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Because it should never be dangerous -- (applause) -- you should never have to look over your shoulder -- to be gay in the United States of America. (Applause.) I met with Janice Langbehn, who was barred from the bedside of the woman she loved as she lay dying. I issued an order so that any hospital in America that accepts Medicare or Medicaid -– and that means just about every hospital -– has to treat gay partners just as they do straight partners. All around the world, you’ve got gays and lesbians who are serving, and the only difference is now they can put up a family photo.
(Applause.) But what I also said, that while it might take time –- more time than anyone would like -– we are going to make progress; we are going to succeed; we are going to build a more perfect union. And with the help of my dear friend Ted Kennedy we got it done.
I don’t have to tell you how many are still denied their basic rights -- Americans who are still made to feel like second-class citizens, who have to live a lie to keep their jobs, or who are afraid to walk the street, or down the hall at school.
(Applause.) What he has accomplished at the helm of this organization has been remarkable, and I want to thank all of you for the support that you’ve shown this organization and for your commitment to a simple idea: Every single American -- gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender -- every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of our society. (Applause.) Now, I don’t have to tell you that we have a ways to go in that struggle.
(Applause.) We put in place the first comprehensive national strategy to fight HIV/AIDS. I vowed to keep up the fight against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
And I told her that we were going to put a stop to this discrimination. Because nobody should have to produce a legal contract to hold the hand of the person that they love. (Applause.) I said that we would lift that HIV travel ban -- we got that done. (Applause.) But with the help of HRC, we got it done. (Applause.) And all over the world, there are men and women serving this country just as they always have -- with honor and courage and discipline and valor. (Laughter.) No one has to live a lie to serve the country they love.
Through some of the foundation’s research, we know that families who do things together—like go to a movie, bowling, a walk, to an arcade game, or simply laugh—can help improve each other’s state of mind. ・・・ Be it taking a walk, reading a good book, or catching up with a good friend.
We went around and each of us talked about how we’re doing, how we’re feeling, and made observations about the other person.It was probably an incident or their biology that caused them to move in that direction.The Friendship Bench initiative, which encourages people in Zimbabwe to talk about mental health, has found that talking about it early on helps save lives.It should join “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the history books. And after so many years -- even decades -- of inaction you’ve got every right to push against the slow pace of change.But make no mistake -- I want people to feel encouraged here -- we are making change. We can be proud of the progress we’ve already made. And I don’t just mean in your role, by the way, as advocates for equality.