LGBT caucus speakers emphasize equal rights, progress

Anne Buie

Second Lady, Dr. Jill Biden addresses the LGBT Caucus Thursday morning at the DNC. Paul Heckert | The AppalachianThe Democratic National Convention’s LGBT caucus speakers spoke to a full room, with spectators standing on both sides of the room Thursday afternoon.

But despite the crowded accommodations, the crowd responded enthusiastically, with applause and chants, during the majority of the speeches.

Second Lady Jill Biden made an appearance, and was greeted with her name chanted over and over.

“We need to continue moving forward with gay rights on progress already made,” Biden said. “Progress like ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell…or extending visitation rights for same-sex couples.”

New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker also gave a speech, recieving multiple rounds of applause at several points thoughout his speech.

“Hatred is hatred,” New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker said during his speech. “Bigotry is bigotry. We need to wake up America and show equality is equality.”

Booker went on to say he was proud of President Obama.

“He is our hero,” Booker said. “He has stood up to do what’s right.”

Booker concluded his speech with a Langston Hughes poem, Oh, Let America be America again.

But before Booker read a condensed version of the speech, he said he had added his own personal line.

“Oh, let America be America again,” Booker said. “The land that has never been yet. The poor man’s, the negro and the LGBT.”

Booker waited for applause to die down before he said his final statement.

“I join with you all, we swear with this oath. America will be.”

Shortly after Booker’s speech, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell spoke.

“We have all work to do in our states…but we’ll be so much better if we partner with the federal government who is led by a president who gets it,” Markell said.

Story: ANNE BUIE, Managing Editor
Photo: PAUL HECKERT, Senior Photographer