Citing what they call America’s “promise of equality,” the Obama administration plans to push for homosexual rights by including protections of sexual orientation, “gender identity” and “gender expression” as civil rights. His office proposes expanding hate crimes statues and the adoption rights of homosexuals while supporting full civil unions for “LGBT couples” to give them “legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples.”
The proposals are announced under the Civil Rights section of their agenda presented at Change.gov, the web site of the Obama campaign’s self-described “Office of the President-elect.”
A section titled “Support for the LGBT Community” outlines the agenda for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered activists and quotes remarks Obama made on June 1, 2007.
“While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do,” Obama said, referring to riots which followed a police raid on a New York City gay bar.
“Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."
According to the web site, President-elect Obama and vice-president-elect Joe Biden will support expand crimes legislation such as the Matthew Shepard Act. They also back the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which they claim will “prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”
“While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy,” the web site states, referring to similar legislation sponsored by Obama in the Illinois state legislature.
Regarding civil unions and same-sex marriage, the site says “Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples.”
Advocating the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the agenda plans to “enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions.”
The site also references Obama’s Senate vote against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which, in the site’s words, “would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.”
On the subject of adoption rights, the Change.gov web site states: “Barack Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.”
The Obama agenda further advocates the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” policy barring open homosexuals from serving in the military.
Its AIDS prevention policies also pledge to enact a “comprehensive” national strategy including contraceptive sex education and “combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception.”