Harvey Fierstein writes Obama a letter

Posted on 24 Feb 2009 at 4:27pm

The “Hairspray” star read this gorgeous prose at last night’s Defying Inequality benefit. Excerpt:

Dear President Obama.
While fighting for the abolition of slavery, one politician qualified his stance, “I have never been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people.”


That politician was Abraham Lincoln.

Obviously time and experience brought Mr Lincoln to what would have been called the extremist view; that freedom cannot be compromised just to appease the majority.

And so he made a grander gesture reminding us of “…a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”. Passing a law would change the course of slavery, but those words changed the course of the history.

Mr Obama, I have heard you speak eloquently in favor of inclusion for gays and lesbians. But then you sternly state your opposition to marriage rights. It leaves me wondering if you are straining to be politic or, if like Lincoln, your views still need maturing.

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