President Obama on Monday, June 1, released a statement proclaiming June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. It’s an inspiring proclamation for LGBT civil rights, including “supporting civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples” but not marriage.
He sidestepped the marriage debate, but Obama did include HIV/AIDS in his proclamation:
“LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country’s response to the HIV pandemic ... We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.”
This proclamation makes up a little bit for his removal from WhiteHouse.gov of promises made to the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities. In this document, Obama yet again makes sweeping promises to the LGBT community and one major promise to the HIV/AIDS community, which is to reduce the number of HIV infections (“providing care and support services” is already arguably being done, even if most likely there will be less funding for that care and support).
It’s up to all of us to make sure that he delivers.