Thursday, May 07, 2009


White House Preparing Stonewall 40
Proclamation for June

Back in March, I had an idea regarding some proper national attention for the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City that launched the modern gay political movement - ask President Barack Obama to sign a proclamation commemorating this milestone.

My friend Patricia Nell Warren, author of the classic gay novel "The Front Runner" and a civil rights advocate for many years, agreed to draft such a proclamation for me to submit to the White House. Click here to read her terrific draft.

Since then, I've communicated with Brian Bond, an openly gay man in the White House Office of Public Liaison, about whether the LGBT community could depend on the president to build on the fabulous letter he sent last June to the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club of San Francisco.

Today, Brian sent me this fabulous bit of news:
A draft is being prepared as we speak in preparation for June. First one since 2000!
Interesting that Bill Clinton issued a presidential proclamation honoring LGBT pride month in June 2000, his last year in the Oval Office, and Obama is getting ready to put forward a similar proclamation in his first year as president. Nice bit of progress!

Big shout of gratitude to Patricia for penning a wonderful draft proclamation, that got this ball rolling, and to Brian for advocating inside the White House for our president to honor Stonewall 40 next month.

I can't wait to read the Stonewall 40 proclamation from Obama in a few short weeks. And to also say, "Thanks, Mr. President."

7 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Sorry, not that impressed. Obama is all talk on gay rights. This is just another opportunity for him to put up the veneer of action, all while he ducks taking on serious issues like DADT, partnership recognition, etc.

bgates said...

I see he's commemorating the event by Stonewalling on releasing the pictures of Air Force One terrifying New York, Stonewalling on releasing CIA documents on information gained through interrogation....

(Stonewalling on how closely his stance on gay marriage resembles that of Miss California....)

Anonymous said...

Not that impressed by the photo, either, which should have the caption, "White House Practicing Fart Noises"

mark@case150.com said...

your guy obama is celebrating stonewall by firing returning iraq war vet and arabic translator Dan Choi, who recently came out on national tv. fabulous.

Anonymous said...

What a sad post.

Obama will do for the gays whatever is good for Obama, and only what's good for Obama.

And neither Obama or most gays want to put the interests of America first.

Anonymous said...

Proclamations, like talk, are cheap. Will it include credible explanations of why he's abandoned his gay equality-related promises, including "put[ing] the weight of [his] adminstration behind four gay rights bills, including preparing to dismantle DADT the moment he took office?

Will it include apologies to the approximately 100-200 gays who will have been kicked to the curb by DADT by then?

The Obamabots favorite Mrs. AntiChrist, excuse me, Hillary marched in New York's gay pride parade as First Lady. Will we see Michelle do the same? If "BaRock & Chelle" are such superior champions for The Gays shouldn't we see both of them waving rainbow flags in the Big Apple?

Will it include another unnecessary reminder that he opposes marriage equality like their insulting statement on the Iowa decision? After all, what's that pulpit for but to bully us about God being in the mix.

Will it use language from Obama's Special Dictionary where "full equality" means "except for that marriage thingy"?

Will it include best wishes from First Preacher Rick "gay = pedophilia" Warren or First Ex Gay Donnie "gays are trying to kill our children" McClurkin?

Full of air kisses, stiff hetero hugs, and more hollow pie in the sky promises, will its primary purpose be to keep the minority of gays who still believe he's the Messiah denying reality and holding onto their self-delusions a little longer?

Did we learn nothing from building statues prematurely to Bill Clinton?

FRIEND O' BOB said...

Mr. Petrelis,

I agree with most of the sentiments here. Talk is cheap.

I think Obama generally has a problem with LGBT issues and talks out of both sides of his mouth ALOT.

I did a post on his DADT this week:

http://justforbob.blogspot.com/2009/05/dont-ask-dont-tell-update.html

It seems to me, although he says he's committed to ending DADT (in a bizarre hand written note no less) he's unwilling to use the power he has right now (that is an executive order) to end it.

I think it's very easy to laude the triumphs and happenings of the past, but it takes real moxy to actually fight today's fight today.