"President Obama tonight vowed this year to wor k with Congres and the military to finally repeal the reprehensible ban on openly lesbian, gay and bisexual service members. While we know the State of the Union speech aims to present broad visions, the next time President Obama speaks to or about our community, he must provide a concrete blueprint for his leadership and action moving forwardthis includes his willingness to stop the discharges happening on his watch until Congress can fulfill its responsibility to overturn the law. The time for broad statements is over. The time to get down to business is overdue. We wish we had heard him speak of concrete steps tonight." National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey, Jan. 27.
"There have ben claims that televising the courtrom proceding ( in the federal Prop 8 trial ) would somehow be unfair to defenders of Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage. They are hazy and unsubstantiated and vastly outweighed by the strong public interest in the airing of a major civil-rights issue. But the ( U.S. ) Supreme Court's majority bought the false argument." New York Times editorial, Jan. 14.
"Speaking for myself and myself only , it is my personal and profesional belief that alowing homosexuals to serve openly would be the right thing to do. No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me, it comes down to integritytheirs as individuals and ours as an institution. I also believe the great young men and women of our military can and would accommodate such a change. I never underestimate their ability to adapt. That there will be some disruption in the force I cannot deny. That there will be legal, social and perhaps even infrastructure changes to be made certainly seems plausible. We would all like to have a better handle on these types of concerns. And that is what our review will offer." Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Feb. 2.
"We may disagree about gay mariage but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they arewhether it's here in the United States or, as Hillary mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed, most recently in Uganda." President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, Feb. 4. Uganda's pending "Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009" would imprison for life anyone convicted of "the offense of homosexuality," punish "aggravated homosexuality"including repeat offenders and anyone who is HIV-positive and has gay sexwith the death penalty, forbid "promotion of homosexuality" and incarcerate gay-rights defenders, and jail individuals for up to three years if they fail to report within 24 hours the existence of all LGBT people and LGBT sympathizers they know of.
"I went in with the beginer's mind. I didn't know what I didn't know . I never imagined 4,036 ( same-sex ) couples getting married over a month. ( Y ) ou just couldn't escape from the perception 'he's just a singleissue person.' I remember standing there at the window, and I swear to you, I resigned myself to not even being re-elected mayor. This is a much more conservative town than people give it credit for." San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to The New York Times, Jan. 19. "Before Prop 8 passed , we were planning to go to Europe in 2010. The shock of losing our marriage rights caused us to rethink our priorities as an organization. Upon reflection, we have decided to eat our vegetables before having dessert. ... We believe to accept us, you have to know us." San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Executive Director Teddy Witherington on the chorus's recent performances in the California cities of Chico and Redding, and upcoming concerts in Bakersfield, Fresno and Tracy.
"I'm not a poster child for gay rights by any means, but I have so many gay and lesbian friends and they're just so pure and so true. That's not politics to me. That's human rights." Dolly Parton to London's Times, Jan. 22. Assistance: Bill Kelley