WUFT News

Obama advocates for LGBT community

By on January 22nd, 2013

President Barack Obama made history when he spoke in defense of the LGBT community at his second inaugural address Monday. This marked the first time gay rights have been mentioned in an inaugural speech.

While the president discussed other matters, such as the economy and his expectations for the direction of the country, he also mentioned the Stonewall riots, a landmark event in the gay rights movement, and said that gay and lesbian people should be treated “like anyone else under the law.”

LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and is a movement pushing to gain worldwide acceptance.

Joseph Antonelli, founder and president of Gainesville Community Alliance, said President Obama brought hope for those seeking equal rights.

“It was very affirming,” Antonelli said. “It was very real. It touched my heart. It touched my soul.”

Antonelli said that he thinks the issue of LGBT rights will eventually come down to a Supreme Court ruling.

“After 50 years of activism, I can truly say that I see the end of the tunnel,” Antonelli said. “I see the day when the new generation coming up will inclusively add all people into the perspective of American equality.”

Among the younger generation of LGBT activists is Lauren Hannahs, director of LGBT affairs at the University of Florida. Hannahs said yesterday’s inauguration speech was evidence that the LGBT community is alive and deserves both attention and respect.

“I think it means that you can’t ignore the LGBT community anymore,” Hannahs said. “All of the public representation of the LGBT community always had a negative stigma attached to it. For him to publicly liken the LGBT movement to the civil rights movement in the 1960s was historic.”

Chairman of the Alachua County Republican Party Stafford Jones said Obama’s mentioning of the LGBT community was insignificant and should not be the focus of his speech.

“That’s not the issue of the day,” Jones said. “The issue of the day, and the things that I cared about in the speech were how big is government going to get? How expensive is it going to get? How much is it going to cost to run it?”

Antonelli said that while he does not believe reform will be swift, he does believe it is coming. He said he was appreciative of Obama for advocating the movement.

“He has great vision,” Antonelli said. “He will go down in history as a man who has literally cracked the egg open. Now we have to make the omelette.”

Mike Llerena edited this story online.


This entry was posted in Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Politics

Zac Zedalis listens to an Alachua County resident during his campaign announcement on April, 25, 2015. Zedalis will run for Alachua County Sheriff in 2016.

Alachua County Sheriff Candidate Hopes To Get Office Back To Its Roots

Zac Zedalis, a detective for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, is running for Alachua County Sheriff in 2016. He will focus on the issues of low morale, budget concerns and cultural issues.


Florida's old State Capitol with new State Capitol behind in Tallahassee, Fla.

Florida House Abruptly Adjourns Early Over Budget Impasse

The annual session of the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature came to a halt Tuesday as the House adjourned three days early because of a budget impasse with the Senate over Medicaid expansion. Bills covering everything from tax cuts to gambling and medical marijuana died as a result.


A monitor designed to alert motorists of their exact speed is turned off in Waldo, Florida on September 3. Waldo Police Department is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement after the former Police Chief was accused of establishing illegal ticket quotas for officers.

Florida Legislature Passes “Waldo Bill” To Outlaw Ticket Quotas

Traffic ticket quotas for law enforcement agencies are now illegal under a bill unanimously passed by the House in the Florida Legislature. Sent to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday, the “Waldo Bill” got its nickname from the city of Waldo, which was once considered one of the nation’s worst speed traps.


W._Keith_Perry1

Rep. Perry Confirms GRU Governance Bill Is Dead

Rep. Keith Perry confirmed that a bill which would have allowed voters to establish a HB-1325 has died in the Florida House of Representatives. The hearing of HB 1325, was postponed during the last meeting of the Regulatory Affairs Committee.


Florida Senator Marco Rubio

Rubio Announces Presidential Bid In Miami To Mixed Local Response

On Monday, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio announced his bid for presidency in 2016. The event at Freedom Tower in Miami was attended by eager supporters as well as peaceful protestors.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments