big speeches

Obama Tells Black America the Gays Still Have It Bad

President Obama delivered a lively speech to the NAACP on Thursday in New York, talking this and that about race and DuBois and unemployment and health issues and getting all Bill Cosby on the black community. Oh, and he gave a shout out to discrimination against gays.

“We have to say to our children, `Yes, if you’re African-American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher. Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that someone in a wealthy suburb does not. But that’s not a reason to get bad grades, that’s not a reason to cut class, that’s not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school. No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands and don’t you forget that.”

MORE: Discrimination is felt “by African-American women paid less for doing the same work as colleagues of a different color and gender. By Latinos made to feel unwelcome in their own country. By Muslim Americans viewed with suspicion for simply kneeling down to pray. By our gay brothers and sisters, still taunted, still attacked, still denied their rights.”

We must applaud the president for even bringing The Gays into this discussion; Obama’s predecessor wasn’t man enough for that. But oh, the irony some textbook writer will one day note, about the sitting president’s reminder that gays are “still denied their rights” … and yet he’s standing firm on his position that second-class marriage status is good enough.