A reliable source who wishes to remain anonymous gave me a tip about the content of Obama's speech at the HRC dinner tomorrow night.
- Obama will announce a push to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell in 2010.
- Obama intends to say something about the Maine marriage equality battle.
- The newly appointed openly gay ambassador-designate to New Zealand, David Huebner, will be in attendance.
At first glance, this may not seem to have a "wow factor", but if you think it over, it could have far-reaching consequences.
First, the importance of the speech itself lies in the fact that Obama is only the second president to address a major LGBT organization after Clinton, who spoke at an HRC dinner in 1997.
Second, to announce he supports a repeal of DADT in 2010 will be the first definitive time-line given by the president and his administration on his DADT campaign promise since he took office. It will also give the LGBT population a benchmark to keep him accountable by.
Third, if Obama clearly states that he is against discrimination of LGBT citizens, promotes equality and denounces the actions of the Yes on 1 campaign in Maine to strip gays and lesbians of their right to marry, not only will this have a major impact on voters, but it will be a killer soundbite for the NO on 1 campaign to use in tv and radio ads. (A game piece that unfortunately, the No on Prop 8 campaign failed to use last year while the Yes hacks used Obama's stance against marriage equality to manipulate voters.)
An article released today by the Washington Post claims that the speech will mainly focus on incremental advancements as progress. However, one can hope that the White House is listening to the loud criticism from the LGBT population who say, "We've heard that before. What else you got?"
Now it remains to be seen if these bullet points make it into the speech. You can find out by watching the speech live on C-Span tomorrow night at 7:55pm EST.