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In a powerful editorial with a cover to match, The Advocate, one of the nation's preeminent LGBT publications, has endorsed the reelection of Barack Obama and blasted Mitt Romney. The editorial marks the first time the editors say the publication has endorsed a presidential candidate in decades:
Barack Obama is a leader of undeniable accomplishment, vision, and integrity on LGBT rights. His opponent Mitt Romney betrays equality on numerous issues and aligns himself with a faction of the Republican Party that does not include equality among its declared ideals. [...]

By saying aloud, “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” in a televised interview on ABC, he has sparked conversation domestically and internationally. While he is our president at home, globally he’s an icon, a symbol of the promise of America, of the promise of equality. Obama may be the most prominent man on the planet ever, given the pervasiveness of modern media and his anomalous and historic nature as the first black American president; he is surely the single most recognizable head of state on the globe. By virtue of his unique position, his endorsement of marriage equality is not merely rhetoric. His words constitute action. On the very face of it, his statement is enormous, and has the power to move millions in a way that a statement from no other person could have. [...]

He has approached many of our challenges with intellect and foresight, though the long game was not often apparent to many, including this publication when we argued for a quicker pace for change. Obama deftly ended the military’s 17-year-long “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, allowing enough military leaders to reject the policy before pushing for repeal so that there was little room for Republican opposition. He has directed the Justice Department to not defend aspects of the extraordinarily discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, calling it unconstitutional and urging its repeal. Now five federal judges have declared parts of DOMA unconstitutional.

And in every speech, at every opportunity, Obama describes LGBTs as his brothers and sisters, full members of our society. In college commencement addresses, in his address to the NAACP, in an “It Gets Better” video message to teenagers, at the National Prayer Breakfast, he has called for respect, dignity, and equality for LGBT people. At an address to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2011 the president said, “No country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere.”

If we assume that words mean nothing, then we’ve forgotten the lesson of the damage done by a president who largely refused to utter the term AIDS during his administration, and how desperately we ached for him to acknowledge the humanity of those dying of the disease. [...]

We cannot expect any president to be the balm for all our ills, but Obama has demonstrated through word and deed that he is capable of understanding and tackling the issues, with foresight and intellect, that affect a minority population, particularly the last group of people it’s still legally permissible to deny rights to in the United States.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 11:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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