In November we elected a man who called himself our “fierce advocate,” an ally for the LGBT community, although he hasn’t really proven himself to be quite so fierce in his first year-plus in office. I will cut him some slack because of the economy and health care and the environment, but a part of me still harbors some resentment over his failed promises to our community.
And, I get a tad more annoyed when I read about British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who, with his decidedly pro-LGBT stance, both in the UK and around the world, seems, by a wide margin, to truly be a fierce ally to lesbians and gays. Not to mention his wife, Sarah’s, support of our issues.
Brown was one of the first world leaders to, not only acknowledge, but speak out against, the Ugandan “Kill The Gays” bills; he even took his case directly to President Obama. And his missus regularly walks in Britain’s LGBT Pride parade. We don’t see that kind of out front support of the gay community by our politicians, and their spouses, in this country.
And the Browns continue their support this month with their second annual reception, held at Number 10 Downing Street, their official residence, to celebrate LGBT History Month. It was during that reception that Brown spoke directly to several people and groups about his stance on LGBT rights; to gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, serving openly in the British military, he said:
“You are the pride of our country and we thank you very much. We know this debate continues in America today. I would say to people who still favour ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’, look at our experience in Britain.”
Prime Minister Brown also spoke about hate crimes, and talked to James Parks, who was gay-bashed in Liverpool last year, saying:
“We all went into shock and morning as a spate of homophobic and transphobic attacks happened and as James Parks was hospitalised our thoughts were with him.”
And then he introduced James Parks to the crowd, along with Parks’ newly-wed civil partner, Tom.
At the end of his speech, Brown closed, by saying:
“I will not give up on the fight for justice until justice is achieved.”
We’ve heard that from some of our leaders. Heard it, but never seen action, never seen much recognition, never seen a decided stance on DADT. It would be nice if our politicians would take a page from Brown’s book.
Failing that, I wonder if we could import Gordon Brown and have him run for president.