(CNSNews.com) - President Obama delivered an unprecedented message to the Human Rights Campaign Saturday night. Sounding more like a homosexual activist than a sitting president, Obama went well beyond his expected message of “I’m here with you” on the homosexual agenda.
“My expectation is that when you look back on these years, you will see a time in which we put a stop to discrimination against gays and lesbians -- whether in the office or on the battlefield,” Obama told an estimated audience of 3,000. “You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman.”
Even Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese was stunned at the breadth of Obama's statement, calling it “something quite remarkable.”
"This was a historic night when we felt the full embrace and commitment of the President of the United States,” Solmonese said in a post-speech statement. “It’s simply unprecedented."
But Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, called the president's remarks “appalling.”
“Barack Obama is basically declaring that these relationships are basically equal to the real thing,” LaBarbera told CNSNews.com. “I think this is the ultimate Obama audacity play – for him, just declaring it seems to make it so.”
The president pointedly used the pronoun “we” – not “you” – throughout much of his speech.
“Do not doubt the direction we are headed and the destination we will reach,” Obama said at one point.
"For despite the real gains that we've made, there's (sic) still laws to change and there's (sic) still hearts to open,” the president said at another juncture.
Obama also talked about homosexual “families” – two men and children or two women and children.
“If we are honest with ourselves we'll admit that there are too many who do not yet know in their lives or feel in their hearts the urgency of this struggle. That's why I continue to speak about the importance of equality for LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered) families -- and not just in front of gay audiences,” Obama said.
The president said he and his wife Michelle had made a point of inviting homosexual “families” to the White House to participate in events like the Easter Egg Roll – “because we want to send a message.”
Obama noted that his administration had extended benefits to the domestic partners of homosexual federal workers and that he had appointed an open homosexual, John Berry, to serve as director of the federal Office of Personnel Management.
As expected, he also mentioned his support for a laundry list of homosexual activist issues, including bringing an end to the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on homosexuals serving in the military and overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as being between one man and more woman.
“I will end ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell.’ That’s my commitment to you,” he said.
But the president also characterized those who oppose the homosexual agenda in terminology reminiscent of last year’s presidential campaign, when then-candidate Obama, campaigning in Pennsylvania, referred to “bitter” residents of small-town America who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them.”
Obama told Saturday's event that there are still people "who hold fast to outworn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; who would deny you the rights most Americans take for granted."
He ended by telling the story of a young man struggling with homosexuality -- "wrestling alone with a secret he’s held as long as he can remember.
“I believe the future is bright for that young person,” Obama added. "For while there will be setbacks and bumps along the road, the truth is that our common ideals are a force far stronger than any division that some might sow.”
LaBarbera said Obama's comments went far beyond using the presidency as a bully pulpit.
“The condescension is glaring," LaBarbera said. "He’s really putting down millions and millions of faithful, moral-minded citizens and dismissing traditional beliefs with such arrogance, it is almost indescribable. It really is amazing.”
“It's just hateful rhetoric,” LaBarbera added. “It’s a different kind of hate, to be sure, but it is hate – he hates our Judeo-Christian tradition.”