Obama hosts LGBT reception at White House

Wed. June 23, 2010 10:06 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

Washington, D.C. - Cheers, laughter and applause greeted President Obama as he talked about gay rights with an agreeable crowd during a White House reception in honor of LGBT Pride Month.

"We've got a lot of hard work that we still have to do, but we can already point to extraordinary progress that we've made over the past year on behalf of Americans who are gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender," said President Obama.

The crowd was loaded with prominent gays and lesbians, although two-- Reps. Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis-- had to leave early.

"I know they had to leave because they had votes, but you guys obviously don't have just fiercer warriors on your behalf than a couple of our openly gay and lesbian members of Congress," said President Obama. "They are openly terrific."

The President ran through a long list of new policies he's implemented on behalf of the gay community, including the Matthew Shepard Act, equal visitation rights for gay and lesbian partners at hospitals, and benefits for same-sex partners of federal employees.

He also reiterated his promise to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

"We know that forcing gay and lesbian soldiers to live a lie or to leave the military, that doesn't contribute to our security -- it harms our security," he said.

This is the second time President Obama held an event in honor of the LGBT at the White House. Last year, he had a reception marking the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.