The LGBT Case for Barack Obama

October 18, 2008 at 9:57 am Leave a comment

There has never been a presidential nominee from either political party that is as supportive of LGBT civil rights as Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee. He has long fought for civil and equal rights for minorities including the LGBT community. And, in the presidential campaign, Sen. Obama has included LGBT Americans numerous times in his speeches.

After the jump is a list of Sen. Obama’s positions on LGBT issues.

Sen. Obama’s strong support for LGBT civil rights did not begin with his decision to run for the presidency. As an Illinois State Senator, Senator Obama’s advocacy on behalf of minorities included championing the equal rights of LGBT people when he became the chief co-sponsor of the Illinois Employment Non-Discrimination Bill which eventually became Illinois law.

Here are Sen Obama’s position on key LGBT issues:

Sen. Obama supports passage of an inclusive ENDA and the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act

Sen. Obama wrote in A Call For Full Equality:

I will also place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. I have supported fully inclusive protections since my days in the Illinois legislature, when I sponsored a bill to outlaw workplace discrimination that expressly included both sexual orientation and gender identity.

Sen. Obama supports repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Sen. Obama wrote in A Call For Full Equality:

I will also fight to repeal the U.S. military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, a law that should never have been passed, and my Defense Department will work with top military leaders to implement that repeal.

Sen. Obama supports the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act

Sen. Obama wrote in an open letter to the LGBT community:

While some say we should repeal only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether. Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does.

Sen. Obama has committed to developing a national AIDS strategy

Sen. Obama told the Washington Blade:

If elected, during my first year in office, I will develop and implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. That strategy will reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. Congress should pass the JUSTICE Act to combat infection within our prison population. And, as President, I will continue to confront the stigma — too often tied to homophobia — that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.

Sen. Obama supports civil unions with equal federal benefits for same-sex couples

Sen. Obama wrote in A Call For Full Equality:

As President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples – whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage.

Sen. Obama opposes anti-gay state constitutional amendments such as those pending in California, Florida and Arizona

Sen. Obama wrote in letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club:

As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law. That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination. And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states.

Sen. Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006

Sen. Obama would appoint fair-minded justices to the Supreme Court

Sen. Obama’s positions are a stark contrast to John McCain’s long record of opposition to LGBT civl rights. For anyone who cares about LGBT people, it has to be clear that a vote for John McCain is a vote for discrimination against LGBT people.


Entry filed under: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Campaigns, Democrats, Hate Crimes, HIV/AIDS, LGBT, Politics, Video, YouTube. Tags: , , , , , .

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