Monday, November 2, 2009

What Obama Does Right

I want him to have a clearer understanding of what's needed in education. I want him to get out of the wars our country is waging in Iraq and Afghanistan. I want him to stop foreclosures instead handing billions (or was it more?) to banks. He says we need to push him, and I will try to do that.

Meanwhile, I never would have imagined this speech, given at a Human Rights Campaign event. He talks about having met with Matthew Shepard's mom in the Oval Office. He talks about honoring same-sex relationships equally with those between a man and a woman. (Does that mean he will support same-sex marriage, or will he try to find some other, lesser, way to honor our relationships? He is definitely avoiding the word 'marriage'.)

"We are ending the discriminatory ban on entering the U.S. based on HIV status."

"I've required all agencies in the federal government to extend as many federal benefits as possible to lgbt families as the current law allows."

"...That's why it's so important that you continue to speak out, that you continue to set an example, that you continue to pressure leaders, including me, to make the case all across America."

The friend who passed this on to me said it made her cry. Through most of it, I wasn't quite that moved. But 21 minutes in, he told the story of Jeanne Manford, the mom of a gay man, who founded PFLAG. His one funny moment was imitating the policeman who had called her in the middle of the night, in the 60's, to tell her her son had been arrested. He said, "...and you know, he's homosexual." (Obama drawled this out a bit, so cutely.) She said, "Yes, I know. Why are you bothering him?" PFLAG always moves me to tears. Hearing President Obama talk about them is a special moment.

It is such a relief to have an intelligent, well-spoken president. I can only hope his position on other issues will get as close as this to what we need.

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