Main | Friday, October 29, 2010

HomoQuotable - John Berry

"In under two years, President Obama and his record number of LGBT appointees have accomplished so much for LGBT Americans. His and Congress’s historic achievement of securing health care reform finally cements the most important protections for those in our community who need them most – especially those living with HIV and AIDS.

"Hospital visitation rights for all Americans, expanded benefits for the same-sex domestic partners of Federal workers, enactment of the hate crimes law, increased coverage for those living with HIV/AIDS, Federal support for LGBT community-based organizations, anti-bullying programs enacted in schools, support for our aging LGBT population, and so much more. These are real, concrete achievements that are saving and improving the lives of countless LGBT Americans right now.

"I realize that this subtle – but dramatic – change is hard to appreciate when full equality is in sight. It’s understandable. I’m not taking my eyes off the goal or asking you to. Indeed, the President is the first to say that change hasn’t come fast enough. But he has called on all of us to charge full speed ahead. The Tree of Liberty grows only by adding rings. From the Revolution to the Civil War, to women’s suffrage, the Civil Rights Movement, and onward, our entire nation has been enriched by every added ring. Now is our time to complete our ring."

"All Administration officials, me included, are accountable to that goal; to the principles upon which our Republic was founded – liberty and justice for all. We will not rest until discriminatory laws like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act are ended once and for all. And because no one should be denied a job because of discrimination, a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act must be enacted as well.

"So hold us to account. Let us know when we’re right, be the wind in our sails when our momentum flags, and pull us back to the path when we go astray. But whatever you do, don’t turn away. Don’t give up. Don’t relent." - Office of Personnel Management director John Berry, the highest-ranking openly gay Obama appointee, in a coming issue of Philadelphia Gay News.

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