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Chicago Activists Plan Picket of Obama's LGBT Address in Washington

By Joseph Erbentraut in News on Oct 7, 2009 8:40PM

Photo by josephp
And the funny thing is, the protesters are pro-gay.

In reaction to news that President Obama will deliver the keynote address for LGBT org Human Right Campaign's fundraising gala Saturday, the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network (GLN) announced its already-planned pro-LGBT picket would be moved from the White House to directly outside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where Obama is scheduled to speak.

The picket, cosponsored by the Dallas-based Queer Liberaction, is being organized in conjunction with the first gay rights march on Washington in nine years, also happening this weekend. While most LGBT activists have viewed Obama's address of the HRC gala as a positive sign, GLN co-founder Andy Thayer still questions his commitment to Sparkle Motion advancing LGBT civil rights:

“The time for talking is over,” Thayer said. “This President promised to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), he promised to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, he promised to pass the pro-LGBT Employment Non-Discrimination Act and a whole host of other things. Instead, he’s delivered on nothing while embracing anti-gay bigots Rick Warren and Donnie McClurkin. The last thing we need is more flowery rhetoric in front of rich, self-effacing gays and lesbians dressed up like penguins."

Queer Liberaction co-founder Blake Wilkenson also expressed frustrations with the Obama administration's inaction on LGBT in a press release on the picket.

“[Obama] cited his ‘Christian beliefs’ for the reason why he now opposes equal marriage rights for same-sex couples ... If we are going to get real change out of this White House, we need to make demands of this President. As the great anti-slavery activist Frederick Douglass put it, ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand.’”

Thus far, just over 100 people have confirmed they'll attend the pro-gay picket of the gay gala on the event's Facebook page.

And in case you missed the news, Chicago has its own solidarity rally for the Washington march planned for Sunday.