At the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force‘s 25th Annual National Conference on LGBT Equality in Atlanta, Georgia, over 3,000 LGBT activists and allies gathered to discuss this year’s theme: “Creating Change.”
Noted proponent of change, Barack Hussein Obama, sent along a video message that was played before Task Force President Rea Carey kicked things off with her “State of the Movement” address.
“Decades ago, in the dark days when most doctors declared being gay a mental disorder, you organized and rallied to change their minds,” President Obama said. “When thousands suffered in the shadows during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, you cast a bright light on their pain. And today, you’re helping to lead the way to a future where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, no matter who they love or where they come from.”
Though he warned that the road to “perfecting our union” will be long and hard, he was “more confident than ever that we will reach a better future as long as Americans like you keep reaching for justice — and all of us keep marching together.”
While his words are encouraging, The New York Times notes they are just that: words. In the editorial, “Beyond Selma-to-Stonewall“, the Times argues that the Prez needs to turn his words into action, first and foremost by having his solicitor general file a brief in the Proposition 8 case:
A strong filing by the Justice Department, forthrightly declaring that denying the freedom to marry violates the Constitution, would put the full weight of the federal government on the side of justice and could influence the shape of the ruling.
For the administration to be missing in action in this showdown risks conveying a message to the justices that it lacks confidence in the constitutional claims for ending gay people’s exclusion from marriage or that it believes Americans are not ready for a high court ruling making marriage equality the law of the land….
Mr. Obama’s Inaugural Address appeared to reflect a deepened understanding that the right to marry the person of one’s choice is a fundamental right “under the law.” He needs to make sure his solicitor general conveys that sound legal view loud and clear in the Proposition 8 case.
What do you think? Has the time come for Obama to put some action behind his words?
(h/t: Think Progress)