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This comes on the heels of messages from the President and the Vice President, Secretary Clinton and many other cabinet officials. In fact, the White House has made a whole section of its website dedicated to this project. Visit WhiteHouse.gov/itgetsBetter.
As a gay man and a progressive, I am sad to see so many in the community focus on a few missteps (McClurkin) rather than looking at what this President has done for LGBT rights as a whole. I had presented a list before, and I present it again:
- The President has now achieved legislative repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Once the Pentagon implements the new law, all patriots - straight and gay - will be able to serve our country with honor, distinction, and truth.
- He ordered all hospitals taking Medicare and Medicaid (which is essentially all hospitals in the country) to honor visitation rights of same-sex partners.
- He signed a federal hate crimes law protecting LGBT Americans.
- Extended federal benefits to same sex partners of federal employees twice.
- He signed the UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
- He lifted the HIV entry ban.
- He appointed more openly gay officials in less than two years than any president in history did in their entire tenure.
- He named the first Transgender presidential appointees.
Fierce Advocate? You betcha. This president is my fierce advocate. This president has done more than any other to open up the current frontier of civil rights for people like me. And I'm for sure glad I have - and so many other LGBT Americans and youth have - this White House and this President standing and fighting by our side.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Mr. President.