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The Obama Plan for Gay Rights (And What He Really Means)

President-Elect Barack Obama has posted his plan for LGBT Rights on the Change.gov website and it’s pretty comprehensive. It is by far, the most far-ranging civil rights agenda for the gay community ever offered by a President. Because the page is swathed in a combination of hopey vagueness and legislation you may have never heard of, here’s a translation of the plan from Obamican to English:

Expand Hate Crimes Legislation
Obama supports the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act

In a separate section of the site, Obama offers support for the Matthew Shepard Act, which would significantly expand the 1969 Hate Crime law, give $10 million to law enforcement to investigate hate crimes and direct the FBI to track crimes made against LGBT people. The bill passed the House and the Senate in 2007 and was attatched to a defense spending bill as an ammendment. When Bush threatened a veto, the bill was dropped. The bill has widespread support in Congress and at the state-level, so with Obama’s support, this bill will most likely pass.

Fight Workplace Discrimination

Obama wants to sign The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) comes in two flavors: Transgender and Transgender-Free. After watching ENDA fail, Congressman Barney Frank introduced a version of the bill into the House that did not provide protect against discrimination based on gender identity. It passed 235-184 and set off a small war within the gay community. Obama says he supports the version of ENDA that includes gender identity. With the new composition of the House, Frank would be inviting a firestorm if he chooses to introduce a version of the law that doesn’t include transgender protection.

Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples

Obama wants to repeal DOMA and create federal recognition for civil unions.

In the wake of Prop. 8, Obama’s position will please some in the gay community and anger others. Anyone who supports marriage equality will want to see the Defense of Marriage Act repealed. Not only does it prevent states from recognizing same-sex marriages in other states, it prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages anywhere. It set off a wave of mini-DOMA’s which were enacted in states across the country. It may not be Constitutional. It’s really bad, see?

The question of civil unions is a thorny one. Many (including Queerty) feel that creating a special class that confers the same rights as another institution for the sole purpose of excluding a group of people is both unconstitutional and immoral. That is, some of us will only accept equal rights under marriage.

Anti-marriage-equality advocates are also aware of this and with the Supreme Court composition likely to drift back to the center over the next several years, the fear is that civil unions are just a step on the way to legally recognizing gay marriages. With both the gay community split on the issue and conservatives looking to kill anything which would confer rights to gay Americans, the battle for federally recognized civil unions would be an uphill one.

Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
Obama won’t support the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Politically, this position is only slightly harder than kissing a baby and offering “change”. The Federal Marriage Amendment exists for one reason only– to help conservative Republicans get elected. The measure has limited support, would never pass Congress and would never get the votes from U.S. state legislatures needed to enact it.

Repeal Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell
Obama might appeal Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell if military commanders okay it.

The key phrase here is that Obama “will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy.” Obama is unlikely to make a decision without support from the Pentagon, which is not keen on the idea of repealing Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell. This is smart. Bill Clinton tried to get gays in the military without getting military support and Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell was the compromise that resulted after commanders accused Clinton of putting the troops in danger.

The policy has been a disaster: Over 11,000 soldiers have been discharged from the military for disclosing their sexuality, with ‘disclosure’ being a term that includes things like writing a letter to your partner. Whether or not Obama moves quickly on the issue, he is promising to change the policy, which counts for something. If 2012 rolls around and it’s still in place, the gay community should hold him accountable.

Expand Adoption Rights
Obama offers no promises.

Obama’s position is that gay parents deserve the same rights as straight parents, but offers up no new ideas or support for existing legislation.

Promote AIDS Prevention

Obama will direct his administration to develop a comprehensive national strategy to deal with HIV/AIDS. He supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange programs and intends to speak publicly about HIV/AIDS related issues.

The only real meat to this position is Obama’s support in lifting the ban on needle exchanges. That said, the vague “national AIDS strategy” could be something really large and extensive, or it could be three cubicles on Constitution Ave. He offers a laundry-list of things he seeks to promote: better safe sex education, education and contraception availability and there’s no reason for him to lie. George Bush spent over $48 billion to combat AIDS in Africa and only a stupid politician would stand in the way of HIV/AIDS-related policies.

Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS

Obama supports the Microbicide Development Act

This is a pet project of Senate Democratic leaders like Obama, Clinton, and Dodd. The number of women who are infected with HIV has quadrupled in the last decade. The bill mentions that “In Sub-Saharan Africa, 76 percent of the young people (between ages 15 and 24) with HIV are girls under 20.”

The bill would directed the National Institute of Health to set up a research arm focused on microbiocides, which could be administered as a cream, vaginal ring or other easy-to-apply method and prevent the spread of HIV among women, who are often at risk from infection by their own husbands. This bill would benefit women in the U.S. as well, but it is focused specifically as a way to address AIDS in Africa– a reminder that AIDS is not a gay issue, but a human issue.

What do you think? Is Obama promising enough? Too little? How much of this do you expect to see happen?

  • 64 Comments
    • PJR
      PJR

      “Expand Hate Crimes Legislation – Obama offers no promises” – It says right on change.gov that the Obama/Biden plan includes passing the Matthew Shepard Act. That would be a promise to expand hate crimes legislation to include gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation, no?

      Nov 18, 2008 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gerry
      gerry

      Excuse me, but Big Fucking Deal. He goes after the easy stuff and has either no opinion or will rely on the advice of others for the hard stuff.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 11:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PJR
      PJR

      @gerry: So, what is the “easy” stuff and what is the “hard” stuff? Personally, I would consider Federal Civil Unions and and a Trans-inclusive ENDA would fall under the category of “hard stuff”.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 11:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rjb
      rjb

      This is truly brilliant and exciting.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 11:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt
      Matt

      How dare anyone question the man I voted for, Messiah Elect Lord Barack Obama lol.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rjb
      rjb

      the sand in the vag, cranky gay folk who comment on this site are so weird to me.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 11:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ask ena
      ask ena

      I’m f*cking sick of compromises, but I guess this will do. DOH!

      Nov 18, 2008 at 11:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Japhy Grant
      Japhy Grant

      @PJR: Hey, you’re right– they stuck the bill in the racial civil rights section and left it out of the LGBT specific section. I added it. Thanks.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 11:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John in CA
      John in CA

      - Obama doesn’t need to propose new hate crimes legislation. The old bill – the Matthew Shepard Act -will work just fine. It was already passed by both the House and the Senate last year. But then was withdrawn at the last minute because George W. Bush had threatened a veto. Nancy and Harry didn’t want to confront Dear Leader. What else is new?

      – Adoption rights has always been a state issue. So, yeah, Obama’s simply blowing a whole lot of hot air there. But the fact that the president opposes banning gay adoption might have some minor impact on the debate.

      – The only surprise here is Obama’s failure to mention how dismally same-sex couples are treated by immigration officials. This has not only caused great distress to multi-national couples, it has also made gay Americans feel unwelcomed returning to their own country from abroad. Having to file your customs form as “single” and process separately while you’re travelling with a same-sex partner is simply insulting.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 11:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rjb
      rjb

      With all due respect, I don’t understand how just because we aren’t given every single thing we deserve it is a compromise?

      Nov 18, 2008 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bad Touch Football
      Bad Touch Football

      Gerry, how is that different from any President in the history of the USA, or for that matter the world? It’s why a ruler has advisors.

      Simply put, the “Big Fucking Deal” should be that we have someone at least addressing the fact that these issues exist, and doing so in a more comprehensive manner than anyone before him. It shows a significant desire to affect change in the country and work towards the betterment of our quality of life.

      To run with a bad metaphor and make it right, a rising tide raises all boats. This metaphor, usually reserved for the bullshit of trickle down economics, only works when you realize that the tide is made up of the people. Raise the quality of life of the general public, the rest of the world benefits.

      SO – if Obama is actually serious about even half of what he states for his plans, we’re going to be looking at a lot of boats floating a little bit higher over the next four to eight years.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 11:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      Yeah…

      I’ll wait until he actually gets in there for a bit before I start shooting him down with snark.

      Someone also made a good point the other day that it’s not always the president’s role to create/propose new laws from scratch, but to be reactionary when we try to get certain laws enacted. If we want certain laws for the benefit of the LGBT community, propose them + try to get them pushed through.

      My real opinion of Obama will be shaped by his reaction to certain acts, like the Matthew Shepard one, when they hit his desk.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 11:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ethan
      Ethan

      If Civil Unions are federally recognized, open to both gay and straight, exact same benifits, I and many see no problem. This is what should have been fought for all along.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 11:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      Obama sort of left a bad taste in my mouth election night. I was glad he won but sad Prop 8 failed. I do blame him for it I think alot of people saw the commercials where he said he is against gay marriage and took that as his platform. He did speak out against 8 well let me say he wispered out against 8. Now the pig and the lipstick that was worthy of 3 days of press and countless interviews.

      He could and should have spoke alot louder. This was the same law that would have prevented his own parents from getting married or possibly him for that matter.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 12:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      This plan really sucks. After the great plan offer by the GOP over the last decade, we can certainly do better than this shitty plan by Barry Messiah Obama.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 12:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PJR
      PJR

      @John: I too am extremely upset and angry that Prop 8 passed, but I also believe that we as a community do need to focus on more than just marriage. Obama definitely should have spoken out more against Prop 8, but he didn’t put those commercials out about being against gay marriage, and he didn’t cover the pig and lipstick comments – that was Yes on 8 and the media. I think he is adressing other issues that do affect countless LGBT people – hate crimes, employment discrimination, Civil Unions, DODT, AIDS – our struggle does not begin and end with marriage.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 12:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      @The Gay Numbers:

      …what?

      Nov 18, 2008 at 12:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      Okay- now the snark is done. It’s good overall. I would add some stuff.

      Definitely would push for full marriage, but overall not bad. I would want him to repeal all of DOMA, which I believe he supports versus Clinton who would have left it partially in place. This is good because that means we can eventually challenge marriage bans under both the equal protection clause and the full faith and credit clause. On a side note, there is one other area in which Obama will over the long term affect gay rights- his appoint of Supreme Court Justices and several dozen federal justices to shift the Courts from the far right to left of center.

      I would want to know more about what he means by DADT repeal- specificially does that mean he goes to them to nudge them behind the scenes (I am fine with that because that’s political smart) or does he mean he wants to see if they disagree (that’s more problematic since military leadership like with race integration will always be conservative leaning than the civil leadership). But then, this was a brief breakdown of his positions- not the actual bill or strategies involved.

      As to the idiot brigade such as John who normally show up here- let’s remember that fully 27 percent of gays voted for McCain who offered us nada. That says it all for my fellow gay population, and why they are to be ignored.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 12:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John in CA
      John in CA

      @fredo777: I think the Matthew Shepard Act and ENDA are the bare minimum if Obama and this 111th Congress want to have any legacy on gay rights at all. These are common sense laws that have already been enacted in practically every European nation (except for the old Soviet republics and Serbia). If they can’t even go that far, then it really is just the same regressive U.S. federal government with new clothes.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 12:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      From what I understand President Obama plans to use the power of Executive Order to undo some of the Bush policies immediately. He could use the power of Executive Order to immediately end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as well, but chooses not to (a point of historical fact: President Harry S Truman signed Executive Order 9981 to force the military to finally end segregation and begin racial integration). I think Obama should use the power of the presidency to fulfill his promises of “Change”. That’s what he was put into office for.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 12:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      Why John is an idiot:

      if these things are bare minimums, they would have been passed by now.

      What John is doing is raising the bar each time. Well, it’s okay, but not good. Well, it’s good but not great. Well, it’s great but not perfect.

      Ultimately no one can win with John unless one is John writing a passing what John wants.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 12:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      That’s incorrect Wayne. Again what a bunch of liars here. Jeez.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 12:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cmh
      cmh

      Paint me cynical .. but I will take separate but totally equal except in name only. AS is feared by the socons, the distinctions will fall away soon after. No one will refer to their partnership as a “civil union” or their husband or wife as “spouse” or “partner” in most cases. They can keep the nomenclature for whatever legal comfort it provides while we go on merrily describing ourselves as “married”.

      some of the opposition will say they are okay with civil unions but just don’t like us using the word married. this will surely expose the hypocrisy on the issue. They don’t want us with the same benefits or rights at all, it isn’t just about the word, which we knew anyway.

      If civil unions with no distinction other than the name can come sooner than marriage so be it. I honestly think the rest will take care of itself in time.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 12:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      Gay Numbers: That’s incorrect Wayne.

      What is incorrect? President Harry S Truman signed Executive Order 9981 to force the military to finally end segregation and begin racial integration in 1948 which culminated in full military integration by the mid 1950s. That is a historical fact! I didn’t make it up. What are you talking about? Maybe it’s you who should get their facts straight before calling someone a liar.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 12:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Distingué Traces
      Distingué Traces

      I would be perfectly happy to see the word “marriage” applied to a religious sacrament which may or may not, at the discretion of individual churches, accompany a legal union between same-sex or opposite-sex couples.

      Repealing DOMA is huge, as DOMA meant that even in individual states that legalized gay marriage, the marriage had no effect on federal immigration status, so families could still be separated by deportation.

      I’m very pleased with this. I only hope he’s not overreaching.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 1:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay
      The Gay

      Wayne:

      maybe you are just ignorant, I don’t know. Here’s a link:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_ask_don%27t_tell

      It’s not perfect, but at least it has some relationship to reality versus your post on don’t ask, don’t tell.

      I can’t vouche for this but there is also this which seems to break it down from a reputable law school:

      http://www.law.georgetown.edu/solomon/background.html

      It’s not merely a matter of executive order.

      I wish some of you would do a little research before posting.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Darren
      Darren

      I want people to realize EVERYONE has a civil union…marriage is a religious institution, given to two people by a church. The paper they sign for the government is a civil union. So, obviously, the problem is gay couples aren’t granted the same rights in the civil union as straight people are…if a church wants to marry a gay couple they can. I know a couple that was married by a church but couldn’t obtain their civil union because they’re gay.
      When Obama says he’s against gay marriage, that’s exactly what he means – he does not think gay people should be married. This says nothing for civil unions or equal rights, which also brings up.
      As an atheist, I want nothing to do with marriage. I mean, never mind the idea of the entire institution…even if I were straight I would never choose to marry. I would always choose a civil union.
      I’m more than happy with Obama and his planned policies and his awareness of marriage vs. civil union is one reason why I was convinced to vote for him.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anarchos
      Anarchos

      When you consider that we aren’t going to get to an ideal place overnight (or probably ever), Obama’s plan is a good start. Just because you don’t see instant satisfaction in what’s outlined here, that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 1:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DaveO
      DaveO

      Weak tea.

      You’ll take your ENDA and Hate-Crimes laws and LIKE it.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 1:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scudder
      Scudder

      @John in CA: I so agree with you regarding the foreign travel situation. I frequently travel with my husband and his family; they’re Filipino and I’m white. It is always an odd scenario going through US customs as the officer tries to read more into our relationship than is required. I always feel ‘dirty’ after I step foot on American soil.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 1:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scudder
      Scudder

      @Ethan: Only if all relationships of that nature—-the unions recognized by the state—are referred to as ‘Civil Unions,” would this be acceptable. For gays to accept a lesser option would be wrong; separate, but unequal.

      Don’t allow the majority to force you to take sub-standard rights. The Mormons don’t own the word “marriage.”

      Nov 18, 2008 at 1:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      I think what separate out the posters here are those base their opinion of how the rest of society makes them feel versus those who are looking for what kind of rights we have. If you are the later, then you see this as a vast improvement over no rights. If the former, then you are looking for society to validate you. Obama’s job is not to secure that the rest of society will like us gays. It’s to ensure he can get as many rights for us as politically possible.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark
      mark

      MA has same sex marriage passed by all three branches of government….it will NEVER be recinded, why would they settle for civil unions?

      Nov 18, 2008 at 2:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark
      mark

      On AIDS what we need are NEW drugs developed,YESTERDAY, and green light them through the FDA like Clinton did. Bush only got ONE drug developed for AIDS approved FUZEON, and those AIDS patients will soon have viruses immune to all drugs, and the massive dying will start all over AGAIN. This time America’s daughters will join their sons in the DYING.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 2:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ethan
      Ethan

      Actually a federal civil unions law, like the one proposed here – http://citizenchris.typepad.com/ and looks like has the support of the President elect looks a lot better to me…

      Not seperate but equal but a smart move that in one fell swoop ends this argument and moves America forward…

      “What is it? A federal civil unions law.

      What would it do? A federal civil unions law would say that all the rights and benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples under federal law would be extended to same-sex couples whose relationships are recognized under state law.”

      Nov 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      airhead apologists like RJB who comment on this site are so weird to me.

      Obama’s program is minimalist and if his betrayal on prop 8 is any measure of his support for same sex rights minimal concessions without real equality is what we’re in for. In other words another fig leaf on the open sore of homobigotry.

      Keep in mind that Obama outright rejects marriage equality, that he’s spent over a year successfully fighting to make inroads into Rove’s bigot base, and that his first and most consistent message to us was delivered by ex-gay queer hating Rev. Donnie McKlurkin.

      If we develop an independent mass action movement with cutting edge demands we’ll stand a good chance of winning much more than the Democrats expediency will ‘give’ us.

      1. We need inclusive laws to make it easy to sue and win claims against employers, service providers and landlords who discriminate. The original ENDA is a good start. Barney Frank’s version is watered down to placate bigoted business owners.

      2. We need tough laws that harshly punish hate crimes and hate speech. How many more of us have to get killed before the bigots are stopped in their tracks?

      3. We need equal rights and privileges for our partnering. If everyone has civil unions or a civil partnership that’s fine but if they’re reserved for us on a separate but non equal basis that’s bigotry. Obama is a bigot.

      4. With the recession threatening to become a depression we need a crash program to fund housing, medical and counseling services and job training/educational assistance for the tens of thousands of LGBT children and teens who are throw away by their patents.

      5. We need funding for HIV/AIDS services and research on an unrestricted ‘as necessary’ basis, overseen by activists from the GLBT communities, GLBT doctors and nurses and the AFL-CIO’s medical service unions.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oscar
      Oscar

      Why are gays so set in the word “marriage”?.Let the stupid word to heterosexuals.Civil unions with all the rights as a marriage gives to straights should be more than enough for gays.We are no heterosexuals and we should not try to be like them.Let them have their words and let us have our own.And as for adoption,NO ADOPTION FOR Gays.Straights make the kids let them take care of them also.Gays that want children can have invitro with a female friend or a bought vagina (women that will carry for a price).Let the kids made by straight taken care by straights.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      @Oscar:

      Couldn’t disagree more.

      Gays shouldn’t be blocked from adoption of kids just because hets produced the kids. That’s a silly concept + leaves plenty of kids without potentially loving, good homes.

      As for the marriage thing, it’s about more than just the “name”. Specifically, it’s about all the rights that come along with that name.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John in CA
      John in CA

      @The Gay Numbers: That’s right. Because the Democrats – Pelosi, Obama, Clinton, and the rest – are supposedly the party of progress and change. So, we expect a little more effort from them than the Republicans. And we’ve “raised the bar” in America many times before. Slavery is no longer acceptable. Women have the right to vote. Homosexuality is no longer viewed as a crime.

      That’s the whole point of human development. If we were always satisfied with what we had before, the whole concept of “progress” wouldn’t make any sense.

      Please don’t embarass yourself further by being that odd brand of Democratic Party loyalist/apologist who defends failure before it even happens. Either that or you should change your motto from “Yes, We Can” to “We Promise Nothing.”

      Nov 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      I would have loved to have seen McCain/Palin’s list!

      Nov 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rjb
      rjb

      Every thing that the President Elect is calling for has been fought over and pushed for by the queer community for decades.

      Suddenly we have someone willing to stand up and get behind these issues and you have people on this site commenting like whining children. If calling out the few commenters being cranky makes me an “airhead”, Bill Perdue.. well like OH Ma GAWD..

      Nov 18, 2008 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jules
      Jules

      Adoption rights mean not only adoption of kids without parents, but also 2nd-parent adoption, meaning that my partner can become a legal parent of my kids whom we’re already raising together.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 4:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ta-Ta
      Ta-Ta

      Let’s support civil unions ONLY IF it is what all couples must get–including heterosexual couples–in order to be recognized by government and businesses.

      For example, a tax form or insurance paper would read “are you in a civil union” not “are you married.”

      Then it would be equality for all. And in the process, we can clearly separate church and state.

      The more we separate the better.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 4:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PJR
      PJR

      @Bill Perdue: Believe me, RJB is hardly an “airhead apologist”. I think we would both agree that we as a community should not sit back and expect the democrats to “give” us anything. However, I also question why some posts on here are so critical of Obama’s plans outlined on his website when it is obvious to me how much more inclusive he is than what we’ve had the last 8 years.

      As for your post, I believe that the change.gov site is supporting much of the same changes you are. The site states that Obama supports a Trans-inclusive ENDA, and he supports hate crime laws like the Matthew Shepherd Act.

      Is the mere fact that he doesn’t support gay marriage (even though he supports giving us all of the same rights as everyone else – on a FEDERAL level) causing you to question everything else he is trying to do – which is so much more than we’ve been getting the past 8 years – so much more than we’ve EVER gotten?

      We should continue to fight for the full realization of our rights (RJB was out in front of our city hall with me on Saturday) but we also need to look at the bigger picture and see Obama’s support on so many issues for what it is – a much better starting-off point than we’ve ever had.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 4:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MCnNYC
      MCnNYC

      I guess this is what he had to do to make up for helping pass Prop8 in CA.
      YEAH I SAID IT.
      Within the last week and esp the last five days before the election robo calls…which Hillary Rosen and Roland Martin (both supporters of Obama)and CNN analysts talk about the disturbing and distastful robo calls that used Obama’s OWN VOICE saying “I do not support gay marriage”.
      They knew about these at the time and the campaign decided..”to do nothing because they did not want the election to be about this issue.”
      Five days out…CA is Solid BLUE and you think you’re going to loose CA if you respond in ANY WAY to these robo calls that are going to religious and minority communities?
      Look almost every gay web site trumpted any robo call, youtube racist obama bashing peep and I responded we ALL wanted to respond to such hate.
      So we were there.
      We put him there.
      We won.
      But hey let’s tear down HRC damn it.
      I hear they drown tranny kittens.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 4:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @PJR: Crawford‘s village idiot goes home and Tammany Hall gets another go at it. But I think you’ll find that things will stay essentially the same.

      One superstitious bigot who opposes same sex marriage replaced another. Obama’s bigotry – “god’s in the mix” combined with his rock star popularity fueled the bigot vote that stripped our rights in California and trampled them in Florida and Arizona. Attempts to blame it on others by scapegoating Latinos and African Americans doesn’t alter the fact that Prop 8’s victory is on Obama’s shoulders and those who refused to attack his bigotry or foresee it’s appalling cost.

      The Congress remains in the hands of one of the two parties that quite openly and deliberately trashed our agenda for the last two decades: DOMA, DADT, ENDA, hate crimes, etc.

      Now the promises are over and the excuses have begun.”Vast right wing conspiracy.” “No veto proof Senate.” ”Be patient.” “Barney knows best.” “Lobby harder.” “Grow up. Don’t be so pushy.” “Wait your turn.” “We know secret stuff you don’t know like He’s secretly on our side but He has to pretend otherwise so He can get stuff done.”

      Bullshit. Those who helped elect Obama now share full responsibility for what he and his party do. Excuses aside, ‘progressives’ are going to run up against the usual brick wall of bigotry, war and Wall Street lap dogs like Obama, Biden and the Congressional Democrats. Nor will their excuses slow what the left has predicted for months: hope will become rage as economic catastrophe, imposed austerity, war and bigotry create mass action movements.

      The Democrat party won a huge victory promising “change” and that sealed their fate. They cannot deliver real change. Politically they’re goners, dead meat, dinosaurs. Change is desperately needed but it won’t come from piss ant liberal reforms. Fig leafs covering open sores aren’t a cure for endemic maladies like war, bigotry and economic collapse.

      That awaits the radical solutions offered by the left, the antiwar movement, the explosive new GLBT movement and unions.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Recluse
      The Gay Recluse

      Just want to echo all of those in support of a federal civil union for ALL couples, whether gay, straight or anything else (e.g., there’s no reason two siblings living together shouldn’t be offered the same benefits…). The word “marriage” should be eradicated from the federal laws/regulations and replaced with “civil union.” In short, Queerty and all others should wake up and realize that civil unions for all does not mean “separate but equal,” which of course never works and should be opposed. Rather, a civil union for all that replaces marriage (in the government; churches can do whatever they want, of course) is the most progressive and forward-looking solution; “marriage” will always be rooted in misogyny and homophobia; I personally wouldn’t ever want it (though of course I want the rights associated with it).

      Nov 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      John

      I m not interested in crazy people rants. Let me know when you are wanting to discuss whether what’s on the table is good rather than perfect (as apparently in your crazy person rant you require).

      Nov 18, 2008 at 5:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RLS
      RLS

      Why do people here expect Barack Obama to solve all of their problems? Do you want him to buy you a pony, too? How about this? If OUR community got off of OUR asses and started making moves (the recent protests, though IMO a bit misguided, are a good start), then attention would be forced onto the issue. It’s sad that so many gays have individual power yet we still can’t harness that into community power. Don’t you get it? WE are the change WE are looking for.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 5:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      @RLS: It can’t be repeated enough of that if enough gays had actually voted in California- the outcomes with Prop 8 may have been different. Many didn’t even bother to show up.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 5:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MCnNYC
      MCnNYC

      Gay Numbers OK:
      ENDA (as passed by the House this seesion)….in 2009
      All inclusive ENDA?
      Take it our leave it.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 6:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paula53
      Paula53

      This is a great start…..Federal rights! I don’t care what they want to call it. We will fight for Marriage equality but this is a great way to get there!

      Nov 18, 2008 at 6:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller
      Charles J. Mueller

      @Darren: Why do we constantly have to keep reinventing the wheel with folks like you?

      The piece of paper the state gives you, is called a “Marriage License or Certificate”, not a “Civil Union” License or Certificate. Nowhere in that document is any reference made to the term “civil-union’.

      The following link explains in full the requirements of a Marriage License or Certificate. You must obtain one in every state and you may not get married without one. Note the continual and ongoing reference to the word “Marriage”,

      http://www.marriagelicense.com/license.html

      Marriage is NOT a religious Institution and I am so fucking sick and tired of people, including the Church and all the lying religious bastards who claim that it it and that it has been an institution of their making for some 5,000 years.

      Gee, that would take us back to when they also believe the earth was created too, wouldn’t it?

      Marriage is a secular institution and the Catholic Church did not get involved with the institution of marriage, which has been around since even before Roman and Greek times, until around the seventh century. Look that up in your Fuck and Wagnalls if you don’t believe it.

      You and many others who post on this site, obviously do not understand the many differences between a marriage and a civil-union and frankly, I am worn out trying to explain it to dumb asses like you, over and and over and over.

      Do some fucking research before you flaunt your ignorance all over these blogs for the rest of to have to paddle our canoes through.

      Nov 18, 2008 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chuck
      Chuck

      @gerry: I’m sorry, but it seems to me that he has a few more important items on his agenda these first couple of years than to pay a lot of attention to our wishes! First, let him conquer the world, then gay rights!

      Nov 18, 2008 at 9:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • getreal
      getreal

      At least it is progress folks. What the passages of Prop 8 taught us is that although the tide is turning on gay marriage there are still a lot of people out there who have not yet been reached and for a lot of them appealing to their patriotism and moral compass will change more minds than bitterness,finger pointing,and cynicism. This future President has demonstrated that gay americans are a priority but he is going to have to govern from the middle at least intially to survive. Signed ANOTHER STRAIGHT BLACK CHRISTIAN PASSIONATELY IN FAVOR OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY FOR ALL PEOPLE

      Nov 18, 2008 at 9:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @getreal: Well, now I know you are lying. I have it on good authority from some white racists that you hate all gays. So, there!

      Nov 18, 2008 at 11:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • shannon
      shannon

      The problem with repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and just allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the military is that it will leave them very susceptible to even more abuse than many already get. So before repealing it, a system must be in place to prevent this sort of discrimination, intimidation, and abuse from happening, and disciplinary steps must be enforced to the fullest extent before we proceed any further.

      As a heterosexual female, I would love to see “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” be repealed but not without the necessary precautions and corrective actions in place first.

      Nov 19, 2008 at 4:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      @shannon:

      Agreed. Also, as paranoid as it sounds, I’m worried about the idea of having openly gay persons grudgingly accepted in the military, for fear that they’ll just become “cannon fodder”, so to speak.

      Nov 19, 2008 at 4:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Thanks charles M!

      Nov 19, 2008 at 8:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      Shannon “The problem with repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and just allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the military is that it will leave them very susceptible to even more abuse than many already get”.


      Actually Shannon there are already provisions within the USMCJ (US military code of justice) that punishes any and all soldiers who abuse or attack other soldiers, and the JAG core is quite adept at prosecution of those infractions. Although being openly gay is a violation of USMCJ, violent acts against any soldier even gay ones are punished, often harshly when prosecuted by JAG. And coming from someone who is ex-Army, I’ll tell you, ending DADT will only be a start. Everything in the military is based on rank, to achieve rank you have to be a good soldier, which means you don’t make waves. Even after the end of DADT it will take years before gays are fully integrated into the military and are comfortable enough in their environment to be “open”. Just as it took nearly 10 years after Truman signed the Executive Order 9981 that ended racial segregation in the military. But ending DADT will be a start to gay integration, and as then it will probably take a President who uses the power of Executive Order to do it.

      ps. To The Gay Numbers, I served in the military, I have to ask when did youserve? What makes you this expert in the field that you obviously think you are? I know the subject of DADT quite well. You are posting links to wikipedia to support your arguement about Executive Orders? And the Solomon link is just an explanation of the DADT policy, and has nothing to do with the presidential powers of the Executive Order. You are the idiot.

      Nov 19, 2008 at 8:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kelley
      kelley

      this is probably as far as he can go politically right now. i might be stupidly optimistic, but if the conditions are right, he might be able to “change his mind” on gay marriage in a second term. this is a fantastic first step, but it’s just a step.

      Nov 19, 2008 at 1:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris King
      Chris King

      @Scudder:

      My wife is filipino and I am white. She kept her last name, and our son took mine. We have never ONCE had a problem coming back into the US.

      Nov 20, 2008 at 6:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris King
      Chris King

      @Bill Perdue:

      You seem to want your cake and to eat it as well. Good luck…

      Nov 20, 2008 at 6:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RCDC
      RCDC

      Wayne – a PUNISHMENT system exists, yes. but I think what Shannon is talking about is more in the prevention line. Moreover, a fair number of (relatively) open homosexuals have risen to moderately high posts over the last fifteen years – everyone knew, but they were good. I’ve known a few. I think the service you’re in really matters (Navy and Air Force have the highest proportion of homosexuals, probably a result of the degree of training and education necessary for a lot of the jobs. An entry level civilian job as an engineer pays way less well than a military one).
      On a separate but related note, I’d like to hear what y’all think about “faking gay” and the skew that’s put on the numbers for DADT. I’ve heard of several instances (from a dear friend of mine;-) where the easiest way out of the military was to out yourself – even if it wasn’t true. Thoughts?

      Nov 20, 2008 at 8:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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