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U.S. President Barack Obama Addresses Gay Activists At Human Rights Campaign Dinner

President Barack Obama addressed LGBT activist at the 15th Annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, US, on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011.

CNN reports:

President Barack Obama, speaking to a gathering of gay and lesbian activists, said Saturday that he is committed to equality, citing the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as an example.

Obama said his accomplishments on gay rights issues have been substantial since he last headlined the annual National Dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, in 2009.

He acknowledged “we have more work to do,” including on the issue of bullying.

The president currently supports same-sex civil unions, and has said his views on gay marriage are “evolving.” He recently announced his support of the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

The President criticized Republicans for Silence After Gay Soldier Booed During Debate, MSNBC adds:

President Barack Obama criticized Republican presidential candidates Saturday for not defending a gay American soldier who was booed by the crowd at a Republican debate last week.

You want to be commander in chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient,” Obama said during remarks at the annual dinner of the Human Rights Council, the nation’s largest gay rights organization.

Referencing the boos at the Sept. 22 Republican debate, he said: “We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens.”

In his remarks before a supportive crowd of 3,200, Obama hailed the repeal of the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and urged the U.S. Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

During his speech the president joked about about meeting Lady Gaga. USA Today:

President Obama joked last night about his meeting with the flamboyant singer Lady Gaga during a speech to a gay rights group.

Speaking to the Human Rights Campaign, Obama said, “I appreciate the chance to join you tonight. I also took a trip out to California last week, where I held some productive bilateral talks with your leader, Lady Gaga.”

“She was wearing 16-inch heels,” Obama said. “She was 8 feet tall.

“It was a little intimidating.”

Lady Gaga, in the crowd, stood to accept the accolade from the president.

Read the full article via MSNBC

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