Barack Obama gave a terrific State of the Union address, which included two references to the LGBT community, the same number included in his historic Inauguration Address. According to Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed:
Obama did include broad references to LGBT equality in the speech, saying that part of “the basic bargain” in America is that “if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, or who you love.”
He most directly addressed an area of LGBT advocates’ concern when he later said, “We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families — gay and straight.”
According to Geidner, “those mentions were enough to appease LGBT advocates, especially given the prominence their issues received in Obama’s Inaugural address in January.”
“Of course, we would have liked to have seen our community’s priorities in the speech,” Human Rights Campaign’s spokesman, Fred Sainz, told BuzzFeed. “But let me be clear: the references in the speech were meaningful. Both reaffirm his commitment to equality in ways that are substantively and thematically important.”
I’m pretty damn impressed and pleased with these mentions. Obama has become the President we always wanted him to be. The difference between a Romney presidency and the one we are getting from Obama are stark and as different as night and day (excluding Sweden and parts of Alaska in winter). Yes, Obama has much more to do, and the LGBT community can’t stop fighting and pressuring the White House to go further. However, it does seem that this president is making history for our community every week. It seems we are a priority and that he is resting part of his legacy on advancing LGBT equality.
On the flip side, Marco Rubio looked angry last night, and gave a churlish and bitter response to Obama’s uplifting speech. Fortunately for the grossly overrated senator from Florida, no one will recall his foolish and prosaic prose, as all anyone will remember is his awkward lurch for a water bottle in mid-speech.
Will what is being billed as “Watergate” end Rubio’s hopes at higher office? Did this bizarre moment make Rubio appear not ready for Prime Time?