Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



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

This article shared 2421 times since Wed Jun 23, 2010
facebook twitter pin it 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

This article shared 2421 times since Wed Jun 23, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

SPORTS Chicago Red Stars power past Orlando 1-0 2021-10-14
- The Chicago Red Stars, behind an early Kealia Watt goal and a clean sheet from Cassie Miller, defeated the Orlando Pride at home (Bridgeview's SeatGeek Stadium) Oct. 13 by a score of 1-0. During the game's ...

Gay News

LGBTQ History Month: Pauli Murray, architect of history 2021-10-13
By Victoria A. Brownworth - (Note: The pronouns she/her are used in keeping with Murray's own writings, but Murray was a transmasculine and gender-nonconforming lesbian.) Some say Pauli Murray is the most important U.S. activist many have never heard of. An ...

Gay News

Coming Out for LGBTQ+ History 2021-10-11
- October 11th is National Coming Out Day, a day established in 1988 by members of the LGBTQ+ community to encourage people to stop hiding and be open about their identity. Coming out increases visibility of the ...

Gay News

Pride Fest sees rainbows over rain 2021-10-05
- After last year's COVID-related cancellation, the LGBTQ+-focused outdoor affair Pride Fest returned to Lake View after a delay of a few months, as it usually takes place in June. An additional full day was added to ...

Gay News

Urban Village Church hosting drag worship service, Pride prom Oct. 10 2021-10-04
- On Sunday, Oct. 10, Urban Village Church (UVC) will host a drag worship service at its Wicker Park site, 1012 N. Noble St. Worship begins at 10:30 a.m. (CST) with performances from local drag artists, including ...

Gay News

SPORTS Chicago White Sox hold Pride Night 2021-10-04
- On Sept. 29, the Chicago White Sox held Pride Night. LGBTQ+ activist Gary Chichester threw the first pitch of the game—which featured the White Sox taking on the Cincinnati Reds—at Guaranteed Rate field. BMO Harris invited ...

Gay News

WORLD Marches, world leaders, Swiss marriage, soccer match 2021-09-26
- Thousands of people including soldiers and diplomats marched peacefully through the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in an annual Pride parade despite some opposition to an event called off last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters ...

Gay News

Naper Pride hosts inaugural Pride fest 2021-09-16
- Naper Pride held its inaugural pride fest event, "Coming Together, One Community—One Naperville," on Sept. 11-12 in Naperville. Incidentally, "Coming Together, One Community—One Naperville" was also Naper Pride's organizational philosoph ...

Gay News

OneWheaton to mark 10th Homecoming Weekend on Oct. 8-9 2021-09-15
- OneWheaton—a group of LGBTQA alumni and students of Wheaton College—will mark its 10th annual Homecoming Weekend with virtual activities on Oct. 8-9. On Oct. 8, at 6 p.m., there will be an LGBTQIA Storytelling Hour. Attendees ...

Gay News

Pride Fest will extend to Oct. 3; headliners include Kristine W and Mya 2021-09-12
- Mya, Shangela, VINCINT, Crystal Waters, Kristine W, Brooke Eden and St. Panther are among the headliners for Chicago Pride Fest now taking place over three days, Oct. 1-3, in Chicago's LGBTQ+ landmark Northalsted/Lake View district. The ...

Gay News

SPORTS Blackhawks tickets available Sept. 14; Pride Night on April 12 2021-09-09
- The Chicago Blackhawks announced that single-game tickets for the team's 2021-22 regular season at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 12 p.m. ...

Gay News

Naper Pride set to host inaugural Pride fest 2021-09-04
- Naper Pride will hold its inaugural pride fest event, "Coming Together, One Community—One Naperville," on Sept. 11-12. Incidentally, "Coming Together, One Community—One Naperville" is also Naper Pride's organizational philosophy of ...

Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Opinion: The parade must go on 2021-09-02
- I am responding to the letter from Tim Frye, the current 2021 coordinator of Chicago's Pride Parade, about the cancellation of the event that was scheduled for Oct. 3. I agree that this decision takes in ...

Gay News

Chicago Pride Parade cancelled 2021-09-01
--From a press release - The following statement was sent from Pride Chicago on the cancellation of this year's Chicago Pride Parade: We did not want to be sending this letter. Earlier this year, we decided that the parade might have ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Marsha P. Johnson, Utah, five-year study, Pride fests cancelled 2021-08-29
- In New York City, visitors to Christopher Park have been greeted by the bust of the late trans activist Marsha P. Johnson, reported. The bust was erected on what would have been Jonhson's 76th birthday—and ...


Copyright © 2021 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      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

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.