President Obama declares June LGBT Pride Month

gayprideobamaToday our newly elected President made an overt statement in support of queer Americans by declaring June Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. And actually he is not the first. President Clinton made a similar declaration in June of 2000 (conveniently positioned towards the end of his second term, well after enacting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”)

I have included the text of the full press release. I leave it to you good people to discuss its merits, sincerity and effectiveness below.

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                     June 1, 2009

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Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country’s response to the HIV pandemic.

Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration — in both the White House and the Federal agencies — openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.

The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.

My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.

These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.

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


2 comments to President Obama declares June LGBT Pride Month

  • litchick

    OK, the wording in the proclamation about his support of ending the "don't ask, don't tell" policy of the U.S. military is somewhat ambiguous. It does give President Obama some wiggle room about when and how he ends that foolish and misguided attempt at equality. I sincerely hope he will use this proclamation as an opportunity to end this hurtful (to gays, staights and our nation as a whole) policy immediately. We cannot afford to lose our brave and intelligent military personell to archaic beliefs. I believe one of the recent persons released from the military was a proficient speaker of Arabic. We need these people. That should be enough for those who ascribe to the faulty logic that gender differences are not natural. We need to make LGBT folks equal to all citizens and we need to do it NOW.

  • Brazil

    I felt the same way when I read the part about "don't ask don't tell." It was definitely worded in a way that left it up for interpretation to what he will actually do about this. Obama seems to be pretty good at maintaining a position that is "on the fence" so that he doesn't have an uproar from either side. I understand that he probably has to do this because he is a politician and that's what they do, for the most part (at least the main-stream politicians).

    I just really hope he's not all talk… I mean, it's great that he's at least okay and comfortable with queer folks and supports the fact that we exist and validates our legitimate struggles and value as human beings… but I won't be cheering until he passes ENDA (including gender identity protection), abolishes "Don't Ask Don't Tell," and at least attempts to make civil unions federal law… 🙂

    some people say we need to be happy with baby steps… but i'm tired of being patient! 🙂