On Wednesday evening, September 29, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was the honoree at the Victory Fund's 10th annual Gay & Lesbian Leadership Awards. After introductions by Reps. Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin, Pelosi spoke of her time in Congress -- from winning her seat in a special election to passing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to looking forward to the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
''People talk about, 'Never support discrimination.' And they say to me, 'Well, it's easy for you to do. You're from San Francisco. It's such a tolerant place,'' Pelosi told the crowd. ''And I say, that's a condescending word to me -- tolerant. We don't think of it as tolerant, we think of it as respect -- respect for our community. And in fact, we take pride in our gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community.''
"We were very, very disappointed that the requirement for 60 votes prevented us from getting a stong majority in the Senate,'' Pelosi said of the failure to gain any Republican support on September 21. ''But 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' will be gone by the end of the year. It won't be gone from the pain it has caused some people. And some are here tonight who served in our military. God bless you for your courage and your patriotism and your sacrafice. That wil take some time. But because of the courage of some of them, this will be gone by the end of the year.''