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We Need Change

Obama’s Missed Iowa Moment


It’s the state that vaulted Barack Obama, a relative newcomer, to the White House. And last week, Iowa may have launched a wave of change when it comes to gay marriage as well. Only time will tell if the Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to allow gays and lesbians to have the same marriage rights as their straight counterparts will be the tipping point for the gay equality debate in this country. But one thing is certain right here and now, our President’s tepid response to the historic decision is not change we can believe in.

Following the decision on Friday, the White House released a statement saying:

“The President respects the decision of the Iowa Supreme Court, and continues to believe that states should make their own decisions when it comes to the issue of marriage. Although President Obama supports civil unions rather than same-sex marriage, he believes that committed gay and lesbian couples should receive protection under the law.”

Which, minutes after Pam’s House Blend took the statement to task for not using the phrase “equal protection” was revised to this:

“The President respects the decision of the Iowa Supreme Court, and continues to believe that states should make their own decisions when it comes to the issue of marriage. Although President Obama supports civil unions rather than same-sex marriage, he believes that committed gay and lesbian couples should receive equal rights [emphasis added] under the law.”

As we all know, the President’s position is purely political. As an Illinois state senator, he had indicated on a questionnaire that he supported gay marriage and his backpedal to civil unions is based on strategy.

It’s hard to imagine our law-professor-in-chief did not look at Iowa’s ruling — and you can’t help wondering if, as he perused the Iowa justices’ carefully reasoned take-down of all the arguments against gay marriage, he didn’t question his own cynical position. Especially if his revised statement is to believed. If the president believes in equal rights for gays and lesbians under the law, then he’s for gay marriage. Civil unions are, by their very nature, a perverted contemporary version of “separate, but equal,” a fallacy that at one-time would have made it illegal for his own parents to marry.

There are times where “political strategy” is code for “cowardice” and this is one of those times. With George W. Bush, we knew that his anti-gay attitudes were based on conviction; Obama’s rhetoric is based on fears of being labeled a “liberal.”

There are moments of opportunity in every democracy and we’re living through one right now. The past six months have been the most momentous in the history of the gay and lesbian civil rights struggle. Put simply, we’re winning, not just in the courts, but in the court of public opinion. If we were to tell you a year ago that America would be engaged in a national debate about whether gays and lesbians should have civil unions or the right to marry, you’d have laughed at us, but that was before Prop. 8, the marches, and the collective semi-conscious decision by the LGBT movement to bring up the issue often and loudly.

Moments fade, though. The shifting ground beneath us has a way of solidifying and many of the marriage battles happening right now will be over in a few months and with it, it will be harder for hays and lesbians to keep the issue in the minds of a public accustomed to 24-hour-news cycles. The President has an opportunity to make a lasting impact on the gay rights movement today, not through Machiavellian negotiations, but by using his best weapon: His voice.

It’s easy to speak up for “all Americans.” It takes a lot more courage to speak up for the ones on the outside, looking in. Our president wants to go down in history as the fulfillment of the American Dream, but so long as he remains mute on the deferred dreams of gays and lesbians, dreams he privately supports, greatness will continue to elude him. –Japhy Grant

On:           Apr 7, 2009
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    • David Anger

      I could buy Iowa.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 6:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne

      Now, where exactly is that guy who promised to be a “fierce advocate for gay and lesbians”? Hmmm?

      Apr 7, 2009 at 7:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      Yeah, Obama is being a hypocrite on this one. In 2004 he cited some sort of strategery keeping in mind the homophobia in African American and Catholic communities. Nowadays he’s citing his religious beliefs.

      And Japhy, “liberal” is a code word for “uppity.” To put it bluntly, rhetorical bashing on gay folks, the acceptance of this separate but equal BS is a way to gain and keep his street cred.

      Obama just needs to do the LBJ thing. Considering what Bill Clinton went through in the first few days of his Administration, if he were merely silent, I’d understand that. But he needs to stuff all this faith based I;’m gonna court the religious right shit up his ass. He’s going backward, not forward.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 7:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne

      And don’t fool yourself into believing that Obama’s cowardice and failure to lead on LGBT issues doesn’t have immediate consequences on the struggle for our equality. During intense lobbying of the Vermont Democrats who voted against marriage equality in Vermont (and do not plan on supporting the override of the Govenor Jim “Crow” Douglas) the Democrats defended their vote against equality by citing President Obama. They said they agree with President Obama that marriage is between a man and a woman.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 7:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • InExile

      I hate to say it, but none of this surprises me. My biggest concern about Senator Barack Obama during the primary was his silence on LGBT issues as well as his various entanglements with religious leaders. During the primary he refused to be interviewed by the Philadelphia Gay news, Hillary granted an interview. Not until Barack Obama became the democratic nominee did he suddenly have a plan for the LGBT community and that plan was basically a carbon copy of Hillary Clinton’s plan.

      I think President Obama would support our community if our community would support itself! What happened to all the protesting after Prop 8 passed? It sure did not last long! When is a march on Washington planned?

      No one, not the President, the Congress, or the Senate is going to do anything to bring us equality without us in the streets demanding it. Our community has become far too passive which makes it far too easy for our politicians to to delay passing laws or just to completely forget about us. The ball is in our court now if we would just run with it.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 8:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      On the marriage equality issue, this is definitely true.

      What is one of the most frequent comments I hear from(presumably) straight African-American voters? “President Obama believes that marriage is between a man and a woman.” Excuse me, does President Obama do all your thinking for you?

      I’m African-American, by the way, and when I hear that statement from straight African Americans, it really pisses me off.

      Reagan Democrat types do the same thing.

      So yes, President Obama has unleashed the anti-gay bigotry on the left and in the Democratic Party.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 8:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne

      @InExile I agree with you to a point. But unfortunately politicians care very little about protest marches. They really don’t. Marches are better suited to mobilize our community to show and express our outrage. But as far as the politicians go, the only kind of “march” they fear, is a march to the voting booth to vote them out of power. Our communities money and votes are the only thing they covet. It’s high time that we showed them that there is a price to pay for political betrayal.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 8:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      well, to be fair, Obama wasn’t silent, he did speak out against homophobia. And he has a good record that he can stand on in working with the LGBT community in Illinois. But what he can’t stand on is sourting all of these homophobic bigots on the religious right.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 8:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev



      Apr 7, 2009 at 8:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne

      @ChiTown Kev

      I think you and I are on the same page on this issue.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 8:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • InExile

      @Wayne: You said marches are only good for mobilizing our community and showing our outrage. So, my question is, where is the outrage???????

      If we are marching in large crowds, we get in the news, and our issues are brought into the public eye and discussed. If we are not in the news cycle, our issues are not being discussed therefore the public is not being educated. If we are not in the news cycle, we do not exist, we are the forgotten. The politicians tend to focus on issues in the news cycle.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 8:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ousslander

      Japhy enough with this craop that while he spits on our community just like Bush di, that he is really secretly for us having equal rights.

      And hitler was secretly for the jews, sounds kind of stupid, no?

      Apr 7, 2009 at 8:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      Well, Jeremiah Wright (who would know) said it best, though…he’s a politican, what do you expect?

      Apr 7, 2009 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew W

      Vaulted? Do you mean ‘vaunted’? I don’t think Barack Obama has ever been vaulted.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 10:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stitch

      I hate to be a grammar snob, but who in the hell proofreads these posts before putting them up here for public consumption?? There are fewer mistakes in 4th grade book reports. Let’s be professional, people.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ousslander

      @Chitown Kev: I agree is just a politician. It just drives me crazy with this he’s secretly for us. R people that desperate into deluding themselves?

      Apr 7, 2009 at 10:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dabq

      Oh boy, time for the name calling and slurs about Obama begin, as if things would be any better under McCain. I for one could care less about this issue, get a nationwide hates crime law and enforce it would be the first step towards equality, because, the religious right will make sure no matter if Jesus were in the Oval office that gay marriages are not the law of the land for years to come, while people continue to get beat down, lose jobs and have no recourse just for being glbt.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve Tabarez

      Am not sure when all the kool-aid drinking, OBAMAITES of the LGBTQ variety are going to finally see that the man is a liar, a hypocrite, and a coward. We have been co-opted. he would rather have the conservative heterosexual voters, than us. That is clear. Oh, he will come back around when he needs our money. By then, hopefully, our little queer twitterers will finally see the CHANGE he had in mind, did not include us>

      Apr 7, 2009 at 10:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elijah

      What I don’t understand is why they didn’t just sit this one out? They just provided ANOTHER quote for the religious fascists to use in any debate about REAL equal rights for gays — recycled campaign doublespeak — a little of this for that side, a little of that for that side — which was hollow and morally indefensible the FIRST time it was uttered long ago.

      Are they in perpetual campaign mode the way Bush/Cheney/Rove hoped to convince us we were in perpetual war? I instinctively flinched last night when I heard a replay of the President, within hours of Korea’s missle launch, reducing his call for avoiding nuclear holocaust to a bumper sticker: “Yes we can.”

      And when will people stop defending him like a naughty but beloved child? What he said in an interview years ago, what he did in relation to other GLBT issues years ago, what we IMAGINE is in his heart is irrelevant. What is he DOING today?

      Apr 7, 2009 at 10:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve Tabarez

      @Dabq: It is sell-outs like you that will keep the COWARD-IN-CHIEF thinking it is ok to turn his back on us. And that goes for all of our rights, and for inclusion under the CIVIL RIGHTS ACT. Not just your myopic view of HATE CRIMES LEGISLATION. He will sell us out at every turn. And with your apologist thinking, it will be easy for him to do.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 10:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      But at least with McCain, you knew where he and the Wasilla skank ho was coming from. McCain never said that he would be a “fierce advocate for gays and lesbians.”



      And Obama is not even attempting to lead on the hate crimes bill that was just introduced by Conyers. Yeah, if it gets to his desk he’ll sign it. But that’s not advocacy.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 10:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      #21 That first statement was for Dabq! not Elijah.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 10:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Roy Pyatt

      I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I’ll be at the back of the bus waiting for my equal rights.
      Obama is either a coward or a bigot or both. I had hoped for better.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 10:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne

      @DABQ you might not care about marriage equalty. But for some of us (especially ones that are decades into their relationship) really DO care about our equality and the fair and equal access to the benefits of citizenship.

      Obama was the one who made the repeated promises to bring change. He vowed to end DOMA, and to end DADT. He said he would be a “fierce advocate for gays and lesbians”. As his inaction on LGBT issues has proved. HE LIED.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 11:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dabq

      Its all about choice in 2012, don’t vote for him, its that easy, vote for the candidate that you feel will best suit your political issues, I for one am quite happy with the Obama presidency thus far, only those who live in la la land could expect the man to do miracles in less than 3 months in office.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 11:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ben


      Well said.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      No one is suggesting that he do miracles at this time. I would suggest that he not continually court homophobic bigots though. I would suggest that he congratulate the couples that can now get married in Iowa without the Christianist snark. I get the fact that he doesn’t want a repeat of the Clinton DADT disaster. I think most of us get that part.

      If Obama feels that he can’t say anything in the way of advocacy, then he needs to be quiet. And not court homophobes every chance he gets.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 11:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alex

      Good Lord! What exactly do all you complainers want President Obama to do? Last I checked, when this Iowa decision happened, our President was busy at a little thing called the G20 Summit. He then continued with what I view to be an extremely important olive branch to the Islamic world in Turkey. Today, he is in Iraq.

      Believe it or not, some things (particularly a scheduled meeting with 20 world leaders) are more important than hearing an impromptu speech by President Obama over a court decision.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 11:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec

      @Chitown Kev: I do think he was mistaken to give Warren a platform and of course there was that business in South Carolina in 2007, but I don’t think he’s been courting homophobes. At least, not by courting their homophobia.

      I think congratulating Iowa couples would be the right move. He did it in CA, but only for a very limited audience.

      I’m relatively pleased with his presidency so far. He’s about what I expected.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 11:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      The White House DID NOT have to issue a statement that repeats the tacit endorsement of a constitutional law professor of a “separate but equal” policy that was outlawed over 60 years ago by the United States Supreme Court. Besides, hasn’t Obama said that it was a state issue?

      Apr 7, 2009 at 11:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      On matters outside LGBT issues. I’m pleased too, actually.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 11:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lileasy

      @Steve Tabarez: Steve, You’re the man!

      Apr 7, 2009 at 11:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue

      Obama plays a little game with us called rocking the bus. He drives his bus forward leaving tread marks all the way. Then he claims it was all a big mistake and says he’ll be better. But the next thing you know he’s backing up over us, cackling and repeating “Oh yeah, I am the fierce defender, yes I am.” Bush said the same thing. And 22 states DOMAs later Laura was telling us that’s he wasn’t a bigot, just a guy into gawd stuff. And the LCR types fell for it. Clinton did it too. He promised us the moon and gave us two buckets of slops, DADT and DOMA. Then he, and a few delusional Democrats, mostly chumpy lawyers, said that he and Hillary were our friends. They still say it.

      Obama wants to be a brilliant American ‘success’ story like Bill Clinton, who’s been more than amply rewarded for NAFTA and deregulating the economy. As president, by some miracle of accounting he became a gazillionaire.

      At an April 04 09 meeting with Wall Street CEOs Obama acknowledged his relationship with the looting class, telling them “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.” These are the people that bankrolled his primary campaign. They put a lot of contributions in his little favor bank and withdrawing trillions in interest.

      Money’s the main stage and GLBT rights are more or less a side show for both parties. We don’t have the votes. Obama’s playing a game with us, promising whatever we want to hear. In truth it’s very clear by now that he’s in bed with the religious bigots. He did support SSM at one time and lost the election in 2000 because of it. Then he got religion and hopped in bed with Warren, Dubois and Daughtry. His promises to us are as good as his promise to end the war and his promise to end the recession maybe depression.

      His promises cost him nothing and some doofy types still fall for them because it’s true, you can fool some of the people all the time. In the end Obama will go for the biggest voting bloc, which is usually the bigots, not us.

      Here comes the bus.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve Tabarez

      @alex: The cad was the one who told McCain that we needed a president who was able to do more than one thing at a time, NO? When did the moral issue of bias, discrimnination, and subjugation of people in a legalized fashion become SO out of fashion? And, your COWARD-IN-CHIEF isn’t adept at multi-tasking? And, somehow the economy is supposed to take precedence over subjugation, hatred, bigotry, and inequality?

      Apr 7, 2009 at 11:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Roy Pyatt

      @alex These press releases are usually done in advance with one for either outcome.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 12:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lance Bergstrom

      All humans falter. The ends justify the means is such a common sin that I know of no one who has not made a choice to follow it.

      That is what I think is happening here. Barack Obama wants to get reelected in 3+ years and is catering to a wider base. I think he is likely so devoted to this end that the ‘small’ error of scapegoating millions of men and women in America gets overlooked (or pushed aside for more important issues).

      I hope he will see the error of this method sooner or later. We all should love our neighbors. No matter who they are or what they do.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 12:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John in CA

      You’re no good to anyone if you don’t win.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 1:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne

      @John in CA But if you win, and then betray all of your promises, why should anyone vote for you?

      Obama has had plenty of opportunities to prove he is the “fierce advocate for gays and lesbians” that he promised to be. Even recently, Iowa and now Vermont were perfect oppotunities for Obama to show some leadership on LGBT issues. He ignored them both.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 1:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      To be fair, there is still plenty of opportunity for Obama to do so. I get it to the extent that he is avoiding a repeat of Clinton circa ’93.

      But right after the 2010 midterm elections, the 2012 Presidential elections will be around the corner. He can stay silent or simply be complementary at this point. I would get that. This revised statement was a smack upside the face…

      Apr 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec

      @Wayne: The caveat, of course, was that he was always supportive of civil unions and at best lukewarm on marriage or hostile to it. Even as he made his claim that he would be a “fierce advocate” it was within that context.

      That being said, and despite his “fierce advocate” language, I don’t expect him to spend a lot of time on ENDA or DADT, apart from signing it. Is there any news on that front?

      Apr 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bigjake75

      @Chitown Kev: saying you are against homophobia but not for equality is two stepping political bullshit

      Apr 7, 2009 at 1:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      I know that! Have you read all of my posts? Why do you feel the need to jump on me?

      Apr 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bigjake75

      Obama is such a coward. Too busy to let us serve openly. Endorsing separate but equal…and his election was the realization of King’s dream? You would think that Obama would fiercely protect and defend full rights for all!!!

      Apr 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      My point was Obama sponsored the legislation in Illinois that got us to the point in Illinois where we have all of the protections (Hate crimes, ENDA, etc.) with the exception of marriage equality. He does have a record that he can stand on, even if he isn’t standing on it.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 1:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sparkle obama

      you guys are crazy.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 1:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bigjake75

      @Chitown Kev: hey brother I was not jumping on you. i was just making a statement. I actually agree with what you say. I was just putting my two cents in. Happy days here people!! We will get our rights recognized in spite of politicians.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 1:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      Ok we’re cool, bigjake.

      I mean, Obama has admitted that he may be on the wrong side of history on the issue of marriage equality. Well, no one is keeping him there but himself.

      Oh, and his bigoted voters.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 1:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sparkle obama

      >>Well, no one is keeping him there but himself.
      Oh, and his bigoted voters.<<

      …oh yeah – the voters(!)
      some of you are too impatient.
      gay is a big problem & a stumbling block for americans.
      you got to give obama time to iron out a few outstanding nuts & bolts before he suddenly goes gay!
      the “dominoes” are quickly beginning to fall and it will be easier for obama to show more support for Your issues.
      i say “Your” because i waive my right to marriage until such a time as transgender individuals have federal protection against job discrimination.
      guarantee women equal pay too, and then we can talk, b*tches.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 2:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bigjake75

      @sparkle obama: well that is a great leader…wait until a big majority support something, then get behind it!! Obama can be Clinton #2

      How about a leader with balls!! Anyone out there???

      Apr 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sparkle obama

      like i said, you guys are crazy.
      and ungrateful.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 2:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sparkle obama

      he’s trying to *avoid* being clinton #2, where gay issues are concerned.
      you KNOW that.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bigjake75

      @sparkle obama: Oh I know that? the way to avoid it is to be principled and not be poll tested on every issue. And ungrateful?? What have I to be grateful to Obama for? Seriously? I am grateful to all those homos who came before me who came out when it was really tough to do so…those who stood up for our rights when it was so dangerous to do so…I am grateful to those who fearlessly stand for liberty, not beat around the bush.

      Notice how Obama took a ‘we are too busy’ approach to open military service? WTF is that? there is a way he could LEAD. but he chose not to, and put his WASP defense secretary Bush holdover to do the talking. CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN! LMAO

      Apr 7, 2009 at 2:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sparkle obama

      >>What have I to be grateful to Obama for? <<

      no comment.
      your type is over, out of style.
      get in line, b*tch.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @sparkle obama:

      now this exchange is interesting only because I am right at the midpoint on the spectrum between you and bigjake…carry on.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 2:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sparkle obama

      @Chitown Kev:

      i ain’t carrying on a damn thing except common sense & ageless beauty.
      mother is going swimming now.
      please don’t go thru my pocketbook, children.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 3:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elijah

      @ CHITOWN:

      Sorry but while Obama did once COsponsor [big difference] other peoples’ previous ENDA-like bills in the Illinois Senate he was too busy running for US Senate to even sign on to the bill that actually passed – despite his outright lie to the Advocate to the contrary. And he compounded that lie by taking credit for it:

      “…I was a chief cosponsor of and then passed (the human rights ordinance in Illinois).”

      He wasn’t even still IN the state senate when it passed. His replacement, Kwame Raoul, had became a cosponsor and voted for it.

      A record that includes blatant lies is not one to either stand on or for others to justify still clicking their ruby slippers together hoping he’ll remember the promises he made to us.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark In Indiana

      Gentlemen, if you elect a coward, you can’t expect much bravery.

      Go Green party!

      Apr 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      Hey, who’s clicking the ruby slippers? He deserves some credit for that ENDA bill. And when he campaigned in 1996 for the state Senate he campaigned against DOMA, which a Republican General Assembly adopted from the Federal DOMA and which a Republican governor signed.

      Trust me, I am not exactly naive about Barack Obama. Never saw him at a Pride Parade or even a Black Pride event here in Chicago. And the Donnie McClurkin mess is unforgivable.

      And that ENDA occured was after the 2000 race against Bobby Rush when he gradually began to placate the African American church community in Chicago…but I don’t want to get into all of the dynamics that came into play with that…

      he’ a panderer in much the same way that Bill and Hillary Clinton are, make no mistake about it.

      And if he does not deliver on his promises, he should be made to pay for it. The question is can our side make him pay in terms of $ (yeah, probably) and critical votes (in a couple of states, we can actually do that)?

      Apr 7, 2009 at 4:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      Keep in mind my record; I sat out the Presidential election in 1996 behind Jocelyn Elders and DOMA. I will have no problem doing the same thing in 2012. But I do need just a wee bit more time than 60 some odd days to look back on.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elijah

      My point is that every day we delay in calling him to accountability (which is one of his primary themes already forgotten) weakens any chance we have of forcing him to keep at least some of his unique promises. Too much ultimate “hope exhaustion” can leave our community unable to summon enough anger and activism to, for instance, cut off all donations to the Dems for the 2010 midterms.

      His gay appointments barely bring him even with Clinton. Clinton went on to indefensible decisions but the “Don’t Ask” part of DADT, however frequently violated, was an order he did give, as well as forbidding using admissions of being gay in denying security clearances—the inanity aspect of that exception, I grant you. In addition, he overturned the ban on federal gay employees that went all the way back to Eisenhower.

      While he’s seemingly been giving a speech a day about every other area on his To Do List we, for example, were told to be patient (just like gays were by Clinton gatekeepers) while he charmed the Pentagon into accepting DADT repeal. SLDN’s been jerking their contributors off on the idea that he would “backdoor” repeal in the 2010 military budget. But in less than a week’s time, Gates blew up both myths, revealing that not even preliminary discussions have been going on and released a detailed summary of his budget full of references to changing military culture, modernizing national security, and saving money and not one word about helping achieve all three by dumping DADT. Forget the “right” thing, an indication that we are totally off their radar was that it was politically stupid of them not to include DADT repeal as something they could trade away to get all the Porkmeisters to more easily swallow the huge cuts to military contracts in their districts.

      You see the proverbial glass half full while I see it full of empty promises. And rather than defending him by broadbrush comparisons to Clinton (or Bush or McCain or Palin or Pol Pot) Pennsylvania Avenue is lined with red flags and the White House Rose Garden has been supplanted with a poppy field.

      “Poppies! Poltical poppies will keep them sleeping.”

      Apr 7, 2009 at 5:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      See, I think your analysis is exactly right vis-a-vis Clinton, and I don’t think we should be making the same mistakes with Obama (and for us to be more demanding of Obama than Bill Clinton is NOT racism, it means we learned a lesson). And having 2 gay people head the personnel office can have more of an effect than you would think. Still, it’s a very closeted atmosphere.

      But again, he has nearly his full 4-year term remaining, though, but yes, we should not be passive.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 5:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • radg

      When will we have a president that stands up on the right side of history, when?! If it’s not Obama it won’t be anyone, for a long while… we’ll have to do this without them and they’ll be embarrassed to have been on the WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY!

      Apr 7, 2009 at 7:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lucas

      @John in CA:

      Ding ding ding. We have a winner!

      Like it our not, same sex marriage is a MAJOR divisive issue in this country – most states have outlawed it overwhelmingly. So lets say he publicly supports GLBT marriage. Good for us, but in 2012, when all those red states that voted for him and made him president, decide to vote with their prejudice, because GAY MARRIAGE FREAKS OUT THIS COUNTRY, well then Hellooooo President Palin!!!

      Obama is a smart guy, and has been more gay supportive than any president. So what, he gets thru this term, is reelected, and in the next term I bet you he will do what is right, because that is his nature. He cares about equal rights, and wants a legacy like Lincoln.

      Don’t get your feelings hurt so easily. Glass half full, remember.

      Until then, state by state will continue to pass equal marriage. Obama saying anything right now doesn’t mean bunk. It might even screw up the process as it could fire up the opponents. He’s not against us just because he has to be a politician.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 8:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aaron J.

      Oh, no! Less than three months, and he has FAILED US! *weeps*

      Apr 7, 2009 at 8:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elijah

      @ Lucas

      What are you smoking? Pass it around so the rest of us can have some of your hallucinations.

      Now we’re supposed to wait until his second term? And the check’s in the mail and I won’t ____ in your _____.

      Grow up.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 8:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Landon Bryce

      I for one do not expect Obama to be a policy leader on gay issues. I do expect him to start speaking to and about sexual minorities respectfully. I am disgusted both by those who demand immediate action and by those who excuse (or refuse to see) the contempt he has repeatedly shown for us. When Obama stops acting like he believes that straight people are better than gay people, I’ll be much more patient. When gay people stop lying and claiming that he is actually on our side, we’ll be one step closer to him actually being there.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 8:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lucas


      Fine Elijah. You live in your world, if you want a republican president in office – who would do NOTHING but actively work against gay rights. If you read my post you’d see where whatever Obama says doesn’t matter. He’s not a king who can lift the ban. I’m happy where things are progressing.

      So keep up the whining, and lets chat again in 8 years and see where we are.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 9:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BrianZ

      Oh stop it people you make me giggle! ;o)

      Why is it that some people are so invested in Obama that they feel the need to actually respond to posts as if they have “special” knowledge or something? To me it just seems unhealthy to so wrap yourself up in a politician. Yessss, say it with me “He’s a politician”.

      What’s up with the other end of the spectrum of people who feel Obama can’t or won’t ever do anything right? That’s not healthy either.

      My take is what it’s always been: The man is a politician who will never do anything unless forced to. He’s not a mesiah, he’s not the anti-christ. Just a man.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 9:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lucas


      Also, I want to add that I see where you’re coming from, and don’t mean to come across as catty.

      Yes, ideally I’d love for Obama to speak out in favor of marriage rights. His voice of reason could sway the other side. It would be such a relief for a politician to speak what is right. But realistically I’m not going to hold my breath.

      I guess the question would be, would his support move the issue forward, or would it be 1 step forward, 5 steps back? Would he alienate the voters (remember 29 states outlaw gay marriage) and lose in 2012? I’m not sure, but think it might be too great a risk to take, considering who could be waiting in the wings. That’s just my feeling, and I might be wrong. But don’t think I’m delusional for what is my opinion.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 9:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      Thank you so much.

      If no major gay civil rights legislation is passed in his first term (ENDA, DADT repeal, Hate Crimes) then I won’t vote for Obama in 2012, period. It’s the exact same thing I did with Clinton in 1996.

      I don’t know about “special knowledge” but I have observed and followed Obama’s career as long as anybody on this message board. So there are some things that I do understand about Obama that few others do.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 9:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      See, he dosen’t have to speak out on marriage rights specifically as far as I am concerned, it may not be a winning issue right now. But there are other issues that he can speak out on that would prove his “fierce advocacy.” Speaking out on those issue would create the groundwork where he can speak on marriage equality.

      Oh, and he can ditch the homophobic preachers too, and remember that he is a constitutional law scholar, too.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 9:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK

      I WANT A PONY!!!!!!!!

      Apr 7, 2009 at 10:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lucas

      @Chitown Kev:

      I concur and agree wholeheartedly!

      But unless there is a 100% gay rights, electable prez candidate in 2012, I’m standing behind who we have now in office. The lesser of two evils is likely miles ahead in the race for our rights.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 10:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vanhattan

      Obama is admittedly on the wrong side of history. You get to write your own legacy and he has chosen to be a wimp and a coward. Every time he states that “marriage is for one man and one women” my view of him dims a few more degrees. I suspect the lights will be completely out long before 2012.

      I still believe in hope and change in myself, never in Obama.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 11:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • audiored

      Great essay!

      Apr 8, 2009 at 12:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue

      @BrianZ: Politicians are, with the possible exception of Sanders of Vermont, ‘connected’ to parties which are in turn ‘connected’ to corrupt business interests.

      In “The Grandfather” sense of connected.

      They’ve been looting the economy like pigs that broke into a candy store since Carters time. Just how corrupt they, and the Democrats and Republican who toil for them in the halls of Congress are can be easily summed up in just three sentences.

      Five million working people have been fired in the last few months.

      Bush and Obama have championed the giveaway of trillions to cover the losses of the looting class.

      The world economy is in stop mode.

      During the election the Obamabots were in a frenzy of mindless, clueless adoration. True believer style, they sang his praises as if he were one of the minor gods. And warned that McCain was Fascism Incarnate. Now the confetti been swept up and the sobering truth is there for all but the calculatingly blind to see. The worst of them claim to be able to read his mind, they converse with him in their dreams and he promises them stuff and they boldly foretell that he’ll do or think this or that. Hogwash. Baloney. Bullshit. There is no believable way they could have a clue about Obama’s likes, dislikes or motives except with reference to his actions.

      His actions, as opposed to his hustles, are vigorously anti-GLBT, pro-war and when he speaks to the looter class, the uberrich you can see his tail wagging a mile away. They financed him early on and gratefully he’s been handing them a trillion or so every few weeks.

      And you can bet he’ll get as much for his ‘service’ as Clinton, who by the miracle of modern corporate accounting is now a gazillionaire. Being Jefe of the biggest banana republic of them all can be awfully profitable.

      Obamabots are defined thus. “Psychological projection can be defined as unconsciously assuming that others share the same or similar thoughts, beliefs, values, or positions on any given subject. … whereby one “projects” one’s own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, feelings-basically parts of oneself-onto someone else…”

      Apr 8, 2009 at 2:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bruno


      Nothing happens with this kind of attitude. We have to create a legitimate threat to pull our support and take our friends with us, if we’re to get Obama to respond. Legitimate = don’t vote for Democrats until SSM is in their party platform. Doing anything else is just turning a blind eye to stasis.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • doro

      Boy, does the gay community hate this new president.I keep asking myself, is he really that much of a monster to deserve this kind of outrage? You’d think he just used the f word on us or something. I just don’t get where this hate is coming from, and it started way back during the primaries.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      Obama didn’t have to use it, Donnie McClurkin did it for him.

      Obama courted some of the most bigoted and homophobic elements of the African American church to wrest the African American vote from Hillary Clinton.

      The political Cynic in me understands that it was a savvy move but Obama unleashed the anti-gay bigotry in the Democratice Party.

      I don’t give Obama a pass on that.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 10:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BradK

      @Bill Perdue: Very well stated, sir.

      @Doro: You are either too young or too self-deluded to remember the heady days of the first Clinton term 16 years ago. Then, as now, we thought we were getting a seat at the proverbial table. In reality, all we got was a kick in the teeth.

      Eventually you’ll run out of teeth as well.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue

      @BradK: Thanks.

      @doro: “We Forget What It Was Really Like Under the Clintons By David Morris, AlterNet. Posted January 7, 2008.

      NAFTA failures; deregulation of banking and ENRON’s rise; “Welfare Reform” that led to more poor people. This and more is what the Clintons gave us.

      Obama will be much worse. He’s trying to win an unwinnable war and keep the looter rich content in what, at this point, is closer to a depression than not. He’s sending more troops to Afghanistan and he’s demanding that the UAW take even deeper wage/bemefits cuts.

      Here’s the math: A (Hope) x Depression x War x Bigoty = B (Rage) squared.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BrianZ

      I love all my gay brothers and sisters :) I may not always like all you bitches, but I do love you <|:o)

      There’s your happy thought for the day, straight outta Texas.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 7:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DaveO

      “As we all know, the President’s position is purely political. As an Illinois state senator, he had indicated on a questionnaire that he supported gay marriage and his backpedal to civil unions is based on strategy.”

      How do you know that it wasn’t his position on the questionnaire as an Illinois state senator which is what was purely political?

      Apr 9, 2009 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bertie

      Obama is a pussy and won’t get my vote next time.

      You got til 2012 shithead.

      You and Rick Warren can go share the NY Times Best Seller lists.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 7:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dabq

      The replies to this thread have to be the most ridiculous, out of touch with reality I have ever read online and, to think that some of you really think you are smart. Amazing at how people don’t understand how government works, and, by, all means, just don’t vote for him and just keep screeching about how much he ‘owes’ you for your alleged vote, and, its not as if the votes of the 5 or 10 angry posters here are going to make or break any election!!!

      Apr 10, 2009 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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