May 24, 2012
By Jacob Combs
If Barack Obama’s marriage equality announcement earlier this month came as a surprise, what was perhaps even more unexpected was how much attention the Obama campaign gave to publicizing the president’s new beliefs, even going so far as to change the front page of the campaign’s website to reflect Obama’s position.
It seems that the Obama campaign has no plan of slowing down on the LGBT front, with a new LGBT outreach initiative that launched yesterday. On a call with reporters, when HRC President Joe Solmonese, one of the co-chairs of Obama’s reelection campaign, was asked by MetroWeekly what a second Obama term would look like for LGBT equality, he responded broadly, but specifically touched upon the repeal of DOMA and the passage of a “fully inclusive” Employment Non-Discrimination Act as “landmark issues that we need to continue to address.” He also stressed the importance of the makeup of Congress to such efforts, and discussed Democratic plans to retake the House of Representatives and make it a more LGBT-friendly body.
As part of its outreach effort, the Obama campaign has devoted a section of its website to LGBT issues specifically, highlighting the President’s past accomplishments and connecting supporters to LGBT events throughout the country. The White House also recently sent out invitations to this year’s LGBT Pride Month Reception, which will be held on June 15.
Also yesterday, the Obama reelection campaign released a video narrated by Jane Lynch that features a new interview with the President about his policies during the last four years and his plans for the next four. In the video, Obama says:
“Not only to preserve the gains that we’ve made over the last three years, but to make sure that any discrimination is eliminated, you’re going to need a strong advocate in the White House. I am that strong advocate. We’re going to keep on making sure that the rights of same-sex couples are expanded. It’s not just a matter of head, it’s a matter of heart. It’s who I am. It’s what I care about.”
It’s rather remarkable to see a sitting President reach out to our community in this way, and it really does show what’s at stake for LGBT Americans in this election.