Joe Mirabella

Charlene Strong: President Obama is Serious about LGBT Equality

Filed By Joe Mirabella | June 23, 2010 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Charlene Strong, gay pride, LGBT Pride Reception, White House

Charlene Strong met with President Obama on Tuesday afternoon at the White House, prior to the President's annual Pride speech. Her wife Kate's mother joined her.

I spoke with Charlene shortly after her meeting with the President. She was incredibly impressed by her visit with Obama, "I looked the President in the eye and could tell he was sincere. I'm not one to be star struck, so I wasn't just caught up in the moment," Charlene said, "This man means what he says and understands how important it is to move quickly."

Charlene was equally serious, "You can tell anyone that does not believe Obama is our ally to call me personally. I will tell them what's up. He is on our side."

"They were taking notes, they were listening, they were engaged," Charlene explained.

Coming from anyone else, I would be suspicious. But I know Charlene and I know her style. She is not one to repeat talking points or spin. She is as sincere as it gets. If Charlene believes the President "gets it," then I do too.

Rahm Emanual arranged the meeting with the President, "Rahm Emanual took me aside and told me he knew my story," Charlene said, "he told me that's the reason I was here. He wanted the President to meet me."

I asked Charlene if this was a one time opportunity, or if she thought there would be future meetings. "I have everyone's business card and I intend to make it clear to them that I am eager to help move us forward. If they want more meetings, I am willing to continue the conversation," Charlene said.

The President acknowledged Charlene Strong, Kate's mother, and Janice Langbehn during his speech at the White House on Tuesday.

Notably, the President referred to Charlene's wife as "her wife, Kate Fleming."

Charlene Strong released a documentary about the tragic loss of her wife, called "For My Wife." There are scheduled screenings in Washington DC and Philadelphia this week.

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"You can tell anyone that does not believe Obama is our ally to call me personally. I will tell them what's up. He is on our side."

Tell GetEQUAL.

Swell. Talk is cheap and more of the same talk is a waste of everyone's time. Put your money where your mouth is, Mr. President, and be that "fierce advocate" you promised to be instead of a dithering idiot.

Actions speak louder than words. And under this Administration there has been mere morsals instead of the full meal.

Renee Thomas | June 23, 2010 4:31 PM

"I'm waiting to be impressed"

Please don't tell me you get it - show me you get it.

Call Speaker Pelosi today - bring ENDA up for a floor vote - next week

Issue an Executive Order suspending DADT discharge proceedings until the Pentagon is done playing games.

Sorry, but I'm just clean out of polite - polite is on backorder for the foreseeable future.

Show me I didn’t waste my time, my financial wherewithal and my vote on you Mr. President.

So long as our community continues to be a risk in employment and public accommodation and while highly-trained professionals are being hounded out of the Armed Services, anything less than definitive forward movement on the LGBT Community's key issues is . . . and I hope you’ll pardon my candor . . . chrome plated crap.

The sad part is that she's not the only one who's left Obama's presence feeling this way only to be disappointed later.

I think it's fair play to question the extent of Obama's commitment to the LGBT Community. It something none of us can be certain of and adding "actions" doesn't change that dynamic.

Most of the criticism of (Obama) fails to acknowledge that we do not have, and we have never had, enough votes to pass the US Senate. What would you do if faced with that reality?

If we could pass something in the US Senate Obama (and the Democrats) wouldn't have any excuses.