"Barack believes that we must fight for the world as it should be, a world where together we work to reverse discriminatory laws," she said at a Manhattan fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee's Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council.
Michelle Obama also drew a connection between the struggles for gay rights and civil rights.
"We are all only here because of those who marched and bled and died, from Selma to Stonewall, in the pursuit of a more perfect union," she said at the event, held days before the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots between gays and New York police, and the city's annual gay pride parade.
"The world as it is should be one that rejects discrimination of all kinds," she said.
Now, since I was born in the Soviet Union and I was abused for it all growing up in America, racism and bigotry are two things that really get under my skin. Still, comparing and equating the civil rights movement with equality for gays and lesbians is a dicey proposition that opens up all sorts of Pandora's boxes.
First, unlike women, African Americans and other minorities, homosexuality is a behavior. If that is protected, then I want protection for being loud, since I have that tendency. When someone says they want behavior to have equal protection, I ask under what circumstances.
The bottom line is that the homosexual lifestyle is inherently unequal. Children cannot be created through homosexual relationships, and this makes them inherently unequal. Generally, when someone says homosexuality equality they mean on marriage. Of course, you can't have equality on two lifestyles that are inherently unequal. Furthermore, if the gay lifestyle is treated equally, then it can also naturally lead to having it given equal treatment in education. It is this sort of political correctness that has spawned an explosion of schools that insist on teaching their students about the gay lifestyle equally.
Equality could also be applied to the workplace, lodging and in school. Laws like ENDA attempt to create such equality.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), is a proposed U.S. federal law that would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation
While the first bill on the subject of sexual orientation discrimination was introduced in Congress in 1974, the first bill using the current title of "Employment Non-Discrimination Act" was introduced in 1996, failing in the Senate by a 49-50 vote.
The most recent version of the bill, introduced by Representative Frank, no longer includes language regarding protections for transgender people and has been protested by many LGBT rights organizations in the United States, with the exception of the Human Rights Campaign.
Laws like ENDA are, in my opinion, well meaning and compassionate but also misguided. The reality is that sexuality is a private matter. It has no place in the workplace or any other public forum. It is no less appropriate for a heterosexual to flaunt their sexuality than it is for a homosexual to do it. A homosexual only needs protection if they are flaunting their sexuality inappropriately. Thus, protection to homosexuals in the workplace creates protections for publicizing a private act.
On many levels there are parallels between the bigotry that many minorities went through and the bigotry that homosexuals continue to go through. While I am sympathetic to their plight, I don't believe the answer is to legislate equality. Once behavior and especially sexuality is all given equal treatment, then we are ignoring the inherent inequality in the behavior. Furthermore, it opens up a Pandora's box to protect all sorts of behavior.
I think it is a noble goal to have a society where everyone is treated equally, no matter their sexual orientation, however when a politician makes equality of sexuality a platform, I am concerned by what specifically that means.