On the first day of Gay Pride, three
major political actors reiterated their support for gay and lesbian
rights, including former Vice President Dick Cheney.
In a proclamation that declares June
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride month, President Obama
restated his pledge to gay rights, but failed to offer a timeline on
action and continued to back civil unions for gay and lesbian couples
“My Administration has partnered with
the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the
international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to
decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I
continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal
rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate
crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT
couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption
rights, and ending the existing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy in a
way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We
must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both
reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support
services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.”
Meanwhile, during a National Press Club
appearance, former Vice President Dick Cheney said he supported the
right of gay and lesbian couples to marry, a position that runs
counter to the official Republican Party Platform adopted last
"I think that freedom means
freedom for everyone. As many of you know, one of my daughters is
gay, and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our
family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of
union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish,” Cheney said.
But Cheney stopped short of calling for
Congress to enact legislation, instead he said he backed a federalist
approach that advocates states rights on social issues.
“The question of whether or not there
ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don't support. I do
believe that ... historically the way marriage has been regulated is
at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that
is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis. ... But
I don't have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at
And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
used the occasion to vow to fight for gay and lesbian rights across
“The persecution of gays and lesbians
is a violation of human rights and an affront to human decency, and
it must end,” Clinton said.
“As secretary of state, I will
advance a comprehensive human rights agenda that includes the
elimination of violence and discrimination against people based on
sexual orientation or gender identity,” she added.
According to the United Nations, being
gay is a crime in over 80 countries.