President Barack Obama spoke at the Democratic National Committee LGBT Gala in New York City last night and announced his planned employment nondiscrimination executive order that will cover federal government contractors.
Obama opened his speech by toasting a newlywed couple at the dinner.
“There are other newlyweds here — Eric Johnson and Mark Parker were married a couple of hours ago,” Obama said. “They decided to make this their after-party — pretty cool. If you’ve got a glass, raise it for Eric and Mark — a lifetime of health and happiness to them.”
Obama spoke about how politics has changed over the past decade. In 2004, Republicans ran on an anti-marriage platform.
“In fact, the Republican Party built their entire strategy for 2004 around this issue,” he said.
He singled out Texas and Oklahoma for particular ridicule.
“Today, a lawmaker in Oklahoma is trying to ban all marriages rather than recognize same-sex marriage,” he said. (Laughter.) “Now, that seems a little over the top, but that’s just my opinion. (Laughter.) The Texas Republican Party’s state platform endorses gay conversion therapy in 2014. Fierce legal fights are underway to stop marriage equality from expanding any further or to prevent court rulings from taking effect.”
Finally, he announced his employment nondiscrimination executive order.
“I’ve directed my staff to prepare for my signature, an executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. (Applause.) Because in the United States of America, who you are and who you love shouldn’t be a fireable offense.”