June 30th, 2009
09:04 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama holds gay pride reception, vows to overturn 'unjust laws'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/29/obama.gay.pride/art.obama.gays.gi.jpg caption="President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama entertain Monday in the White House's East Room."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama honored Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month with a White House reception Monday where he likened the struggle for gay rights with the struggle of African-Americans for civil rights.

With first lady Michelle Obama at his side, the president told the cheering crowd filling the East Room that his administration would work to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gays in the military.

"I know that many in this room don't believe that progress has come fast enough, and I understand that," Obama said. "It's not for me to tell you to be patient any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African-Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half-century ago."

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soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. DT

    Good, give them whatever so they can shut up...Im tired of hearing about all this there are much more important things goin on in the world these days...

    June 30, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. Alex

    It seems that "equal treatment under law" still comes with an asterisk these days. This president should understand the sting of discrimination and should realize when he is essentially endorsing "separate but equal" policies.

    June 30, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. Jay

    This is quite disturbing. DOMA was passed with overwhelming support. Plus, comparing gay rights to civil rights is such an insult and trivialization to the civil rights movement. It is not even remotely an equal analogy. Here's hoping Obama is a one term president like Carter.

    June 30, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. AMR

    I just hope he's not trying to change too many things to fast, all for the sake of the party line. I personally advocate eliminating the injustice of the discriminatory uber-conservative anti-gay legislation in place, but it can't just be thrown away like that. It has to be part of a gradual cultural shift away from the antiquated politics of hatred and ignorance, toward a more informed and understanding future. If it happens too fast, it'll just cause social turmoil and play right into the hands of those for whom ignorant fear is a resource, by which they manipulate the populace. In short, too much too fast will only empower the enemies of change and progress.

    June 30, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  5. a citizen

    Hey I'm a gay american, I'm pleased with the president so far! Patience is what neeeds to be practiced. There are too many pressing issues right now that need to be addressed, he has a four year term and with only six months into the term he is making strides, with all the wars, recession, and pressing issues, that need immediate attention judge him for his whole term,we are truly an impatient people it took years, decade to achieve civil rights, but I believe with this president these reforms will move faster!

    June 30, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  6. S Callahan

    President Obama you have this one wrong...you MUST honor marriage between a man and a woman..it is God's directive. Why must you test him?
    As for the military, I don't think it's harmful to have those who chose to lead this lifestyle choice in the military as long as it's not threatening to an individuals right to disagree with it. I always think of Saul when I think of the political issue of homosexuality...Saul never thought he was wrong in cheating people out of their money..but he suffered blindness and a bold conviction by the Lord before he 'opened' his eyes and saw the truth. God loves us all...that is why he wants us to live according to his plan which he created us from.

    June 30, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. Dramafied

    Here stands a President for and by the people.

    June 30, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Steve

    "Unjust Laws??"

    First, I was in the military, US Navy. How many of you have used a common shower every day, big enough for 15 – 20 people? How many of you have ever had to sit on a toilet in a row of 10, with no stall, no walls, and no doors? This is stuff military people do EVERY DAY. In the military, there also has to be a feeling of mutual trust, because at any time, your life may depend on the guy next to you. I've been there, and I believe gays have no place in the military. And its not "don't ask, don't tell." Believe me, its obvious, and its known.

    June 30, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. Rob in austin

    I hear what my fellow gay communities are saying and feel. I'm also a member of that community which for some reason is having patience with the President in this process. The country is facing issues that do have precedence and affect everyone. At the same time pushing bills or appeals or whatever through congress without thinking might actually be more harmful. Our issues are extremely set in the social and political mist of this country. In my opinion, the right set up needs to be done so that when these issues are brought before congress, they are not shot down immediately and end up setting us back instead of forward. I'm willing to wait out the first 2yrs and see what happens in his last 2yrs of the term. That will be when his campaign slogans that are unfulfilled will come out.

    June 30, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. Bob in Pa

    Excuse me Mr Ob., they are "just". They were enacted by our elected officials just as any law is supposed to be.

    June 30, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. Sherry in NJ

    I hate to complain, that's not my style but Obama is really shady. I liked him at first when he was giving speeches and everything but so far since he became president it has been nothing but smoke and mirrors and the economy keeps going down into the tank. Seeing him yucking it up and partying with a bunch of perverts doesn't make me feel any better either.

    June 30, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. Allan Grigg

    Are they going to put all the US men in the green Zone? Which would make it like fish in a barrel. All US in one area is dangerous!!!

    June 30, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. Broke in CA

    Blah, Blah, Blah just isn't good enough Mr. Obama. It's support Gay marriage or you are toast, they want nothing less!!

    June 30, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. TCM

    you go, boyeeee.....cowering down to the deviant minority....

    Obama's going to find out that all this pandering is creating a 1 and done...outta him...

    June 30, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. Obama Victim

    these people are a national embarassment..............and how many days have those girls been in North Korea now??

    June 30, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. Carl Benefield

    Obama sucks up to everybody except conservative Americans who are the people who made our country great.

    June 30, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. Jim

    How can you compare Gay rights to African American civil right, they are not even remotely the same. African American's were slaves, how can you even compare the two. They were dragged from cars, beaten, told to ride in the back of the bus. How can you compare, and BTW I am white. Mr. Obahma, I voted for you, but every day you disappoint me more.

    June 30, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. jeff

    So was Obama lying during the campaign when he said marriage is between a man and a woman, or is he lying now???? Inquiring minds want to know.

    June 30, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. seebofubar

    Just the sight of this egotistical, good for nothing, sorry excuse for a president makes me sick. God save the childern because this jerk is stealing their future!! WHAT HAVE WE DONE AMERICA...IMPEACH THIS GUY NOW !!!

    June 30, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. white female

    What a smart Man, If everyone would just settle down for a few mins. we will see what a great job this President will do for all-mankind.
    Good job Mr President keep up the good work, it's only just began.
    And May God keep blessing, and keep you and your family and Admin Safe.
    Go get her done Mr. President.

    June 30, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. wes

    To compare the civil rights struggles of African Americans to that of gays is an insult to African Americans all over this country.

    June 30, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. RH

    It's not equal rights the gays want, it's special consideration they feel is owed to them as compensation for past presecution. They're out for retribution, which is why they're waging a war of semantics against traditional heterosexual terminology. If they were really after equality, they'd be completely content with state recognition of their relationships and the same economic benefits afforded to heterosexual spouses.

    June 30, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. David

    Considering he's not really black, what does he know about that struggle...

    June 30, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Tom in Delaware

    Like all things Obama, what he says and what he does are always two very different things.

    June 30, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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