President Obama hit the mark perfectly in his speech to the Human Rights Campaign Fund gathering last night. And so did all those who press him for more and faster action. On this, National Coming Out Day, cleverly set on my own birth date, there is much to be done to bring legal equality to gay and lesbian Americans. The Matthew Sheppard Hate Crimes law is one step forward. But as much as legal equality must be pursued with vigor there are still persistent pockets of hatred and ignorance that need the clarity of Obama’s call for tolerance and equality.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton basked in the glow of praise from her Nobel laureate boss on Saturday after spearheading successful efforts to salvage historic accords between longtime bitter foes Turkey and Armenia.
President Barack Obama, who a day earlier was the surprise winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, telephoned Clinton in Switzerland to congratulate her on overcoming a last minute-hitch that threatened to scuttle the Turkish-Armenian deals, a senior State Department official said.
Sixty years is how long Democrats say they’ve been pushing for legislation that provides health care access for all Americans. They’ll have to wait another three if President Barack Obama gets a bill to sign this year.
Under the Democratic bills, federal tax credits to help make health insurance affordable for millions of low- and middle-income households won’t start flowing until 2013 — after the next presidential election. But Medicare cuts and a sizable chunk of the tax increases to pay for the overhaul kick in immediately.
President Barack Obama restated his campaign pledge to allow homosexual men and women to serve openly in the military, but left many in his audience of gay activists wondering when he would make good on the promise.
“I will end ‘don’t ask-don’t tell,'” Obama said Saturday night to a standing ovation from the crowd of about 3,000 at the annual dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay civil rights advocacy group. He offered no timetable or specifics and he acknowledged some may be growing impatient.
“I appreciate that many of you don’t believe progress has come fast enough,” Obama said. “Do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach.”