Anger over 'no action' Obama

  • 12 October 2009
  • From the section Politics

Young gay people across America are furious at President Barack Obama for not changing the laws he said he would.

Gay rights activists
Many people are angry that laws haven't changed

Thousands marched in protest outside the White House and Capitol Hill on Sunday, asking the government to abolish legislation which says no openly gay person can be a member of the US military.

It's referred to as the "don't ask, don't tell policy" and was introduced in 1993 by President Bill Clinton as a compromise after the military refused to accept overtly gay individuals.

But it's been the subject of controversy ever since and most homosexuals in the States see it as concrete evidence that gays are still not treated equally in society.

During his presidential campaign, Mr Obama promised to get rid of the legislation but so far critics say he hasn't done anything about it and many are frustrated.

'Unjust' policy

On Saturday, Mr Obama spoke to America's biggest advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign.

He told lesbians and gays in the audience he will ban the policy because it's "unjust".

He said: "We should not be punishing patriotic Americans who have stepped forward to serve the country.

"We should be celebrating their willingness to step forward and show such courage."

Barack Obama
Barack Obama says he will make changes to the law

But he didn't put a time frame on when the law would change and that's why people are angry.

Mike Redgrave works at a bar in New York's gay district, Chelsea.

He said: "Many of us thought he (President Obama) would help but he's like all the others.

"It's all talk and no action. Simple as that. Proves he's like the rest of them, you know."

Many Republicans in Congress are likely to oppose the alteration as they believe gays shouldn't be in the military altogether.