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Letters to President-elect Obama: Paris Barclay

Letters to President-elect Obama: Paris Barclay

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Open letters from 26 gay men and lesbians.

Dear President-Elect Obama:

When my husband and I met you over four years ago, in a private home in Los Angeles, we knew this day would come. So did Norman Lear, our host, who introduced you as a man who could be "a future president of the United States." You were just beginning your race for the Senate, but already in abundant display were the skills that brought you to this historic mountaintop - or should I say precipice? All the charisma, already in place. The urgent, passionate pleas to heal divisions and bring the country together -- refined and convincing. The emotional connection, especially on the subject of changing a country that tolerates and even supports injustice for many of its citizens -- powerful and refreshing.

Your gift, your ability to move with the force of your words, has remained the powerful tool that carried you to the White House. I urge you now to use those unique God-given skills to awaken what's best in our hearts and minds, and turn us towards action.

I urge you to be bold in your selection of Supreme Court justices, putting forward experienced (and youthful!) jurists with frankly liberal records that would balance the extreme right men put forward by Bush II. I urge you to turn your voice and your influence to reach out to the least powerful among us -- particularly the impoverished who so desperately depend on our government, and especially the minorities who continue to be debilitated (if not decimated) by HIV/AIDS. And I urge you to persuade the African-Americans who supported you so disproportionately to see the struggle for lesbian and gay equality as the equivalent of the civil rights movement that elevated you to previously unimaginable heights. Yes, that means I urge you to reconsider your reluctance to support marriage equality.

There's much more I'd like to see you do -- rebuild this shattered economy, make saving our environment a real priority, shine a bright beam on the arts and education like John F. Kennedy did. But whatever you choose to do, I urge you to make decisions that will make us as proud as a nation as we were in the moment when you were projected the winner in this protracted, painful race.

I knew this day would come, but now that it's here, I'm counting on you to deliver on the promise you embody. And I don't believe you'll let us down.

Paris BarclayExecutive Producer/Director HBO's In Treatment

More Letters to the President-elect:Tammy Baldwin, Democratic member of Congress from Wisconsin

Daniel Tammet, author of Born on a Blue Day

Evan Wolfson, Executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry

Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign

Melissa Etheridge, singer-songwriter

Michelangelo Signorile, radio host and author of Queer in America

Tammy Bruce, radio talk-show host and author of The New American Revolution

Kenji Yoshino, professor at New York University School of Law and the author of Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights

Vestal McIntyre, author of You Are Not the One and the forthcoming Lake Overturn

Jarrett Lucas, codirector of the 2008 Soulface Q Equality Ride

Michael Lowenthal, author of Charity Girl and Avoidance

Suzanne Westenhoefer, comedian and star of the documentary A Bottom on Top

Jim Buzinski, CEO and cofounder of Outsports.com

Perez Hilton, blogger, radio host, and television personality

Carole Midgen, former California state senator

Pam Spaulding, Durham, N.C.-based blogger

Lorri L. Jean, CEO, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center

Jeffrey Prang, Mayor of West Hollywood

Jorge Valencia, Executive director and CEO of Point Foundation

Mark Leno, California assemblyman

The Reverend Doctor Troy D. Perry, founder and moderator emeritus, Metropolitan Community Churches\

Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality

Donna Rose, transgender activist

Peter Tatchell, LGBT human rights campaigner and spokesman for OutRage!

Rachel B. Tiven, Executive Director, Immigration Equality

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