It’s that time of the week, when Queerty takes a break from the opinion-making and puts you, the readers, in charge. Each Friday, we invite you to be the pundit on a hot-button question facing the LGBT community and its allies. As always, we expect people to be respectful and considerate of others by refraining from personal attacks. We present the information, you make the decision.
This week, the Obama administration announced that the U.S. would become a signatory to a United Nations resolution calling for an end to the criminalization of homosexuality. Under Bush, the U.S. argued that the non-binding resolution might infringe on individual state’s rights, but after a brief review by the White House counsel, the White House decided there were no legal hang-ups to joining the resolution, which had already been signed by every other Western nation.
It’s not the only bone Obama’s thrown to the gay community. The White House has directed the Department of Defense to undertake a review of its policy denying gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military, and as recently as last Friday, the administration reiterated its admittedly vague plans to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. In less official ways, the White House has demonstrated that it intends to be a welcoming place to the LGBT community. When the White House announced its small-business initiative this week, it invited seven prominent gay business leaders and experts to attend. The administration announces appointments of openly gay and lesbian civil servants to White House posts on a nearly weekly basis.
On the surface, it seems like good times for gays an lesbians, but is it just lip service? Though Obama is already a third of the way through his first 100 days, considered to be the most influential time in a new President’s tenure, he has yet to introduce or support any significant gay rights related legislation. It’s not like he hasn’t had the opportunity. The House is considering a bill that would repeal DOMA, a lawsuit by Massachusetts married couples is challenging DOMA and last week a federal judge ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional. If ever there was an opportunity to act, it would be now.
But what do we know? Let’s put it to you: Is Obama being pragmatic and cautious about making good on his campaign promises to repeal DADT and DOMA or is he caving to politics while offering up gays and lesbians lip service?