President Obama Delivers Video Message To NGLTF National Convention
NGLTF stands for “The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force”, which is holding its 25th annual Creating Change conference in Atlanta this week.
LGBT Groups Praise President Obama’s Inaugural Call For Full Equality
Freedom To MarryIn his second Inaugural today, President Obama traced the moral arc from Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall, and rightly exalted the struggle for the freedom to marry as part of America’s moral commitment to equality, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Freedom to Marry applauds our president and the moral leadership he has shown, the moral leadership we will continue to need until all Americans, all loving couples, all families, can share fully in the American promise we celebrate on Inauguration Day.
National Gay & LesbianTask ForceWe couldn’t agree more. It’s now time for the president — and for all of us — to finish the job of ensuring that every American gets a fair shake. President Obama has repeatedly shown he is willing to fight for us. We have another four years to keep the momentum going, and will be vigilant in pursuing policies to ensure our community is not left behind. This includes pushing for federal LGBT employment protections, ending the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, combating HIV/ADS, preserving a social safety net, and much more. America deserves nothing less than a president who will treat all families fairly. We congratulate President Obama and his administration and look forward to working with them in this second term to build a stronger future for LGBT people and opportunity for all.
Outserve-SLDNToday, President Obama made history with a clear and passionate declaration of the fundamental rights of LGBT Americans, and all Americans. We honor the work of his first term - especially his leadership in the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” - and expect great progress over the next four years on the very real inequalities that exist for our LGBT service members, veterans, and their families as we work together to bend the moral arc of the universe toward justice.
More reactions will be posted as they arrive.
USA: Air Force Veteran Fired Under DADT Named As Inauguration Citizen Co-Chair
Former Air Force SSgt. David Hall, who was discharged under DADT, has been named a Citizen Co-Chair of President Obama’s second inauguration celebration. Via press release from OutServe-SLDN, where Hall is now a staffer:“This is certainly the honor of a lifetime, and I am grateful to President Obama for his leadership in repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ so that no qualified American who wants to serve this country in uniform will ever again be denied that right simply because they are gay or lesbian,” said Hall. Hall will join the seven others named today in the National Day of Service on Saturday that kicks off the inaugural events over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. He will attend the swearing-in ceremony Monday and along with the other co-chairs will ride on an inaugural parade float highlighting the inaugural theme of “Our People: Our Future.” Monday evening, he will attend the official inaugural balls.
Hall served in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait before his discharge.
USA: President Obama Chooses Gay Latino Poet Richard Blanco To Read At His Inauguration
President Obama has selected openly gay poet Richard Blancoto read at his second inauguration.On Wednesday the president’s inaugural planners will announce that Mr. Blanco is to be the 2013 inaugural poet, joining the ranks of notables like Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. “Since the beginning of the campaign, I totally related to his life story and the way he speaks of his family, and of course his multicultural background,” Mr. Blanco said in a telephone interview from the rural village of Bethel, Me., where he lives with his partner. “There has always been a spiritual connection in that sense. I feel in some ways that when I’m writing about my family, I’m writing about him.”
Mr. Blanco must now compose an original poem for the president’s ceremonial swearing-in on the steps of the Capitol on Jan. 21. (Mr. Obama will take the official oath at the White House on Jan. 20, as required by the Constitution.) Addie Whisenant, the inaugural committee’s spokeswoman, said Mr. Obama picked Mr. Blanco because the poet’s “deeply personal poems are rooted in the idea of what it means to be an American.”
RELATED: Maya Angelou’s 1993 reading of On The Pulse Of The Morning during Bill Clinton’s first inauguration was, for me,the most memorable moment of a day laden with giddy promise. When Angelou name-checked gay Americans during the poem, everyone in the room with me shouted in surprise. How things have changed! I can still recite a good portion ofOn The Pulse from memory, in no small part because Angelou’s performance was later incorporated midway into a great trance record.
You, created only a little lower than the angels, have crouched too long in the bruising darkness.
Blanco, 44, will compose an original poem to read at the inauguration ceremony on January 21, the day after the President takes the oath of office as required by the Constitution. Blanco will be the nation’s fifth inaugural poet, reports The Times, and joins the ranks of other inaugural poets like Robert Frost and, as Joe Jervis points out, Maya Angelou.
Obama’s inaugural celebration will also include performances from Beyonce, who will sing the national anthem, Kelly Clarkson, who will sing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” and James Taylor, who will perform “America The Beautiful,” according to the Associated Press.
USA: President Barack Obama Backs Marriage Equality In Illinois
Through his spokesman, President Obama has issued a statement in support of same-sex marriage in his home state of Illinois.“While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday.
“As he has said, his personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so. Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally,” Inouye said.
The lead sponsors of the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), intend to put the measure up for a vote during the upcoming January lame-duck session. The toughest challenge for gay marriage backers will be winning passage in the Illinois House. Prospects for approval in the Illinois Senate—where Obama once served—are brighter.
As noted above, the current bill will be presented during the lame duck session which ends in just a few weeks. When the new legislature is seated, Democrats will hold a super-majority in both chambers.
USA: President Barack Obama REELECTED
The New York Times reports:
Barack Obama was re-elected as president on Tuesday, the television networks projected, defeating Mitt Romney after a long, hard-fought campaign that centered on who would heal the battered economy and on what role government should play in the 21st century.
The president’s official Twitter account quickly posted: “This happened because of you. Thank you.”CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News all projected that Mr. Obama would defeat Mr. Romney after concluding that he would win the necessary 270 electoral votes.Mr. Obama carried New Hampshire and Pennsylvania and was projected by television networks to win Wisconsin, three states Mr. Romney had pursued to block Mr. Obama’s re-election.As a succession of states fell away from Mr. Romney, a hush fell over his Boston headquarters. Advisers sounded uncharacteristically pessimistic about what they acknowledged were dwindling chances of winning an Electoral College majority.The mood at the Obama campaign in Chicago was optimistic as the outcome of the hard-fought presidential race was dependent on Mr. Romney’s running the table in the rest of the competitive battleground states.Americans delivered a final judgment on a long and bitter campaign that drew so many people to the polls that several key states extended voting for hours. In Virginia and Florida, long lines stretched from polling places, with the Obama campaign sending text messages to supporters in those areas, saying: “You can still vote.”The state-by-state pursuit of the 270 electoral votes was being closely tracked by both campaigns, with Mr. Romney winning North Carolina and Indiana, which Mr. Obama carried four years ago. But Mr. Obama won Michigan, the state where Mr. Romney was born, and Minnesota, a pair of states that Republican groups had spent millions of dollars trying to make competitive.The contests were hanging on the outcome of only a few key counties in the battleground states. In Florida, for example, the two candidates were separated by only thousands of votes out of more than six million ballots cast, with nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting.The top issue on the minds of voters was the economy, according to interviews, with three-quarters of those surveyed saying that economic conditions were not good or poor. But only 3 in 10 said things were getting worse, and 4 in 10 said the economy was improving.