David Shepherd: News Blog

Journalist's Notebook

Obama Administration Renews Vow To Gay Community: Too Little, Too Late?

By: David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com] – Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Obama administration is renewing its vow to end violence and discrimination against gays and lesbians at home and abroad.

At a White House reception honoring Gay and Lesbian Pride Month Tuesday, Mr. Obama said, “It’s not right, it’s not who we are as Americans, and we’re going to put a stop to it.”

The Obama administration is currently working to further extend benefits to gays and lesbians employed by the federal government.

Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton entered a gay pride event at the State Department to a standing ovation.

 “We are moving together in the right direction,” said Clinton. “We reaffirm our commitment to protect the rights of all human beings.”

 Gay Couples Expected to Receive More Rights

 The administration plans to announce plans later this week to allow gay workers to take medical leave to care for their same-sex partners under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

 Before now, that benefit has only been reserved for the illness of relatives through blood or marriage.  Under the Family and Medical

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

 Leave Act, only companies with 50 employees or more are required to offer the unpaid time off.   

 Some gay rights activists aren’t satisfied.  They feel the Obama White House is moving too slowly on gay issues.  The gay community is traditionally supportive of democratic candidates and played a significant role in the election of the President.

 As frustration in parts of the gay community continues to grow, the President appears to be working to win back their trust.  His secret weapon: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” 

There is little doubt among members of the gay community that if the President is able to repeal “Don’t Ask,” it would be a major gay rights victory.

 At Tuesday’s event, Mr. Obama told the cheering crowd, “We have never been closer to ending this discriminatory policy, and I’m going to keep on fighting until that bill is on my desk.”

 

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June 24, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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