October 10, 2009

President Obama vows to sign the hate crimes bill during his speech at the Human Rights Campaign's annual dinner. While this and other parts of his speech were not enough to satisfy the folks over at AmericaBlog, it is at least a step in the right direction, and a far cry from the likes of Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert and his disgusting rant demonizing the gay community on the House floor this past week.

President Obama also vowed to "repeal both Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act" and stood by his LGBT Nominees under attack from the right as reported by Think Progress.

President Obama: So I know you want me working on jobs and the economy and all the other issues that we’re dealing with, but my commitment to you is unwavering even as we wrestle with these enormous problems. And while progress may be taking longer than you’d like as a result of all that we face, and that’s the truth, do not doubt the direction that we are heading and the destination we will reach.

My expectation is that when you look back on these years you will see a time when we put a stop to discrimination against gays and lesbians, whether in the office or on the battlefield.

You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman.

You will see a nation that’s valuing and cherishing these families as we build a more perfect union—a union in which gay Americans are an important part. I am committed to these goals and my administration will continue fighting to achieve them.

And there’s no more poignant or painful reminder of how important it is that we do so than the loss experienced by Dennis and Judy Shepard whose son Matthew was stolen in a terrible act of violence eleven years ago.

In May I met with Judy who is here tonight with her husband. I met her in the Oval Office and I promised her that we were going to pass an inclusive hate crimes bill—a bill named for her son. This struggle has been long. Time and again we faced opposition. Time and again the measure was defeated or delayed, but the Shepards never gave up.

They turned tragedy into an unshakable commitment. Countless activists and organizers never gave up. You held vigils. You spoke out year after year, Congress after Congress. The House passed the bill again this week and I can announce that after more than a decade this bill is set to pass and I will sign it into law.

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