By Brody Levesque | WASHINGTON -- The campaign to reelect President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden rolled out a new campaign effort Wednesday targeting LGBTQ American voters. Officially known as 'Obama Pride,' the effort has been joined by Hollywood progressives as well as some noted LGBTQ activists including the nephew of slain San Francisco Supervisor and gay rights icon Harvey Milk, Stuart Milk, who wrote:
As my uncle Harvey would say, I'm here to recruit you.My uncle was one of the first openly gay politicians in the U.S.—and yesterday people across the country celebrated Harvey Milk Day to remember his life and legacy.
I know Harvey would be fighting just as hard today to advance the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
[...] President Obama is the first sitting president to support marriage equality. He repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," expanded the federal hate crimes law to protect LGBT people, and helped make sure that same-sex couples could have visitation and medical decision-making rights in hospitals.
Mitt Romney, his likely opponent, supports a federal marriage amendment that would outlaw same-sex marriages, even in states where they are legal—and if it passes, it would be the first time in our country's history that the Constitution is amended to discriminate and deny rights to Americans. Romney even stands to the right of President Bush in opposing civil unions for same-sex couples.
It's a pretty stark choice—and we can't sit this one out. We've got to be out there talking to voters and sharing our stories to encourage people to vote for the progress they want to see.
The campaign also released a video [Below] narrated by Glee star Jane Lynch about LGBT rights in America. The video features a candid interview with the president who speaks about the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, why he supports marriage equality, and what's at stake for the LGBT community in this coming election.
In a question and answer session at Wednesday's official launch in Washington, Human Rights Campaign president, Joe Solmonese- who co-chairs the campaign for the president's re-election- told Metroweekly magazine's political director Chris Geidner:
"One of the things I've really been inspired by the president and the administration -- and this goes back to the days that we met with them in the transition offices before we were in the White House, and quite frankly, it goes back to during the campaign in the general election -- one of the things that was always clear to me, and it came from the president, was that the agenda was really a collective conversation between the president and the administration, us as a community and our allies on Capitol Hill in the House and the Senate," he said.
"And that collective agreement and collective sense of where we were had everything to do with why we moved hate crimes first, we moved 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' second. So, I think that collective understanding of where we're going is how we're really going to shape the agenda for the next administration.
"Obviously, we have landmark issues that we need to continue to address, continue to move on, like the repeal of DOMA, like the passage of a fully inclusive ENDA.
"So, that's the kind of ongoing conversation that we'll have. I think one of the things that we all recognize, and I think the president recognizes this, and we saw this during the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' is that the makeup of Congress is going to have a lot to do with that.
And that is why those fights and the fight that we do everything we can to take back an LGBT-friendly House of Representatives are going to have a lot to do with how that agenda gets shaped. And hold what we have in the Senate, and hopefully add to those numbers."
Solmonese, who is due to leave HRC in June will be succeeded by Chad Griffin, who is slated to take-over at the nation's largest LGBT political organization June 12.
The Obama campaign's national LGBT vote director, Jamie Citron, also announced that the campaign had also launched an LGBT-specific campaign page. [Here]