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(2nd) LGBT Caucus Liveblog #DNC2012

by Jeremy Hooper


12:01: Brian Bond praises Obama campaign manager Jim Messina; Jim Messina praises Brian Bond

12:02: Messina talks about a pen President Obama gave him in recognition of DADT repeal.

12:02: Messina talks DADT repeal process.

12:04: Messina says it's incredibly important that Obama be re-elected; room obviously agrees

12:05: Messina stresses the "right side of history" of the Obama administration, contrasts it with Romney

12:06: Messina says election will be close, "don't let anyone tell you anything else." Concludes remarks to a standing ovation.

12:07: Rick Stafford, chair of LGBT Caucus, now speaking. Says DADT repeal and hate crimes protections would not have happened without Messina and Bond.

12:08: Stafford recognizes Adam Ebbin, first openly gay state senator from Virginia. Crowd likes.

12:08: Stafford vamping, waiting for something or someone

12:09: Andrew Tobias at podium. Encourages crowd to reach out to Republican relatives, speak the Democratic message.

12:10: Tobias: "Ask your Republican uncle—how will the global recession affect you? Your retirement?"

12:11: Stafford back at podium. Recognizes Terry O'Neill, president of NOW (National Org. of Women)

12:12: Clearly we are waiting for a special guest. I'm hearing Biden. So I guess we are "Biden' time" [ba dum dum]

12:13: Stafford introduces Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis

Screen Shot 2012-09-06 At 12.22.37 Pm

12:14: Solis is proud to be a Democrat. Asks crowd if they were proud last night. I'll let you guess their response.

12:15: Solis says we have to set record straight (so to speak). Stresses job creation.

12:15: Solis: "29 months, 4.5 million private sector jobs across the board"

12:16: Solis says President did try to work across the aisle. Echoing some of Clinton's notes from last night about current inability to disagree with respect.

12:16: Solis says President cares all of us. Says he cares about diversity, as evidenced by his Cabinet. Solis says her office also reflects this diversity.

12:17: Solis didn't know she was poor growing up, but she knew was part of a strong family. "We've got to continue upon that road."

12:18: Solis says "we didn't shove our old President aside." Obviously talking about W. Bush

12:18: Solis mentions being able to love whomever you want. Stresses respect.

12:21: Solis concludes remarks by mentioning that Dr. Jill Biden might be coming to speak. Guess that's the Biden on the way.

12:21: "It's not about Hilda Solis, it's not about one person, it's about all of us."

12:22: Stafford back up. Introduces Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

12:23: Dr. Biden enters to some sultry music. Can't pinpoint it. Should have Shazamed it, I guess.

12:24: Crowd warmly welcomes Biden. Chanting "Jill, Jill, Jill!"

12:25: Stafford mentions Biden's work for veterans, families, more.

12:26: Biden begins by noting Michelle Obama's and President Clinton's speeches. Thanks Stafford for his leadership in this Caucus.

12:26: Says she, Joe, Michelle, and Barack (first names her usage) thank this Caucus.

12:27: Biden says "gay rights." I wonder if she will move to the preferred "LGBT rights." Crowd seems to want her to.

12:27: Biden runs down the accomplishments. Notes that we now have the firs Pres. and V.P. in history to affirm marriage equality.

12:28: Biden rallying the crowd. Says they can't get complacent.

12:29: "only got two months to go. Barack and Joe need you to give it everything you've got"

12:29: With that, Biden concludes her brief remarks. Brevity doesn't diminish enthusiasm; crowd back to chanting "Jill, Jill!"

12:30: Stafford back up. Introduces first transgender member of the DNC, Babs Caspar Siperstein from New Jersey.

12:31: Siperstein says there were "two swirling masses of hot air" in Tampa (RNC Convention). She says one was Hurricane Isaac, other was Chris Christie.

12:32: Siperstein introducing Newark mayor Cory Booker. Noting his accomplishments on behalf of LGBT New Jerseyans and Americans.

12:33: Crowd *LOVES* Booker. Biggest reception yet. "Cory, Cory, Cory!"


12:34: Booker says he feels at home in this room.

12:34: Booker says he brought with him a LGBT hero. It's Senator Loretta Weinberg, the NJ state senator who has been such a champion on so many Garden State issues (including marriage.)

12:35: Booker says marriage equality in NJ is "when, not if"

12:36: Booker hints that he might have a good seat by the time marriage equality passes. WOW, is he saying he's going to run against Christie in 2013?!?

12:37: Booker says the President support for marriage has changed minds in the Black community. Equates African-American struggle with LGBT rights fight (despite the NOM script).

12:38: Booker: "First African-American President in the history of the U.S. has stood up…"

12:39: Booker mentions discrimination against Irish, Jews, Latinos, more. Likens all to LGBT struggle.

12:39: Mentions tragic murder of lesbian teen Sakia Gunn "for just being who she was."

12:40: Booker says gay and straight people of all walks of life have died for him and his freedoms.

12:41: Booker turns attention to author James Baldwin. Speaking to the "achievement of the impossible."

12:43: Booker says some forget that they were born on third base (obv. Romney dig)

12:44: Booker says MLK, civil rights pioneers fought for *all* rights, including LGBT people

12:44: Booker quotes Langston Hughes, with one small change (noted in brackets):

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, [and the LGBT]--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.
O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
But yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

12:46: Booker exits to great applause

12:47: Senator Al Franken up now. Great applause.

Screen Shot 2012-09-06 At 12.55.27 Pm

12:47: Franken: "We're making a lot of progress"

12:48: Franken talking about USO tours he used to do in the '90s. Says he noticed a change between '99 and '06-a "big change."

12:49–12:54: Franken says he never understood Don't Ask Don't Tell. Says he encountered soldiers who agreed with him. Says he met amazing gay soldiers. True to his roots, Franken punctuates story with humor.

12:54: Franken turns attention to Massachusetts and marriage. Says he once interviewed Mass. lawmaker who tried to overturn the law. But Franken says this lawmaker changed his vote after meeting actual gay families.

12:56: Franken says he needs room's help on the Student Non-discrimination Act. "it gives LGBT students the same civil rights that minority students got from the Civil Rights Act of 1964…female students got from Title IX.."

12:57: Franken notes how unremarkable young people think being LGBT is ("like being left-handed") Franken says he thinks it's more interesting than that. Leaves.

12:59: Stafford back at podium. Recognizes WH Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard (openly gay) in audience.

1:01: Stafford introduces governor of Delaware, Jack Markell

1:02: Gov. Markall says room should be reversed—advocates on stage and electeds in audience.

1:03: Markall notes that in '09, before he took office, it was still illegal to discriminate against LGBT in his state. "Five months later, it was not." Also signed parental rights bill.

1:03: Markall says that doomsday prognosticators were wrong—nothing happened when he signed pro-equality laws.

1:05–1:06: Markall talks about signing civil unions bill into law. "tears were flowing but by far the most powerful piece for me was when I invited all of the children (of same-sex couples) up onto the stage…thought it was important for them to know that the entire state stands behind them"

1:07: Markall (like Franken) says his kids couldn't believe LGBT rights were even at issue.

1:08: Markall: "We are going to take the next, inevitable step to marriage equality." "How does the other party still have in their platform what they have in their platform?"

1:09: Markall concludes by noting the President's ability to make more progress happen.

1:10: Stafford back up to give another shootout. This one goes to HRC president Chad Griffin.

1:11: Stafford gives another to Victory Fund head Chuck Wolfe.

1:12: Stafford says he wants to "give women from Minnesota equal time today." Introduces Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

1:13: Klobuchar gets standing ovation. Begins by thanking Stafford and her "great friend" Al Franken.

1:14: Klobuchar says Clinton gave amazing speech. Says her favorite part was "arithmetic." Encourages crowd to respond with that one word answer to critics—says it's always on our side "the truth and the changing number in this country."

1:15: Klobuchar notes her work on hate crimes. She introduced President Clinton at a hate crimes event in the '90s. Tells funny story about when she, absent-mindedly, tried to walk out to Pres. Clinton's "Hail to the Chief" intro music.

1:16: Klobuchar: "I want MN to be the first state in the country to defeat this divisive marriage amendment."

1:17: Klobuchar says the marriage fight in her state crosses partisan lines. Notes major support from companies like General Mills. Says churches and synagogues are coming out for our side.

1:18: Not just a single issue, says the Senator of the larger fight. Speaks of commitment to repealing DADT (wasn't going to go home for Xmas until done).

1:19: Klobuchar turns to DOMA repeal. Notes that her Republican colleagues have gay staffers, friends, etc., and "they know the world is changing."

1:20: Klobuchar says the room has to take the spirit of this Convention home to the states.

1:21: Klobuchar says her seventeen-year-old daughter thought President's support for marriage equality was "coolest thing that ever happened." Exits on that strong note.

1:23: Chair Stafford recognizes NGLTF president Rea Carey, in audience

1:25: Stafford introduces Secretary Doug Wilson (Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs).

1:26: Stafford invites all service members to the stage. Crowd thanks them for their service with a healthy, sustained standing ovation.

1:27–1:31: Wilson remembers stories from DADT repeal, specifically from straight soldiers. Implication is that he rarely came across a solider who cared about whether a fellow servicemember is straight or gay.

1:32: Wilson says we owe the Senators who made DADT repeal a reality a great debt of thanks.

1:33: Wilson says he and various allies celebrated DADT repeal with bottles of Dogfish Ale. Ends by stressing that we're all in this together.

1:34: Wilson: "Today there are men and women all over this globe…who proudly can don their uniforms and do their jobs."

1:36: Andy Tobias back at podium, recognizes Congressman Frank and his husband Jim Ready (both in aud.)

1:37: Congressman Frank takes podium. In true Barney fashion, begins by saying event has time problem and should have been cut in half.

1:38: Rep. Frank says room has to ratchet up the pressure now that the other side is "slipping." Don't ease up, he says.

1:39: Frank says that the more states that recognize marriage, the harder it will be for the other side to argue against it.

1:39: Frank says he is told by some that we should not make our rights a partisan issue. His response: "We didn't make it a partisan issue."

1:40: Frank on GOP: "You do not change behavior by rewarding it." Frank turns attention to Log Cabin Republicans' R. Clarke Cooper who just chastised Frank via press release.

1:41: Frank on Rep. Steve King of Iowa (an FRC fav): "he is notable in that he is deeply prejudiced against every group of which he is not a member"

1:42–1:43: Frank going full throat against gay Republican arguments. Says since the existence of groups like Log Cabin, the party has gotten worse "Gerald Ford was better"

1:44: Frank says those of us in this fight will be able to look back fifteen years from now and know that we've pretty much won, but ONLY if we make the right choices.

1:45: Frank: "They are called the Log Cabin club b/c their role model is Uncle Tom."

1:47–1:48: Chair Stafford presents Rep. Frank with an award for his years of dedication and time. Frank seems touched.

1:48: Frank: "You get a lot of trinkets and mugs and plaques and stuff, the rule is to never throw anything away within one mile of where it was given to you. But this one is coming home.".."One of the nicest things that's ever happened to me."

1:51: Chair Stafford declares it "Barney Frank Day."

1:52: Stafford acknowledges Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of TX (in aud.). Mistakenly introduces her as Barbara, but she seems okay.

1:53: Stafford recognizes Heather Mizeur, MD state delegate

1:54: Stafford recognizes all the persons of color in the crowd.

1:59: Stafford introduces Congresswoman and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz

1:59: Wasserman Schultz says she feels like she's come home.

2:00: Wasserman Schultz lauds Chair Stafford. Mentions assorted other notables.

2:00: Wasserman Schultz notes the "500 strong" LGBT delegates, with specific mention to the 11 transgender.

2:01: Of her district: "We like to say that Wilton Manors is the straight-friendly city."

2:02–2:04: Wasserman Schultz speaks of how humbling it is to earn a spot in Congress, how proud she is of Rep. Frank, how proud she is of progress. Etc. She's proud is the point.

2:04: Wasserman Schultz closes by saying that our children will only read about this discrimination stuff in the history books. "We're not going back."

2:05: Stafford gives Wasserman Shultz an award "for her past, her present, and her future." "Unfailing support"


*SEE ALSO: (1st) LGBT Caucus LiveBlog [G-A-Y]

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