Celebrate the beginning of Pride month by checking out a new interactive timeline showing the progress President Obama and the LGBT community have made over the last three years—then pass it on. Happy Pride month!
Up until a few weeks ago, Brendan, a supporter in Seattle, hadn’t yet donated to this campaign. But on May 9th, he got inspired—and raised $2,335 from his friends and family in just 24 hours by starting a grassroots fundraising page.
“When I saw that President Obama stated his support for same-sex marriage, I just wanted to a send a message showing that I supported him,” Brendan says. “So I donated that very day.
“Then after donating, I saw that there was this new grassroots fundraising tool, so I created a page, uploaded my photo and my story, and encouraged my friends and family to send their own message of support for the President’s same-sex marriage announcement. More importantly, I reminded them that this campaign is going to be built by lots of small donors, while the other side will rely on fewer but bigger donors.
“I have a partner who I’ve been with for 24 years. We had a marriage ceremony 13 years ago, so we’ve been waiting for this for a while. Back when I was in law school, I used to work a lot on gay marriage issues. So not only was it personally meaningful to me and my partner, it was a historic event.
“This message resonated with a lot of people—and within 24 hours we got $2,400.
“Making a contribution to the Obama campaign is something that has a national impact. Even if I can’t give my own time in a big way, I can at least contribute—and send a strong message.”
Send your own message today—start a grassroots fundraising page for an issue in this election that matters to you.
"My partner Kenn and I have been in a committed relationship for almost 35 years. During that time, we have lost many friends to AIDS, while sitting presidents and legislators turned a blind eye to our fight for equality.
"President Obama is to be commended for making a stand to end inequality in America. One day—hopefully soon—we hope to enjoy the benefits heterosexual married couples enjoy. Now is the time for all good men and women to support the President's wise decision. I donated today and will continue to support the President and others who are fighting for fairness for all. What a guy! I am filled with hope and joy. Thank you, Mr. President."
Stand with Robert and supporters across the country today by making a contribution to President Obama's campaign.
"I am a man, a husband, a father, and a grandfather. As a husband who loves his wife dearly and supports her aspirations, I think it's paternalistic for people to attempt to make decisions regarding her health. My wife and partner is a businesswoman, a mom, a friend, and highly intelligent. Who has any business making personal decisions for her? I don't think anyone does. I support this administration's hard work on behalf of women and pledge to do all that I can to fight this archaic, stereotypical behavior that is being thrust upon us by individuals who want to take us back in time. We must and we can do better than that."
—Seta, New York
Three years ago today, President Obama nominated Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. This video takes a look at where she came from, and the impact she's had.
Supporting President Obama wasn't always part of the game plan for Janice, a business analyst and gay woman from Colorado—in fact, she voted for Senator McCain in 2008.
But the last few weeks have changed her mind.
"I'm a Reagan Republican," she explains. "I voted pretty much consistently Republican for most of my life for economic reasons. I'm used to my friends telling me I'm too conservative. And as much as I appreciate the Obamas, that wasn't necessarily where I stood.
"However, having a committed partner and knowing some of the issues we deal with, having leaders who support us has gotten more important to me. So I was very proud of President Obama and Vice President Biden for standing up for me and equality in such a straightforward way with their support of gay marriage. I really liked the way Vice President Biden said 'the Republican Party now is not the Republican Party of our fathers.' He is so right."
Today, Janice says her choice is clear:
"I am going to vote for President Obama and I am very happy about that."
As for her friends: "They were all pretty amazed—but I just told them why, and I told them it made a big difference to me. When I'm in the hospital, I want my partner there. When I go to apply for a job, I look to see whether they're going to discriminate against me. That's something that's just as relevant to me every day as my paycheck. So they're all ecstatic—especially my gay and lesbian friends."
President Obama's support for same-sex marriage "isn't just a social issue," Janice adds. "It has an impact on health care and the economy. Over the last year, I was out of work for six months because of downsizing. Because of the job loss, I also lost health benefits. With a straight couple, as long as one spouse is working, their partner receives the working spouse's benefits. That's much harder for same-sex partners. So I hope I can relay back to people how related these issues are."
Moving forward, Janice anticipates a different kind of conversation about equality.
"I think it's had a lasting impact. To hear President Obama and Vice President Biden lead on this issue in such a nice way and to have this support at that level—I think what it's done is bring it more into the open.
"I think there are a lot of people who have supported gay marriage but haven't wanted to come out vocally in favor. Because of the way the President and Vice President handled it, those people are more willing to voice their support. So from a neighborhood to a community to a state, we're spreading grassroots acceptance instead of 'let's not talk about this.' Today, people are saying, 'Well, the President of the United States did it, and he seems like a good guy.'"
Jon, a 23-year-old student teacher in California, was in his classroom when the news about President Obama's support for same-sex marriage hit home.
"I'm going to Claremont graduate school right now, studying to be a math teacher. I was working on this huge thesis paper the day everything actually happened, but I had kind of brushed everything off because I was so focused. The next day, I was alone in my classroom during lunch, and I remembered—so I went to barackobama.com and there it was, right on the front page. I watched the video and burst into tears. The fact that the President of the United States had just affirmed that I, as a gay American, should be treated equally was overwhelming, and I was incredibly proud and grateful.
"It was so touching that he was willing to put himself out there like that for the LGBT community, and putting his personal beliefs ahead of political strategy. I never thought I would see a president support same-sex marriage, so it was shocking—in a good way, of course."
As soon as he realized what had happened, Jon didn't hesitate to spread the good news:
"I got to text my whole family, and they were really excited about it. Then I told all my friends and posted it on Facebook. I was in a gay fraternity when I was in school at Berkeley, so it's been fun to see how excited that whole community has been.
"Even for those of us who aren't looking to get married any time soon, this is a big deal—especially because the other side is saying we shouldn't ever have the option to get married. I can't accept that—I believe the opportunity should always be there. That's what America is all about. So this affects everybody, gay or straight, in the sense that everyone should be free to pursue their own happiness and equal rights."
A self-described "huge supporter" since 2008, Jon helped out on the last campaign. This time, he says, getting involved is even more important.
"There's a ton at stake. When Barack Obama was first elected, I was thrilled, but it was also a very sad night because of Prop 8, which I had spent months fighting. In a way, all those issues are back on the ballot this November. This election is going to determine our outlook on the future—getting rid of marriage amendments in state constitutions, moving our country forward. Hopefully it will reaffirm the kind of America I want to live in—a country that's inclusive and equal.
"This is going to be one of the most important elections in my lifetime, and we can't make the wrong decision."
Stand with Jon and supporters all over the country who know what's at stake for the LGBT community this November—join Obama Pride today.
"My partner and I have been waiting for the day that we are no longer treated like second-class citizens. Thank you for backing our community and opening your ears and heart to hear our voices!
"I am the same as you: I am a hardworking man who wants nothing more than to spend the rest my life with the person I love. We share our lives and our love for each other, and don't care what people think about us being who we are. We proudly hold each other's hands walking down the road, dance with each other at the straight clubs, and live happily open about who we are.
"Thank you for speaking out for gay rights! This could not have come at a better time, as Pride month is about to begin, and we can celebrate and be proud that we have a President who backs our life and choices."
Celebrate Pride month by signing up for LGBT Americans for Obama today.
Stuart Milk, nephew of Harvey Milk, sent an email announcing the launch of Obama Pride.
As my uncle Harvey would say, I'm here to recruit you.
My uncle was one of the first openly gay politicians in the U.S.—and yesterday people across the country celebrated Harvey Milk Day to remember his life and legacy.
I know Harvey would be fighting just as hard today to advance the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
To keep up that fight this year, Obama Pride: LGBT Americans for Obama is launching. It's a way for LGBT people and allies to do all we can to make sure President Obama gets a second term.
Be a part of it—join Obama Pride: LGBT Americans for Obama.
The election this year sets up a choice between two very different candidates with two very different stances.
President Obama is the first sitting president to support marriage equality. He repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," expanded the federal hate crimes law to protect LGBT people, and helped make sure that same-sex couples could have visitation and medical decision-making rights in hospitals.
Mitt Romney, his likely opponent, supports a federal marriage amendment that would outlaw same-sex marriages, even in states where they are legal—and if it passes, it would be the first time in our country's history that the Constitution is amended to discriminate and deny rights to Americans. Romney even stands to the right of President Bush in opposing civil unions for same-sex couples.
It's a pretty stark choice—and we can't sit this one out. We've got to be out there talking to voters and sharing our stories to encourage people to vote for the progress they want to see. That's what we'll do through Obama Pride.
So join today, and recruit a friend or two to join with you.
Jane Lynch narrates a new video—featuring a candid interview with President Obama—about the progress LGBT Americans have made over the last three and a half years.
Hear what the President has to say about what's at stake for the LGBT community this November—then sign up to be part of Obama Pride.