Obama Chides Americans for Not Accepting 'Gayness'

Obama hopes to persuade all Americans to accept homosexuality WASHINGTON, DC - President Barack Obama says that while he's dedicated to expanding homosexual rights, many Americans still cling to what he calls "worn arguments and old attitudes."

At a White House celebration of Gay Pride Month, Obama said he hopes to persuade all Americans to accept homosexuality. ""There are good and decent people in this country who don't yet fully embrace their gay brothers and sisters -- not yet," said the president. "That's why I've spoken about these issues -- not just in front of you -- but in front of unlikely audiences, in front of African-American church members."

Obama acknowledged that many Americans still disapprove of homosexuality. "There are still fellow citizens, perhaps neighbors or even family members and loved ones, who still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes," he stated.

He added that Congress should repeal what Obama referred to as "the so-called Defense of Marriage Act" -- and that his administration is working to pass a hate crimes bill and to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on homosexuals in the military.

The audience at the White House ceremony included Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson and other homosexual clergy. Obama introduced Robinson as a "special friend."

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