Friday, September 30, 2011

Saturday: President Obama Keynotes Human Rights Campaign National Dinner

The President will celebrate the end of DADT with 3,000 guests; will he talk marching shoes?...
UPDATE: The post about the President's address is here
President Obama will speak to more than 3,000 guests in Washington, DC, on Saturday evening at the sold-out annual dinner for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT rights organization. The President's appearance continues his tour of wooing crucial and potentially disgruntled constituencies: Last Saturday, Mr. Obama spoke at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Phoenix Awards Dinner, an equally large event. The President was stern with his audience: He told the the CBC to "stop complaining" and "get to work" on his agenda, suggesting they swap their "bedroom slippers" for "marching shoes." (Above: The President also keynoted the HRC gala in 2009)

Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Thursday that he has no idea if the President will give his HRC audience similar advice about either work or clothing...but the end of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy will get some Presidential attention.

"I haven't seen a draft of the remarks yet, so I don't want to anticipate what he might say," Carney said. "I certainly think that the successful repeal and elimination of DADT is a topic worth discussing. It's a major accomplishment and a much-needed one. But beyond that, I don't know what he will say at this point."

DADT officially ended on Sept. 20, after the Administration worked aggressively to repeal it. But other LGBT rights issues that were Campaign promises remain up in the air. Will the President make news by discussing his"evolving position" on gay marriage?

"We are honored to share this night with President Obama who has a tremendous record of accomplishment for LGBT people," said outgoing HRC president Joe Solmonese. "On the heels of the end to 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,' we look forward to celebrating our victories and redoubling our efforts for the fights that remain ahead."

The President's statement on the end of DADT is here.

The HRC Dinner is at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Lady Gaga was the featured performer when President Obama addressed the HRC in 2009. Last weekend, she showed up at one of the President's fundraising dinners in Silicon Valley as a paying guest.

*Getty photo

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