Democratic stars address LGBT caucus

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Dr. Jill Biden arrives to the LGBT caucus at the DNC on Sept. 6. - PHOTO: Lisa Neff

Democratic stars and LGBT stalwarts urged LGBT delegates to the national convention to go home and get out the vote for Barack Obama.

And also to ask Republican relatives to stay home on election day.

The noon meeting of the LGBT caucus at the Charlotte Convention Center on Sept. 6 featured comments by second lady Dr. Jill Biden, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Obama-Biden campaign manager Jim Messina, Democratic National Committee treasurer Andrew Tobias, openly gay U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker and U.S. Sen. Al Franken, among others.

Each speaker reminded the delegates that, when they leave Charlotte, to take enthusiasm and energy home along with their memorabilia and memories.

Each also reminded the delegates of the Obama administration’s record and policies on LGBT equality – from the dismantling of “don’t ask, don’t tell” to the refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, from signing the hate crimes reform bill into law to enacting executive policies protecting same-sex couples in family health care emergencies.

And each, at different moments, brought delegates to their feet to applaud.

Messina led off the speakers, telling delegates, “I am proud of how much you guys are doing on the ground.”

Tobias asked delegates to ask their Republican uncles – or other Republican relatives – to stay home on election day if they can’t vote for Barack Obama. He offered two reasons – out of love for the LGBT relative and because, if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, are elected “we are going to have a global depression.”

Biden reminded delegates there are only two months left before election day – with lots of work for campaign volunteers remaining.

Booker, who earlier in the week delivered a fiery convention speech in defense of marriage equality, quoted from Langston Hughes and James Baldwin and said, “Hate is hate, bigotry is bigotry … and inequality is inequality.”

The popular mayor also implied that he may run for governor in New Jersey – a post held by Republican Chris Christie, who vetoed a marriage equality bill earlier this year.

Christie delivered the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa last week and may run for president in 2016.