President Obama will keynote the Human Rights Campaign's annual dinner in Washington, D.C., next month, the organization announced Wednesday.
"On the heels of the end to 'don't ask, don't tell,' we look forward to celebrating our victories and redoubling our efforts for the fights that remain ahead," HRC president Joe Solmonese, who will leave his position in March, said in a statement.
The appearance at the event will be Obama's second: In 2009, he pledged to end DADT in his speech during the same weekend as the National Equality
March (see video of his remarks below). As with his 2009 keynote and a June appearance at an LGBT Democratic National Committee fundraiser one day prior to passage of the New York marriage bill, the president is likely to face pressure from advocates to come out in favor of full marriage equality -- and specifically denounce antigay ballot measures brewing in Minnesota and North Carolina, as he did with California's Proposition 8.
"The President has spoken out in opposition to Proposition 8 because it is divisive and discriminatory. He will continue to promote equality for LGBT Americans," a White House spokesperson said in August 2010 after a federal judge struck down the ballot measure as unconstitutional (Obama had spoken out in opposition to Prop. 8 on the campaign trail in 2008).
Earlier this month, White House spokesman Shin Inouye said, "While the President does not weigh in on every single action taken by legislative bodies in our country, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples. The President believes strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away."
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today announced that President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address at the organization's 15th Annual National Dinner on Saturday, October 1, 2011 in Washington, D.C. President Obama previously addressed the event in 2009.
"We are honored to share this night with President Obama who has a tremendous record of accomplishment for LGBT people," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "On the heels of the end to 'don't ask, don't tell,' we look forward to celebrating our victories and redoubling our efforts for the fights that remain ahead."
The event, which is expected to draw nearly 3,000 attendees, will be the evening of Saturday, October 1st at the Washington Convention Center.