Sunday, October 11, 2009
I'm taking Obama's gay speech personally
On Saturday night, President Obama spoke to a huge ballroom of people -- mostly wealthy gay Americans -- on the eve of the National Equality March on Washington.
His speech, which was as strong as any of his best during the Presidential campaign, moved me to tears.
Nine months into his Presidency, Obama was taking care of business. He vowed to get rid of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He called on Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. He talked about our families and our love.
He stressed "unwavering" commitment to our political cause. Yet he told the crowd that it was no secret "our progress may be taking longer than we like."
Gay activists immediately began pointing out that they'd heard it all before and wanted much more of a timeline from him at this stage.
But, come on. His words warmed me. And I'm happy to indulge myself in that good feeling.
The President of the United States was reaching far beyond that ballroom. He was talking to gay people all across America. He was saying things, in a way that seemed sincere and comfortable, that most of us don't even hear from our families, those who love us the most.
The President of the United States told us:
"We 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."
I'm happy to take those words very personally and forget the political for a while.