BY Kerry Eleveld
October 10 2009 11:05 AM ET
In a speech broadcast by CNN and C-Span, President Barack Obama addressed nearly 3,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans Saturday night at the Human Rights Campaign's annual dinner, touting the success of his young administration’s achievements and promising a future where LGBT people live in full equality.
“My commitment to you is unwavering even as we wrestle with these enormous problems,” he said, referring to the ailing economy, two wars, and consuming legislative battles. “Do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach.”
The address at the HRC fund-raiser, where tickets sold for $250 per person, closely mirrored the remarks the president made to LGBT guests at a Stonewall celebration at the White House in June. He ran the litany of equality issues -- hate-crimes protections, employment nondiscrimination, repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, fighting HIV/AIDS -- and made his strongest statement of the night on overturning the military’s gay ban.
“I will end ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ -- that's my commitment to you,” he said, bringing guests to their feet with applause. But the president failed to provide a timeline or any pertinent details for achieving his pledge.
It was a speech long on promises and short on specifics that will most certainly leave the LGBT community divided as to what it means.
HRC president Joe Solmonese introduced Obama, saying, “We have never had a stronger ally in the White House -- never!”
Meanwhile, the LGBT blogosphere quaked with disappointment the moment the president finished.
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