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Topics In the News
Obama Outreach to GLBTQ Voters Launched
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 05/23/12
Last updated on: 05/23/12
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On May 22, 2012, the Obama campaign launched an outreach effort aimed at glbtq voters. The centerpiece of the new outreach is a video narrated by Jane Lynch that highlights the President's commitment to equal rights, emphasizing accomplishments from the passage of hate crimes legislation and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell to his historic support for marriage equality.

The new outreach also includes the launch of a new "Obama Pride: LGBT Americans for Obama" website that can be visited here.

LGBT Vote Director Jamie Citron said that the kickoff was held on May 22 in honor of Harvey Milk Day. He said, "Harvey was a strong believer in the power of the ballot box, a belief that President Obama also shares. The President knows the importance of making sure our voices are heard in November and to that end we will continue to make voter registration and volunteer recruitment a top priority through Pride month and into the fall."

Chris Geidner at MetroWeekly reports that Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese also participated in the launch. He will soon leave his position at HRC to become co-chair of President Obama's re-election campaign.

Solmonese mentioned that the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act are "landmark issues" that remain to be addressed.

"One of the things I've really been inspired by the president and the administration . . . was that the agenda was really a collective conversation between the president and the administration, us as a community and our allies on Capitol Hill in the House and the Senate," he said. "And that collective agreement and collective sense of where we were had everything to do with why we moved hate crimes first, we moved 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' second. So, I think that collective understanding of where we're going is how we're really going to shape the agenda for the next administration."

"Obviously," Solmonese added, "we have landmark issues that we need to continue to address, continue to move on, like the repeal of DOMA, like the passage of a fully inclusive ENDA."

Obama campaign spokesperson Clo Ewing said that the main aim of the LGBT outreach efforts is to "mobilize folks for November." As to whether the President's endorsement of marriage equality would affect the vote in swing states, she said, "One of the things that I would do is point you to a lot of recent polls that really show that the support for gay marriage and marriage equality is growing across the country. That being said, what polls also show is that same-sex marriage is not the most important issue that will effect people's vote come November. It's not the first issue, it's not the second issue, and it's not the third issue."

The most recent poll indicates that 53% of voters are in favor of marriage equality.

Below is the Obama campaign's new video.

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