Preaching Peace

Obama Demands We ‘Risist Injustice.’ Iraq’s Gays Want to Know ‘When?’

From his speech at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, the great orator Barack Obama made clear he is well aware of the injustices committed against humankind. And that “bearing witness is not the end of our obligation. It’s just the beginning. … [We have] “the opportunity to make a habit of empathy … to commit ourselves to resisting injustice and intolerance.” It’s a great sentiment. And in many ways, President Obama acts as well as speaks. But for all the lip service, Obama once again ignores an on-going atrocity. While he denounces Holocaust deniers, by remaining silent on the murder and torture of gays in Iraq, he is effectively denying that torture. Said Obama “To this day, there are those who insist the Holocaust never happened, who perpetrate every form of intolerance, racism, antisemitism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and more. Hatred that degrades its victim and diminishes us all. Today, and every day, we have an opportunity, as well as an obligation, to confront these scourges. To fight the impulse to turn the channel when we see images that disturb us, or wrap ourselves in the false comforts that others’ sufferings are not our own.” Truer words have never been said. Why, then, is he ignoring his own?

Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, made a surprise visit to Iraq to reassure citizens (and the government) that the United States was still a partner. Number of times she mentioned gay Iraqis: 0.

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  • InExile

    My guess is Hillary’s boss probably also told her not to say the “G” word! Our new President talked the talk prior to being elected but since then he has not walked the walk regarding LGBT issues. We seem to be the invisible, the forgotten once again! The truth is, he no longer needs us with his approval ratings and unless we start demanding our equal rights via non-stop protests now, we will have a very long wait for equality. If our new President pushed for LGBT equality now, it would be “old news” come the next election. My point is if nothing happens this year we will be too close to the next election for anything to happen. Our politicians care about themselves and no one else.

  • rogue dandelion

    i always feel good when he speaks- when he acts, not so much

  • Michael W.

    @InExile: Why would he tell her something like that?

    And anybody who watched the Secretary of State situation knows Hillary only accepted the job because Obama granted her so much autonomy to run/clean up the department however she wishes. Hillary is nobody’s mouthpiece.

    Quite the conundrum for Clintonistas. They have to paint her as a voiceless drone in order to excuse her silence on Iraqi gays but it must hurt to have to say such things about their pant suited warrior.

    Obama is not Bush and Cheney. He doesn’t want to put a lid on State and control every tiny aspect of it. That’s why he put Hillary Fuckin’ Clinton in charge. If she wants to speak up about gays in Iraq, she can do it anytime she wants. It’s just not that big of a concern to her or the administration at the moment with all of the other problems in the world.

  • InExile

    @Michael W.: BO is not interested in gay rights. As far as Hillary is concerned, she has to respect the wishes of the President. BO wouldn’t have a plan for LGBT people if he had not adopted Hillary’s plan, so quit bashing Hillary!

  • MCON

    Uh, spelling?

  • bigjake75

    If there were not atrocities actually going on, i would laugh myself silly at this joke of a president and all the lapdogs that voted for him truly expecting ‘change’

    But i can’t laugh. so many countries that are killing gays and lesbians, so many cultures that oppress…but hey, just keep that teleprompter in front of our empty suit leader!! All is Well!!!

  • Dennis

    Who would you have voted for, oh grand political genius? This “empty suit” leader has done MORE to respond to the numerous clusterfuck problems our country is facing (largely caused or started by the previous Rethuglican administration) than most presidents accomplish in their first few years…

    Put down the crack pipe sweetie, you’re clearly trippin’

  • Michael W.

    @InExile: I am not bashing Hillary, I’m bashing her apologists like you who try their hardest to separate her from the rest of the administration.

    “Oh it’s not Hillary’s fault, Obama made her do it!”

    Obama is not interested in pulling the puppet strings of his Secretaries. That’s why he put such strong individuals in charge of the various parts of his administration. He isn’t a micromanager, he’s not going to send Hillary a memo like “Hold up! I heard you want to give a shout out to those Iraqi gays getting their butts glued together. Don’t even think about it, girl!”

    I don’t have a problem with Hillary, I have a problem with Clintonistas who tell us that she WANTS to swoop in and save those gays but Obama’s leash is too tight.

  • InExile

    @Michael W.: He may not “tell” Hillary what to say and what not to say but he may tell her and others in the administration not to touch on gay issues. “Don’t bring it up, we have more important issues to deal with”, or something to that effect. What other explanation is there for the silence on LGBT issues? He has not said ONE WORD regarding our community since he was elected.

    I also think the situation in Iraq for our brothers and sisters is a serious problem as it is in most Islamic countries. With a government based on Islam, what can the US do? They can speak up about the situation, of coarse, but it probably would not make any difference. The best solution would be to offer LGBT citizens political asylum.

  • Michael W.

    @InExile: “What other explanation is there for the silence on LGBT issues?”

    Gee, I don’t know, how about the same explanation for silence from damn near every other politician on LGBT issues: IT’S NOT IMPORTANT TO THEM!

    The economy is still in one of the worst recessions in history with mounting job losses while Obama’s trying to save the banking and car industries, spur green job creation (from virtually nothing) and implement universal health care and a highly controversial cap & trade energy system all at the same time!

    North Korea has been pronounced a full fledged nuclear power that continues working on longer range missiles while Iran is right behind them (and the Obama admin. is ready to give up and let them have nukes), possibly generating regional nuclear arms races in response to their aggression thereby making these clusterfucks 100 times worse.

    The war in Afghanistan is ramping up even though we’re not sure how to get the hell out of there and our so-called “partners” around the world don’t want to do shit to help us because they think it’s a black hole that no foreign country can make its way out of without depleting all sorts of capital.

    Nuclear-armed Pakistan, seemingly always on the verge of collapse, is indifferently staring down a growing Taliban insurgency that’s spread to within 60 miles of Islamabad (their version of Washington, DC) while they instead focus on some fight with India that’s the least of their worries.

    And then we have Iraq, which is once again falling victim to sectarian violence because we stopped paying off the Sunni warlords and Baathists who were promised a seat at the table that the Prime Minister is now reneging on, threatening to throw the country back into the chaotic pre-surge strife from a couple years ago and possibly forcing us to push back our withdrawal date.

    The torture prosecutions or lack thereof, pirates in the seas. The list goes on and on and I’m sure I missed some important shit. Bottom line is that the administration is dealing with an unprecedented set of problems and circumstances that might surpass those of FDR. Gays in Iraq (and everywhere else for that matter) are unfortunately a very low priority right now. And I barely hear anything about gay Iraqis outside of a few blogs in the first place. Such is life.

  • naprem

    @MCON: Exactly. It’s really a very simple thing to give your entry a quick scan and copy-edit before hitting “send.” Especially your headline. Come on, that’s basic elementary-school stuff.

  • emma

    Spelling fail.

  • Pete

    @InExile: True. When we hear Sec. Clinton, whether it’s good or bad, we have to realize Obama is the voice behind it.

    Clinton, did choose to represent the United States and Obama, but if we really want things to change, we have to go after the power and that is the president. Let’s focus on him.

  • Dabq

    @Dennis: So true, the posters here really don’t seem to care about the myriad of problems that the country is facing, to them, its what they deem important, and, nothing else, who cares about jobs, or health care, not the savvy posters here, LOL! Oh well, as I love to say, they can sit out the next election or vote for the GOP, but, the shrill comments every time there is an Obama article are as stale as all out and maybe Palin and the GOP can do what they need to validate their lives, since there are many who voted for him still waiting for him to focus on the issues they feel are important, and, to think he has only had 100 days to be the great hope, give me a break, civics really needs to be taught in school so people can understand how the wheels of government work and not with all the emotion.

  • Bruno

    I’ve said this elsewhere, too: homophobia is the fear of treating gays equal to yourself. If one doesn’t believe in marriage rights for same-sex couples, isn’t one by definition homophobic? Obama has learned that taking a loose stand against the amorphous concept of “homophobia” helps him. Taking a hard stand against anyone’s actual homophobia hurts him.

    The silence of Obama, Clinton, and the media on Iraq is deafening. Actually, outside of LGBT blogs, there’s very little being reported about it. It’s astounding.

  • InExile

    @Michael W.: I know what is going on in the world. As far as I know he is a smart guy and can walk and chew gum at the same time. multitasking is part of the job, so I do not buy your argument. Maybe we should just agree to disagree!

  • InExile

    @Pete: I could not agree more! He has a list of promises, we should be demanding action on all of them. His promises were the reason we voted for him and sent him money.

  • Dennis

    Only 100 days people, 100 days! Give me a freakin’ break, it’s like 6% of his first term in office, 94% left to go…I absolutely want “our fair share” of our President’s attention, but wake up to the multiple crises of epic proportion we are facing!

    It’s like a bunch of whining children on here sometimes…me me me, my needs now, RIGHT NOW! If american gays were having their asses glued shut in mass numbers, I’m sure that Obama and Hillary would be on it, OK? The Iraqi gay situation is an absolute atrocity, one of about A THOUSAND absolute atrocities that are taking place in the godforsaken (term intended) middle east every day.

    Yes, continue to make noise, demand to be heard, but at the same time, have some perspective…

  • Lee

    OBAMA: “Today, and every day we have an opportunity, as well as an obligation to confront these scourges.”

    Uh, Mr. President, you just indicted yourself on at least eight counts for 100 days of failure of opportunity and obligation:

    Count 1: this is your first mention of gays—and an indirect one at that—since December—and, then, it was only because you were defending annointing Rick “Gay = Pedophiliacs” Warren as symbolic President’s Personal Pastor [while describing yourself as a “fierce advocate for gay and lesbian rights”]. BTW: we’re already “tolerated”—we need laws not love.

    Count 2. refusal to use the opportunity/obligation of the recent reintroduction of the House DADT repeal bill to simply TELL Congress that you want DADT repealed.

    Count 3. refusal to use the opportunity/obligation to use the recent reintroduction of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill to simply TELL Congress that you support it.

    Count 4. Americans from every walk of life have been talking about the recent wave of marriage equality victories and advances—except their President. Someone in your name totally destroyed any transformative, Change value of a positive statement about the Iowa victory by casting it in terms of states’ rights—thus affirming the “right” of other states to REFUSE gays full citizenship—and needlessly and with great harm reminding Americans that you oppose real marriage equality.

    Count 5: refusal to use the opportunity/obligation to use these events to simply TELL Congress that you want federal DOMA repealed.

    Count 6. refusal to use the opportunity/obligation of your multiple public references to unemployment, or when signing the Lily Ledbetter women’s pay bill, to simply TELL Congress that you want to see ENDA passed and antigay job discrimination in 30 states stopped.

    Count 7: refusal to use the opportunity/obligation to condemn the rise in gay/trans hate crimes and the growing number of America’s children killing themselves because our society still teaches them that being called “Fag” is a knife to their tiny hearts.

    Count 8: refusal to use the opportunity/obligation of countless mentions of Iraq to condemn the rise in gay murders there.

    NOTE to those who insist he’s too busy to work on these things—we’re merely asking that he SAY something publicly—just as he called for the gradual close of Guantanamo, the gradual troop withdrawal from Iraq. How many MINUTES would that take?

    NOTE 2 to those who insist he’s too busy to work on these things—”Newsweek” has listed just some of the benefactors of his first 100 days:

    “If you’re a woman seeking pay equity, a child in need of health insurance, a nurse trying to avoid a layoff, a $25,000-a-year worker hoping for a tax credit, a passenger who would rather take the train, a group of parents trying to start a charter school, a homeowner facing foreclosure, a cancer researcher strapped for funding, a hiker looking for more wilderness, a small business tired of exorbitant federal loan fees, a historian trying to see some long-secret documents, a young person eager to take part in national service, a prisoner praying to avoid torture, then you got something tangible out of the president’s debut.”

    Granted, LGBTS are members of all of those groups, just as righting the economy benefits us all, but isn’t a gay person looking for job protection, a gay couple in need of Social Security benefits or a tax credit, or a perceived-gay kid praying to avoid another day of torture at school a higher priority than a gay “hiker looking for more wilderness”?

    NOTE to those who attempt the “Can’t waste his political capital” Defense:

    87% of Americans support anti gay job discrimination laws.

    81% support service by out gays in the military.

    63% support expanding hate crime laws to include gays and transgenders—which makes it reasonable to presume they would support his condemnation of bullying in schools leading to children killing themselves and gays murdered in other countries, too].

    67% support gay couples getting Social Security benefits—which makes it reasonable to presume they would support his call for federal DOMA repeal as does the fact that

    55% of Americans support “legally-sanctioned gay and lesbian unions or partnerships.”

    Obama’s not leading the American people, he’s not even following them. Why?

  • InExile

    @Dennis: If you were forced to move to a foreign country because your partner cannot be sponsored by you for citizenship, you might want equality sooner rather than later. Lives have been and are being ruined by our lack of equal rights. I bet you can see your friends, family, go to a gay bar for a drink, go out for Sushi, Thai, go to a mall shopping, or whatever you want, have a great job, and a nice life! Some of us have had our lives destroyed and are permanently on hold because of inequality and the least our new president could do is acknowledge we still exist post election so we can have some hope! Maybe he could say something to the effect of “I plan to keep my promises” so please be patient? Or say something, anything! But all I have heard is silence and I am worried.

  • Dennis

    I @Lee:
    6% of his term, again, 6%…Clusterfuck of other problems not seen in DECADES…I’m not saying he’s perfect, but it’s also insane to think he’s a homophobe, or not getting to our issues out of “spite” or that his desire for fair treatment/civil rights for GLBT’s is a lie…

    Yes, he’s picking his battles and it appears we are not at the top of the list…I’m not saying I’m happy about it, but do you live under a gay rock? Gays are the ONLY people suffering? And anti-gay discrimination is the most serious problem our nation faces at this moment in time? I’m laid off, almost broke…my mother’s 401K has been decimated right b4 her retirement after decades of saving, many friends barely just getting by in this recession…a global economic crisis, the climate crisis, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, the Taliban resurgent in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the rise of our “frenemy” China, the unpredictable/unstable Russians, Israel and the Palestinians never ending drama, inner city crime, gangs and our embarassing educational system, the drug cartels and near “state failure” of Mexico, and about a hundred other world threatening issues…All while dealing with an entrenched power corporate structure resistant to change, other countries that say they want to “help solve the world’s problems” but then don’t do shit, and Rethuglicans resisting and fighting him at every turn.

    He’s not Superman, or the second coming of Jesus, folks…he’s just a man dealing with a shitstorm of trouble…speak your concerns, but also give him some support and a little time. I have volunteered for many different causes in the GLBT community, but we aren’t THE ONLY community deserving help and support from our President.

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)


    Don’t even go there!

    These commenters are INSANE when it comes to Obama…mm..if he was white..


    My beef with this dude is something that has NEVER been mentioned which is….SUMMERS!! WTF???!

  • Dabq

    @Dennis: Excellent sentiments, but, alas, with the posters here, you are wasting your time they want it now and many of them didn’t even vote for him in the first place and sadly, can’t see the big picture and want everything done in 97 days. Like I said, let them wait until 2012 and vote the GOP back in, and, then watch the silence…..

  • InExile

    @Dabq: How can you not care about your own equal rights and equal rights for your friends? What if he is not re-elected in 2012 and someone like Sarah Palin is elected? And what if the GOP gains a majority in the Senate or the house in 2012? How can you worship someone so much you loose interest in your own community? I voted for him and sent him money but it is a mistake to turn a blind eye. Rick Warren, DADT repeal delayed and silence is what we have thus far, besides that everything is fine!

  • Lee

    @ Dennis. No, I don’t live under a rock. I live in the United States where I have witnessed this same pattern for DECADES: smile fuck the gay children until you’re elected and then ignore doing anything for real change. Throw them a crumb once and a while and they’ll fall on the ground and speak in tongues, forgetting that you promised them, you asked for their votes for, you asked to be judged by, the delivery of actual bread.

    READ again, if you read it at ALL, what I wrote. All I’m asking is him to do is publicly VERBALIZE, take a few MINUTES, say a FEW WORDS indicating that we’re even genuinely on his To Do List, signal to Congress while he STILL HAS political capital that these bills are among his legistlative agenda. And, no, a list pasted together from his campaign rhetoric and posted on at doesn’t count.

    Convincing Congress to pass these laws will take time…the longer he waits to kick start it – as no one else can – the longer it will take to get them passed … if at all. Soon the excuse, from many of them, if not him personally, will be, “2010 midterms are coming and I can’t risk pissing off my homohating constitutents.” We blink and 2012 will be upon us, and others cowering in order to get relected.

    What is YOUR agenda? To advance gay equality or make excuses for Barack Obama?

    “If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. … Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” – Frederick Douglass.

  • InExile

    @Lee: Thank you!!!

  • Dennis

    My agenda is to recognize that this is a uniqely challenging moment in time, not like what Clinton started with, not like the Shrub started with…a combination of problems the likes of which hasn’t been seen in decades. I did read your post, did you read mine? I’ve left out at least 20 other shitshorm problems he has to deal with…

    Believe it or not, I’m on the same team as you and want GLBT’s to have and enjoy all the rights and protections we are entitled to…You can and should keep making noise and demand to be seen, but this rush to judgement is a bit much for me…

    Again, 6% of his time has passed. I’d be more inclined to (and will gladly) read Obama the riot act (maybe I’ll even do some teabagging!) if we were nearer to 50% of his time gone and nothing had been done…

  • Dennis

    If he doesn’t get some traction on resolving our nation’s problems in the next 2 years, THAT is what will (goddess forbid!) put a Rethuglican back in the W.H. in 2012…

    Continue to demand to be heard, but let the man do his job!

  • Dennis

    InExile, I also did want to acknowledge that our partnership/immigration policy is majorly fucked up…A good friend of mine lost his partner of 5 years, who had to return to his home country overseas. Totally sucks, but again, we have sooo many F’ing problems going on…the administration sees your problem as just one of many needing attention.

  • Landon Bryce


    So– you don’t even want gay blogs to criticize Obama’s performance on GLBT issues so far? That seems shortsighted to me.

    You lose all credibility and come across as a shill when you fail to deal with any of things Lee wrote. He is deliberately lagging behind the American populace of gay rights. Lee laid it all out in completely reasonable terms. There are many things he could already have done and should already have done, things that would have cost him nothing. You ignored everthing he wrote and make the same excuses for your hero over and over.

    Nobody– straight or gay– should be excusing Obama OR Clinton for their failures to do anything about the reports on sexual minorities being murdered and tortured in increasing and alarming numbers.

  • Dennis

    @Landon Bryce:
    I never said not to criticize, I asked for some perspective and acknowledgement of the dire situations we face. I’ve repeatedly said I’m not happy about GLBT’s being further down on the list of priorities than I’d like, and encouraged people to strive to have their concerns heard. And remember to complain to your OTHER elected officials, as “team sports” is how anything gets accomplished in D.C. I’m just not ready to join in the “off with his head” lynch mob, nor light my torch or get my pitchfork sharpened quite yet…

    If you say I’m a shill and lose all credibility when pointing out the difficulties we face, I’d say you’ve lost all touch with reality. I’m laid off, almost broke, and I’m still more fortunate than many people I know. I have (admittedly, straight) relatives risking their lives in the Military to deal with the bat-shit crazy stuff going on overseas. There are all types of atrocities happening everywhere on the planet, every day, to all kinds of people. Gay…straight…women…minorities…we all get shat upon. There could be (and probably should be)a 24-hour scroll on the bottom of every TV screen listing all the various grisly abuses occurring all over the planet.

    And to those of you who have’t heard, the sun doesn’t rise and set on your ass alone, or on the ass of our communities’ needs. Me me me, my needs now, NOW! I said NOW! (I’m more important than everyone else)…and I say this as a past and present volunteer for various GLBT causes.

    6% of his time has passed, only 24 hours in a day, and republicans trying to thwart his every move and sabotage everything he does…I WILL NOT give him “a forever pass” to put us on “hold”, but Jeebus himself couldn’t do better, nor could you.

  • Landon Bryce


    I’m all for not passing judgment on Obama yet. But if there is no outcry FROM GAY BLOGS how the fuck do you expect these issues to permeate the general consciousness at all?

    You accuse those of us who are concerned about gay people being murdered and tortured in Iraq as thinking about “Me me me, my needs now, NOW! I said NOW!”


    I thought we were expressing concern because if we don’t, no one will. How about you shut the fuck up on how mean the awful gays are being to poor little Obama until the story actually hits the 6:00 news? Until then, it’s disgusting for you to bitch about attempts to increase the urgency of the situation.

    And, again, you refuse to acknowledge that Obama could easily have done much for GLBT issues than he has chosen to at point.

    You ARE a shill.

  • Dennis

    I’m responding to myself because I’m afraid I’m going to get killed on this to reiterate my beliefs…I think the abuse of Iraqi GLBT’s is horrible, yes, our administration should strongly denonuce it and put pressure on the fledgling Iraqi government to investigate and prosecute fully. If you are not happy with how Obama is treating our community, tell ALL of your elected officials your concerns.

    I’m just sick of Obama haters (on this site and others) expecting miracle solutions to long-standing and complex problems to occur in a few months.

    Waaay past my bedtime, I’m out.

  • Dennis

    @Landon Bryce:
    See my last post, scream your head off regarding the Iraqi atrocities, and please cut me some lack…loong day, should have gone to bed rather than to Queerty. Peace.

  • InExile

    @Dennis: I do not believe ANYONE on this site making comments are Obama haters! We are all just concerned because after all the promises we have seen no action and heard NOTHING from him. And Landon is right, if we don’t speak up for ourselves, who will???? The clock is ticking and you pointed out you would start to worry after 50% of his time in office had passed which is way way too late! The next Presidential election will have started by that point and you have no way to know if he will be re-elected, a lot can happen between now and 2012!

  • Landon Bryce


    No, Dennis. Unlike the murder and torture squads who have killed dozens of gay men in Iraq this year, the commenters on Queerty are not going to hunt you down and kill you.

    I cannot speak for others, but I am not an Obama hater. I love the president and the first family. I am tremendously proud of our president and the way that he is rising to the challenges facing him.

    His biggest mistake so far? Stating his intention to block the prosecution of possible war criminals.

    The issue on which he seems determined to actually slow progress and to lag behind the American people? The rights of sexual minorities.

    Dennis, it’s not fair for to ask that slack be cut for both Obama and yourself, when you have been so completely unwilling to cut any slack to those who did not temper their criticism of our hero to your liking. Hyperbole on a blog– especially in the comments– is inevitable.

    And when do you think things are going to make it politically expedient for him to be decent on GLBT issues? It is stupidly fucking optimistic to assume that the crises of 2010 will seem less dire than the crises of today. Maybe not you, but gays just like you will be screaming in 2010 that we can’t push Obama and it’s not fair to expect anything from him with the 2012 election so close. And, of course, ludicrously branding all criticism of him “racist.”

    You claim that you will not be with them then. Please hold yourself to that.

  • Dennis

    @Landon Bryce:
    Your points are heard and understood…now everyone, log off and GO DO SOMETHING IN THE REAL WORLD about this rather than just bitching and moaning online. I’m no saint, or “perfect gay” at all, but I am leaving Queerty for the day as I have a volunteer commitment to assist with producing a class which helps gay men overcome internalized hompohobia.

    Luv to you all- but make something friggin’ happen, OK? We’re all on the same team. Peace.

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