My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.
[For the full article, see here.]
The words sound good, and that's what LGBT people and allies want to hear, but mere empty words are cynical at best and cruel at worst!
With a mere memo, Obama could do away with DADT right now!
"Equality" is meaningless unless there is true equality, which means marriage rights! Obama could now say he wants to do away with DOMA, but he's not going to do that because he's gone on record as being against marriage rights for Gay people.
"Marriage" rights are crucial, as with that recognition it is stated that same-sex love is equivalent to heterosexual love, and also virtually all other civil rights will likely follow that recognition.
As long as manufactured "civil unions" or "domestic partnerships" are used as seeming synonyms or substitutes for "marriage" of Gay couples, there will still be discrimination against same-sex couples and Gay people because their relationships will still be considered to be of a different, inferior, order than are heterosexual relationships.
So, I'm not all that excited by Obama's rhetoric unless he backs up that rhetoric by affirming full and equal civil rights for LGBT people, and he could institute those rights right now if he wanted to do so by merely doing away with DADT and by urging Congress to do away with DOMA. But it's my opinion that he really doesn't want to do so.
But it's a great photo op, and keeps the liberals in his camp, and that's all that seemingly really matters to him!