Little did we know then that he’d ever be elected Senator, let alone President. We did know he obviously sought the support of the LGBT community. With President Bush already making noises about protecting marriage with a Constitutional amendment, we welcomed anyone on our side.
When Barack Obama gave that fantastic speech at the 2004 convention, we began to expect great things. When he talked about LGBT people and issues in the 2008 campaign and later posted supportive policy statements in the civil rights section of the White House Web page, we expected even more. When we learned that he’d appointed an LGBT taskforce and invited representatives of advocacy groups to speak with government staff, we became almost giddy with anticipation.
Now, on June 1, President Obama issued over his signature a proclamation of June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. In the proclamation, he hits the right notes on the issues (except for marriage equality, where he continues his call for civil unions).
The President appears to be poised to deliver. Now, more than ever, we have to speak to him. Now, we need to let him know that we expect the same kind of heavy lifting from him for LGBT civil rights that President Johnson exerted for African-American civil rights.
I’m so happy with the words and symbols that I’m almost ready to relax and let the President do the heavy lifting. But I won’t, and I hope the rest of you won’t either.
Call the White House, (202) 456-1111, thank the President for the proclamation, and let him know we expect him to fulfill his words and his destiny in moving LGBT equality forward.
Better yet, send him a hand-written letter:President
The White House1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
Action, we need action.
- John Cepek
- John Cepek