From Whitney Ksiazek and Sunlen Miller:
President Obama will be the keynote speaker at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual dinner on Saturday in Washington, D.C.
“We are honored to share this night with President Obama, who has called upon our nation to embrace LGBT people as brothers and sisters,” The Human Rights Campaign President, Joel Solmonese, said in an announcement today.
The dinner precedes a scheduled march on Washington by the LGBT community to take place on Sunday. The march was largely organized to draw attention to the administration’s lack on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)” and the Defense of Marriage Act, among other gay rights issues.
Many leaders in the LGBT community are hoping Obama will use the platform as an opportunity to re-establish his position as a “fierce advocate” for gay rights that he solidified on the campaign trail.
White House aides say that the President has not yet written his remarks, and did not give guidance if the President will reveal any new policy.
National Security Jin Jones this weekend said that at the right time the President will deal with these issues, such as DADT – among others.
“The President has an awful lot on his desk. I know this is an issue he intends to take on at the appropriate time,” Jones told CNN.
While the gay community waits for the “appropriate time” after dedicating themselves to Obama’s campaign, discontent has continued to grow in light of the little progress that has been made since Obama took office in January.
Obama’s address on Saturday will be an historic one—as only the second sitting President ever to address a Gay rights organization. President Clinton was the first in 1997.
Rep. Patrick Kennedy will also be in attendance in order to present the first ever Edward M. Kennedy National Leadership Award to Judy and Dennis Shepard, in honor of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a well known advocate for LGBT rights.
-Whitney Ksiazek and Sunlen Miller