Adam Peters, Director of Operations at Clock Inc. in Rock Island had a courtside seat to history on Tuesday, December 13. He was on the South Lawn of the White House when President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law. Peters’ past work with presidential campaigns led to his invitation to the event.
“I have worked on political campaigns before, I worked with Pete Buttigieg’s campaign in Iowa and in California and after Pete pulled out of the race, I worked with Joe Biden’s campaign in Pennsylvania. Now I work at this LGBTQ community center and for the event, they were inviting just everybody and anyone that had anything to do with LGBTQ rights.”
The bill signing was no ordinary day at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. “Oh my gosh it was incredible! It was the who’s who of DC politics,” said Peters. “Of course, you have President Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, you have Vice President Kamala Harris you have her husband Doug Emhoff and then you have the senators who really helped pass this bill, Senator Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Nancy Pelosi Chuck Schumer, cabinet member Pete Buttigieg with his husband Chastain. I was so excited to see my old boss there. We had some celebrities we had Anna Navarro from ‘The View’ we had Grammy award-winning Sam Smith singing one of his top hits, Cyndi Lauper did her rendition of ‘True Colors,’ it was just so incredible. Behind President Biden as he is talking about the passage of this bill were all of the plaintiffs in so many of the cases across the country on the South Lawn steps, just families, kids, these people who have been actually affected by these awful laws that are now gone because of this bill being signed.”
Peters not only got to witness history, he may have had one of the best seats in town. “I was actually closer than the VIPs because I was dead center. The Congresspeople and senators were off on the side and the folks with the families on the steps were quite far back aways too, but I was about 10 feet away from everything. I’ve been posting the videos on my Instagram and my friends and family are just like ‘oh my gosh it’s like you are a part of the administration.’ Well, I’m not but I was I was very close to it.”
“I’ve already gotten so many messages just saying, ‘thank you for being there, thank you for representing Quad Citians.’ There are so many families in this area and that’s honestly what it’s about, it’s about families, it’s about protecting families and millions and millions of families across the country who are going to benefit from this legislation from this bill.”
Biden’s speech affected Peters in more ways than he expected. “He said that yes, it is a day for celebration, but we also still have so much work to do. We have the Equality Act that also needs to get passed that has not been passed yet and that is an act that will help with nondiscrimination of LGBTQ people in federal levels in housing, in funding, in all different levels that has not been passed yet. President Biden made sure to talk about that and in talking about that, he shouted out community centers like Clock, Inc, which to me my heart started beating, just so fast I can’t even say.”
Later, Peters had the opportunity to let the president know how much that shoutout meant. “I was wearing my Clock pin to represent our awesome nonprofit LGBTQ community center and I had the chance afterwards to present him with that pin and say ‘President Biden, thank you so much for saying that you want to protect community centers like the one that I work at.” He said, ‘God love you, man.’ He said, ‘my daughter does the same thing too, she works at a community center.’ It was an amazing moment, so he has a Clock pin now and he has that forever, so he’ll know Clock.”
For Peters, the day was memorable for its pure bliss, something he wishes more people could have experienced. “They really did try to invite as many people as possible because it was outside, and they had just this joyous event. People were just beaming.” He cherishes the stories he heard from the people around him. “Chuck Schumer gave some really really beautiful words on his family, his daughter who is a lesbian and married and now they’re having a baby. It just was just from start to finish, it was pitch perfect and it was just joyful joyous joyousness.”