Michelle Obama’s address to the DNC’s Gay & Lesbian Leadership Council
UPDATE: Michelle Obama’s speech last week was a completely candid and heartfelt declaration of Barack Obama true feelings on the subject of same sex marriage: He’s for it. He is for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and against the California Marriage Amendment which would reverse the ruling of the California Supreme Court of last month and restore the definition of marriage limiting the institution to one man and one woman.
Now this is a clear and significant divide between the two candidates, and not just on the issue of marriage, but also on the role of the courts. If Obama is elected and he leads majorities in the House and Senate to repeal DOMA, eight judges in two states –California and Massachusetts– will have reversed 3,000 years of law and culture in the West.
This is one more reason why it is quite obvious that Barack Obama is the most radical presidential nominee of a major party in American history. I hope the McCain campaign and 527s simply put the facts before voters on this issue and do not allow the scorn of cultural elites who see no downside to such judicial imperialism mandating such radical changes deter them from publicizing the simple fact, attested to by Michelle Obama with perfect clarity, that Obama supports the imposition of same sex marriage from coast-to-coast.
From the DNC’s GLLC dinner in New York, Thursday, 6/26/08:
Five years ago today, the Supreme Court delivered justice with the decision in Lawrence V. Texas. That case stated that same sex couples would never again be persecuted through the use of criminal law. And on Saturday, we recognized the anniversary of the day people stood up at Stonewall and said enough. These anniversaries remind us that no matter who we are or where we come from or what we look like, we are only here because of the brave efforts of those who came before us, that we are all only here because of those who marched and bled and died, from Selma to Stonewall in a pursuit of that more perfect union. That is the promise of this country.
Because Barack is not new to the cause of the LGBT community. It has been a conviction of his career since he was first elected to public office. In his first year in the Illinois State Senate, Barack co-sponsored a bill amending the Illinois Human Rights Act to include protections of LGBT men and women. He worked on that bill for seven years, serving as the chief co-sponsor, and lobbying his colleagues to reject the political expedience of homophobia, and make LGBT equality a priority in our state.
He’s led on gender-based violence with his work on the Illinois gender violence act, successfully reaching across the aisle to put in place the nation’s strongest law, giving the survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence legal remedy against their attacker. He joined his colleagues in fighting to include explicit protections for the LGBT community in that act. He lost that battle, but his efforts brought gender violence in the LGBT community into the political consciousness like never before.
In 2004, after hearing from gay friends and supporters about the hurtful impact of DOMA, Barack went on record during his U.S. Senate race calling for its complete repeal. And as a U.S. Senator, he voted to protect our Constitution from the stain of discrimination by voting against the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Barack’s record is clear. There is so much at stake in this election. The direction of our country hangs in the balance. And we face two clear choices in this race, sort of like what he faced in that church basement. We face the choice between the world as it is, and the world as it should be. And we have to ask ourselves in this election, are we willing to settle for the world as it is? Or are we willing to work for the world as it should be? And despite the extraordinary challenges we face today, we have one candidate who believes that the country is moving in the right direction, despite the inequalities created over eight years. And then there’s Barack Obama, the other guy. Barack believes that we must fight for the world as it should be, a world where together, we work to reverse discriminatory laws like DOMA and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
And that’s why he opposes all divisive and discriminatory constitutional amendments, whether it’s a proposed amendment to the California and Florida constitutions, or the U.S. Constitution, because the world as it is should be one that rejects discrimination of all kinds.
It’s not just about positions that you take. It’s also about the leadership that you provide on these issues. Barack has the courage to talk to skeptical audiences, not just friendly ones. That’s why he told a crowd at a rally in Texas that gays and lesbians deserve equality. And you can imagine in Texas that that crowd got a little quiet. But Barack said, and I quote now, he said, “I’m A Christian, and I praise Jesus every Sunday.” And then the crowd starting cheering. And then he said, “I hear people saying things that I don’t think are very Christian with respect to people who are gay and lesbian.” And you know what? When he said that, the crowd kept cheering. That’s why he told Evangelicals at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church that we need a renewed call to action on HIV and AIDS. That’s why he went to Ebeneezer Baptist Church, and he said that we need to get over homophobia in the African-American community, that if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll embrace our gay brothers and sisters instead of scorning them. And that’s why he stood up in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention, and he told all of America that we refuse to be divided anymore. That’s the choice in this election.
From the fact-checking department, here is the video of Barack Obama in Beaumont, Texas, in March of this year, speaking to supporters at a rally, as cited by Michelle Obama.