At Gay Conference, Applause for Obama Is Spirited but Wary
Here at the nation’s largest gathering of politically minded gays and lesbians, President Obama’s historic inclusion of sexual orientation in his inauguration speech just days earlier would seem to be cause for celebration. And it was, sort of. But as nearly 3,300 people gathered for the annual National Gay and Lesbian Task Force conference, the congratulatory mood was tempered by notes of caution and assurances that gay leaders would continue to pressure the White House to do more, including offering job protection to gays and lesbians who work for the federal government and weighing in on two pending Supreme Court cases regarding same-sex marriage. “People see it as an opening, but I don’t know that people see it as a promise or a guarantee,” said Paulina Helm-Hernandez, a co-director of Southerners on New Ground, an advocacy group dedicated to social issues in the South. “The question is, now what do we do with the president’s attention?