Attorney General Eric Holder drew raucous applause when he affirmed that the Department of Justice and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) lawyers and activists share a “common cause.”
In speaking to a gathering of LGBT lawyers in the ballroom of a Washington hotel on Thursday evening, Holder praised “the strength of your passion” in the fight for equality.
“This is not starting out like one of my congressional hearings,” he said after walking to the podium to shouts and cheers. He was, of course, joking about his appearances before the House oversight committee leading up to the House vote that held him in contempt of Congress.
Holder recounted the ways that the Justice Department and the Obama administration have fought to advance the LGBT cause, including fighting the Defense of Marriage Act, repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy and pushing to hire gay lawyers.
“As an American, I am deeply proud to stand with you and celebrate the remarkable, once unimaginable progress that — particularly over the last three-and-a-half years — your leadership and coordinated efforts have helped to bring about.”
The short speech, while never mentioning the 2012 campaign itself, portrayed the administration as walking in lockstep with LGBT activists who are pushing for the legalization of same-sex marriage, non-discrimination in the workplace and a crackdown on alleged hate crimes and bullying against gay people.