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Obama Signing Up For U.N.’s Gay Decriminalization. So?

Obama

The United States hasn’t seen eye to eye with the rest of the world, even the Western World, on many things. Global warming. Preemptive strikes. Letting The Real Housewives of Orange County be renewed. But much of that went down under the Bush administration. Now, you might have heard, a new regime is in place, and Camp Barack Obama is ready to agree with much of the world on this: being gay is not a crime.

Which is why Obama plans to have America sign the United Nations declaration calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality, which his predecessor refused to get on board with in December, when 66 of 192 member states signed.

In all fairness, this “declaration” does little. There is no means of enforcement. It’s a broad sweeping statement, but does not constitute any real action. There are still 70 nations belonging to the U.N. that make being gay a crime; in some, you can even be put to death for it. And it’s not like peacekeeping forces are en route to Nigeria to stop it.

But recognize Obama’s signature for what it is: a reversal of course from Bush’s eight years of hatemongering. Obama still isn’t a full partner in civil rights — he has yet to give his full support to gay marriage — but it’s a clear step in the right direction. And the direction of right.

By:           editor editor
On:           Mar 18, 2009
Tagged: , , ,

  • 50 Comments
    • rogue dandelion
      rogue dandelion

      forward in half steps we go. but at least forward we are going.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 4:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hubba
      Hubba

      This is a positive and symbolic step forward and you’re griping about it? Applaud all the good things that are coming our way and show gratitude for this historic declaration. The universe has made a grand gesture with this UN measure, do not spit in it’s face by showing an ungrateful attitude.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 4:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sparkle obama
      sparkle obama

      those gays loved hillary!

      Mar 18, 2009 at 4:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      TOO BAD THE RESOLUTION HAS NO TEETH AND IS NON-BINDING (meaning no one has to pay any attention to it) WHICH MAKES IT A PRETTY WORTHLESS ENDEAVOR. MAYBE OBAMA COULD ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE FOR GAY AMERICANS, LIKE KEEPING HIS PROMISE TO END DOMA (instead Obama is sitting back while the Feds actually cite DOMA as the reason they will deny a judges’ order to issue benefits to same-sex couples). OR OBAMA COULD KEEP HIS PROMISE TO END DADT (but that would piss off his bigot Republican friends, so don’t count on it). OBAMA PROMISED GAYS A PLACE AT THE TABLE – BUT ALL WE GET TO EAT ARE SCRAPS.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 6:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bobito
      bobito

      @Wayne: maybe Obama even WILL eventually “do something that actually makes a difference for gay Americans”, at some point during his Presidency. The US signing a resolution calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality is a minimalistic gesture, only relevant in terms of the UN member states that DIDN’T sign it.

      The previous administration refused to sign, out of fear that such a national stance might conflict with state laws that allow employers to fire gay employees for the simple reason that they are gay, or allow landlords to throw out gay tenants, etc., etc.

      And you know what else? The previous administration was right. If this is signed, the gay community has leverage to contest state-condoned discrimination on a national level. The gesture in itself is minimal, but the changes that could be effected here in America are one (maybe even not-so-small) step closer to being made possible.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 8:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • blake
      blake

      @Wayne:

      Darn that Obama for not changing the world after 6 weeks in office. Where is his magic wand? I thought that as president all he had to do change federal law was to pull out his wand and presto alakazam: a majority of congress-persons and senate will fall into line.

      Wuh? You mean that in the real world politicians have to write laws, wheel and deal to gain support for controversial changes? You mean that the other constituencies that supported a presidential candidate are also lining up for their rewards? So, gays are going to have to actually work to build coalitions with other groups to get them vote for legislation and that those others won’t just vote our way because we want them to do so? Gays have to compete with labor and immigration reform groups to gain the White House’s attention?

      And, you mean that because Republicans still have the ability to filibuster in the Senate, blocking any legislation, unless 2 or 3 Republicans can be persuaded to vote for gay civil rights there’s a good chance gay civil rights legislation would blow up?

      Oh, you’re also saying that when Bill Clinton took office and immediately tried to eliminate discrimination against gays in the military it blew up in his face and derailed his legislative efforts while causing the creation of the odious DADT law? So, Obama might be trying to figure out the best way of getting laws passed without screwing over his attempt to pass reforms to fix the economic problems, health care, labor law, immigration, etc.

      Gee, this politics stuff is really complex, nasty, and a bloody business that requires strategy, cajoling, ass-kissing, pressure tactics, coalition building, and supporting our allies (while letting them know we can withhold our support)?

      Argh!

      Mar 18, 2009 at 8:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      @Bobito, Obama promised (repeatedly) during the campaign that he would bring real “change” he vowed that he would constantly fight hard to end ALL of DOMA, he was even critical of Hillary Clinton during the primary and said she didn’t go far enough to end DOMA. Yet as now as president the Obama Administration is actually citing DOMA in their bid to deny a recent judge’s orders to issue benefits to same-sex couples! It’s an absolute revearsal of what he promised to do! – read the NYTimes story for more info:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/13/us/politics/13benefits.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Obama%20gay&st=cse

      Not to mention how Obama has also caved on his promises to end DADT. I don’t see how Obama’s actions inspire anyone to hope that real “Change” will happen anytime soon for gay Americans.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 8:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      @Blake. I didn’t make the promises Obama made, he did. The Obama Administration is now standing behind and enforcing the very policies that Obama repeatedly promised to “constantly fight hard against”. I guess living up to his own promises are to much to ask for?

      Mar 18, 2009 at 8:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • andy_d
      andy_d

      @blake: Regarding Clinton and DADT. As Command in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, the president could easily have told the Joint Chiefs to either get on board with an executive order to end the ban or resign.

      As for DOMA, he could have performed a “pocket veto” by NOT signing the legislation.

      Did he do EITHER? NO!!!! Guess who I DIDN’T vote for when the re-election bid came up. Beside Bob Dole, I mean.

      Please stop trying to defend this sheep in wolf’s clothing where our rights are concerned. The same goes for his equally dissemblig spouse.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 8:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • blake
      blake

      @Wayne:

      “Now, Mr. Obama is in a tough spot. If he supports the personnel office on denying benefits to the San Francisco court employees, he risks agitating liberal groups that helped him win election. If he supports the judges and challenges the marriage act, he risks alienating Republicans with whom he is seeking to work on economic, health care and numerous other matters.”

      Again, there is no magic wand. There is legislation on the books. There’s the endgame and there’s the strategy that gets you there. Realizing how the game is played does not mean that one should roll over, it just means knowing that there is a fight to be had.

      I’m all for calling the White House and your federal representatives to demand that the Obama Administration moves in favor of gay civil rights. I’m just not going to call Obama a turncoat 6 weeks into his presidency.

      At the same time gays want the president to act on their behalf, there are millions of others who want him to save them from foreclosures, lack of medicare, immigration nightmares, labor disputes, and the entrenched institutional racism. Look around you, things are falling apart. One of eight homeowners is in foreclosure. What does that mean? The official unemployment rate is 8.1%. Unofficially, I’ve read that real unemployment in the U.S. is between 12% to 16%

      It’s frickin’ scary for a lot of people. All of those desperate people are fighting to be heard. Some of those people have more financial and political muscle than gays. They delivered more votes at the polls for Obama. How does he prioritize his response? Labor unions have legislation they want passed, too.

      Get active. Call your federal representatives. Call the White House. Send letters.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 9:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael W.
      Michael W.

      @Wayne: Where does it say that Obama is now “standing behind and enforcing” DOMA?

      The Office of Personnel Management, the agency identified in the article you cited, is meant to act independently. It’s not under the personal control of President Obama and his choice of director hasn’t even been confirmed yet.

      According to the New York Times,

      “Now, Mr. Obama is in a tough spot. If he supports the personnel office on denying benefits to the San Francisco court employees, he risks agitating liberal groups that helped him win election. If he supports the judges and challenges the marriage act, he risks alienating Republicans with whom he is seeking to work on economic, health care and numerous other matters.”

      So where do you get the idea that Obama is standing behind and enforcing DOMA? The OPM didn’t make a decision on his behalf, it was the agency’s own decision based on the law that Clinton signed in 1996. That’s what they have to go by. Obama has yet to decide whether to back OPM or the federal appeals court judges. That decision will have to be based on the law, not his personal feelings about rights for same sex couples. DOMA still stands and must be enforced whether he likes it or not.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 9:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bobito
      bobito

      @Wayne: You’re right: REAL change isn’t going to happen anytime soon. But I still maintain that the US signing onto this decriminalization resolution can have positive consequences for the LGBTQ community here in America.

      Did you really think we were going to get more than token gestures in the much-touted “first 100 days”? I sympathize with your disappointment, but I personally interpreted “Change we can believe in” to mean not a whole hell of a lot of change, because who could believe in REAL change after the shitstorm of the last 8 years? Any body of government that could allow that kind of shit to go down without lifting a finger to interfere surely does not have the best interests of its citizens as a major priority.

      I’ll read the article later this evening when my time is less constrained. Thanks for the link.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 9:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael W.
      Michael W.

      “DOMA still stands and must be enforced whether he likes it or not.”

      I should say, DOMA is still the law and might need to be enforced depending on how Obama and his legal team interprets this case.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 9:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      @Blake “Again, there is no magic wand. There is legislation on the books”.

      And yet it was Obama himself who promised to end DOMA (he repeatedly promised to constantly “fight hard to end DOMA”. And yet as president (even though several constitutional experts say the president has wide discrecionary powers to act) Obama has instead allowed his own administration to cite DOMA as their cause to deny the judges order! How in any way shape or form does that even resemble Obama keeping his promise to the Gay community?

      Mar 18, 2009 at 9:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael W.
      Michael W.

      @Wayne: Several constitutional experts? Like who? There was only one in the article.

      “But Richard Socarides, a New York lawyer who was an adviser to President Bill Clinton on gay issues, said he believed that Mr. Obama ‘has broad discretionary authority to find ways to ameliorate some of the more blatant examples of discrimination.'”

      And that may very well be, though you could easily have another lawyer say the exact opposite. The law is subject to wide interpretation and Obama and his team must sift through all of the facts before coming to a decision. Whatever he does could have broad implications for the future.

      Or he may just defer it until he and congress can repeal DOMA.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 9:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason in WV
      Jason in WV

      Look – Obama is at least recognizing that gays are normal human beings! If conservative assholes like GW had their way, we’d all be in internment camps being reprogrammed!

      Mar 18, 2009 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      @Michael W. The NYTimes article also point out that constitutional lawyers believe the president “has broad discretionary authority to find ways to ameliorate some of the more blatant examples of discrimination”.

      and I would remind you of Obama’s own words. He was the one who said he would repeal all of DOMA, he vowed to do so REPEATEDLY during the campaign.He called it an “insult” He said he would constantly “fight against” DOMA. But now that a judge has ruled it unconstitutional, Obama is disagreeing and is actually citing DOMA!!!! It’s the exact opposite of what he promised to do!!!

      Mar 18, 2009 at 9:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      @Michael W. “And that may very well be, though you could easily have another lawyer say the exact opposite”

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Obama himself already have his degree in law when he stated his position and made those promises to end DOMA? Seems Richard Socarides had some company in constitutional theory, and at one time his name was Obama. But I guess that’s one thing that has seen some “Change”

      Mar 18, 2009 at 9:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael W.
      Michael W.

      @Wayne: Not constitutional lawyers plural, Wayne, ONE GUY! And it doesn’t say anything about him being a constitutional lawyer.

      He is one lawyer with one interpretation of DOMA in relation to Obama’s powers as president. It’s not written in stone.

      Obama promised that he’d repeal DOMA. And when the legislation passes through both houses of congress and makes it to his desk, he’ll sign it as promised. He can’t do anything without congressional approval and siding with those federal appeals judges against the law might cause a shit storm.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 10:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      @Michael W. Ok, I will reference some other constitutional lawyers who agree with him, and post it for you. Now how about trying to answer my question:

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Obama himself already have his degree in law when he stated his position and made those promises to end DOMA? Seems Richard Socarides had some company in constitutional theory, and at one time his name was Obama. But I guess that’s one thing that has seen some “Change

      Mar 18, 2009 at 10:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael W.
      Michael W.

      I already answered it:

      Obama promised that he’d repeal DOMA. And when the legislation passes through both houses of congress and makes it to his desk, he’ll sign it as promised. He can’t do anything without congressional approval and siding with those federal appeals judges against the law might cause a shit storm.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 10:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      @Michal W. “He can’t do anything without congressional approval”

      Really? And where are your legal references and sources to back that assertion up? The President has broad powers including executive orders (which Obama has used to reverse some of Bush’s polices, but doesn’t seem inclined to do so when it comes to LGBT issues).

      “.. and siding with those federal appeals judges against the law might cause a shit storm”

      oh, I didn’t realize that Obama should only stand up for the equality of gay Americans when it doesn’t “cause a shit storm” I guess we are supposed to just wait for that time to come?

      Mar 18, 2009 at 10:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      @Michael W. “I already answered it:

      Obama promised that he’d repeal DOMA…”

      EXACTLY, Obama promised to end DOMA promised to constantly fight against DOMA called DOMA an insult to gay Americans. Obama SAID a lot, but as president he is doing the EXACT opposite of what he promised. Not to mention how he has caved on DADT or how Obama made sure to bend over backwards for Rick Warren.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 10:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael W.
      Michael W.

      @Wayne: Obama has only issue executive orders and decisions to cancel out executive orders and decisions issued by his predecessor. He hasn’t used any of his executive privileges to repeal legislation that was passed by congress.

      There’s a difference between the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and the Bush tax cuts. One was an executive order, the other was an act of congress. Obama can reverse the former with an executive order but it would be illegal to try the same with the latter.

      DOMA, just like DADT, are legislative acts passed by congress and signed into law by a president. Their repeals must be enacted the same way.

      Can Obama as president do certain things to weaken and circumvent laws? He sure can. The question is to what extent backing those California federal appeals court judges would go. That’s not something that can be decided with one quote from one lawyer in a New York Times article.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 10:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Landon Bryce
      Landon Bryce

      The United States comes out for the second time in a couple of weeks in favor for international human rights that include gay people. It matters. It made me angry that Obama would not speak out when Bush refused to sign on this in December. It makes me proud that he is doing the right thing.

      I am annoyed that both the tone of this article and many of the comments seek to minimize that this is a significant, pro-gay action taken by this administration.

      I am also incredulous that any gay is stupid enough at this point to keep trashing Hilary Clinton. That she would have been infinitely worse as president is just as obvious as the fact that she is much better at treating gay people respectfully than Obama is. How fucking retarded do you have to be a gay person who hates the most vocally pro-gay Secretary of State?

      Mar 18, 2009 at 10:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      @Michael W. Obama could end DADT by executive order he is just afraid of that “shit storm” you referred to. Seems Obama is afraid of doing anything that might upset anti-gay bigots. And now that we are on that subject, let’s review: You actually believe Obama is right to defy a judges order to issue same-sex partners benefits because if he did so it would cause a “shit storm”? So when exactly do you think this magical time will come when standing up for the equality of gay people won’t cause a “shit storm”? This year? Next year? Right before Obama starts his re-election campaign, possibly? Yeah, I can see that going over well.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 11:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      @Michael W: “Obama has only issue executive orders and decisions to cancel out executive orders and decisions issued by his predecessor”

      In case you didn’t know, the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy was enacted under the executive order of President Clinton.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 11:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      ps. The President has the constitutional authority to alter the implementation of the statute. Article II, § 2 identifies the President as the
      ‘Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States’ and the Supreme Court has stated unequivocally that the President has the prerogative to establish rules and regulations for the armed forces.”

      Obama has the power, but don’t expect him to use it to help the Gay Equality movement.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 11:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MadProfessah
      MadProfessah

      @Michael W.:

      Obama’s choice of OPM Director is John Berry, who is (relatively) openly gay. The OPM Chief Counsel is also going to be lesbian (Elana Kagan).

      http://buckmire.blogspot.com/2009/03/opm-head-straight-washed-by-obama.html

      Mar 18, 2009 at 11:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • blake
      blake

      @andy_d:

      Wayne, I’m not the biggest fan of Bill Clinton’s but it was definitely more complex than that. Clinton sure as heck did not the to go through Congress; he was CRUSHED by the opposition (Democrats and Republicans) that forced DADT to become a law.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DADT

      Again, I’m not advocating a go-along-to-get-along policy with Obama. I just don’t think that it’s fair to jump on him 6 weeks into his presidency. There are better ways to influence him and Congressional forces.

      Also, different people have different priorities in terms of civil rights, I’m more concerned about ENDA. That provides more benefits to GLBT Americans. Since it would also end workplace discrimination, that would also be a good launch point and legal framework to tackle DADT. However, everyone has his/her hot issues.

      @Wayne
      DADT is federal law. Obama does not have the power through executive order to end DADT. That is a well established fact. Do your research.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DADT

      Mar 18, 2009 at 11:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michelle
      Michelle

      Yeah, Wayne it’s called Checks and Balances, the very foundation upon which our government is supposed to run. While there are certain things he does have the power to do, he can’t even declare war without Congress’ OK… so it’s not just as easy as a snap of the fingers. Legislation has to be properly written.

      And we all know what happens when shitty legislation gets written in a matter of hastiness (helllooooo Prop 8 in Calif and especially Amendment 2 in Florida). I’m not saying Obama should be easily let off the hook, but he’s just reached the midpoint of his first 100 days. While DADT and DOMA need to be repealed soon, there’s this big crazy financial mess that the administration is grappling with. Perhaps you’ve heard about it.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 11:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • InExile
      InExile

      This policy change for the decriminalization of gays is a baby step, but it is still a step! Lets hope this is the beginning of his administration working toward some of the items he has listed under civil rights on whitehouse.gov. The fact still remains that this administration will not act unless our community is protesting in the streets which keeps our issues alive in the mainstream media. When is the march on Washington for equal rights?

      Mar 18, 2009 at 12:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      @ Blake “@Wayne
      DADT is federal law. Obama does not have the power through executive order to end DADT. That is a well established fact. Do your research”

      Blake, you are misinformed, try using something a bit more concrete than Wikipedia for your research. DADT was enacted under the executive order by Bill Clinton. That is a fact. And Obama has the power to rescind that executive order.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 12:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      And to this point. Once again I would re-iterate that it was OBAMA himself that made those promises. Obama, who has a degree in law often spoke about the constitutionality of DOMA and he promised he could end ALL DOMA. He promised to constantly fight againt it. It was not another candidate who made those vows, it was OBAMA. He was the one who said he would end all of DOMA as well as DADT. Obama made those promises REPEATEDLY. There was no mention of delay or further study back then. I guess making promises is really easy for Obama, keeping them seems to be a different matter.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 12:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      @ Michelle. I’ve heard about the economy (and how Obama blew billions of tax payer dollars just to watch AIG give millions in bonus money to the very people who caused the crisis). And WHEN exactly do you think there will come a time when there are NO problems facing our country? When will this fantasy of absolute peace and prosperity come about so that Obama can actually stand up for the equality of gay Americans? When?

      Mar 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michelle
      Michelle

      There will never be a perfect time in America. I’m just saying that these are not exactly “red phone”-level issues for most people (unfortunately, indeed).

      Mar 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      Re: DADT
      The President has the constitutional authority to alter the implementation of the statute. Article II, § 2 identifies the President as the:
      Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States’ and ******the Supreme Court has stated unequivocally that the President has the prerogative to establish rules and regulations for the armed forces.” *****

      Mar 18, 2009 at 12:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      @Michelle “There will never be a perfect time in America. I’m just saying that these are not exactly “red phone”-level issues for most people (unfortunately, indeed).”

      And this is exactly the point I’m trying to make. For all those who keep saying Obama can’t do anything right now, or it’s too soon, or he will do it later – I have to ask, WHEN? When will this time come when it won’t be hard to accomplish or will be conveniant for Obama to act? When? Did he not promise to fight on our behalf (repeatedly, over and over again)? Do you actually think that in a year or two when Obama is getting ready to run for re-election that he will suddenly decide now is the time to stand up against the bigots?

      Mar 18, 2009 at 12:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Landon Bryce
      Landon Bryce

      I’m all for taking the time to dot the i’s. cross the t’s, and do everything right. I hope the AIG fall out gets both Obama and the Congress to slow the fuck down and stp handing out money with no strings. That said, he needs to begin speaking directly and honestly to gay people, something he has done ONLY in The Advocate article last summer. He does not need to lie to us. He does need to accept that we both need and deserve the truth from our president. Go slow, fine– but stop talking out of both sides of your mouth. Invite Rick Warren if you must, but then sit down for an interview with Rachel Maddow or even Ellen Degeneres to talk about it. He does not necessarily owe us more than that, but he does owe us that.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 12:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • blake
      blake

      @Wayne:

      No, you are wrong. DADT is a FEDERAL LAW! It was not done with an executive order! Harry Truman used an executive order to ban segregation in the armed forces. You are mixing your history.

      From the Service Members Legal Defense Fund:
      “WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) announced that it will participate in an interactive speakers’ panel at The University of Richmond Law School to discuss the federal law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), which bans gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the military. In recent weeks national media attention surrounding DADT repeal efforts has grown, as President Obama reiterated his support for lifting this discriminatory ban. Seismic shifts in popular opinion over the last 15 years as well as renewed political momentum for repeal show that lifting the ban on open service for gays and lesbians is doable in 2009.”

      http://www.sldn.org/news/archives/university-of-richmond-law-school-panel-to-discuss-dadt-repeal/

      DADT is a LAW. That means that it has to be repealed.

      No matter how much you want facts to be otherwise, DADT is not an executive order, it is a federal law requiring federal law to repeal it or a U.S. Court to strike it down.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 12:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • blake
      blake

      @Wayne:

      Also, it’s a cheap shot blaming Obama for AIG given that it was the Bush Administration that started the bailout of AIG. That bailout was largely done after the collapse of Lehman Brothers sent Wall Street into a tailspin. AIG’s collapse is theorized to bring down the European banking system. So, a lifeline was tossed. Sadly, the crooks on Wall Street haven’t gotten the message. It’s time to nationalize the sucker and clean house.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 12:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • blake
      blake

      @Wayne:

      Again: “Since the DADT law was established in 1993, over 12,500 men and women have been discharged because of their sexual orientation. According to a 2007 report by the Williams Institute, DADT has also discouraged nearly 45,000 Americans from joining and remaining in the armed forces. ”

      DADT is a federal LAW, not a policy enacted by executive order.

      You may not like the facts as they are but you can’t change them to suit your desires.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 12:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      Obama actually reversed the position on this at a conference a couple of weeks ago, so we knew this was coming. It’s nice and symbolic but a bit regurgitated.

      If this announcement were combined with a stinging condemnation of some of the outright atrocities against LGBTs around the world (e.g. Uganda, Iran, Russia) or an announcement from Pelosi that the Matthew Sheperd Act or ENDA are moving to the top of the priority list then this announcement would at least seem like it had some real teeth to it.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 1:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Nice, good even, but this exercise is really just a way to impress gullible people who are grasping at straws to come up with something, anything, that’ll undercut the truth about Obama.

      The truth is that he pandered to bigots from day one and continues to do so. He torpedoed our chances on Prop 8 and rewarded cult bigot Warren at the Inaugural. He’s chosen a ‘spiritual advisory council’ from the worst bigots in the country and he’s hiring prayer writers not just speech writers. We have to wonder if the White House budget includes séances table and Ouija boards. Obama appointed his Minister of Pandering, the most reverend Joshua Dubois to head up his Ministry of Bribery, aka, doling out billions to grubby sky pilots, pastors and priests via ‘faith based’ charities. Dubois is a pentecostal minister like Leah Daughtry who enforces anti-GLBT policy at the DNC.

      This was an easy maneuver for Obama. If he wanted to do something real for us in international relations there are two easy steps he could take immediately.

      He could go all out to tell refugees from places like Uganda and Iran that murder GLBT folks that they’d be welcomed with open arms in the US. He’d order Hillary Clinton to open the gates of all US embassies and consulates to people in danger of being tortured and murdered.
      He could permanently break diplomatic relations with the catholic cult at the Vatican. They’re bigots, they actually murder people when they oppose the use of condoms to limit the spread of HIV/AIDS and the pope is a Nazi.

      Don’t hold you breathe.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      @ Blake. Once again, it is you who is misinformed about the descrecionary power of the president regarding the military. The statute of DADT itself makes that very clear. I’m ex-Army, I actually know a bit about the subject

      The President has the constitutional authority to alter the implementation of the statute. Article II, § 2 identifies the President as the:
      Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States’ and the Supreme Court has stated unequivocally that the President has the prerogative to establish rules and regulations for the armed forces.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 2:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      Re: DADT. There is a federal law that “authorized” DADT as a policy but DADT itself was a compromise enacted through the power of executive orders under President Clinton in 1993.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Bill Perdue:

      He could go all out to tell refugees from places like Uganda and Iran that murder GLBT folks that they’d be welcomed with open arms in the US. He’d order Hillary Clinton to open the gates of all US embassies and consulates to people in danger of being tortured and murdered.

      My point exactly. If he had done this along with signing the declaration, my ears would perk up a bit.

      “I will be a fierce advocate for gays and lesbians.” Our side did not say that, Obama did. Not fierce at all, IMO.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 2:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      Re: DADT President Clinton announced a different compromise [to the executive order]: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue.” (For an extensive description of the efforts of CMS and other civil rights groups during the six-month moratorium, see “Friendly Fire” by Chandler Burr.) In fall 1993, Congress “codified” President Clinton’s compromise into law.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 2:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller
      Charles J. Mueller

      Ditto Bill Perdue and Chitown Kev.

      Actions speak louder than words.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 3:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller
      Charles J. Mueller

      Is anyone else having a much problem signing on and navigating this site as I am?

      Pages are taking forever to download…if at all.

      Mar 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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