.- Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama has promised to use the presidency as a âbully pulpitâ for homosexual activism, according to an open letter released on his campaign website.
In the February 28 letter posted under the âLGBTâ section of the âPeopleâ heading, Senator Obama said he would press for the passage of hate crime laws and a âfully inclusiveâ Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
"As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws," Obama said.
Obama said he favored civil unions over same-sex marriage laws, but said, "I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples..."
He pledged to repeal the âDonât Ask, Donât Tellâ practice that excludes open homosexuals from military service.
Obama said winning broad support for his positions was important, saying he would bring his LGBT activism to âskeptical audiences as well as friendly ones.â
"I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans. But neither will I close my ears to the voices of those who still need to be convinced. That is the work we must do to move forward together. It is difficult. It is challenging. And it is necessary," he said.