquee, they posted the message “May Is Self Love Month”. But the S fell, so it read “May is Elf Love Month”. Still trying to decide which is funnier.

  25. 25
    suzanne says:

    @Aimai: LMAO. At least he didn’t offend England by giving teh gheyz whatever month in which Wills and Kate got married. MY DAY MY DAY MY DAY!

  26. 26
    shortstop says:

    @suzanne: No one told me I was supposed to confine it to May. Now I feel so slutty.

  27. 27
    JoyousMN says:

    I posted the great rainbow/Obama logo on my Facebook page as profile pic for the month of June.

  28. 28
    celticdragonchick says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Ain’t no party like an LGBT party ‘coz an LGBT party don’t stop.

    I haz a cheezburger bottle of Glen Morangie 12 year old single malt scotch, and I am not bad at making horsd’oeurves…

  29. 29
    beergoggles says:

    Obama has higher popularity among my friends than HRC right about now. I know that’s not saying much..

  30. 30
    BlueMonkey says:

    This is good news.

    Seriously, we’re all disappointed that the change didn’t happen the minute that oath was redone after the inauguration ceremony. But the alternative? I’ll take a spam sandwich over a crap sandwich with broken glass and rat poison any day. (Commence “what’s the difference between the two” jokes now….but there is a huge difference.)

  31. 31
    Allan says:

    @hunter: Though I’m not a big HRC fan, I wonder if you could tell us what is factually wrong with that sentence. What gay rights organization is larger than HRC and has accomplished more? Do tell, because I’d be interested in joining them.

  32. 32
    Erik Vanderhoff says:

    That sound you just heard was Andrew Sullivan’s head imploding.

  33. 33
    Linnaeus says:

    Good progress. Still a ways to go, but this is tangible progress.

  34. 34
    gex says:

    Excellent President. Possibly THE best in my lifetime (born during Nixon/Ford). The gay rights stuff is just icing on the cake.

    I almost got sucked into Avarosis’ ass-hattery. I’m glad I managed to escape that black hole.

  35. 35
    Don says:

    Anything that’s been accomplished has been done without despite them.

    Though I’m not a big HRC fan, I wonder if you could tell us what is factually wrong with that sentence. What gay rights organization is larger than HRC and has accomplished more? Do tell, because I’d be interested in joining them.

    They have to be larger? I’m more interested in effective. Personally I don’t know that I will ever forgive HRC for failing to get engaged in the Prop 8 issue until it was too late.

    We support Freedom to Marry. They seem to be legitimately involved in events rather than being an organization more interested in self-perpetuation. Lambda Legal is another good one that is actually WORKING.

  36. 36
    Valenciennes says:

    One other positive on his LGBTQ* record: http://bit.ly/aOg7OZ

    I’m trans and from a horrible state which legally bars you from ever changing your birth certificate’s sex marker, so this change to the passport amendment process is actually a pretty important step in personal terms. No matter how annoyed I am by his capitulation and nigh-constant selling out, at least our president doesn’t literally hate me for existing. So that’s consolation.

  37. 37
    JR (Not the other JR) says:

    Has AmericaBlog gone ‘splodey yet? I dare not look.

  38. 38
    Allan says:

    @Don: Thanks for the feedback, Don. It’s OK, even great, that there are organizations that are well-focused on specific issues on the LGBT agenda, and I celebrate them as well.

    I’m speaking of the need for a national organization like HRC that attempts to embrace the entire rainbow and advocate for all of our issues, and gets invited to the table in DC and in state houses around the US, and makes political contributions to supportive allies.

    I note that HRC also maintains a database of local, state and national organizations for referral purposes on its website, and they list and link to Lambda Legal. HRC doesn’t pretend that it is the end-all or be-all, or discourage people from supporting other groups.

    I also don’t see any value in blaming HRC for the failure of us Californians to effectively organize and run a winning campaign against Prop 8, and the mistakes I saw happening were entirely coming from the California groups leading the charge. So it might be worthwhile to let go and move on. My two cents.

  39. 39
    MaximusNYC says:

    Americablog appears to be studiously ignoring this. As does FDL.

  40. 40
    shortstop says:

    @MaximusNYC: And for remarkably similar reasons.

  41. 41
    ABL says:

    @MaximusNYC: but of course they are. it doesn’t fit into their narrative. they’re busy trying to free bradley manning.

  42. 42
    AAA Bonds says:

    Look, I like this post, but condescension doesn’t help when you’re speaking to another community. There’s so often this layer of exasperation here with anyone LGBTQ to the left of HRC (and there are plenty).

    Let’s just give credit to the activists first, the President second, and save the projections for never.

  43. 43
    AAA Bonds says:

    Oh, and to reply to a bunch of posts that I didn’t read but psychically predict are above mine: no, it doesn’t matter what FDL thinks.

  44. 44
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    San Francisco Giants: It gets better.

    Cue jokes about getting to third base, big wood, designated hitter, etc.

    But seriously, go Giants. More of this.

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