HRC Backs Obama for 2012
BY Joe Solmonese
May 26 2011 1:25 PM ET
There can be no doubt that President Barack Obama has improved the lives of LGBT Americans more than any president in history. As with any movement for sweeping social change, our opponents have put up roadblocks along the way, but the president has been an unwavering ally who has delivered on promises both great and small. Much more remains to be done, which is why ensuring that President Obama is able to continue the forward momentum toward equality for another term must be a top priority of our community.
On LGBT issues, President Obama’s signature achievement has been passage of the law to repeal the odious “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that cost our nation thousands of patriotic Americans willing to put their lives on the line. The president stood up before the country in his State of the Union address and promised he would work with Congress to end DADT. And he delivered. Behind the scenes and in public, he worked with advocates to put together all of the pieces — not the least of which was getting senior military leadership to be repeal’s biggest champions.
It was also President Obama who signed the first federal law explicitly protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people — the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. And when the president read the story of Janice Langbehn, who along with her children was shut out of the emergency room as her partner lay dying of a brain aneurysm, he put his administration into action. Mandating that every hospital receiving Medicaid or Medicare funds adopt new visitation policies, the president’s directive means that nearly every hospital in the country is a significant step closer to treating our families as equals.