A Call to Action for Barack Obama

In the wake of the decision by President-elect Barack Obama to select Reverend Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, Equality California executive director Geoff Kors calls on Obama to live up to his promise of "One America" and prove he is the ardent supporter of LGBT equality he claims to be.

BY Geoff Kors

December 19 2008 12:00 AM ET

BARACK OBAMA RICK WARREN X100 (GETTY IMAGES) | ADVOCATE.COM
 

President-elect
Obama has made it clear he will not rescind the
invitation to Warren. At the same time, he offered one of
his strongest statements in support of LGBT equality.
Our voices are making a difference and we must
continue to be vocal in our outrage.

We must make it
clear that we will no longer support candidates for
office who do not support our full equality -- a position
Equality California has long embraced -- and stop
acquiescing to the notion that supporting our rights
is incompatible with electability. If that were the
case, pro-equality candidates would not have won office in
districts in California that voted overwhelmingly for
Prop. 8.

Candidates for
elected office cannot and should not receive the support
of our community if they don't support full equality for
LGBT people.

Mr. Obama may be
in a difficult position, having made the invitation to
Rick Warren. But he can, and he should, rescind this
invitation. Being president means having to make tough
decisions in difficult times. And certainly the
present administration's unwillingness to admit any errors
or do anything to correct them demonstrates the
destructiveness of such a position.

However, if
President-elect Obama truly believes in our equality and
that his vision of "One America" includes us, and yet
won't withdraw his invitation to Rev. Warren, there is
something he can do to show that he is the ardent
supporter of LGBT equality he claims.

Mr. Obama can and
should immediately:

1. Invite one of
the multitude of amazing LGBT faith leaders to join
Reverend Warren onstage and allow for an additional
invocation, showing the world that many LGBT people
are people of faith and that we are a part of the
faith community.

2. Announce that
he will move forward comprehensive legislation to
prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and
gender identity -- and provide equality in rights and
benefits for same-sex couples -- in his first year in
office. Not piecemeal but the whole kit and caboodle.

We have the most
LGBT-friendly Congress in decades, and there is no time
like the present to end discrimination once and for all.

We can live in a
nation that treats every one of its citizens with
fairness, equality, and dignity. Yes, we can.

Tags: Politics

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