Is Timing Everything?

The Wrong Argument to Make Against Nixing Washington’s Domestic Partnerships


The reason the Obama administration is giving us for not repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? It’s also being used to argue why trying to repeal pro-gay policies isn’t worth it.

“There’s too much on his plate,” Obama supporters will tell you, excusing the president’s inaction on his campaign promise to repeal DADT. We’ve got the economy, wars, health care, and H1N1 to deal with.

“So-fucking-what?” has been our response. The highest office in the nation always has a lot to deal with, none of which should get in the way of civil rights.

Interesting, then, that the Seattle Times is using that same “government and voters are too busy” rationale to advocate against Referendum 71, a (destined to fail) effort from religious conservatives in Washington State to repeal domestic partnership laws.

Argues the newspaper: “[Referendum 71] is an unnecessary campaign at a lousy time. Don’t sign. Don’t put our state through another rendition of the culture wars. Washington voters have much to manage: Many residents are out of work; others worry they will lose their jobs. Thousands of people have difficulty making ends meet. No one needs a campaign to stomp on legislation that doesn’t hurt anyone. … It is never a good time to wage an unnecessary cultural war, but this is a spectacularly bad time to fire up this old flame. Citizens have more important things to worry about.”

We’re with ’em on that whole “culture wars” thing. But if we’re going to argue that Obama can never be too busy for civil rights, can we argue our opponents need to shut up for the same reason?