Saturday, October 10, 2009

Inside the HRC dinner - Obama's speech

I gotta hit the sack for the march tomorrow, so this will be quick and dirty. To the thousands of people inside the HRC national dinner tonight here in D.C., Obama was a rock star. There was no heckling, no booing, no "you lie" -- just raucous cheering over and over again.
So what did Obama do that was amazing? He gave a kick-ass speech that fully embraced GLBT Americans and every kind of equality and equal protection we seek. And he said he will repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. And the speech was carried live on CNN. What didn't he do? He didn't provide any kind of timeline for any of his promises or hopes.
A couple of quotes from the president:

* "I'm working with the Pentagon, its leadership and the members of the House and the Senate on ending this policy. ... I will end Don't Ask, Don't Tell. That's my commitment to you."

* "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 we are headed and the destination we will reach. My expectation is that when you look back on these years, you will see a time in which 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 as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman."

There was a lot more like that second quote as well. It was good stuff. I haven't had a chance to see what any other journalist or blogger has said, so I'm sailing on my own here. But I can guess that there was widespread annoyance that he failed to say when any of this good stuff is going to go down.
For reasons unknown, the cast of the TV show Glee was on hand.
HRC President Joe Solmonese also got a rock-star reception.
A couple of snaps from my walk to and from the convention center where the dinner took place.
I've now had a chance to peek around the Web. Towleroad. Phillip Minton. Pam's House Blend. Andrew Sullivan. Sullivan again. Sullivan yet again.
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