Saturday, 2 June 2007

US Presidential Hopeful Barack Obama Supports Gay Rights in his Statement on Pride Month

A type of statement you will not hear from presidential candidates in Armenia

Background info on Pride Month in the US: June was officially named gay Pride Month in the year 2000 by former US President Bill Clinton. June was chosen to honor the Stonewall riots in 1969. The Stonewall riots were the beginning of the gay rights movement in the United States with its world-wide influence. There was a police raid at the Stonewall Inn bar in Manhattan. The police raided the bar at the Stonewall Inn for only one reason, it was a gay bar. People started rioting after the horrific event and the start of the gay rights movement was born.

U.S. Senator and presidential hopeful Barack Obama today released the following statement to commemorate Pride Month:

"Pride Month is a reminder that while we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do."

"Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."

"It's time to turn the page on the bitterness and bigotry that fill so much of today's LGBT rights debate. The rights of all Americans should be protected - whether it's at work or anyplace else. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" needs to be repealed because patriotism and a sense of duty should be the key tests for military service, not sexual orientation. Civil unions should give gay couples full rights. And those who commit hate crimes should be punished no matter whether those crimes are committed on account of race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation."

"This Pride Month, let's make our founding promise of equality a reality for every American."

A rare example of dignified politics - bravo, Obama!

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