LGBT Americans for Obama Los Angeles was launched on May 22 at the home of Eric C. Bauman, who is the Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party and Chair to the L.A. County Democratic Committee and his partner Michael Andraychack. In attendance were LGBT community leaders, elected and appointed officials, business leaders, community advocates and members of the media. The LA launch of Obama Pride is part of a national effort to highlight President Obama’s accomplishments in policy for the LGBT community.
According to Mr. Bauman, the Obama Campaign is launching Obama Pride because LGBT Americans have seen more progress under President Obama than ever before. Obama Pride: LGBT Americans for Obama gives LGBT supporters resources and effective ways to support President Obama in their communities. The LA launch at Bauman’s and Anraaychack’s home consisted of a coffee-style discussion where attendees spoke about the numerous contributions to the betterment of the LGBT community which the President has achieved and stood for. Front and center was the President’s recent national announcement in support of Gay Marriage. There was overwhelming appreciation and acknowledgement that the President’s support on this topic is truly an unprecedented catalyst for rapid movement forward in equal rights.
The group was quick to point out that for generations Americans have worked continuously to ensure that everyone has access to good opportunities and is treated fairly under the law. They stated that President Obama is committed to continuing that tradition and that is why he has made it a priority to advance equality for all Americans. It was highlighted that among the many ways the President has accomplished this are: He repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, so Americans serving in the military don’t have to hide who they are, especially as they make sacrifices to protect us. He signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, the first federal civil rights law to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” He believes we cannot tolerate bullying or hate crimes. The President and the First Lady hosted the first White House Conference on Bullying Prevention. The President has appointed more openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to executive-branch positions than any of his predecessors combined. He has affirmed his personal support for marriage equality and believes that it’s wrong to prevent couples in loving, committed relationships who want to marry from doing so.
The discussions were also quick to focus on the fact that Mitt Romney, the likely Republican Party Presidential Nominee doesn’t believe in equality for all Americans. It was universally agreed that a Romney presidency would threaten the progress our community has made in recent years. It was noted that earlier this month, Mitt Romney doubled-down on his opposition to both same-sex marriage and civil unions, and he’s pledged to write discrimination into the Constitution with an amendment to stop committed gay and lesbian couples from marrying. This would be the first time we amended the Constitution to discriminate and deny Americans equal rights. To be sure, the group highlighted that Romney’s opposition to civil unions puts him to the right of even President Bush. Many were also quick to point out that Romney opposed repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and said it would be a “social experiment.”
The group unanimously praised President Barack Obama for his commitment to lasting and comprehensive change and equality for LGBT Americans. Obama Pride: LGBT Americans for Obama is launching with trainings, planning sessions, phone banks and house parties in a number of states. For more information and to get involved, please visit: www.barackobama.com/lgbt.
By Al Ballesteros