token achievements

BREAKING: Obama Just Handed Out a Couple Employee Benefits. Here’s What He Didn’t Do


There were details, then an explanation, and now President Obama has signed the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, granting some benefits to gay and lesbian federal employees. It’s a step in the right direction, yes, but it’s not nearly enough.

With Reps. Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank, along with Sen. Joe Lieberman and Vice President Joe Biden by his side, Obama took time to address discrimination that continues, such as the Defense of Marriage Act, which he claims he’ll work with Congress to repeal. And then he signed his name to what he called an “executive order”; news outlets are calling it a memo.

But trying to smooth over relations with the gay community after big name donors pulled out of the Democratic National Committee LGBT Leadership Council fundraising dinner, this little missive is, as expected, seriously lacking. (But not so lacking that conservative groups found themselves without a new cute term: “marriage light.”) It lets federal employees in same-sex relationships to take off work to care for an ill partner, and lets those posted abroad use health services.

But here’s what Obama did not include above his signature:

• An executive order (though Obama called it one), which would make the benefits permanent even after he leaves office, and not able to be easily undone by a succeeding president who simply interprets the the law differently, which his memo allows.

• A direct call on legislators to immediately draft legislation to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act, and then pass legislation that would extend all benefits (such as health insurance) to the partners of same-sex federal employees that Obama says DOMA currently prohibits.

• A demand that legislators move on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act immediately, approving it once Rep. Barney Frank introduces it in the House next week.

• Voice his support for the Uniting American Families Act and reassure gay Americans he will sign the legislation once it hits his desk.

• An apology for letting his Justice Department, among other things, compare gay American families to incestuous relationships. But as we just learned, that is not about to happen.

Listening to Obama talk about gay people here, he sounds like our ally — the man we knew during the presidential campaign. Hearing him speak so fondly of the gay community, and the rights we deserve, is reassuring. But we’ve come to learn we can’t trust Obama’s words alone. No action? No trust.


well, today I’m proud to issue a presidential memorandum that paves the way for long-overdue progress in our nation’s pursuit of equality.

Many of our government’s hard-working, dedicated, and patriotic public servants have long been denied basic rights that their colleagues enjoy for one simple reason — the people that they love are of the same sex.

Currently, for example, LGBT federal employees can’t always use sick leave to care for their domestic partners or their partners’ children. Their partners aren’t covered under long-term care insurance. Partners of American Foreign Service officers abroad aren’t treated the same way when it comes to the use of medical facilities or visitation rights in case of an emergency.

These are just some of the wrongs that we intend to right today.

In consultation with Secretary of State Clinton, as well as OPM Director John Berry, my administration has completed a long and thorough review to identify a number of areas where we can extend federal benefits to the same-sex partners of Foreign Service and executive branch government employees.

I’m requesting that Secretary Clinton and Director Berry do so where possible under existing law — and that the heads of all executive departments and agencies conduct reviews to determine where they may do the same.

Hundreds of Fortune 500 companies already offer such benefits not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because they recognize that it helps them compete for and retain the best possible talent — and we need top talent serving their country right now more than ever.

Now, under current law, we cannot provide same-sex couples with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.

That’s why I’m proud to announce my support for the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, crucial legislation that will guarantee these rights for all federal employees.

I want to thank Representative Tammy Baldwin, who is behind me somewhere — there she is, right there — for her tireless leadership on this bill and in the broader struggle for equality. I want to thank Senator Joe Lieberman — Joe is here — as well as Susan Collins for championing this bill in the Senate; and Representative Barney Frank for his leadership on this and so many other issues — in fact, this is his second trip to the White House today. (Laughter.)

It’s a day that marks a historic step towards the changes we seek, but I think we all have to acknowledge this is only one step. Among the steps we have not yet taken is to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. I believe it’s discriminatory, I think it interferes with states’ rights, and we will work with Congress to overturn it.

We’ve got more work to do to ensure that government treats all its citizens equally; to fight injustice and intolerance in all its forms; and to bring about that more perfect union. I’m committed to these efforts, and I pledge to work tirelessly on behalf of these issues in the months and years to come.

Thank you very much everybody, and with that I am going to sign this executive order.

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  • michael @

    NOR did he sign an executive order freezing DADT discharges which even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he CAN and SHOULD!


  • InExile

    At least he has broken the silence with live coverage on CNN. It is a nice first step, lets hope it is just the beginning.

  • BrianZ

    I have to say I love that the frame Youtube caught for the preview is perfect. Notice the “Update” note at the bottom of the screen ;) Sums it up nicely, I think.

  • wondermann

    He will come through in time, y’all. Stop focusing on the negative all the time.

  • Douglas Gibson Jr

    Just to correct something in the article. He did not sign the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act. What he signed today was just a memo extending some (very few) benefits to domestic partners of federal employees. The Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act is still awaiting action in the House of Representatives as HR 2517 and S 1102 in the Senate.

  • Bertie

    …and Representative Barney Frank for his leadership on this and so many other issues — in fact, this is his second trip to the White House today. (Laughter)

    good ol’ Barney scrambling to keep the GAY atm cash machine going.

    I forgot my pin number until Obama remembers his campaign promises.

  • The Gay Numbers

    @wondermann: Can I have some of what you are smoking?

  • SM



    Obama has many promises to many people. Only idiots think a President can fulfill his agenda in a few months. I don’t exactly see your community out educating more and helping him.


    Democrats don’t need the gay vote but we fight for you.

    My ATM to gay causes is GONE..

  • TANK


    We’ll see if you don’t need us. Especially as elections become closer and closer and are decided by mere “hundreds” of votes. We’ll see if you don’t need our allies and money as well. You guys want to get fucked hard again? You talk about who’s expendable politically and who’s not. Democrats aren’t known for strategy.

  • Bruno


    Great. We didn’t want your “support” anyway. You’re actually fairly typical of the false “progressiveness” we’ve seen coming out of the Democratic Party and its members, and it’s slowly becoming apparent who actually believes in equality and who doesn’t. And you sir, don’t, and quite obviously never did.

  • Tom

    All I heard was ‘quack, quack.’ If he had said that in Greek it would have made just as much sense to me. Yeah, he called it an executive order even tho it’s just a memo, but isn’t that typical of this guy? Doublespeak has reared its ugly head and we’re the ones who have to suffer it! If it weren’t for Queerty, Americablog, Towleroad and Rachel Maddow I don’t know what I’d make of Obama’s inertia. I say we keep up the pressure, redirect our support to those in government who support us, regardless of party affiliation. I’m just sad that it takes something terrible to whip us gays into action (Prop 8 last year or the DOMA brief last week).

  • TANK

    democrats have obama…and obama is a phenomenon similar to clinton…one man is not a party. Democrats typically have phenoms like obama (one time things, really), whereas republicans HAD what’s called strategy. And you can talk about howard dean’s door to door campaigning and voter registry, but these are republican tactics that he’s literally copying. You keep talking about who’s expendable, though, right to republican victory.

  • Bertie

    I am now a happy INDEPENDENT. (socialist, more like)

    My reply to Obamapologists who constantly chirp:

    Yes I know, a cheeseburger – I’ve seen his PR stunt on CNN.

  • SM


    Well no offense, but the way people act here makes it seem like you all only what the Democrats to put themselves on the line for YOUR ISSUES. You all could not care less about the rest of the Democratic Agenda on things like the environment and healthcare.

    Why should Obama put himself on the line and lose states and votes for a bunch of haters who don’t even care about the rest of his agenda?

    Maybe its YOU who use the Democrats.

  • Forrest

    I really can’t fathom the people on here that tell us to give him time and the benefit of the doubt because he is a nice guy and gives nice speeches.

    Activism is about pushing and pushing and pushing your cause more. It’s not about sitting around going to fundraisers at fancy spas and taking a politician’s word that he will get to us.

    In a sense the DOJ brief did us a favor. I have been thrilled by the cohesive and tough response that we have brought to bear. Even HRC actually did something close to it’s purported mission with Joe’s direct letter. We broke through to the MSM and the NYT slammed him. And now we should stop and give him a break?

    I don’t think so. This is our best shot. If the economy tanks Obama may be a one termer, and we hit a brick wall with a Republican back in power. And if he makes it through they will throw up another excuse to ignore us unless we keep pushing.

    Pro life groups never let up,Pro choice groups never let up the NRA never lets up, That’s what sucessful activism is!

  • michael

    @wondermann: or the obvious?

  • Alton C.

    So, I’m guessing this is the major policy initiative that was coming out of the white hose (er house) I read so much about from all the Queerty haters? THIS TOTALLY ROCKS! Not only did he not do anything that will impact most GLBT people in this country, he didn’t even do anything that will impact most of his employees. Only the ones who are fortunate enough to live where there is legal recognition for same-sex unions. Thanks Mr. President for again showing us why separate can never be equal! Good to know gay money is still green though.

  • michael

    @SM: your damned right I put myself first. Maybe you ought to go hang yourself and give your organs over to some straight people who have more right than you do to live. With such low self esteem you might finally do something on this planet some good.

  • TANK


    We took a chance on the democrats, and we expect them to fulfill their pledge to us. And taking a chance? Are you fucking serious?

    Of course this is a gay blog…

  • Random Gay Guy

    It is finally good to see some action on LGBT rights. I think we all need to take a step back and remember that his agenda is pretty full at the moment. He has come into a position that was royally fucked up by his predecessor. LGBT rights in general are a touchy political topic. They don’t particularly come with a lot of political power. The last thing we need is for action on LGBT issues to be used as a scapegoat for the state of the nation and a rallying call for the GoP. Having Obama in office has guaranteed that the rights we are fighting for and the rights that we have are safe.
    The most harmful thing that we could possibly due is to let our anger hurt ourselves and elect a GoP that is trending to be increasingly conservative. Yes, there hasn’t been much action. I understand the anger, but we have to face the fact that in the current situation (Economy, Health Care reform) that in order to guarantee political power, the White House and Congress has had to put LGBT rights on the backburner. It is a bitter pill that we all have to swallow.
    Also to the folks that think that the democrats will not get anywhere without gay support, wake up and smell the fucking coffee. The LGBT vote is not a game breaker when it comes to politics. It is an important voting block, but it doesn’t decide the president. As I mentioned before the slow decline of moderate republicans has made it a little easier for the democrats. We can throw our support behind the republicans or third party candidates, but that just leaves us in the middle of the creek without a paddle. Where the hell are we going to get by supporting the team that obviously doesn’t support us or the team that doesn’t have a chance of winning.
    I think the best course of action now is to continue the calls for action that no doubt brought this about. However, I think that we should still cast our lot with the democrats. We need to turn this into a social issue and gain mainstream support. It is already a civil rights issue among members of our community, but to mainstream America and more importantly, independent voters (the voting block that usually decides the election) it has not reach that level. Take action. Go protest. Write Letters. Make awe inspiring videos. Make sure that the news is not showing the Letterman-Palin bullshit, but our plight as we march, hold sit ins, and give everyone(Not just Obama) hell. Look at the way, LGBT rights is covered in the media right now. Hell, the Palin-Letterman incident got more coverage than this expansion of rights. Change that.

  • TANK


    He is straight. And if you follow the logic, yes, he should sacrifice a whole lot more than he has. Like everything…every penny that doesn’t go to your subsistence should go to the subsistence of others. It’s called taking one for the team.

  • michael

    @SM: Hmmm I am trying to decide if your a Republican trying to create more animosity between Democrats and gays than already exists. There is definitely something about you that smells like that. Your comment is rather crude and ignorant and downright trashy, like ones I see many Republicans post. I know we are not getting much from Democrats but now that I have come to the end of this I am pretty sure your nothing but a Republican troll.

  • Sam

    @SM: Many LGBT folks DO care about the rest of Obama’s agenda and support it. Problem is, we supported Clinton and trusted him to do what was right for us on his own and guess what? HE SCREWED US!!! Signed DOMA, created DADT and pretty much abandoned every promise he’d made to the gay community.

    Can you blame us for getting angry and loud early? We’ve been down this road before…

    @Everyone Else: This guy doesn’t speak for the Democrats. He’s just one hater troll.

    @Queerty: What’s the deal with the whole “executive order vs. memo” beef? This memo will stay in effect after Obama leaves office unless the next president issues a new memo repealing it. An executive order stays in effect after Obama leaves office, unless the next president issues a new order repealing it. So what’s the diff?

    You should really research what you wrote about executive orders being harder to repeal. They are not. Dumbya repealed a whole bunch of Clinton’s executive orders in his first hundred days.

  • TANK


    I mean if you really want to talk about how the rest of the democratic agenda is in limbo and failing, we could start with healthcare reform, or the joke that obama wants to “push through”. We could talk about ethics and compare that to the democratic party’s actual stand on a range of issues in which it is woefully inadequate. We could get serious about doing the right thing, and discover that once you dispense with hollow rhetoric, the democrats actually have so little in common with that they might as well be republicans.

  • michael @

    History WAS made today but it wasn’t what was on that piece of paper. No one has been more critical of the President than I, and I am not so much now defending the anemia of this action as I am its context.

    Standing next to him, the man he handed the pen, was 84-yr. old Frank Kameny. I knew Frank years ago, worked with him in the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, cooked for him in the home I shared with Leonard Matlovich. And to see this gay pioneer, this icon finally standing next A President of the United States…even after his personal papers and protest signs from PICKETING THE WHITE HOUSE 44 YEARS AGO have been embraced by the Library of Congres…to witness such a microscopic step, had me in tears.

    Kameny could have been our Martin Luther King but for various reasons was benched by the Professional Gays years ago. Even at 84 and physically feeble, he is capable of summoning a stentorian voice to make the rafters ring with righteous indignation, an encylopedic knowledge of gay history and law, and take no prisoners attitude in his demand for justice. That he chose to be polite today, at least on camera, takes nothing away from the greatness and majesty of the moment that HE brought not the President…WHO SHAMEFULLY DIDN’T EVEN THINK TO INTRODUCE HIM!

    Frank earned this brief moment in the sun more than any gay person living, and I applaud HIM, while encouraging everyone else, even after the significance of the President finally saying on camera that he wants DOMA repealed [whether he means it or not], to turn up the fire against the President’s feet, and deny the DNC another dime until real change happens.

  • Bertie

    I absolutely LOVE holding my purse closed and waiting and watching the DEMS shit themselves.

    They are sooo used to our disposable income.

  • michael @



  • TANK


    And then, of course, we could really get to brass tacks and strip away nationalism, and see how the most powerful country on the world is helping the forty or more children worldwide who die from diarrhea…yeah, that’s right…diarrhea. That is, if you want to get serious about ethics. How is it helping people with aids? What about those forty to seventy million americans without health insurance? Ten million kids without it? Where the fuck are the democrats on “priorities”? What are their priorities other than getting elected?

  • TANK

    forty or more million children, that is…YEARLY.

  • InExile

    @SM: Educating who? The people that hate us usually do so because their religion tells them to. How the hell can we change that? Civil rights should not put up for a vote. The religious right used to fight equal rights for the black community also, this is historically nothing new. Our rights are outlined in the Constitution, just not honored.

  • hand

    i thought it was funny that he almost EXACTLY quoted the john berry conference earlier today at the beginning of that speech

  • TANK


    10.6 million children dead, that is.

  • DengyFL

    @Sam: Please review the content of this little memo. It directs the OPM a DOS to review what benefits CAN be offered without going to congress for real change. It also orders that they report back in 90 days. Looks to me like it expires in 90 days. And then we go through this feeding the dirty pigeons crumbs shtick again. And we won’t be buying it then either.

  • SM


    He is planning of screwing you really? He flat out SAID TODAY DOMA WAS DISCRIMINATORY.


  • ObamaNerd

    The cost of long term care insurance is paid 100% by the employee. So, what exactly did he give? Seeing him and those homo sell-outs around him made me throw up in my mouth just a little.

  • Steve


    No seriously, we would like the Democrats to put themselves on the line for our issues once. DADT is courtesy of a Democratically controlled congress that turned DINO in a heart beat. DOMA passed in the House by a vote of 342-67 but there were only 230 Republicans in the House….those 112 votes were….our friends? Our allies?

    Can’t pass ENDA. Can’t get gays into FMLA. Can’t get immigration benefits. Matthew Shepard Act is stuck in a Senate committee.

    With friends like these what kinds of enemies do we need? Are we supposed to forever be grateful to them because they don’t make things worse. Oh, wait, at the Obama DOJ they do. And the longer it takes, the more people are going to want. This is why Obama can’t wait for the “right time”…there is never going to be one.

    And for the record, I do care about the environment and healthcare. I care also that Obama has basically rubber stamped Bush’s foreign policy and engaged us in two wars without end. I just don’t bitch about it on a gay blog site.

  • edgyguy1426

    @SM: If this were just a site for the dem party I would be pretty upset if 95% of the discussion were taken up with gay issues…

    SM-You all could not care less about the rest of the Democratic Agenda on things like the environment and healthcare

    BUT this is a gay site and we’re talking about gay issues here. Take a critical thinking course and then tell me why being concerned with gay issues precludes being concerned with the environment or healthcare.

    If you’ve now given up on us, why are you still here? What validation do you still need from us? We’ve thanked you for your work on Prop 8 etc., but you really can’t understand what we feel, why we’re so impatient, gay brother or not. You do things because it’s the right thing to do not for the kudos. I think you’re doing good things for the wrong reason and that’s why you’re getting so angry, so hateful, and so inflammatory.

  • Prof. Donald Gaudard

    @SM: You suggest that Sam get off Queerty, but you, a straight conservative, insist on coming to OUR website and imposing your Obama-ass-licking views. Go to a straight web site and dump your sh*t there.

  • Martha

    My showbiz client Helen Lawson said earlier today:

    “Screw him and his memos. He probably signs them with one of those lousy ball-points.”

  • Dragging? Yes: on a few issues

    @SM is a poser. Always out with their story about how they single-handedly carried the prop 8 battle on their shoulders alone and we’re all one issue voters. Tell me, why–as a self-professed heterosexual–do you spend so much time on this gay site? Shouldn’t you be focused on so many other issues? Always here on the gay site with your heroic story. Wah wah wah.

    On the issue, while I do of course take exception to the DoJ’s language/position on DOMA and the administration’s feet-dragging on certain issues, DADT, etc, I think it’s insane to be calling the President names and being catty. If he/the party keeps supporting DOMA and the language used to defend it as well as NO action on DADT, ENDA, etc in the (near) future–like near the midterms, then yes, take your money and votes elsewhere. I agree heavily with Bill Maher. Obama is dragging his feet on a couple of progressive issues; health care and energy to name a few.

  • SM

    @Dragging? Yes: on a few issues:

    You are an idiot.

    I’m not a poser and I work on several issues. Time will tell if I use it on yours anymore.

    Far from a poser. I have pictures of our rallies in OC that were a JOKE because barely any of YOUR COMMUNITY SHOWED UP. I still have my No On Prop 8 Campaign material and shut the hell up..

  • schlukitz

    @michael @

    OMG! You knew Frank Kameny too? Apparently we go both go back a long, long ways. ;)

    I remember Barbara Gittings and Dick Leitsch and was a close friend of Harvey Milk and Craig Rodwell back in the mid 60s to the mid 70s. I was also an early member of The Mattachine Society as well as the Gay Activist Alliance at the GAA Firehouse on Wooster Street.

  • BrianZ

    @Dragging? Yes: on a few issues: Unfortunately there is more than one hetero that loves to visit Queerty to remind us all how lucky we are they are “working for us.” It gets really fucking old having straights tell us what we should be doing and how we should be doing it to be considered worthy. But of course they see it as their right …

  • Dragging? Yes: on a few issues

    Rephrasing my above statement: I meant Yes, withhold your donations to the DNC UNTIL the Admin. and party take real action on DOMA, DADT, ENDA, etc and if they haven’t by the Midterms then yes, the LGBT community should take their votes elsewhere. Why the hell not?

    It’s also laughable to say the gay community’s votes won’t count. 2000’s popular vote–even if you factor in/believe that Gore won–was decided by 500,000. 2004’s popular vote was decided by around 3 million and the electoral vote was by 30,000 in Ohio. Nice try that the gay vote wouldn’t factor in a close election either in popular or electoral vote. Next.

  • timncguy

    @Bertie: Good ole Barney my ASS. Barney has now come out and said he is just FINE with the brief that DOJ filed on DOMA. This morning he sais it was bad. NOw, he claims he hadn’t read it and now that he has read it, he agrees with it, incest and all!

  • SM

    @Dragging? Yes: on a few issues:

    It’s so laughable that you cannot even see how Obama is setting things up so that the courts HAVE to give you full rights.

    It’s laughable you all BASH Obama when you all FAIL at your own equality fights.

  • timncguy

    @SM: too bad his DOJ said that DOMA is NOT discrimanatory in the legal brief they filed. He didn’t disavow that though, did he???

  • UM...

    Anyone else seeing problems with the sites format right now? I meman blatant ones like text too big, things not formatted, etc.

  • Dragging? Yes: on a few issues

    *Yawn* broken record. LOL I’ve not bashed the President once. I’m still giving him the benefit of the doubt, etc and think the people on here who advocate voting for a right-wing candidate are self-defeating. Third party? Why not? There needs to be results in the next year on MULTIPLE progressive issues; Health care (if the dems tale public option off the table, it’s over), environment, he needs to cut the emissions to the RECOMMENDED rate not 4% or it’s pointless, or the Dems WILL lose the midterms and then good luck to getting anything through.

  • Bitch, please!

    I really think many of these bitchy queens voted Republican and are just raising idiotic issues with Obama, just like Fox News. Listen jackasses, the econmomy is the worst it has ever been, the country is at war with no end in sight, and you ditzy queens expect him to drop everything and sign an executive order so we can all hold hands and sing kumbaia? Bitches please! Maybe all of you live on welfare and never earned a dime in your lives, but the rest of America wants to go back to work and feel proud again. Do you think it will even pass, given the other pressing problems in the country? Get a reality check and think of priorities, jerks!

  • ChristopherM

    @Bitch, please!:

    No one expected him to drop a goddamn thing. He’s the one who said that he can walk and chew gum at the same time, remember. As a matter of fact, I’d rather he had done nothing instead of letting his department of justice run amok writing briefs with hate speech that are going to be used in fundraising letters for years to come by NOM and their ilk.

  • Webster

    @Bitch, please!: You know what? It’s a volatile world. Something new will always arise, some pressing problem, some international or domestic problem–over and over. So we just sit back until the world is in some calm zen place before we dare move forward and ask for equal rights?

    Sorry, no. MLK said “wait” almost always means “never.” And I’m not waiting for your calm world to ask for equal rights for all Americans. i’m not.

  • schlukitz


    “It’s so laughable that you cannot even see how Obama is setting things up so that the courts HAVE to give you full rights.”

    Yeah. And the next time you see Mr. O, ask him how much he wants for his bridge in Brooklyn?

    We’d like to “buy” that too! LOL

  • Rob

    I don’t understand all the comments from people who think gay rights need to be put on the back burner while we deal with health care and the economy. Can’t Congress deal with more than one issue at a time?

    There are some issues like DOMA repeal that would cost a lot of political capital. Maybe the Democrats are justified in waiting on those. But 69% of voters support DADT repeal, including a majority of Republicans. In all but two states, a majority of voters support job antidiscrimination laws for gay people, in most cases by a large majority (over 60%). In every state, a majority of voters support housing antidiscrimination laws for gay people, usually by a very large majority (over 70%). Why is it so hard for Congress to do things that a substantial majority of voters support? rights

    It looks as if we aren’t going to get any action on gay rights from the Democrats unless we hold their feet to the fire. I hope that LGBT donors continue to boycott the fundraiser later this month.

  • kevin57

    For those who preach, “patience” and “soooooooooooo many other problems to attend to”…

    would you have been so “patient” if he had not moved on Gitmo? Somehow he signed that executive order and stem cell research, etc. and he hadn’t even warmed the toilet seat in the WH when he did that!

  • schlukitz


    Touché, Kevin.

    Where there is a will, there is a way, as the old adage goes.

  • MackMike

    @SM: SM, it is true that there wasn’t a great turn out in Orange County for the No on 8 campaign, but I turned out night after night, weekend after weekend, and I’ve also canvassed and continue to do so. It really isn’t fair to suggest that none of us contribute.

    As a kid in the 80’s, well before I so much as held the hand of another guy or had a simple date, I volunteer for Meals on Wheels for AIDs sufferers. I volunteered for PAWs to help those dying of AIDs keep the pets who comforted them, when their families abandoned them. AS a teenager I volunteered to fight Lou Sheldon’s group from repealing the “sexual orientation” from Irvine’s list of those who would be protected from discrimination.

    A lot of us on this site have been fighting a very long time. Now in my 40’s, I continue to fight. Compared to others, I’m a neophyte still. But, moreover, we are all fighters in ways that, maybe you’ve heard of, but not in a way that you’ve fully been able to identify with.

    There are those here who have fought big battles, rioted at Stonewall. Many more fought anger, dispair and grief as they fought for government funding for AIDs research in the 80s when our President wouldn’t even do so much as utter the word of the epidemic that would kill hundreds of thousands of our fathers, lovers, brothers, and sons–and yes, our mothers, lovers, sisters and daughters. No one group since the mid-20th century in the United States has experienced the holocaust that the GLBT community did. I don’t mean to be disrepsectful by using that word, but that is what it was–the silence and indifference killed the precious souls we loved.

    Others fought smaller, but no less profound battles, being rejected and discarded by their families; disowned by friends and churches, dispairaged by neighbors, ministers and strangers who hate us, without ever bothering to know us. Most on this site, have fought these battles, by holding onto their esteems by a thread, being beaten down from time to time, and pulling themselves back up by their own boot straps. Having be brought up in a society that teaches us not much more than self loathing, we have fought to achieve in spite of the voices who have consistently told us that we are unworthy. Many have fought back from the brink of self destruction, depression, and against all odds lived another day to look for and gather knew hope.

    I also find it unfair to suggest that we are single issue voters. Many of us have children, to whom we would like to leave a better and safer world–a greener world, a world free of poverty and suffering, a more peaceful world. Those of us who do not have children, still feel a responsibility to the generations who are coming behind us, and feel fiercely protective of them.

    As others have pointed out to you, this is a website with a definite focus; it is, after all, a website catering to the GLBT community. It is a place we can come to vent, to share, to exchange thoughts, and to do these things in an environment wherein we feel safe–for there are precious few such environments. After the Clinton Administration’s handling of our issues, and then the dark bleak 8 years of the Bush Administration, we are a community who was touched and affected by the promise for hope and change, and we gleaned onto it. In the past two weeks we have been hit hard by a hatefully worded brief from the DOJ, we were then told that the promise that a repeal of DODT was already being addressed by the house was untrue, and that the house shuffled it back to the White House. Three recent dismals in our military of gay service people have been especially affecting, 20 year veteran nurse, a language translator, and an 18 year fighter pilot who was heavily decorated and described as a hero…all dismissed without fan fare, and under the protection of the Obama administration.

    Many of us understand Obama’s need for captial, and we all understand that there is just so much that a new president can do in a few short months; however, this comforts little when the president’s Department of Justice compares our relationships to incestuous ones, or to a marriage in which one party is a child. Today, then, we get our first inching of good news, and we find out that it is not an executive order–as even Bush would have executed, had it been something he believed in–but was a Memo that expires when Obama’s presidency expires. We also found out that we do not get full benefits, nor do we get health insurance, and the few health benefits we do get will be taxed, unlike those enjoyed by opposite sex couples.

    SM, I appreciate all your help and my guess is that you are a compassionate person. I hope to meet you on the line out here in Orange County one day, for I counnt on that open heart that you have to find its way around our own perspective on our last few weeks. I expect that someone like you will have the capacity to re-examine this, and be able to not entirely relate, but maybe understand why our passions are high, and our fighting spirits building.

    And, SM, I think this is the perfect time for you to rededicate yourself to our fight for civil rights, along with your work for other causes that are important to you, because you will be at the front of a new, stronger movement, a movement which will see greater numbers of GLBT folks and their supporters than you’ve ever seen, all working together towards securing the liberties guarunteed to us in our constitution. What will unite us is exactly what you find, at the moment, distasteful–it will be our united anger and drive to express it in a way that will finally have our voices heard.

    We have driven back by circumstance in the past, and lulled into a sleep, but we are wide awake now. Do not dispair in hearing our anger, do not condemn or discourage it for we need it to move forward with any real intent to secure change. And, SM, do us and yourself a favor: do not abandon us, just try to better understand us at this new juncture that we find ourselves, in a new juncture in our history.

  • schlukitz


    I went to and did several on site searches. I did not find anything on that site that quotes Mr. Obama as having said that DOMA is discriminatory.

    Do you have a link to that page where he states that?

  • schlukitz


    That was a very beautiful and moving post.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about the LGBT community with the rest of us. Where we’ve been. Where we are. And where we are going.

    Well done.

  • MackMike

    @schlukitz: Sadly, I didn’t have time to proof or spell check, but I am glad that the message was conveyed, and thank you for your good and kind words.

  • Obama

    You and your liefestyle are second class issues for me. I don’t want to risk political capital and poll numbers by kissing up to the gays. This is a carrot. Suck it.

    p.s. Please sign on and send me another $25 for my campaign, suckers.

  • getreal

    @Obama: I think that was pretty low. This President is not stepping up the plate in the speed that is necessary but I also think people need to let go of the entitled idea that equality will be “given” it wasn’t given to women or black people and sadly it was given long past when it should have been. Historically speaking civil rights legislation comes slow we have a President who is doling out rocks when we want boulders but he is moving in the right direction. Acting like entitled children won’t move things along any faster putting real pressure through political action and by withholding contributions until might.

  • Bri

    I’m listening to Sirius radio – the liberal talk station – and the radio guy(Brian Thomas?) just said Obama signed an executive order like Obama had said. Umm, who do I believe?

  • tarmstrong

    This wasn’t anything Obama did…as he said, it was Hilary Clinton’s efforts that got us us even this.

    He laid it on the line today that we, the GLBT caucus, need to do more grassroots organizing and push our agenda through the states and other avenues.

    The Whitehouse is closed to us.

    He is going to expend exactly ZERO political capital on us.

    Lets face it, Prop 8 passed because President Obama does NOT believe homosexuals should be allowed to marry. He does NOT believe we have the same civil rights that he and Michelle have. He is at heart HOMOPHOBIC.

    OK…lets move on. I am going to cancel my HRC donation. They can go have all the dinners they want with Obama…but not on my dime. My money is going back exclusively into California to repeal Prop 8. Its going to be hard because the current president of the United States basically has the same stance that Bush had…HOMOSEXUALS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO MARRY !

    Let me say that again…Obama thinks…no Obama publicly declared to all Americans:

    There you have it…he made it plain today, we have to move on without him, or rather, in spite of him.

  • SM

    I don’t believe Pres. Obama is saying anything any different than he did all during primaries and during his campaign. Maybe some believed he said different. But Pres. Obama has said he will listen to all sides. So instead of giving up on him or speaking out against him, write emails & letters and engage lots of others to do the same. Just remember that our Change President has already changed some of his beliefs due to lots of pressure from “We the People.” I can imagine that the truth is different once a new President gets to that side of the fence and gets akk kinds of information concerning all issues. DO AND CONVINCE MANY OTHERS TO DO THE LETTERS & EMAILS.

    GO WORK FOR YOUR EQUALITY and stop putting the whole thing on HIM.

  • schlukitz


    And this is a dick! How about you suck on it, closet queer?

  • MackMike

    Certainly, the community is disappointed with Obama, and many are down right angry, and not without reason, but few if any here are “putting it all on HIM.” Read the various posts on this site and you will find anger and disappointment shared with many, including the HRC, the good folks who ran the No on 8 campaign, Barney Frank, the social conservatives, Bush, Clinton, Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown, Tony Perkins, Rick Warren, members of the media, and surely you see the anger expelled towards one another.

    We are trying to get it together and focus our anger into action, but we can’t focus anger that is mollified and explained away.

    Be angry with Obama, be angry with NOM, be angry with your family members who didn’t vote for your best interests, be angry at your buddy who went to a party instead of a protest, be angry at yourself for not doing more than you did, and cull it all together and then channel towards doing something constructive. There will be as many opinions about what is constructive as there people who have opinions, so you’ll have to filter all the information and do what you feel is best, whether that is joining the Courage Campaign, and equality group, or just talking to co-workers, friends, family members and neighbors until you are blue in the face. Write your representatives and call their offices…this actually can do some good if enough people do it. But stay ticked off and use it to the greatest advantage that you can!

  • SM


    I’m not angry with Obama. Why should I be? He has done more for gay rights in 5 months than the last 2 administrations combined.

    What makes me angry are people who expect him to bring this GREAT SOCIAL CHANGE to this country in a few months while they do NOTHING. Rome was not built in a day.

    How fast would Obama move on this issue if WE THE PEOPLE were constantly writing to the White House about it, writing our congress people, talking to businesses.

    Don’t expect him to take gay civil rights as a pressing matter when the gay community spends more time volunteering for PRIDE than their civil rights issues.

  • Random Gay Guy


    Don’t try to pin prop8 on Obama. During the campaign season, he was vocal in opposition to it. Proposition 8 passed because of misleading campaign tactics and scare tactics. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that Obama as a candidate could have done to keep Prop 8 from passing besides coming out against it, which he did.
    What is with people like you that expect things to be done in a day. The economy is currently in a horrible state and our health care system is failing. Unemployment is at an all time high. These are issues that every American is facing and deservedly, they are going to be the first thing Obama covers. Our time will come. It may not be in the next 30 days, it might not be in the next 12 months. As someone said earlier, we have to work for our equality. Kennedy was for civil rights, but that didn’t happen over night. Civil rights demonstrations didn’t stop just because he got into office. No, the organizers kept on working.
    Instead, people like you sit on your asses and scream on forums. Learn something about politics. Learn something about grassroots campaigns. Hell, learn something about civil disobedience.
    Expecting someone to hand equality to us runs the risk of it being marketed as a benefit. Equality is our right and we have to make it known. If you want someone to be pissed at, get pissed at the GOP. Get pissed at small town America. Get mad at the people that are going to use action on our rights as political leverage to rally their cause and take back the “benefits” that we have already received. Until we make this a mainstream human rights issue through civil disobedience, it will never be put on the same plate with the current issues on today. Until we reach that level, we are going to be forced to wait until those issues are dealt with.

  • TANK

    Give it time? Are you people retarded? The DOJ brief was openly hostile and homophobic. That’s not about giving someone time to act–that is action, fucktards.

  • TANK

    His silence on DADT as people are being fired is ACTION.

  • Sceth

    Marginal benefits…. and they’re going to be taxed.

    Obama is a nasty bitch.

  • Jim

    Suck it Obama. You are another Jimmy Carter.

  • tarmstrong

    @Random Gay Guy

    Thanks for joining me in screaming on this forum.

    If I could iterate one point. Our president presumably believes, and has stated many times, that marriage is between a man and a woman. Until he says otherwise, we are on our own. He has shown today that he is not prepared to expend ANY political capital on the GLBT caucus. He essentially attributed todays concession to Clinton. He no longer needs to court our vote and can do without our dollars.

    Hence, that is I why I stated we need to move our focus away from Washington and toward those fights we can win. In my case it is the repeal of Prop H8 in California. The best we can hope from Obama is that he shuts the fuck up about his belief that a marriage is between a man and a woman and letting the states decide if they agree with him, which unfortunately California did. In essence, he doesn’t have a problem with not allowing gays to get married, he just doesn’t want his bigotry enshrined in a constitutional document.

    Did I get any of this wrong? Am I missing something?

    I am putting my money where my mouth is and cancelling my HRC membership and directing it to a group I think capable of repealing prop H8. What are you gonna do “Random Gay Guy”?

  • schlukitz

    Lord, I am getting so sick and tired of Johnny come latelys like SM, Getreal and Random Gay Guy who lecture those of us who have been around the block a few times in our long lives and accuse us of sitting around on our asses and doing nothing and acting like entitled children. How dare you?

    Who the fuck do you egoists think were marching and protesting in the hot sweltering summer sun and handing out flyers and leaflets in the freezing cold in the winter to get you the right you now enjoy?

    Talk about ingrates!

    Early gay rights leaders like Frank Kameny, Dick Leitsch, Barbara Gittings, Harvey Milk and Craig Rodwell would spit in your faces if they could hear the dismissive, cavalier manner in which you address your brothers and sisters.

    Who the fuck do y’all think you are, anyway? Shame on you people. You’ll get no respect from me. That’s for sure!

  • MackMike

    @schlukitz: I have to agree with you on this point–there is a great deal of presumption. Certainly, many gays did not get involved out here in CA regarding Prop 8, but that was a wake up call for many, and now they are beginning to ramp up. If 8 was nothing more than a rallying call for what we can do nationally, then its heart wrenching loss was somewhat worth it.

    SM, I’m not suggesting that you be angry with Obama, but I am suggesting that those who are use that anger to get them moving forward. You are suggesting many of the same things as I am, so we are not so far apart as you might believe. Where we differ is that I want the community to be outraged and angry, and if that is towards Obama, then so be it; if it towards the gay community, then so be it, but for cryin’ out loud, get angry and get moving.

    I do wish, however, that you would please think a bit more about your approach, at least on here, towards the gay community. While I certainly appreciate all your efforts and genuinely find them nobel and kind, as a gay man, I don’t even feel the right to make assumptions about folks, nor would I toss off a judgemental remark about one’s preference to direct energy to pride rather than civil rights. Most of those people, are probably not on this blog, contributing to threads for one. Secondly, what I tried to explain to you earlier is that we have an experience that is impossible for you to entirely empathize with. You, as a heterosexual individual, could no more really understand what it has been like to walk through my life’s journey, than it would be for me–a blond and blue eyed fellow–to know what it has been like for a black man to navigate through the twists and turns in his life.

    There is just so much that we experience that is so unique, like being a minority in our own homes. We are the only minority group that I know of that has been just about completely eliminated from the history books; there is no literature about us, how we contributed, about our writers, artists, presidents, heros and those who stood behind them. The only history that has been documented and left for people to read are the tragedies, those who were jailed, killed or were killed, who died alone and penniless. Our own suffering during the Holocaust of WWII is rarely referenced, and most people don’t know that while every other prisoner was released from the death and work camps, homosexuals were transferred to prison. The oppression that our people have faced in history is staggering, and yet we have been deminished and portrayed as flittering deviants and reprobates. DaVinci, Shakespear, very likely Lincoln, Williams, great men through history from Michealangelo to Mark Bingham, the footballer who helped to foil the plans of the last set of hi-jackers during the 911 attacks were all gay, but that is washed away.

    So, gays are left with sad depictions of their forefathers, are told that they are inferior, less than human. What other group would take that, turn it on its head, and through a parade?!! Now, I’m not a huge parade guy, and I’m dubious about walking down a street and simulating sexual acts, but you know…if my people are able to endure 364 days of oppression at the workplace, at their churches, within their own families, and then can still muster up the courage to throw a parade, then I am one thousand percent behind it.

    Furthermore, having a parade, no matter what you think of them, and working for civil rights are not mutually exclusive activities. One can do both, and there is a great chance that the gays who you might criticize today for their involvement in a parade will be the very same gays who will put themselves on the front lines tomorrow. I saw that happen in the AIDS fight, and I would not be surprised to see it repeat history.

    Again, I, for one, am terribly greatful, and I’m not calling you out. I’m just encouraging you to understand that there is a complex history that each gay individual has, and one should not judge or condemn when one cannot fully grasp such histories. Please continue to fight for us, but more importantly, really try to get to know us and understand us better than you even believe that you do now.

    Thank you, SM!

  • Jamie

    The master of the empty symbolic gesture comes through again!

  • fifi


  • fifi


  • OldFAQ

    My reaction to the memorandum signing? “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the play.” I want my money back.

  • OldFAQ

    @FiFi. You All-Caps rant is PooPoo. Drop the hysteria and make sense.

  • Joe Plumber

    Excellent! I love Obama – I’m glad he’s keeping you guys in the closet where you belong.

  • John Boy

    oh, Joe, I’m so dismayed that this is your opinion, for you were among the best I’ve ever had!

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    I have this doctor’s bill………………..oh well, too bad!

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