Friday Forum: Can We Start Calling Obama Gay-Friendly Yet?

It’s that time of the week, when Queerty takes a break from the opinion-making and puts you, the readers, in charge. Each Friday, we invite you to be the pundit on a hot-button question facing the LGBT community and its allies. As always, we expect people to be respectful and considerate of others by refraining from personal attacks. We present the information, you make the decision.

obama-dont-doma-prop-8-h8This week, the Obama administration announced that the U.S. would become a signatory to a United Nations resolution calling for an end to the criminalization of homosexuality. Under Bush, the U.S. argued that the non-binding resolution might infringe on individual state’s rights, but after a brief review by the White House counsel, the White House decided there were no legal hang-ups to joining the resolution, which had already been signed by every other Western nation.

It’s not the only bone Obama’s thrown to the gay community. The White House has directed the Department of Defense to undertake a review of its policy denying gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military, and as recently as last Friday, the administration reiterated its admittedly vague plans to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. In less official ways, the White House has demonstrated that it intends to be a welcoming place to the LGBT community. When the White House announced its small-business initiative this week, it invited seven prominent gay business leaders and experts to attend. The administration announces appointments of openly gay and lesbian civil servants to White House posts on a nearly weekly basis.

gay_agendaOn the surface, it seems like good times for gays an lesbians, but is it just lip service? Though Obama is already a third of the way through his first 100 days, considered to be the most influential time in a new President’s tenure, he has yet to introduce or support any significant gay rights related legislation. It’s not like he hasn’t had the opportunity. The House is considering a bill that would repeal DOMA, a lawsuit by Massachusetts married couples is challenging DOMA and last week a federal judge ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional. If ever there was an opportunity to act, it would be now.

But what do we know? Let’s put it to you: Is Obama being pragmatic and cautious about making good on his campaign promises to repeal DADT and DOMA or is he caving to politics while offering up gays and lesbians lip service?

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  • Wayne

    Sad to say, but as the NYTimes recently reported the Feds under the Obama administration are actually citing DOMA as to why they will deny the federal judges’ order to issue benefits to same-sex couples!!! DOMA is the very thing Obama repeatedly promised to end (ALL of it, as I recall). Where is this “fierce advocate for gays”? Signing some toothless UN Declaration that has absolutely NO enforcement power doesn’t cut it for me. I want real “CHANGE”, not lip service and pretty speeches.

  • Wayne

    ps. and what about all those promises to end DADT? But now as president, Obama needs more time to “Study” it. Yeah, right.

  • damien

    Well he’s only 60 days into his presidency, you know :)

  • Forrest

    I try to stay optimistic but it’s not looking very promising early on. Obama has taken on hot button issues like stem cell. But we are still a third rail. I don’t expect any meaningful change for us in this term. He thinks touching gay issues would hurt his reelection chances.

    So if he is reelected maybe we will get something thrown our way at the end of his presidency. How inspiring.

  • mark in Indiana

    it’s called leadership; obama should look it up.

  • blake

    For God’s sake, what is up with Queerty’s weekly if not every other day hand-wringing about and scolding of Obama? He’s been in office 2 months.

    Yeah, in 2 months time in the middle of the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression Obama’s going to be able to rally all of the Democratic troops and a few Republicans to push through major Civil Rights initatives. Like any president is going to do so, especially after Bill Clinton’s failure. Supposedly “centrist” Democrats are already planning a revolt against health care, energy and tax reforms. The Republican vipers are scheming to find a weakness to exploit.

    Queerty Editors, why don’t you pick up the phone and interview legislators and ask them what the short and long term strategy is for achieving gay civil rights equality? Why not try to interview someone from the Obama Administration?

    Every one wants something from the Obama Administration: Labor, women, Latino-, Asian-, African-, and Native-Americans, those facing foreclosure, the unemployed, health care reformers, the sick, the elderly, etc. Do you think the tens of thousands of autoworkers who have and are losing their jobs are not desperate for Obama to help them?

    Millions of screaming and desperate people want something. How do you, decide who gets attention first? Look at the news cycles of late, they focus on the stupidity: Rush Limbaugh, Michael Steele, the break up of Sarah Palin’s daughter from her child’s father, AIG, etc. Lost in this is the real human tragedy taking place with millions of people out of work, homeless, and desperate.

    Has Queerty bothered to call any legislators known for being gay allies to ask them their opinions about what legislation is possible to get passed? Some Congress person has introduced legislation. Great. How far along is that legislation? Does it have support? What are the details? Has the bill’s author spoken to the Obama Administration?

    Has Queerty contacted the leading gay civil rights groups like the HRC to ask about their dealings with the Obama Administration.

    How does Obama compare to past president’s dealing with a severe economic crisis admist other national (cleaning up the Justice Department, closing secret prisons, etc.) and international crises (like two active wars)?

    This article is framed on DADT and DOMA, but no mention of ENDA. Zero, zilch, nada. ENDA offers the most protection to all GLBT Americans. One could argue that since it focuses on workplace discrimination. It probably stands the best chance of getting support, but where is the inquiry about it?

    This topic is great for clicks and comments but does it add anything that hasn’t been said over the last 2 months? The same people will say the same things: defending Obama or cursing him. Broken record.

  • andy_d

    Talk is cheap.

  • InExile

    Actions speak louder than words, I’m waiting to see some action! We really do not know if he will do anything meaningful yet. With each passing day he looses more political clout with the right wing media machine and the GOP attacking everything he does. My fear is he will wait too long and we will miss the bus. If DOMA is to be repealed, it needs to happen prior to the next round of Congressional elections (2010) when the balance of power could change again. When is that march on Washington for equal rights? Rights will not be handed to us on a silver platter, we must demand them and protest!

  • Bill Perdue

    He never was a friend. He’s rapidly moving right and becoming an enemy. It’s pretty clear whose side he’s on and which direction he’s going in. Watch out, here comes that damn bus again.

    He used to support same sex marriage but reversed himself to pander to bigots. His “gawd’s in the mix” torpedoed our chances for same sex marriage equality in California, Florida, and Arizona.

    He not only kept on Leah Daughtry, an anointed pentecostal minister and bigot running the DNC but appointed another ignorant bigot, Keane, to ‘supervise her.

    He’s demanding millions more for ‘faith based’ bribes to pass out to charlatans and fakers, aka priests and pastors, to insure his reelection and appointed Joshua Dubois to pass out the bribes. He‘s out-roving Rove.

    He just appointed a panel of right wing anti-GLBT ‘spirit’ advisors. In addition to Warren and ex-gay scuzwad McClurkin and his Minister of Pandering, Joshua Dubois, Obama has a new group of sky pixie guides. Among them are his old standby Kirbyjon Caldwell, Bush’s sky pixie advisor, and the most holy Bishop T.D. Jakes, who says being gay or lesbian is a “brokenness” and refuses to hire sexually active GLBT folks. Jakes son, not at all broken by his father’s bigotry still manages to find sex in parks, although that’s very, very dangerous.

    What’s next? Séance tables and Ouija boards in the Oval Office? There’s more christer wierdness and pious hokum in the West Wing than at any time since Nancy Reagan called in astrologers to figure out foreign policy.

  • Michael W.

    @Forrest: He touched on issues like embryonic stem cells because they could be wiped away with an executive order. There is nothing substantial on the gay rights agenda, from DOMA to DADT to ENDA, that he can change with the stroke of a pen until congress brings legislation to his desk after passing in both houses.

    And maybe congress isn’t moving fast enough. But surely, amidst this economic chaos and an opposition party hell bent on destroying his presidency where it’s a struggle just to pass his upcoming budget, you don’t expect Obama to be out there holding townhalls on DADT.

    One thing I find amazing is how gay AMERICANS act like we’re somehow detached from everything except the gay rights agenda, as if the other shit Obama and congress are working at have no effect on us. It’s just all about DOMA and DADT and everything else is meaningless. Who gives a flying fuck about DOMA if I get laid off and can’t find another goddamned job? And since when is universal health care supposed to be only for heterosexuals?

  • Wayne

    It amazes me how many Obama apologists there are that keep saying Obama hasn’t had enough time to do anything. If Obama doesn’t act now, then when? Do you really think that Obama is just going to wait a year or two and then become this “Fierce Advocate for Gay”? It’s foolish to believe that. A year or two from now will be about the same time that Obama will be gearing up for his re-election campaign – Does anyone really think that will be the time Obama starts fighting for the rights of Gay people?

    It’s now or never!

  • Wayne

    correction “Fierce Advocate for Gays”

  • Dabq

    Thanks for using good old common sense on 60 days in office Blake and how DC and government works. The man can’t undo 8 years of Bush in less than two months for crying out loud while the country is going down the tubes with all the Wall Street inflicted issues.

    And, I wonder if they think it would have been any different under McCain. But, then again since most of the naysayers and pessimists probably voted for them, who knows.

  • Wayne

    There is nothing substantial on the gay rights agenda, from DOMA to DADT to ENDA, that he can change with the stroke of a pen until congress brings legislation to his desk after passing in both houses.”

    That is not true. The President has broad discretionary powers including executive orders that could alter or even end DADT. The Supreme Court (which even Congress has to abide by)has ruled unequivocally that The President is the commander in chief of the United States military and has broad powers to impose rules and regulations on the military (In fact the military was first forced to racially de-segregate by the presidential power of executive order). It would not be a popular move with some in congress, but for a “Fierce Advocate for Gays and Lesbians” like Obama promised to be, it shouldn’t be that difficult of a decision.

  • Wayne

    sorry, the prior post was @Michael W.”There is nothing substantial on the gay rights agenda, from DOMA to DADT to ENDA, that he can change with the stroke of a pen until congress brings legislation to his desk after passing in both houses.”

    That is not true. The President has broad discretionary powers including executive orders that could alter or even end DADT. The Supreme Court (which even Congress has to abide by)has ruled unequivocally that The President is the commander in chief of the United States military and has broad powers to impose rules and regulations on the military (In fact the military was first forced to racially de-segregate by the presidential power of executive order). It would not be a popular move with some in congress, but for a “Fierce Advocate for Gays and Lesbians” like Obama promised to be, it shouldn’t be that difficult of a decision.

  • Chitown Kev

    Yes, President Obama has a lot on his plate. No, he has not been the fierce advocate for gays and lesbians that he said he would be. Never mind his discretionary powers as the president, the bully pulpit is the most powerful tool he has. The executive branch itself can propose legilation and send it to Congress too.

    I also agree with the fact that we should not be cutting Congress or our advocacy/lobbying groups any slack whatsoever What the fuck are they doing? Every damn day, it seems, we are hearing about a new hate crime. Lord knows all of those mofo’s in Congress love to be drama queens, get up and make a stink and pass the Matthew Sheperd Act, and Obama can speak in that too.

    So no, I would not say that Obama is gay friendly yet. Our problem is NOONE in a position to lead has done anything more than talk.

  • Chitown Kev

    that’s “legislation”

  • bb

    No I don’t think we can, but, by the same token, I don’t think we should be screaming about broken promises and homophobia yet.

  • Wayne

    @BB “No I don’t think we can, but, by the same token, I don’t think we should be screaming about broken promises and homophobia yet.”

    Except that Obama has broken his promise on DOMA and if Donnie McClurkin and Rick Warren are not examples of bigotry and homophobia, then what is?

  • Chitown Kev


    I am somewhere between you and BB.

    Clearly Obama is doing the exact reverse of Clinton circa 1993 with DADT. Perhaps it’s the correct strategy, perhaps it’s wrong, time will tell.

    I do know that in the runup to the 2010 midterm elections, the rethugs and some Dems will use us as a wedge issue. At some point, say, in the 6 months, he really needs to step it up.

  • Jon B

    Okay, so I’ve only read the first few comments, but you people seem like such whiney bitches. We are in the midst of the largest economic crisis since the great depression!!! Gay rights aren’t nearly as important as trying to figure out a way to get out of this mess and keeping us from getting into a similar mess again. As for his addressing stem cells, that only required an executive order which means the decision is his and his alone. All of the gay rights issues have to be addressed by Congress through legislation, and to be honest with you, I never had any expectation that it would be done this soon. Congress would look, and likely be, negligent if they put aside a week in the middle of everything going on and debated gay rights. Put down your slings and arrows (those things can apparently poke someone’s stomach out) and give it a bit of time.

    P.S. That doesn’t mean that I think we shouldn’t fight for our rights the whole time, just cut the policy makers a bit of slack if they don’t get to our agenda this instant.

  • Brian

    I think people have short memories….or maybe I’m a lot older than other posters, and y’all don’t remember how DADT came into being 16 years ago!

    Clinton came into office and immediately started undoing a lot of Republican damage, including lifting the ban on abortions at military hospitals, and repealing the ban on gays in the military. This was within days of taking office. A lot of this backfired. He was considered (accurately, let’s face it) a draft-dodger, and came into office with no credibility in the military. He also had a petulant Democratic Congress who, after 12 years as the most important Democrats in Washington, didn’t like being upstaged by this nobody from Arkansas.

    Clinton didn’t consult with the military before repealing the ban, and since they already didn’t trust him, the reaction was fierce. The military attacked him, and so did many members of Congress. The backtracking “compromise” was DADT, which was supposed to still be an improvement over the old days of full-on witch hunts.

    Obama is smart, and he knows his history. He has been courting the military. He never served, but most in his/my post-Vietnam generation didn’t. We are fighting two wars, and there are a lot of things on the agenda for which Obama needs support that affect everyone, not just a specific community. I have faith that Obama will repeal DADT, but he’s just taking an approach that kind of shows due process and respect for the military so as to avoid a backlash. Many military leaders have come around on this issue, including Colin Powell, and putting together a coalition of well-respected military brass before announcing this change will send a very powerful message and probably make it easier on gay military personnel since the repeal will be seen as more of a consensus move to be respected rather than a political move to be villified.

    And I think that a second-term Obama will include marriage equality as something that he wants to leave as his legacy.

    Let’s give the guy time.

  • Jon B

    @Wayne: You are an unabashed idiot, but at least you are unabashed. Kudos on not trying to conceal who you really are. Out of the closets into the streets!

  • Wayne

    @Jon B. You don’t seem to even try and dispute any of the facts; you just go straight to name-calling. That’s called an “infantile evasion”. That’s how children and people of low intelligence try to debate. It looks good on you.

  • Wayne

    @Brian “And I think that a second-term Obama will include marriage equality as something that he wants to leave as his legacy”

    So wait a minute, you are saying we have to wait at least another 4 to 5 years (and hope that Obama is re-elected to a 2nd term) before we can expect him to even begin living up to his promises that he made for his 1st term?!!

    If Obama has lied about his commitment to be “Fierce Advocate” for gay equality during his 1st term and does nothing, then why on earth should anyone believe the promises he makes for his 2nd term?!

    Wasn’t Obama the one who promised to be a “Fierce Advocate for Gays and Lesbians”? Didn’t he promise to end all of DOMA? Didn’t he promise to end DADT? He didn’t say I promise to do it 5 years from now. No, he promised to bring “CHANGE” now, not later.

    If we don’t hold him to his word, who will?

  • Robert, NYC

    @Bill Perdue:

    Bill hi. Excellent post and I’m in total agreement. Though I believe the economic crisis is first and foremost at the top of the list of things to do.

    Lets not kid ourselves, Obama made it quite clear during his campaign that he’s not for marriage equality, except civil unions at the federal level.

    His consorting with five known evangelical right wingers is deeply troubling and revealing at the same time. I don’t think its about reaching out at all.

    ENDA and DOMA should be passed before 2010 when the midterms take place and traditionally a time when the ruling party loses some ground. Waiting until 2012 will be disastrous if his popularity is way down in the polls, assuming that the stimulus package hasn’t born any fruit. I think this is just another case of being thrown under the bus waiting to happen situation. I hope I am proved wrong.

  • Chitown Kev


    I get what you are saying but even I don’t expect Obama to push marriage equality until his possible second term. However, I do expect him to live up to everything else during his first term.

    I agree that Obama, himself, should be doing much more now. Given the economic crisis, NOW is the time to push ENDA and DADT. Given the uptick in anti-gay hate crimes, NOW is the time to push hte crimes legislation.

    And he needs to quit it with this “gawd in the mix shit” and these homophobic preachers that have been antagonistic to our community, that he can do NOW.

  • Chitown Kev

    Please, let’s not forget that Obama and the Congress has to sell legislation and policies to a population that by and large, remains hostile to us, depending on the issue. All these Congressmen at the federal, state and local levels want to get reelected. In many of these places, they are even attempting to reverse the progress that we have made.

  • Jon B

    @Wayne: If you read two posts up from the post in which I addressed you personally, I do refute your opinions, or as you call them “facts”. You seem content to simply spout off “facts” that you seem to know next to nothing about.

    You claim that “The Supreme Court (which even Congress has to abide by)has ruled unequivocally that The President is the commander in chief of the United States military and has broad powers to impose rules and regulations on the military (In fact the military was first forced to racially de-segregate by the presidential power of executive order).” It strikes me as odd that such a legal scholar such as yourself would never come across a little case called Youngstown v. Sawyer (just in case you wanted the citation info, the case can be found at 343 US 579 (1952)). In that case, the Supreme Court directly refutes your assertion that the president can simply overturn legislation passed by Congress. The case, which is likely the most important case in US History dealing with executive power, holds that the power of the President is weakest when it works against the wishes of Congress, and that the President may not use an executive order to make law, but rather to clarify law. This case was decided after Harry Truman’s executive order that you refer to, and also dealt with an executive order signed by Truman relating to war time activities. You are correct in stating that Executive Order 9981 did order the military to integrate, however, the military was not segregated by Congressionally passed legislation. It was internal military policy to segregate troops by race. African Americans had been serving in the military for over a hundred years prior to this executive order.

    Well, I look forward to hearing back… Ciao!

  • Nick

    You petulant fags are something else.

  • radg

    IMO we just don’t know yet. We’ll know when DADT and DOMA are no longer laws, and if that doesn’t happen in his first term, I’ll consider him a liar and panderer, but I have faith that it will. We’ll wait and see. But thus far, yes, he’s gay friendly(ish)

  • John K.

    I didn’t read all the comments here, so I don’t know if it’s been mentioned, but I’ve got two words for you: Elena Kagen. She is Obama’s pick for Solicitor General, and thought to be on his short list of US Supreme Court appointees. She does not believe gays have a constitutional right to marry, and she believes “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is constitutional because it passes the Equal Protection rational basis test. The implications of that statement are that she does not believe that sexual orientation is a protected minority like race, gender, and national origin, which means that if the government can ever give any rational reason for denying gays rights that others have, then it would be constitutional.

    Now, that said, her answers were not direct and absolute. Yes, she said there was no right to same-sex marriage because constitutional rights “are a product of how courts, citizens, and elected officials interpret the Constitution.” That means, ten years from now, if those entities begin to move toward recognizing gay marriage, she could possibly change her mind. Also, in her DADT answer, she said, “these findings satisfy the Equal Protection Clause’s rational basis test, and the government accordingly has had broad success in defending the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy and its associated statute against constitutional challenge.” The IMPLICATION is that as a Supreme Court Justice she would say it was constitutional, but that statement can also be read to mean, “According to current Supreme Court precedent, sexual orientation need only pass the rational basis test, so I am in good position as Solicitor General to fulfill my duty to argue that the law is constitutional. (However, as a Supreme Court Justice, I would find that sexual orientation was s suspect class that was protected by the strict scrutiny test, not the rational basis test, so I would find the law to be unconstitutional).

    See the article here:

    I’m trying to find seeds of hope here, but I’m extremely worried about this woman as Supreme Court Justice. As one commenter wrote, “I voted for Obama, but after reading this article, it’s the same as a vote for McCain.” We shall see…

  • mick

    I am glad to see post by people like Michael W. and Jon B, otherwise I was beginning to think our Law Schools were getting as bad as our public school system.

  • DaveO

    “Though Obama is already a third of the way through his first 100 days,”

    More like two-thirds.

  • Wayne

    @Jon B. Um, Jon if you are so interested in case law you might want to study the ramifications of Lawrence vs. Texas which post dates Youngstown vs. Sawyer I believe.

    And correct me if I’m wrong but President Obama himself has said that he considered ending DADT by executive order but upon reflection he felt going that route would be “overreaching”.

  • Wayne

    @ Mick. Have Michael W. and Jon B said they attended law school? Which one?

  • Wayne

    @Jon B. (Mr. Law Student) Even if you try to dispute the 2nd part of my statement that as president Obama has the power to ” alter or even end DADT” on what basis do you dispute the fact that the constitution gives the president the power to regulate the military through executive order, and through those powers the president has the capacity right now to “alter” the DADT policy to such a degree that it would become meaningless?

  • rogue dandelion

    it is too early to give up hope, but it is not too early put on the pressure.
    the democrats won’t have this level of power again for a generation, if we wait past 2010, we might lose a house or the margin necessary for a civil rights agenda to be passed. He must act on some or all of the 4 main pegs of the agenda, enda, doma, dadt, and hate crimes- before the first year is up, or chances are, he’ll never get to them. Doma will be the hardest, since his position on gay marriage is cowardly and inconsistent.

  • Rob

    We’ll be more likely to get what we want if we keep up the pressure. Send letters, not only to the President, but also to your members of Congress. I’ve heard that letters to Congress are more effective if they’re about bills that have already been introduced. Letters you compose yourself are more effective than boilerplate a political organization has written for you.

    IMHO, of the major pieces of legislation we’d like Congress to pass in the next two years, ENDA is the most important. Getting Federal protection against employment discrimination will make it easier for people in conservative parts of the country to come out. That will help us with the rest of our political agenda. We should be talking about ENDA more.

  • Wayne

    @Jon B. Well, Jon it’s already after 5pm (I’m an Eastcoaster) and it’s Friday so I’m about to sign off. But I really am interested to hear your sharp retort, so I’ll try to check in again later. You seemed so eager to debate earlier, maybe you missed my post. So I’ll ask again. Even if you try to dispute the 2nd part of my original statement that as president, Obama has the power to “alter or even end DADT”. Even if you argue that Obama cannot “end” DADT on his own; on what basis do you dispute the fact that the constitution gives the president the power to regulate the military through executive order, and through those powers the president has the capacity right now to “alter” the DADT policy to such a degree that it would become meaningless? As president, Obama absolutely has the power to bring about real change in the DADT policy on his own. There should be no dispute about that. Sadly, we’ve had lots of talk, very little action.

  • John K.


    That’s a great point Rob. ENDA is very important.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Robert, NYC: Hi Robert.

    Those who assume that Obama is on our side are simply delusional at this point. He has a clear history and he’s moving at a furious pace to the right on every major question.

    His bailouts will insure that the recession will become a depression by taking money out of the pockets of working class consumers and giving it too the rich, who in spite of their best efforts cannot begin to spend their wealth.

    From Palestine to Pakistan he’s ramping up the murder of civilians to gain military hegemony and control of oil and gas resources.

    Domestically, in terms of GLBT rights he’s for them when he talks to us but against them when push comes to shove. He’s been that way for years and only people who are terminally or deliberately naive think otherwise. Right now they’re grasping at straws, creating delusional timelines and calling on us to the write letters to our congressional reps. As if they paid attention to what we said. And above all they say give Obama another chance. They’ll say the same thing every time the Obamabus runs us over.

  • blake

    @Bill Perdue:

    Palestine? Palestine? Have you no shame? Just how in all that is decent can you blame Obama for the deaths in Palestine.

    Yeah, that whole thing about Obama raising income tax rates on the wealthy sure shows that he’s in the pocket of wealthy! Oh, Obama is definitely a tool of the mega rich since he’s allowing the estate tax to return to its traditional levels.

    You blame Obama for Prop 8. What a joke. As if all of the money and resources from the Right-wing Christians and Mormons had not impact. As if the fact that 50% of eligible gay California voters didn’t sit their butts at home instead of voting. And, hey, nice to pretend that the No on 8 campaign was mismanaged, you just want to dump it all on Obama.

    As for this crap about Obama is the tool of the Right-wing, that seems pretty hilarious considering how often the Republicans damn him for being a socialist for trying to provide universal health care, ended the ban on stem cells, increased funding for education, etc. Yep, all those were the actions of secret Right-winger.

    Obama is a politician. He’s always been a center-left politician. Anyone with an ounce of sense would have known that. As a politician, he has to be praised and pressured to support the needs of constituencies.

  • Justin

    This is another case of what I’ve always lamented about the gay community: if someone’s behind us 99% but not 100% we accuse them of either homophobia or throwing us under the bus. A perfect case is Senator Gillibrand. While representing a conservative Upstate NY district overflowing with Republicans she said she supported civili unions but not gay marriage. When she was appointed to the Senate to replace Hillary Clinton and represented the whole state of New York and not just her district, she said she supported full marriage equality. But that wasn’t good enough for some, who accused her of flip-flopping and ignored the fact that if she had said she supported that when running to oust the Sweeney, she probably wouldn’t have won and the district would still be Republican, and that we should be happy that we can add her to the list of Senators who support gay marriage (Boxer, Feingold, Kennedy, Whitehouse, and Wyden are the others).

    Obama is the same way. He has consistently supported gay rights through his entire career. Yet because he hasn’t gotten DOMA and DADT overturned two months into office he’s at an AIDS victim’s funeral holding a sign saying God Hates Fags.

    Right now he beyond has his hands full dealing with the economic collapse and our time will come when he will stand up for us. But we have to be patient. If Tauscher’s bill to discontinue DADT passes the House and Senate (which I believe it will), Obama will sign it in a heartbeat.

    I guess I would ask those who think he doesn’t really support us: would you prefer John McCain in office when the bills overturning DOMA and DADT come to the president’s desk?

  • Jon B

    @Wayne: Sorry, after I wrote that last response, I went out for a bit. In response to the question you addressed to Mick, I hadn’t stated that I attend law school, but in fact I do. I am graduating from George Washington Law School in May. Anyway, as to your responses:

    Lawrence v. Texas has no implications on any laws save sodomy laws because the Court never stated in the appropriate language (the use of the word “fundamental”) that sexuality was a fundamental right. The majority opinion was decided based on Due Process grounds and not Equal Protection grounds (although Justice O’Connor’s consenting opinion was based on the EP clause). Therefore, issues relating to gay rights, based on precident, will be reviewed under a rational basis standard (although in actuality the court held Lawrence to a slightly higher standard often referred to as rational basis plus).

    President Obama could potentially alter the way in which DADT is executed, but it is not fair to say that he could not render it useless or change it in any real way. Again, Youngstown is the applicable standard and it states that a President is at his most powerful when acting in accord with Congressional intent, and at his least powerful when directly contradicting Congress. In the case of DADT, Congressional intent is not in question, and the President has little power to alter the law.

    I am not saying that Obama has been great on LGBT issues thus far, I am saying it’s too early to tell, and that it is unfair to expect him to address the issues you want addressed within 60 days of his presidency when there is an economic disaster hanging over his head. The stock market lost half its value in the past few months. While marriage rights and the right to serve openly in the military are important, it is hard to argue that they should take precidence over economic concerns. The economy affects everyone in this country, not just straight people. Trying to secure LGBT rights will use up significant political capital, and Obama simply can’t risk the likely distractions that such a move would incite. That is the reality. Do I like it? No. I think we should have equal rights and I think we should have had them for years now. But does it mean that he is anti-gay, or even gay neutral? No. It simply means that there have been more pressing issues that have confronted him in the past 60 days.

    Give the guy a break. He just inherited the worst economy since the great depression. If he doesn’t immediately address our agenda, it doesn’t mean he won’t in due time. Honestly, tackling gay rights issues right now, in the midst of everything that is going on, would be somewhat irresponsible on Obama’s part. That doesn’t mean I am not saddened and frustrated with the fact that we don’t have equal rights, it means I am also saddened and frustrated with the state of our economy, and I believe it is currently a more pressing issue, to straights and gays alike.

  • Jon B

    @Justin: Well said.

  • sparkle obama

    gay marriage & dadt are important, but they are not front-burner issues.
    i would trade away forever the right to “marry” another stinky man for my transgender friends’ right to “gender expression” in the workplace or elsewhere.
    i’m not saying transgender rights are “more important”, but i am saying, get some f*cking perspective.
    create jobs, provide healthcare and improve education, reduce US military presence around the world.
    f*ck a gay “marriage”.
    get in line & get off barack’s jock!
    it’s a shame for the gays to act ugly and mypopic.
    you can go thru the back door and secure equal civil spousal unions
    or you can stir up sh*t about a *word*.
    the genie’s out of the bottle now, anyway.
    they had to change the dictionary.
    haters, please help your president.
    don’t let your pride make you want to hurt him.
    darling, you don’t really want to go there because everyone is going to remember how ugly you acted.

  • Bill Perdue

    @blake: ,Reading Is Fundamental.

    If you read you’d be aware that Obama pushed Biden because of Biden’s bona fides as a supporter of zionism (1). You’d understand why most Republicans and Democrats, including Obama (2), Biden. McCain and the Clintons support zionist campaigns of ethnic cleansing (3, 4) and apartheid (5) used against Palestinians.

    They support the same kind of racist mass murders in Iraq and Afghanistan and air attacks on Syria and Pakistan. If you read you’d know all that.

    Obama is a handpuppet of the rich. He demands take backs from working people and unions. And if he’s for changing the tax code
    (it hasn’t been done yet) that won’t amount to squat compared to the trillions Obama is doling out to the one group that doesn’t need more money, the looter rich. You’d only claim he’s a progressive if you never read what he says and who bankrolls him.

    Try actually reading link 6. It’s not bullshit from the bigots at the DNC so maybe you’ll learn something.

    I blame Obama for saying “gawd’s in the mix” and refusing to repudiate when Yes on 8 used it to knock us to the ground. You of course don’t blame him and don’t think he’s a bigot. Thats because you don’t read, just pontificate.

    He’s an opponent of socialized medicine. His stem cell proclamation means little because Congressional Democrats and Republicans won’t fund it. It’s window dressing.

    Obama is a right centrist moving right.


  • Jeffrey

    @Blake: As if the fact that 50% of eligible gay California voters didn’t sit their butts at home instead of voting.

    FACT? FACT? That fact is, in fact, a lie. Find me ONE credible source that backs that up. That lie has been bouncing around the blogs since the election and it is time to put it to bed. Please!

  • blake

    @Jon B:

    Stop making sense! Why are you using logic and facts? I’m sorry, but you should be just making crap up and hoping people will let their emotions blind them to reality.

    (Seriously, well said and thank you! I don’t understand why it’s so hard to understand that things are VERY screwed up in this country and Obama is fighting tooth and nail to stop the country from falling down an economic sink hole.

    People are just not understanding how bad things are. The real unemployment rate is somewhere between 10 to 14% (or even higher). The official unemployment numbers the government releases are cooked; they only reflect people on unemployment insurance and not those who can’t get it or who have (wink and nod) given up looking for work. Look at the reports of tent cities popping up. One of 8 homeowners is in foreclosure.

    That’s not an excuse not to remind him of his commitment to GLBT Americans but there has to be some recognition of the facts that the U.S. is in terrible trouble. And, who exactly voted that DOMA and DADT are the most important issues for GLBT Americans? Why does ENDA constantly get shoved to the sidelines when it offers the most protection to the majority of GLBT Americans???

  • Wayne

    @Jon B. I’m so glad you replied. Now, correct if I’m wrong, but you originally said that I was an “unabashed idiot” because I stated that Obama has the power as president to “alter or even end DADT”, but now you seem to be saying that there is indeed some heft to my arguments. I would dispute what you characterize as the ability to alter DADT in a “real way”. The president has the power to regulate DADT and could in fact alter it substantially. And once again, I would remind you that Obama himself considered going that route (doesn’t he have a degree in law?)He thought use of E.O. would be “overreaching” but he considered it, none the less. (and just to be clear I’m no law student, I’m ex-army. DADT and I go way back. It’s personal. I’ve learned all about it, the hard way).

    As to your statement that Obama needs time to deal with more pressing matters before he actually tackles our little petty issues about equality, I have to ask: When exactly do you think this magical time will come when America has no problems and everything is peaceful and prosperous, a time convenient for Obama to actually live up to his promise to be a “Fierce Advocate for Gay and Lesbian Americans”? Do you think that time will come soon?

    The fact is, if Obama does not start making significant efforts on behalf of gay equality NOW, then he never will. Do you really think Obama will start acting on behalf of gay issues in a year or two? Right when he is going to be starting his re-election campaign? For someone who was calling me an “unabashed idiot” you seem to be very naive when it comes to politics.

  • sparkle obama


    >>you seem to be very naive when it comes to politics.<<

    says the guy who voted for mccain *out of sheer spite*…

  • steve tabarez


  • Jon B

    @Wayne: The unabashed idiot line was in reference to two things; your bringing up Donnie and Rick (an issue that is over and in the past, and which really says next to nothing about Obama himself) and your stating quasi-truths about legal issues with such a sense of certainty that people may take them as fact. I have not heard anything about Obama considering the EO option in doing anything about DADT, which is why I haven’t addressed that. Obama does have a law degree, and he was a constitutional law professor at a top school for several years. If you say that he was considering this option, I’ll take your word for it. The fact of the matter is that he came to the conclusion that it would be “overreaching” which does not mean that he thinks that it would be a bold move, it means he thinks the Supreme Court would overturn his executive order for all of the reasons I stated above regarding Youngstown.

    Now to the politics of the whole thing. You believe that I “seem to be very naive when it comes to politics.” I believe that you seem to be unrealistic with your expectations of politicians and the political viability of aggressive LGBT rights advocacy at this particular moment in time, which I would argue makes you politically naive. I am not saying that Obama has done anything GREAT for the LGBT community yet, I am saying that we need to give him a little bit of time in light of the situation the country finds itself in. Rather than restate everything that Blake stated above in comment 50, I’d just point you there to see where I am going with this.

    I do not think that in the near future there will be a time of complete peace and prosperity when everyone starts singing kumbaya and holds hands, but I do think that there will be a time in the near future when the entire economy is not on the verge of complete collapse. At that point, I believe it would be fair to start holding Obama accountable for his action/inaction regarding LGBT rights. Right now there is just too much at stake to open up a can of worms that could derail his attempts at solving more pressing matters. It is unfortunate that our rights are a can of worms, but that is the world we live in.

    As to your service, I applaud and thank you. I find it dispicable that this country would disregard the service of someone willing to put their life on the line, and I believe it will be a blemish on the history of this country that it did so. We all owe you a debt of gratitude. That being said, I think that your personal experience with the military’s DADT policy is likely informing the relative importance you place on DADT, especially at this moment in history, and is making you perceptible to false information regarding the President’s role in/ability to change the policy unilaterally.

  • Wayne

    @ Jon B. “I do not think that in the near future there will be a time of complete peace and prosperity when everyone starts singing kumbaya and holds hands, but I do think that there will be a time in the near future when the entire economy is not on the verge of complete collapse. At that point, I believe it would be fair to start holding Obama accountable for his action/inaction regarding LGBT rights.

    And you don’t think that’s naive? Not even a little? Any idea of exactly when this “time in the near future” that you speak of will actullay come about?

  • Nick

    I feel like a gay conservative. You know how we guffaw when they say they vote Republican because there’s more to them than just their sexuality? Well, I’m not conservative, and I voted for Obama not just because I felt he’d be better on gay rights, but because he’d be better on just about every single issue I find important. Gay rights is only one of the issues I’d like for him to address, and so far, he’s doing a decent job on those fronts.

  • Wayne

    @Jon B. And just to be clear, You called me an unabashed idiot because of my statement about Donnie McClurkin and Rick Warren? You said that Obama’s open support of bigots like McClurkin and Warren “really says next to nothing about Obama himself” – Really? Obama’s history of associating with, and even honoring anti-gay bigots says nothing to you about Obama?

    Naive, doesn’t even come close.

  • BrianZ

    Here is my view:
    Can I get married? Nope
    Even if I lived in a state that allows gay unions, would it be recognized by the Federal Government? Nope
    Does DADT still threaten my partner? Yep
    Have I seen much of anything addressing LGB equality? Hmm, no real action.

    I really don’t believe that this administration is hostile to LGB issues, I just don’t believe they are much of a consideration at all. Talk is talk, walk is walk and bullshit smells much the same regardles of the bull that drops it. Including the word “gay” in a speech does not make you a friend of mine.

    I don’t think that it’s helpful to portray this administration as a failure on gay rights. We are at least in the dialogue and that’s a lot farther than we were 3 months ago. However, to blindly walk along and just believing that everything is going to be ok because Obama says so is equally foolish. At the end of the day he is only a man, and a professional politician: If you trust either one …

  • BrianZ

    @Wayne: I have to agree with you on this point. Simply excusing past behavior simply because it is “in the past” is rather foolish. And a pattern of association would certainly make for an interesting probability analysis on the likelihood that a person shares similar views.

    The creation of a dichotomy of words versus actions gives both sides of the arguement lots of fuel for the fire.

  • Nick11

    Um wow you guys are really going at it. Someone said to me a while back and I agree, that not much is going to happen in his first 4 years, even though to me it seems silly to already be thinking about the next election I think he is. He is a smart man and isn’t going to stick his neck out for us. Especially because it – we are such a hot button topic for so many people still. To be clear I wish he would act now on all the issues mentioned above, but he is ultimately practical and when it comes down to it, no we are not a major priority when placed against re-election. I do think if we can wait to year 5 he will be liberated and very active in helping us. After being angry with him off and on for a while now I see him just as a very cautious practical guide with a methodical side. He doesn’t hate us, he’s just practical. It big s the hell out of me, but change takes time and at least with have a president who is engaged and intelligent, just that alone should make us sigh with relief after the last 8 years. I certainly don’t think he hates us.

  • gkruz

    Wait till he’s reelected, wait till year 5, or 6, or…well, that’s more hope and change you can believe in, right? BTW, Obama’s not going to be reelected (and deservedly so) because he’s going to be the next Herbert Hoover. He was a real smart guy, too.

  • MadProfessah

    @Wayne: This is false. There’s no a FEDERAL LAW which incorporates the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue” compromise of 1993 signed by President Clinton, so President Obama can NOT overturn DADT with the stroke of a pen.

  • MadProfessah

    Ooops, I mean there’s now a federal law imposing DADT on the United States.

  • Forrest

    I am so sick of the “he can’t do anything except the economy 24/7”. The man can multi-task and already is on a myriad of issues. But all we get is “we have to study anything gay related for years” .

    We will be able to read a major tea leaf if Obama stands up for us in supporting equal benefits for partners of Federal employees. I am not too optimistic.

  • Dantrell Harris

    Will and Grace This was not entirely without wit- but they weren’t nearly as clever as they seemed to think. I just cannot bear their cheap sense of how great and daring they were. Look, we’ve got queers, aren’t we bold and daring? Yeah, whatever- but it takes more than carrying on about how gay and sleazy you are to make a show. Got it. You’re here, you’re queer, I’m bored with you.

  • Wayne

    TIME TIME TIME! Seems the Obama apologists have all decided to sing the same song. Obama just hasn’t had the time to deal with our petty little issues of equality.

    WAIT A MINUTE! Let’s review: Since the election the gay community managed to find the time to mobilize a national protest movement against the passage of Prop 8. With marches and rallies in almost every major city across the country (a mobilization of the gay community to a degree not seen since Stonewall) and yet Obama didn’t seem to have the time to notice, even bother to voice support for our cause. Which is strange for someone who bills himself as a “Fierce Advocate for Gay and Lesbian Americans”. But Obama has had the time to go golfing since the election. Obama has also had the time to play basketball. Obama has even had the time to configure his NCAA Tournament Bracket. Hell, Obama’s had enough time to spare that he could even go on the Tonight Show and mock children with disabilities and special needs.

    TIME is not the issue. Commitment to the cause of equality is the issue.

  • fredo777

    @Wayne: blah blah obama apologists blah blah blah.

    as has already been stated, the whole failing economy/recession thang is kind of the most pressing issue to be sorted out right now, as it affects all of us Americans, gay or otherwise. I’m willing to give some time for these civil rights issues to be worked out but realize that some things are just more urgent.

    It is what it is. You can gripe about that until you’re blue in the face, but I don’t think anyone here is silly enough to think that repealing DOMA is the most critical issue at the moment, however important we find it. Sure, hold him accountable, but don’t rant on + on with unrealistic expectations more than likely fueled by your disapproval of his being elected in the first place.

    Btw, that’s a general “your”. I don’t really know or care whether you in particular were an O supporter.

  • fredo777


    Furthermore, Obama’s joke was obviously not “mocking children with special needs”. Well, obvious to anyone who can draw some common sense conclusions based on context. Jay Leno’s comment was jokingly somewhat patronizing: “very good mr. president…”, which is why (though a poor choice of words) Obama was probably referring to the way we sometimes feel like it’s necessary to coddle or patronize those with special needs. Which, potentially offensive or not, is true.

    I’m all for keeping it real, but let’s not throw accusations of cruelty to kids at a person for something that likely wasn’t even meant to “mock” or “diss” special needs persons in the first place. I’m no fan of Dubya’s, but I would have even given him the same benefit of the doubt, if it were said in the same context.

  • Wayne

    @Jon B.

    Jon, I’m hoping you are still checking in because I would very much like to continue our discussion about the powers of the presidency. You originally said that Obama does not have the power to bring about real change on gay issues through the use of presidential power alone. And though you admit that the president theoretically does have the power to “alter” the way DADT is regulated; you’ve stated those alterations could in no way be substantial changes (a point I would dispute). But, as a law student, I would be very interested to hear your rebuttal of Richard Socarides, a New York lawyer who was an adviser to President Clinton on LGBT issues. He has said he believed that Mr. Obama “has broad discretionary authority to find ways to ameliorate some of the more blatant examples of discrimination.” (This statement was in relation to DOMA not DADT). His view seems to conflict with your opinion that President Obama does not have the power or authority to act on gay issues unitarily. How would you respond to Mr. Socarides assessment?

  • Wayne

    @Fredo 777

    Um, I’m not the one who went on national tv and compared my bowling skills to the kids in the Special Olympics. It was a terrible thing to say. PERIOD.

    Obama knew it was wrong. You’ll notice he made a mea culpa (which is a strong indication that he knew it was wrong).

  • Wayne

    @ Jon B.

    Just to clarify a bit of my last post. Where I said: But, as a law student, (I meant to say: But, being as you are a law student)

  • Forrest

    If he was really as cool as people say he is he would have known that Letterman was the only option. Not that comedy club clown on the west coast.

  • fredo777

    @Wayne: lol

    As I said, I don’t think it is very likely that he would in so many words say “I bowled like a disabled person, which is funny” but was following Leno’s patronizing “oh, that’s good, mr. president…” with an example of a group of persons that we often patronize or coddle.

    Again, I think he should have known better than to use that as an example, but however prudent it is to issue an apology for those offended, I don’t feel he meant the comment the way many assumed he did in the first place.

  • Wayne

    @ Fredo 777 “As I said, I don’t think it is very likely that he would in so many words say “I bowled like a disabled person”

    Fredo, I actually think this is a rather odd point for you to harp on (out of everything else being discussed) but how can you say you don’t think it’s very likely Obama would say that about a disabled person? Obama’s EXACT quote is:

    “I bowled a 129. It’s like the Special Olympics or something”

    The comparison is blaringly obvious. In the end it’s a minor mistake but a bad gaffe for one who skills at communication are so often remarked upon in glowing terms).

  • Mark


    Very nice. The voice of reason plowing thru light-years of stupidity on the news.

  • Wayne

    @Jon B.

    In my previous post I said “unitarily” – I meant “unilaterally” (Maybe Queerty could add a edit option to this board).

    I’m heading out for a run with the pups. I’ll check in later. I really would like to hear your opinion about Richard Socarides’ views on presidential powers in contrast to your own.

  • Robert, NYC

    What if the economy doesn’t turn around, what if ENDA isn’t passed or DADT before 2012? What if Obama’s popularity plumments to record lows before the next election campaign if the economy shows no signs of turning around? Another four years of republicans and equality will never see the light of day for many years to come. Its a no-win situation for LGBT rights. Had it not been for the downturn in the economy, I would still be sceptical about passage of ENDA, DADT and DOMA in that order. Is anyone thinking about this?

  • blake

    @steve tabarez:

    I am sorry to hear about your problems because I understand them all too well. Living in economic uncertainty, there is a very real fear for not just how you will survive today but what about tomorrow? Will things actually improve? I continue watching the news and am sickened by the game playing and lack of focus on restoring the U.S. economy. Do you read any of Paul Krugman’s columns? They are horrifying!

    In particular, every time I see the disgustingly cynical faces of Republican politicians choosing to reject stimulus money for unemployment, food stamps, and education I’m shocked. Real people are hungry but all those fat cats care about is their chance at a run for the White House. Marie Antoinette was wrongly accused of saying “let them eat cake” to the starving masses. Sadly those famous words paraphrase the utterances of Gov. Jindal or Gov. Stanford. They truly don’t care about the unemployed.

    Moreover, I also understand that feeling less of a human being wears down on one. The bottom line is that I’m sorry to hear about your job loss, the crappy way that your ex-employer is treating you, and the way you feel like a second-class citizen. It sucks. Nothing that I can say can change that.

    I’m not saying any of this as a smarmy kind of “I feel your pain” [email protected] Nope, I mean that I empathize. I have gone through more crap than I know what to do with sometimes. It’s all overwhelming for many of us.

    Your desire to feel at least “equal” while dealing with economic uncertainty is something that a lot of gay people feel but it is also the same feeling that African-Americans have felt for generations. If you look at the stats, the employment rates for African-Americans are dismal. The reality is that while there are people like Obama, Oprah, and a few others who are very successful, they are exceptions to the rule.

    “Going inside the numbers, a survey by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston finds that employment among black men alone has dropped by almost 8 percent since November of 2007. In fact, over the last decade the employment rate for black men ages 20-24 has collapsed from 68 percent to only 51 percent.”

    With the implosion of the auto industry and other traditional employment concerns, millions of middle class jobs are disappearing. Those jobs losses especially hit African-Americans harder. When companies downsize, statistics show that African-Americans are also hit harder.

    Yes, there are laws that supposedly offer African-Americans protection but the reality is different. Studies show that African-Americans will be denied job interviews because of their names, a white convicted felon has a better chance of getting a job than a black person with no criminal history and a decent education.

    But having laws to prevent discrimination based on race and color does add some kind of way of fighting back. So, I fully support ENDA and ending DADT and DOMA. (Though I am tired of ENDA being pushed to the sidelines in favor of the sexier issues of DADT and DOMA.) I’m just more terrified by the reality of the economic peril that faces the U.S.

    Again, I offer you that there is nothing wrong with your desire to want full equality before the law. People have to fight for their rights. You have a right to your anger and desire for justice.


    I’m sorry that this is a a disjointed response. I’m exhausted.

  • Wayne

    @ Jon B.

    I’m checking back in. In addition to your rebuttal of Richard Socarides’ views about the ability of the president to act unilaterally on LGBT issues; I would also be interested to hear your views on the presidential powers of unilateral action (the president’s formal capacity to act unilaterally and thus, in effect, make law on his own). These powers seem to conflict with your views that the president cannot act on the important LGBT issues without the help of Congress.

    And as I said, I’m not a law student like you, but doesn’t the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Winter vs. Natural Resources Defense Council serve to bolster the argument that a president has the power to act unilaterally (for that matter, didn’t the Bush administration prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that a president can use the power of unilateral action on a variety of issues)? An “emergency” can be defined in so many different ways. Wouldn’t this suggest that a president who had the will and determination to be a “fierce advocate for Gay and Lesbian Americans”, has the power at his disposal to act on issues of importance to the gay community on his own?

    And doesn’t this, as well as presidential advisor Richard Socarides’ comment that the president “has broad discretionary authority to find ways to ameliorate some of the more blatant examples of discrimination” in relation to DOMA, conflict with your previous statement that “All of the gay rights issues have to be addressed by Congress through legislation”?

  • Bill Perdue

    @blake: Blake, Reading Is Fundamental. If you read you’d be aware that Obama picked Biden because of Biden’s bona fides as a supporter of zionism. You’d understand why most Republicans and Democrats, including Obama, Biden. McCain and the Clintons support zionist campaigns of ethnic cleansing and apartheid used against Palestinians.

    They support the same kind of racist mass murder in Iraq and Afghanistan and air attacks on Syria and Pakistan. If you read you’d know all that.

    Obama is a handpuppet of the rich. He demands take backs from working people and unions. And if he’s for changing the tax code
    (it hasn’t been done yet) that won’t amount to a hill of beans to the trillions Obama is doling out to the one group that doesn’t need more money. You’d only claim he’s a progressive if you never read.

    I blame Obama for saying “gawd’s in the mix” and refusing to repudiate when Yes on 8 used it to knock us to the ground. You of course don’t blame him and don’t think he’s a bigot. But that’s just because you substitute repeating DNC and State Department press releases for thinking.

    He’s an opponent of socialized medicine. His stem cell proclamation means little because Congressional Democrats and Republicans won’t fund it. It’s window dressing.

    Obama is a right centrist moving right.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Bill Perdue:
    Bill, while I agree with you on some of your points, I disagree on your analysis of the big picture. Would you have preferred John and Sarah in the big seat?

    There are a number of issues I disagree with Obama on – his interpretation of marriage, as well as some of his decisions on copyright and privacy issues for starters.

    And as for the “Gawd” comment, I agree with you, but that’s your political reality (unlike ours, where it is the kiss of death. Our federal science minister is getting raked over the coals right now for refusing to say whether he believes in evolution). If Obama wanted to get elected dogcatcher in your country (and not be accused of being an Islamist) he HAD to invoke the name of God and be seen going to church.

    Israel and Biden? Well, his age, experience and his support among the working class may have also had something to do with Obama’s decision to choose him, and there were some Zionists who felt Biden was too soft on Iran. The main issue is that no U.S. president – even one who wants movement on the peace process, is going to cut off Israel entirely. And Hillary CLinton recently spoke against Israeli attacks and in favour of a Palestinian state.

    And you say Obama is centre-right. Well, maybe; everything is relative. But who then do you consider a centrist or leftist who has a hope in hell of gaining power?

    My point is that no president can govern without making some decisions that are bad and unpopular, but I would argue that Obama’s administration offers the best opportunity in a long time for at least some positive change. Most importantly, that change is not all contingent on the President, but on all of you taking an active role to influence change…. not just slamming the door because he is not perfect.

    We got an eyeopener here in Canada a few years ago. Bryan Mulroney, who was our PM during the Reagan years and is still the most hated person in Canada, was honoured by the Sierra Club. Why? Because his right-wing conservative government actually had the best environmental record of any Canadian govnerment. It was a hell of a shock, especially to those of us who are not conservative, but it is an illustration that good social policy can sometimes come from a less-than-perfect government.

    I’m not saying to accept whatever Obama does because there’s no other choice, but you do have to work with what you have at hand.

    And Bill, can you please discuss the issues without insulting other people? It’s a poor substitute for reasoned argument. You may disagree with Blake, but he obviously does know how to read and think.

  • Mark

    Obama is not a fierce or even a leader on Gay rights issues. He only does what is politically safe for him- not what is right. Not what is in the best interests of our communities, our children and our families. There have been and are scores of citizens and politician’s on the front lines while he plays it safe on the sidelines. He is dishonest and greedy with our support when our alternatives have been Bush, Republican leadership and the well funded and organized anti-gay industry for decades and decades. Any coward could give that kind of lip service.

  • Vanhattan

    The repeal of DOMA is the most pressing need that the GLBT community should push for. We must put Obama’s feet to the fire on this campaign promise. Yea, I know that the economy sucks big time, but it sucks more that I have zero civil rights when it comes to my LEGAL marriage on a federal level.

    Obama promised he would lead on this. I and others are watching. If he does not demonstrates any leadership on the repeal of DOMA within the next two years, he will not receive my vote ever again, even if Sarah Palin is on the next presidential ticket.

  • Chitown Kev


    I know there is somewhat of a split in the gay community itself about this but, especially considering the state of the economy, ENDA and DADT repeal would benefit all of us AND prepare for the groundwork of DOMA repeal, IMO.

    Taking into consideration the runup to the 2010 elections, I think he probably has a 6-9 month window (he can do it now, get it done by January 2010). I really, really don’t want to see us become a political punching bag for the right and even some of the left.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Chitown Kev: Right – and there is no telling who will have a majority in your houses in two and four years’ time (if a Democratic majority is an advantage at all on these issues).
    I know there are comments about him leaving harder issues until his second term, but if that is his intention it is a risky gamble.

    Though on DOMA, I am shocked that the Supreme Court has declined to hear any challenges. That would seem the proper way to settle a rights issue, not tyranny of the majority. What is the point of having a constitution if the judiciary is not going to use it?
    Will they be as gun-shy if some future government forces in an amendment preventing marriage equality? I don’t think so.

    I know Obama promised repeal, but I still think the court is shirking their responsibility, and leaving the two other branches to hang. I expect a lot of politicians will cave on the issue rather than risk possible political suicide, even if they think it is the right thing.

    It’s not a very good way to handle a human rights issue, IMO

  • fredo777


    “Obama’s EXACT quote is:

    “I bowled a 129. It’s like the Special Olympics or something”…”

    That, I’m afraid, is a load of crap.

    In your quoting of Obama, you are purposely ignoring the fact that there was a pause in between those two statements in which Leno made a comment to the effect of “oh, that’s very good, mr. president” followed by audience laughter. Then Obama made the Special Olympics comment.

    Also, I’m not “harping” on anything. Nor is it “odd” for me to reply to a statement you just made on this very page about something that’s very much a current topic of discussion. It’s only odd that this somehow surprised you. I responded to your other comments in my first reply + I replied to the whole Leno thing in a separate comment because I was calling you out on what I felt was a blatant mischaracterization.

    Context, context, context.

  • Dantrell Harris

    @fredo777: Your right in this day and age everyone thinks they are victims and should be afforded “special” attention and compensation.

  • Bill Perdue

    Bill, while I agree with you… Would you have preferred John and Sarah in the big seat? McCain wouldn’t do much that’s substantially different given the left leaning radicalization of working people here and in Mexico. At any rate that’s an asinine question to ask a socialist. Elections in western capitalist nations are elections for, by and of the rich and they don’t create change, as anyone who reads history knows (hint).

    And as for the “Gawd” comment, I agree with you… Please don’t agree with me, it makes me look bad.

    The main issue is that no U.S. president – even one who wants movement on the peace process, is going to cut off Israel entirely. The zionists commit ethnic cleansing and run a brutal apartheid system. That’s inexcusable. We hope the zionist colonists give up their racist bunker mentality and become Palestinians.
    Hillary Clinton recently spoke … in favour of a Palestinian state. The solution is a democratic, secular, socialist Palestine open to all Palestinian refugees of zionist ethnic cleansing. That’s not what you and Clinton has in mind.

    And you say Obama is centre-right. Well, maybe; everything is relative. No, some things are not relative. When gay men are insulted with baseless slanders of pederasty that’s not ‘relative’. When unions are ordered to change their contracts that’s not ‘relative’. When our chances for same sex marriage are torpedoed by a right centrist jezuz jumper who used to support same sex marriage that’s not ‘relative’. When Palestinian children are murdered in the hundreds that’s not ‘relative’.

    My point is that no president can govern without making some decisions that are bad and unpopular Those who support opportunists are opportunists. Those who excuse apartheid and ethnic cleansing to get someone elected are unprincipled. If that describes you politics, and it seems to, then you’re in a growing minority. Large numbers of people in this country are changing. They voted for change, they’re getting another serving of fried feces and they don’t like it any more than Bush’s recipe.

    I’m not saying to accept whatever Obama does because there’s no other choice, but you do have to work with what you have at hand. No we don’t. We proved that in 1776 and 1860 and we’ll do it again.

    And Bill, can you please discuss the issues without insulting other people? You may disagree with Blake, but he obviously does know how to read and think. You’re beginning to sound more and more like the Church Lady. Both you and Blake are unprincipled apologists for right wing regimes. Of course you two can read, but if your reading is limited press handouts from the US State Department, the White House and the DNC (or your equivalents up there in the One True North, you’ll never, as you comments reveal, be able to think worth a damn.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Bill Perdue:
    Speaking of reading history, I’ve challenged you a few times to give me some analysis based on political and social reality rather than your fatalist predictions of a grand socialist revolution (kind of similar to some people waiting for the rapture).

    You have consistently avoided my question, or trucked out that completely irrelevant show-stopper – the pedaresty accusation.

    We have had a few socialist movements in my country (several of them started by church ministers, FYI) that have accomplished a thing or two. All of them involved hard work, negotiation, and no small amount of compromise – not this Wizard of Oz story you seem to be selling.

    No one has ever accomplished any goal without working with the resources at hand, and usually with a fair bit of compromise – including the events you cite:

    Your revolutionary war was won thanks to a fair bit of assistance from the King of France, the Spanish and the Dutch, and once it was all over the U.S. immediately took Britain back as its number one trading partner.

    1860? Slavery may have been the catalyst, but that war was about the Industrial north refusing to let the agrarian south break away and form their own country. There was a cultural divide, but the actual drive to war came from the highest level of government, not the workers. And if you want to talk about opportunism and principle, even Lincoln initially refused to end the laws to return fugitive slaves, and said that if he could keep the southern states in the union without ending slavery he would do so.

    Very likely he was lying; that’s politics.

    Lincoln also said something about the Mormon situation in Illinois – that they were like a stone in the middle of your field that you had to plough around until you had time to come back and deal with it. Politics.

    So we can certainly discuss how much Obama can and should be doing, but his government has to work within a wide range of demands, pressures and limits – not just your dogma.

    I am familiar with the idea that voting only has a limited effect. It may be true, but I expect things would have been a little different down there had George not won eight years ago, so don’t tell me voting is a completely useless exercise.

    That is precisely what I mean about working with what you have. As someone else here stated recently, those who want all or nothing often wind up with nothing. And that goes double for those in politics.

  • Wayne

    Fredo, I said I found it odd that you would harp on the Obama joke about the Special Olympics and spend your time defending that, rather than discussing issues of real importance. Like say, DADT, DOMA, etc.

    And I quoted Obama correctly. Those were his exact words. But as I said, it’s a stupid mistake for him to make, but in the end it’s pretty minor. You are the one who seems intent on keeping the story going.

  • fredo777

    Whether or not those were his words is not the issue. The timing is what’s critical to the actual meaning behind those words. Anyway, I can choose to focus on any portion of your comment that I wish to. Seeing as we’ve already discussed issues like DADT + DOMA to no end, I don’t need to justify not engaging in yet another debate over said topics.

    What’s more, if the Leno thing was so minor in your opinion, perhaps you shouldn’t have brought it up in the first place.

  • Wayne

    And for anyone who actually believed that Obama ever planned to keep his campaign promises, you should read the AP article on “Obama The Candidate vs. Obama The President” The backpeddling begins!!

  • Jon B

    @Wayne: Sorry, I was out all day yesterday (it was my birthday) and I am hung over right now, so I’m not planning on writing a long diatribe in response to your questions. But suffice it to say, my view of executive power differs greatly from Richard Socarides. There is a huge problem with the idea that the president, a single person that changes every four to eight years, has broad discretion to change substantive law. Let’s say Obama did overreach, and he signed an executive order doing away with DADT (which he can’t but hypothetically), and then a conservative republican gets in office next. He can simply reenstate DADT. In this case, the law has little to no stability. People need to have faith that the law won’t change drastically with political turns.

  • John K.

    No on has any reaction to my post about Elena Kagen (No. 33)?

  • Chitown Kev


    Speaking of 8 years ago, while in theory I favor a left leaning LGBT political party, it’s the spectre of Nader in 2000 that weighs very heavily on my mind.

  • Wayne

    @Jon B (Happy Belated B-day by the way)I won’t hold you to a debate while hungover (not very fair or interesting, lol)but I would be interested in a future conversation. And not just in relation to DADT but also to the topic of presidential power and it’s scope in relation to other LGBT issues.

  • Chitown Kev

    @John K.:

    My gosh, you quuens, starved for attention.

    I read the Politico article and I simple need to know more. If she is nominated to the Supreme Court by Obama, our LGBT groups need to grill her ass and Bork her if necessary.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Chitown Kev:

    This should read:

    “My gosh, you queens, starved for attention.

    I read the Politico article and I simply need to know more. If she is nominated to the Supreme Court by Obama, our LGBT groups need to grill her ass and Bork her if necessary.”

  • Mickey's mouse :P

    @blake: AMEN BROTHER

  • Brian

    Pres. Obama is not a pro-GBLT president. He used this community for votes and money. He has no real interest in advancing the civil rights of Americans. I wish we could have a courageous and forward thinking leader for change, but we do not have it in Obama. I read that when the PM of Spain came into office he stated he would end his country’s participation in the immoral Iraq war. He set a short time table and did it. He announced that same sex marriage would be legalized and he put and end to humiliating our Spanish brothers and sisters. Was this the most popular thing to do? No but PM Zapato is a hero and a leader. Obama is not.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Brian: Zapato is a socialist whose only fault is that he’s a reformist. In spite of that you’re right about his role and especially that of his party, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, or the Partido Socialista Obrero Español.

    Zapato is a reformist with guts. The catholic cult in Spain has the nominal support of 90% of the population, with emphasis on the nominal, but it still takes courage to go up against numbers like that. Especially in a country that 30 odd years ago was run by fascist dictator Francisco Franco who forced the PSOE underground in 1939. It was legalized in 1977.

    Obama on the other hand is a wretched right centrist who spends enormous efforts pandering to christer scum to get bigot votes. Far from our friend, he’s on track to become as much an enemy as Clinton and Bush. It’s just a matter of time.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Chitown Kev: There were lots of reasons why the Democrats lost in 2000 and 2004. All of them were connected to the right wing program they implemented. Gore unreservedly supported all Clinton’s moves except for item six.

    1. Clinton made sure NAFTA and other union busting schemes got passed. The AFL-CIO was livid. Many trade unionists, environmentalists and immigrants voted for Nader, the Republicans or abstained.

    2. Clinton ramped up the racist aspects of the War on Drugs, and created 100,000 new cops instead of spending the money to end poverty by providing jobs, education and good housing. He simultaneously made draconian cuts in welfare and began the attack on Medicare.

    3. Clinton betrayed us on DADT and DOMA and many people in the LGBT communities voted for Nader, the Republicans or simply boycotted the elections.

    4. Clinton organized and championed the first genocide of Iraqi’s, in this case several hundred thousand children with a boycott of foods, medicine and sanitary supplies. Anti war folks boycotted the election or voted for Nader.

    5. Clinton championed deregulation and set the stage for the current recession wannabe depression.

    6. Monica got cum all over her nice blue dress. After claiming that a second class blowjob was “not sex” Clinton became the Great American Buffoon, a title he holds to this day.

    The Democrats deserved to lose in 2000 and did. In 2008 the Republicans deserved to lose and did. In both cases repeating a pattern of electing one more in an endless line of bipartisan lesser evils and jackasses. That produced decades of unremitting homophobia, war, racism and looting by the rich.

    That endless cycle of electing one lesser evil after another will end as more and more people recover from the initial shock of depression. They’ll need to be organized and led by a mass left party, with full participation by the GLBT movements.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Bill Perdue:

    For the record, I did not vote in ’96 because of DOMA and Jocelyn Elders.

    In 2000, #3 and #6 (not the blow job part but the lying part as opposed to saying none of your damn business)…I did not vote. Of course, it being Cook County, Illinois there were plenty of dead folks to make up for my vote. Had I lived in Florida I would have voted of course…

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Bill Perdue:
    Are you going to answer me Bill, or am I going to have to call you out again sometime?

    Are you sure you’re not a sock puppet operated by the GOP? Because your mass left party sounds like a great plan…. for a Republican sweep.

    Even with a proportional representation system that is what the result will be; without PR it will be a massacre. Look at your voter breakdown and tell me I’m wrong – or is your grand scheme to pull a non-voting rabbit out of a hat and lure it to the polls?

    Despite what you say and think I support a left-wing agenda, but parties from the far right or left do not spring out of the air onto the national stage.

    The Greens have shared power in Germany, but they have a proportional system AND more importantly a much different political tradition than our countries do.

    The furthest left national party in our country (aside from communists, who have also been elected here) has been around since the 1920s, and although they have governed a number of provinces, they have never carried more than 20 percent of the vote nationally.

    I’m sorry to say that if I were a betting man I would lay my money on a right-wing takeover in your country before any leftist group would have a chance. Look at what happened to Liebknecht’s

    And I’m also sorry to say it again, but if you want to accomplish anything at all it’s going to have to be with the parties you have or you will have to work outside of the political system.

    Tell me I’m wrong.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Chitown Kev: “For the record, I did not vote in ’96 because of DOMA and Jocelyn Elders.” Good for you and millions of others who did the same.

    “were plenty of dead folks to make up for my vote…” Mrs. O’Leary and the cow.

    “Had I lived in Florida I would have voted of course… ” Me too. for Nader if he were a bit more left wing, or for any other leftist party.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Bill Perdue:

    But still there is the Nader in 2000 problem. I live in a very solid Blue State, so I was 98% certain that I could afford to sit it out.

    The problem with a third party is that we need to occupy local and statewide offices (I hear that’s why Gavin Newsome issued those marriage licenses, because of the Green Party challenge). Right now, a not-D vote is a vote for R.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Chitown Kev: I disagree. Nader didn’t defeat Gore, Clinton did. Gore would have persued the war and deregulation just like Clinton and Bush, because that’s what these hustlers are paid to do.

    Given the fact that there are only cosmetic differences between the parties a vote for a Democrat is a vote for a Republican and vice versa. Not in terms of electioneering bullpuckey but in terms of real world policies.

    Until a mass left party develops, and my money is on the Labor Party, created and run by trade unions and similar independent Black and Latino/a political action groups, the only way we can defend ourselves is by building mass actions around the war, immigrant rights, the war, the depression etc.

    Even when a mass left party develops its best use will be as an adjunct to mass action, an educational tool to mobilize and organize our communities for mass action aimed squarely at fundamental change.

  • Bill Perdue

    @strumpetwindsock: I keep answering you, but you seem to lack the basic tools to understand politics and history.

    Lincoln, for instance, didn’t betray his principles. At that time it was not considered, by Euroamericans, to be contradictory to both oppose slavery and at the same time be for the racist deportation of Black slaves and Freedmen. Lincoln was, for most of the Civil War, an open racist. That was the essence of Frederick Douglass’ criticism of him, that and the fact that Lincoln was an inept, if determined war leader, not the hero he’s made out to be. Douglass and others recognized that Lincoln evolved radically by the end of the war. He’s the last US president it’s possible to have any respect for.

    By the same token Obama, who has time and time again shown himself to be a bigot is not betraying us, he’s just acting out the kind of bigotry so common among the leaders of the Democrat and Republican parties. The only thing that amends that is his one time ‘support’ of same sex marriage, and even that’s debatable. In any case taking no steps forward and ten steps backward is not a good sign.

    Fundamental change, which is what we need, or a basic reordering of the social structure, does not occur in undemocratic countries like the US and Canada except as a result of mass action. If there were a chance of that happening the biggest banana republic of them all, the US, we would no longer have elections. We didn’t get to vote on the war and neither did you.

    You accusation that I’m a Republican is only slightly less offensive than if you’d called me a liberal.

    Your imaginings about rightist coups are self fulfilling prophecies when mindless fence-sitting liberals are the only alternative.

    You’re wrong about nearly everything, but most of all because you don’t have the guts to denounce bigots. That’s needlessly spineless unless your whole life is dedicated to fence-sitting.

    I understand that’s all probably over you head but please consider yourself answered and don’t blame me if you’re not able to comprehend political and historical basics. You’re not alone in that. Paleolithic Palin and most Democrat and Republican leaders don’t have a clue that they’re politically extinct so why should you.

  • Mister C


  • Mister C

    Personally all this back and forth on this has given me a headache. From all of this I really assuming that all these girls are not worried ABOUT EMPLOYMENT,housing,and etc in this day and time what this country is facing.

    I agree with @ Michael W #10 on this one and I never agree with a Log Cabin but this time he makes sense.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Bill Perdue:
    I didn’t bring up Lincoln to point out discrepancies in his actions. I brought up the civil war because you mentioned it for some reason. I was simply pointing out that it was hardly an example of a peoples’ revolution and it involved a great deal of compromise in the face of political reality.

    And for the record, we DID elect a government which opposed the war in Iraq, but which deployed troops to Afghanistan. I don’t agree with the second decision, but we definitely voted for them.
    If our current prime minister had been in charge at the time we would be up to our asses in Iraq and cutting cheques to Halliburton just like you are.
    Last year our opposition parties forced an agreement on the minority government to withdraw by 2011. In the real world the government does not always get its way.

    And your answer….
    If your only answer to my question is that you are waiting for a hard left party to come to the rescue and change your political system then yes, you have sort of given me an answer.

    If that’s the extent of your plan though, it’s complete nonsense. As I said, some people are banking their hopes on armageddom and rapture, and I think your prediction has about as firm a foundation in reality.

    Do you intend a violent overthrow, or if this mythical party comes to power through your tainted electoral system will it no longer be worthy of your support either?

    Anyway, my apologies to everyone else for taking this thread on a tangent, though I think the argument does have some relevance to the issue of how how much a government can do, and how quickly.

    As I said, I think no matter what Obama does most of these issues will ultimately be decided by the courts. In that respect, the most important decisions he makes may be his appointments.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Mister C: I think it makes perfect sense that Obama supporters and LCR types that would end up on the same side.

    If you really cared about the effects of the recession wannabe depression you should help organize protests when Obama gives more trillions to the looter rich. That money comes out of our pockets and means that the real needs of working people for good wages, socialized medicine and good housing won’t be met.

    If you want to stop the islamophobic, racist war for oil in South Asia you should join the antiwar movement.

    If you really want an inclusive ENDA, the repeal of DOMA and DADT and hate crimes legislation you should help organize demonstrations independent of the folks who support them in name only, like the leaders of the Democrats and Republicans. Especially Obama.

    There is no contradiction between fighting for our agenda and supporting unions, the unemployed, homeless people, the antiwar movement and others. In fact it’s our best chance to make alliances and enlarge our own struggle.

  • Robert, NYC


    Brian, I’m an ardent leftist. If Zapatero of Spain can stick his neck out and win against what appeared to be insurmountable odds, then I see absolutely NO excuse or reason why Obama can’t either. In Spain and in fact in most EU countries, state religion is a given…whereas in the U.S. there is supposed to be NONE yet religion dominates politics and politicians’ political campaigns as well as influencing the outcome of legislation as we saw in Prop. H8.

    Have you noticed that almost every politician in the U.S. running for office always makes a point in declaring his or her religious beliefs to garner votes from the religious cultists? Its virtually a rite of passage, unlike their western European and Canadian counterparts. Its amazing that this is allowed to happen in a society that prides itself on having a supposedly separation of church and state. Have you noticed how enraged people become when someone suggests removing “god” from the oath of allegiance, or the currency, among other things? This is the kind of collective psyche so pervasive in American society that will not entertain the notion of a third left wing party. Religion is at the core of opposition to it. I also find it odd that in a secular society such as ours, that Christmas day (a religious holiday) is a federal holiday. Is that not recognizing one cultist belief system over another that to my mind implies a direct conflict between the separation of church and state, let alone hypocrisy and an example of the doublestandard. We either have separation of church and state or we don’t. My gut feeling is we really don’t.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Robert, NYC: I agree.
    I think Obama had an added reason to be seen going to church (the accusations he was a closet Islamist), but even so, the notion that politicians down there have to declare their faith and have spiritual mentors is very odd – it implies that they cannot think for themselves.

    The ironic thing is, more left-wing populist movements came from religious foundations than right-wing ones. There are right-wing parties in other countries which are supported by big churches, but most were not created exclusively by them. The only big one I can think of is Cromwell’s Puritans – and I am afraid the U.S. has inherited that tradition. So your notion that religion is standing in the way of a left-wing party may be true in the states, but I don’t think it is an absolute rule.

    Two of our most important centrist leaders (Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chretien) were both devout Roman Catholics. Neither ever discussed their religion publicly. Trudeau championed the cause to decriminalize sodomy in the 60s and fought the control of the Roman Catholic Church in Quebec, and Chretien’s government supported abortion access and recognized same-sex marriage in Canada.

    So it’s not that people aren’t religious, it’s just that there’s not much tolerance for people who use it to interfere in politics.

  • Chitown Kev


    That closet Islamist part is true in part. Also, Obama had a rocky relationship with the more socially conservative AA churches here in Chicago (the leadership moreso than the actual congregants). Remember, he did not wrest control of the black vote from Hillary Clinton until the SC primary.

  • John K.

    @Chitown Kev: I did not seek personal attention, but I wanted your attention on her. Supreme Court appointments are about the most relevant to this topic as it gets, and if people don’t know in advance that we may have a less than fully supportive appointment on our hands, how do we counter it? If we don’t start getting ready now, it’s going to be VERY difficult to block one of Obama’s appointments.

    That said, I saw some links below that may indicate she is more supportive than the article I read said. I still have to read those links though.

  • John K.

    @blake: Well, this all certainly makes me feel better about her. I did not know she was openly gay. That said, the biggest issues we will need the Supreme Court for is marriage equality and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell if somehow it does not get overturned legislatively. As I said above, perhaps she was just choosing her words carefully in the confirmation hearings last week, but she certainly tried to convince the Senators and the public that she did not believe there was a constitutional right for gays to get married. Even if she is otherwise “supportive,” that’s not enough anymore.

  • Robert, NYC


    Hi Strumpetwindsock, thank you. Isn’t it amazing though how religion has become more important in American politics than in almost any other western country, though there are exceptions in eastern Europe such as Poland, the baltic states, Russia and to some extent Italy, Greece and Portugal in western Europe of course where it does hold some sway.

    Tony Blair of the UK who recently converted to Catholicism, didn’t allow that to interfere in passing civil partnership legislation back in 2004, he put his personal beliefs aside. Unfortunately, American politicians, espcially Obama of all people, aren’t that willing to do it for fear of alienating right wing cultists and potential voters and ruining his chances of re-election, unlike some of his Canadian and western European counterparts who risked everything and won. I’m not so sure if America inherited the Puritan mentality because if the UK can move on, why on earth hasn’t America? Of all countries, one would think America would be the world leader on equality issues, not the trailer. Its a sad commentary.

  • Robert, NYC

    @John K.:

    Even if marriage equality goes before the Supreme Court, how on earth would that change matters with republicans on the bench in the majority? No republican supreme court judge is going to vote for marriage equality at the federal level.

  • Chitown Kev

    @John K.:

    I was joking at the time, John K. And I read those links too, though I have to dig a little. An openly gay Supreme Court justice. Of course, that’s no guarantee of anything, as Corrigan has shown us out in California.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Robert, NYC:

    Anthony Kennedy might. I don’t know if I want to take the risk at the present time though.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Robert, NYC:
    It’s not really a risk here at all. Quite the opposite. In most parts of the country any politician who starts chanting “God Bless Canada” would sound like a wingnut. It just sounds weird.
    Again, it’s not that people here aren’t religious; it’s just that the prevailing opinion is that it’s not appropriate to bring it into politics (though your style of evanglism is growing here).

    And correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t this heavy religious involvement in politics in your country gotten a lot worse in recent years? After all, people were even more suspicious of Kennedy’s Catholic beliefs than they were of Obama’s faith.

    On the one hand I do think the American tradition is influenced by the Puritans who came there to establish a religious totalitarian state (ironically in the region that is now most liberal). And I think it was an important early warning sign that your founding fathers pushed so strongly for the separation of church and state
    But also (and again, correct me if I’m wrong) it seems like evangelical involvement in your politics has gotten a lot worse in the last 20 years.

  • Robert, NYC


    Strumpetwindsock, hi. You’re right, evangelical involvement in our political system has become worse since Bush came into power though there was an article I read several days ago in the christian monitor that indicated the opposite was happening, remains to be seen. I never capitalize any noun referring to religion because I really don’t have much respect for most of it and I’m an atheist anyway. The fact that the puritan mentality may have remained in the U.S. doesn’t explain why in the UK, it hasn’t, the origin of puritanism. Just like Canada, no British politician could run a campaign punctuating a speech with god bless the UK. The public there would be sceptical of any candidate running for office using such a useless mantra which to some might be construed as offensive and more importantly, irrelevant to becoming Prime Minister.

    Incidentally, no atheist in modern times could run for the highest office in the U.S.and get elected and if he weren’t married, that would also be an obstacle and open up another can of worms.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Robert, NYC:
    Well the British have been wrestling with that issue a lot longer – since Henry II and Becket.
    And they actually had the precedent of a King (James I) who set the good of the state above his family’s religion – even if he did it for political reasons.
    Plus the Puritans actually challenged the Church of England. You should read some of the histories about how intolerant they were of others beliefs, even in Elizabethan times. It is surprisingly like what you hear from the Assemblies of God nowadays.
    And once they started a civil war, killed the king, and eventually shut down the parliament they claimed to fight for and established a dictatorship… is it any wonder the British are a bit sour on the Puritan mentality?

  • John K.

    @Robert, NYC:

    You’re right about the Republicans on the Supreme Court, which exactly why we must start now with putting Justices on the Court who actually believe in Equal Protection for everyone, including LGBT people, including in marriage. I’m worried about Kagen, and more importantly, about Obama in general. He will likely get to appoint two or three justices. He will be the one deciding through his appointments whether we see marriage equality throughout the entire country in the next 25 years or not.

  • John K.

    @Chitown Kev:

    This is very true, which is why I’m worried about her statements.

  • Robert, NYC


    Hi Strumpetwindsock. Yes, I’ve read quite a bit about Oliver Cromwell and the civil war he started making England briefly a dictatorial republic, and thankfully that didn’t last. Attendance at religious services in the UK is one of the lowest in the western world, churches closing….long may that flourish.

  • Robert, NYC

    @John K.:

    John, I too am concerned about the possible appointment of Kagen. Personally, I don’t think Obama will appoint judges who are for full marriage equality. He’s too entrenched with the religious right cultists and their leaders. He’d rather keep their votes and lose ours if he had to choose and believe me, he’d do just that. I don’t buy his argument that he’s reaching out to them either. Its a lame excuse but it doesn’t appease me or anyone else I know who feels the same way as I do. I’m watching him very closely, we should all be doing that. The democrats should be put on notice right now that if they persist in delay tactics to get ENDA passed and DADT and DOMA abolished before 2012, irrespective of the current economic crisis, then they can no longer take our votes for granted. We’ve been far too passive for far too long, its time for the gloves to come off and demand our rights.

  • Landon Bryce

    This seems pretty obvious.

    Obama is a good-hearted, pragmatic politician who believes that he has to save the country first, then maybe worry about niceties like the civil rights of gay people. He will not stand in the way of gay progress but he is not just paying lip service to the religious right when he disrespects us. He has qualms when it comes to granting us full inclusion in American society. He insulted everyone who has ever advocated for someone other than himself when he referred to himself as a fierce advocate for us. Joe Biden showed how little awareness straights have of how their contempt for sexual minorities when he said that gays and lesbians have nothing to worry about with Obama and he in power, despite the fact that Biden voted for DOMA. Obama has avoided appointing gay and lesbian people and our allies in positions where we would be able to influence his decision making. He does not yet understand how badly real, working-class people in sexual minorities are treated. I think he will learn if he ever opens his heart to us. Those who claim he is not ambivalent about us are spreading a lie which hurts both us and him.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Landon Bryce:

    Obama is a good-hearted, pragmatic politician . Wrong. Obama is a lying hustler. He used to support marriage rights but did an abrupt about face when it cost him an election. He’s a cold hearted, calculating member of the world’s second oldest profession.

    He has qualms when it comes to granting us full inclusion in American society. Wrong . He’s a bigot in words and deeds – “gawd’s in the mix.” That’s not a qualm, that’s prejudice pure and simple.

    He does not yet understand how badly real, working-class people in sexual minorities are treated. How could he? He’s a hand puppet for the rich and a bigot. He doesn’t give a damn about us. Like all political hustlers he’s there for money and power.

    Those who claim he is not ambivalent about us are spreading a lie which hurts both us and him. Landon, as usual, has it upside down. Obama’s “ambivalence” is just his hustler’s instinct. He’s trying to figure out which john can pay the highest price in votes, us or the theocrats. The only ‘lie’ is to project, as Landon invariably does, his own values on political hustlers who don’t give a rat’s ass about us.

  • Robert, NYC

    @Landon Bryce:

    Landon, if Obama has to choose between getting the votes of religious right wing cultists in his quest to “reach out” and i for one don’t buy it, or support our full equality, I know which one he’ll choose and it won’t be us. Rick Warren was a classic example of that. If he were that supportive and inclusive, why did he not invite Bishop Gene Robinson to enjoin Warren on the dais? We were thrown under the bus, yet again and we’ll be thrown under it again and again until we take our gloves off and demand our rights, NOW! If ENDA doesn’t pass in two years, let alone DADT and eventually DOMA by 2012 in that order then I and many millions of others won’t be voting for him. I voted for him as the least of the two evils to get rid of Bush nothing more and I was under no illusion that Obama would be supporting my full equality without exception.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Landon Bryce:
    Good morning, Landon.

    Good post. Time will tell on all of this.

    I would amend Robert, NYC and say ENDA, DADT, and the Matthew Shepeard Act by 2012. DOMA would be sweet but there remains too many blue dog Dems, unless DOMA is overturned by the courts.

  • Landon Bryce


    Honey, go back on the meds. It’ll be worth it overall. If the SSRIs bug you too much, medical marijuana might be worth trying.


    Yes. I don’t think I disagree with anything you say.


    I would like to talk with you about something personal if you have the time and inclination to email me. If not, I’ll catch up with you here.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Robert, NYC:
    The good thing about the judiciary (in theory, anyway) is that is supposed to be blind. I am not so stupid that I think it always works out that way, but at least judges are more strictly bound by the law than politicians. For the most part their decisions have to be based on law and precedent, unless they are going into new territory.

    So while I know you can expect a judge to have biases, if that person is truly honest he or she will make a decision based on the law and the common good rather than personal opinion.

    I would sooner trust a right-wing person whom I knew I could trust before a left-wing person who lets his or her bias influence decisions.

    Now I know it is a crapshoot how a person is going to act once on the bench, and I have no illusions about the fact that justice is regularly subverted, but it is a shame that human rights issues should hang on personal opinion rather than law.

    In terms of Canadian marriage equality, I don’t think we are significantly wiser or less biased than you in the states. I think we are just very lucky that when our charter of rights was passed it was part of a larger constitution, and frankly not many people were paying attention. If people realized how that document would revolutionize our society they would have buried it.

    An example – several years ago our supreme court ruled that if Quebec held a referendum to separate they could do so (after negotiations). Now I don’t think any judge on that bench is in favour of breaking up the country, but they were bound by the law and had to rule accordingly.

    Look at your ERA – a prefectly reasonable piece of legislation which has been stonewalled for years – because lawmakers were able to look at it in isolation.

    Basically. I can’t fathom how any truly honest lawyer could square laws like DOMA or Prop 8 with your constitution, or with natural law. How can a law stand which says your rights can be recognized in one state but not in another? It’s ridiculous.

  • strumpetwindsock

    … and more importantly judges don’t have to get re-elected. So once they are in they are free to make decisions without having ot worry about public opinion.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Landon Bryce:

    Got the message, I’m at work now but I’ll get in touch later today or tomorrow.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Robert, NYC:
    And just an aside, I forgot to mention that King James (yes, the one the Bible is named after) played for our team.

  • John K.

    @Robert, NYC: Well, again, from a gay rights standpoint, marriage equality is really the only big thing we need the Supreme Court for anymore. There is clearly no constitutional right to employment non-discrimination or hate crimes legislation for anyone. Those things have to be done legislatively. However, the only way we get marriage throughout the country is by US Supreme Court decision. Think Utah is going to pass full marriage legislatively in this century? I think not. If Obama appoints a single justice that is not open to full marriage equality, we should abandon him immediately, and let him know in no uncertain terms that we have abandoned him. Seriously, the scary part of having McCain as president was his ability to replace liberal justices with conservatives and set marriage equality back half a century. If Obama is going to appoint justices who are not for marriage equality, then Obama is just as scary as McCain.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Landon Bryce: Poor, poor Landon.

    He can’t deal with having his fantasies about Obama exposed. So he invents more fantasies.

    Landon’s daydream about things he couldn’t possibly know anything about – Obama’s personality and intentions – won’t have the slightest effect on the real world Obama, or on Democrats and Republicans. Nor will it excuse those who voted for a hustler like Obama when their President comes tearing around the corner in the Betrayalbus looking for someone to run over.

    That bus is our reality, not Landon’s delusions and we have to deal with it. The way to deal with it is not to emulate Landon and become politically comatose, it’s to increase the number and size of demonstrations aimed at cults and their political representatives like Clinton, Bush and Obama.

  • Robert, NYC


    Hi Strumpetwindsock. You said…”Basically. I can’t fathom how any truly honest lawyer could square laws like DOMA or Prop 8 with your constitution, or with natural law. How can a law stand which says your rights can be recognized in one state but not in another? It’s ridiculous.”

    I concur totally. Its as if we have 50 states each with their own laws and regulation and behaving as if they are 50 different countries. Just how “united” are the states of America. Its absurd to deny rights in any state even if a state doesn’t have identical rights and that’s NOT democracy.

    Re: King James…yes I was aware of that, though there have been a few other monarchs who played for our team I believe.

  • Robert, NYC

    @John K.:

    John, with the current setup of SCOTUS, I don’t see marriage equality ever being legislated, even if Obama appoints Kagen. Scalia, the arch-homophobe along with three others need to be removed either by resignation or death if we’re going to see any significant change on that. I just don’t see it happening. Right now, SCOTUS would uphold DOMA in all 30 states that have it. Its going to take a lifetime or more before marriage equality is legal in all states, that’s the reality of it all. Even if DOMA were to be overturned, what do we do with 30 states that ban same sex marriage or any other form of legal union? From what little I know, don’t state constitutions trump federal legislation?

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Robert, NYC:
    I don’t know, but I doubt it.
    Otherwise your 13th Amendment would not have applied, and your federal government would have been powerless to ban slavery.

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