View From the Hill - A Presidential Invitation

President Barack Obama will have the chance to commit America to the work of providing equality to its LGBT citizens when he addresses activists at a White House reception Monday. Let's hope it doesn't become a missed opportunity.

BY Kerry Eleveld

June 26 2009 11:00 PM ET

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Here I agree with the gentlelady from Wisconsin - one bite at the apple of justice on ENDA could go a long way by virtue of the fact that Congress would quite literally employ equality for LGBT people as a guiding principle going forward.

As divided as community activists have seemed of late, I'm quite certain our community would uniformly embrace that moment.

But let's be clear, it takes all of us to get there - the rabble-rousers outside the DNC fundraiser as well as the folks who attended. While many activists have berated those who went to the dinner, I have a grand appreciation for both. Choosing to skip the dinner was downright gutsy. It was fresh, unexpected and a complete aberration -- especially for those who have the means to frequent these events -- to forego the option.

It was their boycott that amplified the message of activists inside. As protesters chanted outside, Mitchell Gold (of furniture fame) was placing "Crisis," a book of 40 LGBT biographies he edited, directly into the hands of Gov. Tim Kaine and Vice President Joe Biden.

"Wait a minute," Biden said to Gold, "my wife has this book and she's reading it." Gold apparently had given Dr. Jill Biden the same book at the GLSEN event she headlined earlier this month.

Gold, who struggled mightily to come to terms with his own sexuality during adolescence, hopes reading the stories of what today's LGBT leaders went through in their youth will help reframe this debate for politicians.

Tags: Politics

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