Following Monday's lowered expectations from the Human Rights Campaign for President Barack Obama's State of the Union adress tonight, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force executive director Rea Carey shared with Metro Weekly some thoughts about the ways in which Obama could include LGBT Americans even without promoting a specific LGBT initiative.
She wrote, "I'd really like to see him include our lives, our families in the same way he talks of the lives of others. For example, 'Jane Smith and her wife Mary have a business in Springfield, Massachusetts and they have struggled to provide health benefits for their employees in this challenging economy...." Or, 'This country is made up of brave men and women, like Daniel Hernandez of Tucson, Arizona, a Latino, gay student leader who surely saved Congresswoman Giffords' life as he rushed towards danger, not away from it.'"
And, if not?
"If there is no mention of our lives, our families in the fabric of his speech, I will be disappointed. Last year, he talked about repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and he then worked to repeal it in the same year. Words can have power if actions are taken to make them reality," Carey wrote. "And, while we would hope President Obama will commit in his State of the Union address to fighting for LGBT equality, he will ultimately be measured by his actions and the leadership he exerts."
"If the president is truly serious about job creation and boosting the economic well-being of people in this country, he must provide leadership in helping to pass employment protections for LGBT people and ending the unjust federal marriage ban," she wrote. "We will continue to press him on these and other issues that are so critical to LGBT people and our families no matter what he says or doesn't say tonight."
[Photo: Carey (Photo courtesy of NGLTF.)]