President George W. Bush had refused for a number of years in the past to endorse a U.N. declaration calling for the worldwide decriminalization of gays and lesbians around the world in an efforts to make it a worldwide policy.
Well, we do live in the present and it has been indeed a time for CHANGE where America is witnessing a sea of changes and broad transformative short and long-term policies being implemented by the Obama Administration in a wide range of issues affecting Americans.
Yesterday was one of those days again where the Administration stood tall and draw the line stating that human rights "are the inalienable right of every person, no matter who they are or who they love" acknowledging that discrimination against gays and lesbians around the world is unacceptable and must be fought and stopped.
Obama administration calls on United Nations to support gay rights by Julie Mianecki, Washington Bureau:
"Human rights are the inalienable right of every person, no matter who they are or who they love," Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, U.S. ambassador to the council in Geneva, said in a statement. "The U.S. government is firmly committed to supporting the right of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to lead productive and dignified lives, free from fear and violence."
Last weekend, in a statement with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, President Obama announced the creation of a government position to monitor gay rights in the Western Hemisphere.
Fred Sainz, vice president of communications at the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights advocacy group, said the U.S. was finally stepping into the role it should have held all along as a worldwide leader in promoting equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
"For those who have been denied their equality for decades, change will never come soon enough," Sainz said. "But there should also be no doubt that in the past two years more positive change for and on behalf of gay people has been made than ever before."
I believe this President based on his job performance in the last two years have been a champion for equality for the LGBTQ community in all fronts and his records can speak for it.
When he made DADT happen, this was what Rachel Maddow said:
He continually insisted that this is possible...that it will get done. It in fact was not possible for the President to do this through Executive Action. This is something that had to happen legislatively if it is going to happen in a definitive way. The President didn't waver. He did work on the Senate to make this happen. He insisted that it was possible against a lot of people including me saying it is not possible. This is a difficult promise kept. It is just not a promise kept. It was one that was hard to keep that cost a lot of political capital and a lot of work and this is the President's victory today and his base will reward him for it.
When the President made it clear that the Administration is no longer going to defend the constitutionality of the discriminatory statue, DOMA, this was what Tobias Wolff said:
The President and the Attorney General have concluded that it's a general matter anti-gay discrimination is preemptively unconstitutional that when States or the Government pass laws or adopt policies that disadvantages gay, lesbian and bi-sexual Americans that that action requires heightened or careful constitutional scrutiny because it is presumptively an unconstitutional form of discrimination. It is the first time the US Government has ever placed its credibility and its power behind that position. And, I think it is going to have an impact not just on the DOMA litigation but the civil rights litigation all around the country.
This Administration in the last two years has done a lot to effect change for the LGBTQ community in a number of areas and as Democrats we need to pride ourselves for the things we have achieved that would not have been possible had we elected a Republican President. We have ways to go but these are all a blessing in disguise and worth repeating to ensure that not one soul is mistaken about the commitments of this President to LGBTQ causes:
1) Extended benefitsto same-sex partners of federal employees
2) Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
3) Instructed HHS to require any hospital receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds (virtually all hospitals) to allow LGBT visitation rights.
4) Banned job discrimination based on gender identity throughout the Federal government (the nation's largest employer)
5) Signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act and while more funding is needed per the 2012 proposed budget, an increase of $80 million to domestic and global HIV/AIDS programs committed
6) Extended the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover Gay employees taking unpaid leave to care for their children of same-sex partners
7) Lifted the HIV Entry Ban.
8) Implemented HUD Policies that Would Ban Discrimination Based On Gender Identity
9) Appointed the first ever transgender DNC member
10) Named open transgender appointees (the first President ever to do so)
11) Eliminated the discriminatory Census Bureau policy that kept LGBT relationships from being counted
12) Extended domestic violence protections to LGBT victims
13) Repealedthe Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) Discriminatory law.
14) Declared DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) unconstitutional and stopped Defending In Court
The President acknowledges that there is still much more remains to be done but the effort in support of the U.N. Human Rights Council's work on gay rights worldwide is a huge welcome departure from the policies of eight years of Bush that had avoided to stand for equality at every turn.
As Tobias Wolff pointed out:
"Barack Obama has been President for a little over two years and one months and the amount he has gotten done in that period of time on Gay rights and indeed in a whole range of issue is breathtaking. It has been a monumental series of achievements including for LBGTQ Rights in this country."
~Tobias Wolff, Law Professor at Univ. PA and Obama Campaign Legal Advisor
Spread the word and share President Obama's commitment to equality.