Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-02-13
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Looking at presidential pride proclamations
by Dana Rudolph, Keen News Service

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

President Barack Obama has, for the second time, issued a proclamation in honor of Pride Month. Only one other president—Bill Clinton—has ever done so. A comparison of their proclamations suggests there's been some progress in LGBT rights between the two administrations, but also highlights areas of little or no change.

Clinton issued the first "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month" proclamation in 1999, the third year of his second term, and another in 2000. President George W. Bush issued no Pride proclamations, making Obama the first president to issue a Pride proclamation in the first year of his presidency. Obama was also the first to include bisexual and transgender people, and proclaim "LGBT Pride Month."

Clinton's first proclamation noted that gay and lesbian Americans were serving "openly and proudly" in the federal government. In his second, he specified that "more openly gay and lesbian individuals serve in senior posts throughout the Federal Government than during any other Administration."

In 2009, Obama went further, stating that he was "the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration."

Reaction from the LGBT community to Obama's first proclamation was lukewarm, however. Other than the federal appointments, the only other accomplishment he mentioned was his support of a United Nations effort to decriminalize homosexuality around the world.

In other areas, Obama's latest proclamation reflects modest changes since the Clinton era.

Clinton, writing after six years in office, noted in his first proclamation that his administration had banned sexual orientation-based discrimination in the federal civilian work force and in the granting of security clearances.

Obama's 2010 proclamation speaks not of non-discrimination policies for federal employees but of the need for equal benefits. ( Obama has added gender identity to the discrimination protections for federal employees, but did not mention that in either of his Pride proclamations. ) In June 2009, Obama directed federal agencies to determine what benefits they could offer to same-sex partners of federal employees under existing law. The Office of Personnel Management has submitted a report to the president on the findings, but the administration has not made it public.

Obama's 2010 proclamation also spoke of his memorandum requesting an end to discrimination against LGBT people in hospital visitation policies and of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's ( HUD's ) proposals to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in core housing programs. Neither the hospital nor HUD rules have gone into effect yet, however—they are being written and should soon be available for public comment.

Clinton had in both proclamations stressed the need to pass the Hate Crimes Prevention Act which, at the time, included sexual orientation but not gender identity. Obama, in his 2009 proclamation, reiterated the need for strengthened hate-crimes laws and, by 2010, was able to say he had signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, inclusive of crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

On some issues, however, the proclamations show minimal to nonexistent change.

Both of Clinton's proclamations called for passage of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act ( ENDA, ) which, at the time, included sexual orientation but not gender identity. Obama's proclamations have repeated the call to end employment discrimination. An employment nondiscrimination bill inclusive of both sexual orientation and gender identity is pending in Congress, but its prospects are uncertain.

Clinton's 1999 proclamation also devoted an entire paragraph to the need to protect students from discrimination and harassment, and it praised the guidance issued by the Department of Education to explain federal prohibitions against sexual harassment based on sexual orientation.

In 2009 and 2010, however, Obama is still reiterating the need to provide LGBT youth with safe environment in which to learn, but he mentioned it as one item in a list of other to-dos and included no relevant accomplishments in that area.

A few issues in Obama's proclamations were nowhere to be found in Clinton's.

Clinton, who in 1996 had signed the Defense of Marriage Act ( DOMA ) , did not mention marriage equality or federal relationship recognition. Obama, however, spoke in his first proclamation of the need to enact civil unions and in his second of the need to repeal DOMA.

Clinton's proclamations also overlooked the military's ban on gay and lesbian servicemembers, which he had promised to repeal, only to settle on the compromise later known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Obama has, in both his proclamations, stated his support for repealing the ban. His 2010 proclamation came the day after the U.S. House and the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to overturn the ban, pending the outcome of a Department of Defense implementation study.

Clinton's proclamations did not speak of HIV/AIDS, even though he had made proclamations in honor of World AIDS Day since his first year in office and had increased funding for AIDS research, among other measures to combat the disease.

Obama, in his 2009 Pride proclamation, did mention the ongoing need to fight HIV/AIDS. In 2010, he touted the lifting of the immigration ban on persons with HIV/AIDS and his renewal of the Ryan White CARE Act, the largest federally funded AIDS program.

Clinton also made no mention of adoption rights for LGBT people, whereas Obama in both proclamations said we must work to ensure such rights. In 2010, he made a point of recognizing LGBT mothers and fathers.

In Clinton's 1999 proclamation, he recalled the beginnings of the gay and lesbian civil rights movement at the Stonewall Inn in New York, noting that it had just been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Stonewall was again mentioned in his 2000 proclamation and in Obama's 2009 one, on the 40th anniversary of the event. In 2010, however, Obama did not mention Stonewall, but placed Pride Month in the context of the "great, unfinished story" of equality for all Americans.

©2010 Keen News Service

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Afterglow opening at Pride Arts Center March 27 2019-02-09
Pride Films and Plays offers Buyer & Cellar, comedy of life in Streisand's basement 2019-02-09
WORLD Polish party, Brazil crime, Mumbai Pride 2019-02-06
All That He Was benefit concert March 11 at Pride Arts Center 2019-01-31
Times Square site of WorldPride Closing Ceremony, Melissa Etheridge to perform 2019-01-15
Family's Pride flag stolen; neighbors rally 2019-01-02
DINING Twain brunch, Little Goat, December Pride event 2018-12-11
'We Are Family' Pride Event to Benefit Chicago House Dec. 12 2018-12-05
Buffalo Grove Pride parade, festival on track for June 2018-12-05
'When Adonis Calls' through Dec. 9 at Pride Arts 2018-12-05
Pride Film Festival Dec. 4 at Pride Arts 2018-11-27
Lakeside Pride show spotlights 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' 2018-11-26
Monthly Pride Film Fest Dec. 4, nine short films from around the world 2018-11-20
Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles to honor Stonewall, LGBTQ history 2018-11-09
Milwaukee Pride plans Transgender Awareness Month events 2018-11-07
LGBT HISTORY San Francisco trans cultural district slowly moves forward 2018-10-31
Treasurer's office observes LGBT History Month 2018-10-24
LGBT-friendly Lee Lumber closing 2018-10-24
50 Years On, Busting the Myths of Stonewall 2018-10-23
Monthly Pride Feil Fest returns on election night with LGBTQ independent short films 2018-10-23
Lakeside Pride celebrates love and marriage 2018-10-17
Project VIDA celebrates National Coming Out Day 2018-10-17
NATIONAL Dreiband criticized, third gender category in NYC, Spirit Day 2018-10-16
New Boystown Legacy Walk plaques unveiled 2018-10-15
Orlando Traveling Memorial to debut at Center on Halsted 2018-10-10
Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles 22nd season to honor Stonewall Riots legacy 2018-10-02
'Homos' ends Sept. 30 at Pride Arts 2018-09-26
Chicagoan raises money and pride walking to fight HIV/AIDS 2018-09-19
House Dem Leader Nancy Pelosi to headline OutServe-SLDN's Serving with Pride event 2018-09-06
Campus Pride's "Best of the Best" LGBTQ-friendly college list announced for 2018 2018-09-05
A LOOK AT 1968 Mark Sherkow looks back 2018-08-22
A LOOK AT 1968, Gary Chichester on being gay back in the day 2018-08-22
A LOOK AT 1968, How 1968 changed me forever 2018-08-22
A LOOK AT 1968 with Ralla Klepak, on the LGBT community 2018-08-22
A LOOK AT 1968 Jim Flint reflects 2018-08-22
Chicago's Stonewall, the Trip Raid in 1968 2018-08-22
White Sox's 'Pride Night' on Aug. 31 2018-08-19
LGBT organizations take part in Bud Billiken Parade 2018-08-16
NATIONAL Kavanaugh opposition, census bill, trans inmate, Miami Beach Pride 2018-08-07
More than 170 to represent Chicago in Gay Games 10 2018-08-01

Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.