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Okay, Obama. Now Let's Have a Speech on Gay Rights

There has been a growing roar within the gay community about seeming inaction by a man who promised change.

Some activists fume that President Obama hasn’t followed through on his promise to repeal the offensive Defense of Marriage Act or muttered a substantive word about the legalization of same-sex marriage in six states. After last night's airing of NBC's Inside the Obama White House interview, in which Obama provided a tepid answer to a question about whether “gay and lesbian couples who wish to marry in this country have a friend in the White House,” the blogosphere is filling with cries of “shameful” and “no passion, no heart, no real connection to our cause.”

Others are enraged by Obama’s failure to end the ban on gays serving openly in the military. In his “Hypocrisy Watch” segment yesterday, MSNBC's David Shuster derided Obama, saying "Here we are, more than four months into your administration and the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy remains in place."

The man who would deliver gays and lesbians to the promised land of full equality is now viewed with suspicion and anger. The sense of betrayal is palpable. But it is a sense I strongly believe is misplaced, especially so early in a four-year term.

What may appear to be inaction on the surface masks a whirl of activity geared toward change. Consider that the administration has been working to get the hate crimes bill passed. Extending domestic partner benefits to federal employees is under consideration. By the administration’s count, there are 60 openly gay men and women working for the president, nine of whom have been confirmed by the senate. And a senior administration told me that an openly gay ambassador will be named shortly. And “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? It will take a little longer to "bring the military along," the administration official said. But, he added, Obama "has been very clear with the Pentagon that he wants [the policy] ended."

Still, Obama should be doing more to quell the rebellion. He has proclaimed June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. But to make that declaration more than a token gesture, what he needs to do is deliver an address on gay rights akin to his landmark speeches on the Middle East, national security, abortion and race. Stating clearly that gays and lesbians should and will be able to claim full title to the American Dream, and all its promise, could go a long way.

When I asked the senior administration official if Obama would commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, which ushered in the modern gay civil rights movement, he said yes. Then added, "And more than once." Such a speech must be a part of it.

By Jonathan Capehart  | June 4, 2009; 5:14 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

I agree nothing will really change until Obama signals through a powerful speach that gay rights are civil rights and deserve protection and equality under the law. I read so many comments and posts to blogs where people against same sex marriage say they are so because Obama is, they use him for cover.

Because of Obama's popularity and high approval ratings he could indeed provide cover for lawmakers and military leaders to recal DOMA and DADT.

Posted by: true_believer | June 4, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart, I have not given up hope on President Obama. However, for reasons you've pointed out, I am starting to get that horrible feeling creeping up the back of my neck that we will be forgotten. I have seen positive things happen, like Sec. of State Clinton getting equal treatment for the partners of those serving under her. That is wonderful and appreciated! But a few encouraging words from the Big Guy himself would be nice. It irks me to no end that the reprehensible Dick Cheney is now speaking more positively about gays marrying that the president. That nut shouldn't be ahead of Mr. Obama on this subject.

Posted by: jaynashvil | June 4, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I understand giving Obama time to develop his policies on gay rights. I understand that there are more pressing issues.

However, I do not forgive him for allowing two senior soldiers to be fired for being gay. He has it in his powers to suspend their proceedings. He can issue an executive order to suspend DADT pending Congressional hearings.

He also can order the Federal government to recognize marriages for tax purposes and to give full marriage benefits to gay Federal employees and their spouses.

What is more unforgiveable was his flippant mocking of gay rights activists last week. "What promises have I failed to keep?" If you have to ask.....

Posted by: AxelDC | June 4, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

"Let's Have a Speech on Gay Rights?"

Uh, no, let's not. Let's not even say we did.

Live and let live. But there is no "right" to demand social approbation for immoral lifestyles.

Posted by: zjr78xva | June 4, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Its about time someone said SOMETHING about this. I feel so left out of Obama's vision of change in America I can hardly believe this is the same guy I voted for in November. As a gay person I'm disgusted by the wall of silence on this issue by both Obama and for the most part by the press as well. And for god's sake my fellow gays, get off your trendy asses and start demanding your rights as a taxpaying citizens of the USA.

Posted by: jpsbr2002 | June 4, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh Jonathan My friend....You have to learn to grab the bottle of Visine before you start tickling the keypad.. It's obvious you're still dazzled from the 1st time you were introduced to Obama in NYC...

When are you going to remember , the man does not support same sex marriage. He made that very clear during the campaign...As long as he stands firm on "seperate but equal", none of his promises to the LGBT community will ever be a real priority...

Wake up girl...smell the coffee...He told you and millions of other gay folks exactly what was necessary to get the votes ....

Once I bought a real sharp looking sports car ... I trusted the good lookin , smooth talkin salesman ...He really knew how to close the deal....Thank God Congress passed the "Lemon Law"...

Posted by: Spartann | June 4, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

woo-hoo, zjr78xva, such big words for an idiot. did you copy and paste those from somewhere? because they're hardly an original thought and they're hardly as patriotic as you likely think. keep your christian taliban-esque ideas out of our secular government.

On another note, I agree that the time for speeches is well past. Obama needs to put his money where his mouth is. Do something! Instead of just telling me what you support. I don't care what you support.

Posted by: watsonja | June 4, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

A republican congressman in New Hampshire stated it very clearly when he said we don't choose the color of our eyes, the color of our skin, or our sexual orientation, and therefore gay and lesbian people should have the same rights as everyone else. This is not an exact quote, but I was very taken with his sensitivity ... and I hope President Obama will come through with the same intelligent response to gay and lesbian issues, including marriage.

Posted by: paris1969 | June 5, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Obama should avoid any speech about homosexuality (please, let's use the correct word...not "gay") unless he wants to commit political suicide. Homosexual rights are not civil rights. Personally, as a person of color, I'm offended by this false comparison.

Posted by: zorro1x | June 5, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay!

Posted by: tonebobb | June 5, 2009 2:19 AM | Report abuse

"Homosexual rights are not civil rights. Personally, as a person of color, I'm offended by this false comparison."

What is a "person of color" ... code-word for black, asian, hispanic, native American, non-white? If so, then silly me for being "black" and "male" and "straight" and 100% supportive of gay rights -- because I understand first-hand what it feels like to be discriminated-against because of a visual or expressed social identity. I guess my silly mind doesn't understand I'm making a "false comparison" but only understands the "golden rule" -- value, respect, and love others (all others) as I would desire they value, respect, and love me. For some silly reason, my mind cannot invent an arbitrary biological, religious, secular, status-quo, or exclusively-us reason for not valuing, respecting, and loving (affirming) all members of the LGBT community. I guess my silly mind really does belived in, practice, the golden-rule.

As for President Obama using the "golden rule" principle in his middle-east speech, how the golden-rule is fundamental to and transcends all me-ism identities, conflicts, and issues, I'm optimistic he will do similar for all LGBT Americans -- give Americans a tough-love-speech about valuing, respecting, and loving each other because of and regardless of our many social and political identities. I agree if Obama can broker the complex, centuries old, conflicts in the middle-east, then he surely can broker/lead on human rights, civil rights, issues in American -- not decades from now, not centuries from now, not in his next term, but NOW within the next four years of his 1st term.

I rarely advocate single-issue-politics. I've seen the pro-life movement do such. I find it over-simplistic and reductionist. But Gay-Rights have taken a back-seat to other "heteroseuxal-issues" for too long -- too many decades, too many centuries. So I say, if President Obama doesn't get DADT and Gay-Marriage front and center, significantly advanced, then I suggest 100% of the LGBT communities vote him out of office in 4-years ... and not vote into office anyone who doesn't OPENLY support all gay rights, 100%. Homophobes and Heterosexists aren't compromising. So why should the LGBT communities!

Posted by: GroupThink | June 5, 2009 2:19 AM | Report abuse

"By the administration’s count, there are 60 openly gay men and women working for the president, nine of whom have been confirmed by the senate."

That's a lot of people who couldn't serve in the military, marry each other and file joint tax returns, and so on and so forth... He's got a lot of second-class citizens working for him.

On the other hand, after seeing his Cairo speech today, I'd be willing to cut this president a lot of slack. I was born in Truman's presidency, and Obama is the best president we've had in my time.

Posted by: Alexis3 | June 5, 2009 3:03 AM | Report abuse

Gay rights and women's rights are on his agenda, I am sure of that, but not at the top. First, because he is not all that interested on a person level, but more importantly because he believes getting everyone on the peace and unity train must be done first. So - as usual - women and gays will have to wait.

The gay rights movement and the black rights movement are indeed very similar. That a lot of black people don't like it doesn't change this fact. Not all black people are without prejudice, as we can see. That's because they are no different from everyone else. Good, bad, democratic, conservative.

Posted by: asoders22 | June 5, 2009 4:14 AM | Report abuse

Quote: "Live and let live. But there is no "right" to demand social approbation for immoral lifestyles.

Posted by: zjr78xva"
----

Reply: You have no right to deem a lifestyle immoral that doesn't hurt a soul. It's none of your business. Furthermore, it's not a "lifestyle", it's how homosexual people ARE. And if the mere thought of two gay men or women having sex disgusts you - don't think about it!

Posted by: asoders22 | June 5, 2009 5:59 AM | Report abuse

I had such high hopes when Obama was elected President and the Democrats took control of Congress. Now I feel that lgbt issues are at best of marginal interest to the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress. I hope that there will be a march in Washington this fall. I plan to be there. If there are no changes by election time 2010, then I hope the lgbt community will sit out the election.

Posted by: GTILLEY | June 5, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Let's not.

Posted by: DaMan2 | June 5, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Same Sex Marriage is getting addressed by States. Federal Government should not step in. States that fail to recognize Gay Marriage should loose support of the Gay communicty.

Obama never supported Same Sex Marriage during the election. He should not change his commitment.

Obama has much more important items effective much larger population to focus on.

Posted by: SeedofChange | June 5, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Welcome to the group of people who have served 0bama's purpose and of whom he has no futher use.

Given the overwhelming support for California's Prop 8 among African-American voters, 0bama will not even consider addressing homosexual-specific concerns unless he reaches Lame Duck status in the twilight of his second term.

Posted by: NeverLeft | June 5, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm gay and I think we should give him time.

Posted by: Grandblvd03 | June 5, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

asoders22: You have no right to deem a lifestyle immoral that doesn't hurt a soul.
-----------------------------------

How about a lifestyle which spread AIDS throughout America almost single-handedly?

And who are you to start judging souls?

Posted by: NeverLeft | June 5, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Let's be real real here. He's not going to do anything about it until his second term. Equal Marriage is still not a carrier nationally, and the man will be up for re-election in 2012. Obama is not a dumb man, my theory is that he's waiting for the dominoes to continue to fall wrt equal marriage and the momentum will be there to then repeal the DOMA (which I am still amazed hasn't been challened and taken to tSCotUS).

I know it's tough, but all I can do is preach Patience. Sit out 2012 if you feel you must, but I can promise you that a 2nd term president of Obama is more likely to do something than a First Term President Palin or Romney.

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 5, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Gays under the bus . Thump , thump .

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | June 5, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse


most likely obama doesnt find the defensive of marriage offensive because he thinks that marriage should remain, as it has for as long as anyone can remember, between a man and a woman.

civil unions are a perfectly acceptable compromise and if the gay community cannot except that then they probably deserve nothing, just for being stupid

Posted by: dummypants | June 5, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

wait, does david shuster still have a show?

i thought they got rid of him once they realized he was bad at what he did.

Posted by: dummypants | June 5, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Obama has said that he favors civil unions which would give homosexuals the ability to have all of the legal rights that straight couples have. I agree with that. But the Gay rights movement seems to want more. They want homosexual relationships to be considered by society to be just as normal and acceptable as any other type of relaitionship. I don't agree with that. I think there's something unnatural about homosexuality, and although I don't think the government should use that as a reason to deny homosexuals legal rights, I don't agree that society in general, has any moral obligation to elevate it's view of homosexuality to just another normal, healthy lifestyle.

Posted by: sonny2 | June 5, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I am truly tired of hearing that the President has broken his promise. This is the beginning of June,in the first year of his administration. Please take a breath and realize that not everything can be done in less than six months. As I recall the economy was on "life support" in January, February, and March. And while thought improving, it is not recovered yet. Unemployment was and still is at epidemic levels and remains a significant work-in-progress. The housing and auto industries, I would like you to provide your own adjective. By the way, Iran and North Korea are continuing threats. And, in case you forgot we are still in two wars and undoing what many consider problems from the last administartion, like Guantanamo. Cheney is everywhere scaring the American people with his views. Health care?

The President said the office requires the ability to do more than one thing at a time. Political analysts decribe his approach to problem solving as pragmatic. It would really be nice if pragmatism was more apparent in the American people. Lastly, the President regularly says that "if it were easy to do, it would have been done already". I happen to believe Gay Rights will be addressed. It will be a reasoned approach that advances the country as has been evident in most of the problems already addressed.

Posted by: concerned13 | June 5, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Here's a good starting place for Obama: STOP MAKING JUVENILE JOKES ABOUT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE! As long as he opposes same-sex marriage, he is in no position to joke about the subject. Coming from an avowed opponent of full equality, the jokes are mocking and offensive.

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 5, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Civil Unions are not an acceptable compromise as long as the government recognizes Marriages as well. You're advocating a legal definition that is seperate from what heterosexuals enjoy, but is equal in the eyes of the law?

I'll give you a hint, we tried the whole "seperate but equal" thing before, and it didn't work out too well.

If people's big hang up is on the word "marraige," then the government should issue civil unions to all, and leave the churches to decide who they will or will not "marry."

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 5, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman
No. I refuse to accept any more self-serving demands from straight Democrats to wait. We waited through eight years of the Clintons and got nothing but "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act. We've done our waiting. It's over. There is NEVER a convenient time for straight Democrats to address any gay issue. The only thing that is ever convenient for straight Democrats to do is to pump the gay community for campaign donations during election season and then break every money-grubbing promise they made once elected.

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 5, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Why is it that anyone who professes anything other than unequivocal support for gay marriage is unquestioningly a bigot? This is unthinking identity politics at its worst.

There are good arguments against recognizing gay unions as "marriages". One can't arbitrarily pick and choose the aspects of an institution that apply in order to co-opt its label. Hypothetically: I am a loving parent, so I want the government to consider me a "mom". I don't think my gender is relevant to the term; to me, what "mom" REALLY means is not "female parent", but "loving parent". Just one problem: I'm wrong. The term "mom", regardless of the respected and desirable social identity it has built up around it, means--and always will mean--female parent. Plus, we already have a gender-neutral term for parent. It's "parent". This doesn't mean Dads are worse, or better. It just means they're different. Neither are committed gay relationships worse or better...but they ARE different, at a level fundamental to the definition of the term "marriage" (focus NOT on the rights, NOT on the social status that has built around it, but only on the term). This is why language should have different terms for them.

There are, however, no good arguments against equal domestic rights for gays. (Unfortunately, gays in the military is a far more complex issue...again for valid reasons and not just blind bigotry.) So 90% of this fight ends up being about the semantics of the term "marriage". Let's get government out of the business of "marriage", so that gay and straight couples are equally recognized under some new gender-neutral umbrella term on the state licenses, federal tax rolls, and employer benefit forms. We have wasted far too much time already on an issue that entirely misses the point.

As for the President...one thing he should do without delay is to stop "considering" domestic partnership recognition for federal employees and just implement it via executive order. Now THAT would be progress.

Posted by: Muddyone | June 5, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Ahhh, here we go again. The guy has only been president for four months and his own team is already bringing him down for not kissing their feet fast enough and long enough and hard enough. Every special interest group is calling him a hypocrite and imposter. Why would anyone want to be a leader in the liberal movement? They're impossible to please, hungry as the graveyard I say.

Posted by: forgetthis | June 5, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I absolutely agree, Jonathan. A speech would be great, particulary to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall. But he MUST end the explusion of gay men and women from the military NOW. It's an outrage. We supported him with other Americans last year to bring change. Continuing discriminatory policies from the past IS NOT CHANGE.

Posted by: mmclaughlin1 | June 5, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@Muddyone
There are no secular, non-bigoted arguments for relegating gay people to second-class legal status. Your insistence that gay relationships are different from straight relationships is itself bigoted. The insistence upon stamping gay relationships with a separate label is to brand them as inferior.

Let's call Barack Obama the "Leader" instead of the "President" because Presidents have always been white. It doesn't mean Leaders are worse than Presidents. It just means they're different.

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 5, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

@uh_huhh
My "insistence" that a gay couple is different from straight couple is not bigoted--it is simple observation. (That's why we call one of them "gay" and one of them "straight". If they're not different, then why do we have different terms for them?) In one case the couple is composed of one individual from each gender; in the other it is composed of two individuals from the same gender. These are two different structures.

Further, if it weren't different, we would have no issue here. The very goal is acceptance for something different and relatively new (at least from a societal acceptance perspective).

But I didn't say that the love was any different, and I certainly didn't say that one was inherently better than the other. And NOWHERE in my post did I argue for any form of second-class legal status.

Read and think BEFORE you write, uh_huhh. (This should include understanding the definition of the term "bigoted", by the way. A bigot is, by definition, intolerant. Recognition and embrace of differences does not a bigot make, even to those who would deny the same differences.)

Finally, your poor analogy referring to the President as a "Leader" does not apply. "President" is not DEFINED as white. The term "marriage"--by definition--describes a relationship between a man and a woman. But if you were to properly apply your (already inapplicable) analogy, then my argument would then lead to calling the leader of the US by a new term--one not defined by a criterion that should no longer apply. And whatever term was chosen would apply to all going forward, whether black or white.

You need to stop your knee-jerk name-calling. It only hurts your cause, especially to those who are sympathetic. Insisting on 100% ideological purity is what brought the Republican party down. Do you really want to make the same mistake so quickly?

Posted by: Muddyone | June 5, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Well - the simple answer is its not a campaign year. look for a speech around the 2010 and 2012 elections. I'm sure this will be all the rage. Same with promises to the progressive side of the Dem party...all campaign material for next year and beyond.

Think about it. what are they going to do? vote republican? I don't think so, so why waste the issues when he can use him to his & his party's advantage over and over and over. Also see "immigration".

Posted by: ballgame | June 5, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart,

You failed to mention President Obama's biggest slight to the gay community, his complete silence before and on election day about Prop. 8. It what has been trumpeted by the left as a 'landslide' victory and in a state that had no chance of going red, President Obama never came out fully against Prob. 8. Maybe if the Democrats had some direction from their leader, and knew that he was against it they would have opposed this hateful law.

A message for the leaders of the homosexual community, don't tie your star to one political party and not hold them accountable for their actions. The Democratic Party as a whole, Democratic party of California, and President Obama fell asleep at the wheel in the biggest state in the union. Go out and find moderate republicans and support them in the midterms. Get allies on both sides of the aisle and you will see your agenda taken seriously. Send a message to President Obama and the Democrats that you can't be ignored any longer.

Posted by: Steveo11 | June 5, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"By the administration’s count, there are 60 openly gay men and women working for the president, nine of whom have been confirmed by the senate."

I'm not sure the exact number of positions that are confirmed by the Senate. But 60 openly gay men and women aren't exactly a huge number. Something like 1500 people work in the WH and OEOB, maybe even more. That doesn't really count subcabinet positions that would probably be defined as "administration".

Also should we be having head counts about this and wearing these people around as some badge of honor. These men and women, open or closeted, gay or straight work for the WH at making this country a better place. They are important people with important jobs that can affect millions. They shouldn't be a bone to throw to appease the gay community.

Posted by: Steveo11 | June 5, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

fr zorro1x:

>...Homosexual rights are not civil rights.<

GAY rights are most certainly civil rights. We are fighting for the RIGHT to have our LEGAL MARRIAGES recognized as such by all 50 states, and there are only 44 more to go!

Oh, and btw, the word IS gay.

Posted by: Alex511 | June 5, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: zjr78xva

"Let's Have a Speech on Gay Rights?"

Uh, no, let's not. Let's not even say we did.

Live and let live. But there is no "right" to demand social approbation for immoral lifestyles.
-------------------

zjr78xva and other moral "barometers," do everyone a favor and keep your moral judgments on the lives of other consenting adults to yourself.

Posted by: CrestwoodKat | June 5, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Sexual activity of any kind is unnecessary for the survival of an individual. The procreative dynamic of heterosexual activity sets it apart from all other human intimacies. The best setting for the raising of human young is a legally committed marriage between one man and one woman. What is the rationale for arguing that the desire for or participation in homosexual activity sets a group apart as a viable minority deserving of the civil rights given to those with genuine immutable traits? The fact that my individual happiness would be deeply impaired if I were denied musical activities does not entitle me to any sort of special considerations. Domestic partnerships exist for those who wish to declare their economic interdependence. The cloak of true marriage cannot casually ignore the strong probably of procreativity.

Posted by: abbott24 | June 5, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Jonathan for a very sensible analysis of the President's approach to LGBT rights. We have to look back to the Clinton era when many gays and lesbians moaned when he was forced to cave in on gays-in-the-military in 1993 and he signed DOMA into law in 1996, but when all was said and done gay and lesbian rights took a quantum leap forward from 1993 to 2001 when Bill Clinton was President. As for same-sex marriage, it is a state issue and there really isn't any need for the President to weigh in on it. As for don't ask don't tell, repealing it really will take time and congress is the one who has to lift the policy, since they codified it into law in 1993. The President can move things forward in small doses like supporting hate crime laws and anti-discrimination statutes. I know this isn't what people want to hear, but we must give it time!!!!

Posted by: sstent | June 5, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

@Muddyone

My analogy to Barack Obama rests on the simply observation that he is different from every previous president. (That's why we call him "black" and them "white.)

"Marriage" is a signifier. It has no inherent, fixed definition. To insist that it can only mean opposite-sex relationships, you must either (1) identify a RELEVANT, DEFINITIONAL difference between gay and straight relationships, (2) impose a sectarian definition, (3) or demand that "marriage" be limited to straight relationships for no reason other than that it has traditionally been used that way.

If you claim (1) that there is some RELEVANT difference between gay and straight relationship, I say you're an antigay bigot. There is no relevant difference.

If you (2) insist on your sectarian definition of marriage, I say you're a religious bigot.

If you (3) forbid the use of the word because of past usage, I say you have no rationale at all. (The word "President" has never previously been used to describe a woman, a black man, or a Jew, so this empty tradition argument says we should give any of them the same powers and duties if they're elected but call them "National Leader.")

Lastly, you completely miss the point of the Obama analogy. Calling gay relationships "civil unions" is like trumping up some functional neologism to describe a black president, e.g. "National Leader," for no reason other than to preserve the longstanding, widely understood word for white people. To insist upon a neologism because he is black--when blackness has NO RELEVANT DIFFERENCE from whiteness--merely to preserve tradition does nothing but brand him as inferior.

Your analogy that "marriage" is like "mom" and "civil union" is like "dad" is absurd. "Mom" and "dad" are socially equivalent terms, both of long duration, wide understanding, and parallel origin. "Civil union," like "National Leader," is a trumped up neologism, designed to do nothing but preserve a historical and bigoted hierarchy. Insisting that gay couple be saddled with an inferior, contrived neologism serves no purpose other than branding them as inferior. None.

And just as there is no non-bigoted reason for demanding that all future presidents be called something different because now one has been black, there is no non-bigoted reason for demanding that all future marriages be called something different because now some may be gay.

The substantive, decisive question, which you're running away from, is whether gay relationships are different IN ANY RELEVANT WAY from straight relationships. I say they are not, and that puts at an end any need to search for new, fake terms.

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 5, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

You've been had. Are you cheering and chanting now ??? Your Messiah- the one we have waited for - yes we can....he is the ONE - too funny !!! . Now he isnt lifting his little pinkie to do anything for gays. Perhaps you'll open youir eeys next time you vote. all the signs were there but you ignored them. This Kenyan born fraud needs to be exposed and thrown out of the White House.

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | June 5, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

As one of the gays affected by this debate, I would be OK with a compromise at this point which provided for a federal civil unions law that gives gay couples ALL the rights and benefits conferred by marriage at the federal and state level. However, it is disingenuous to suggest that civils unions are a realistic alternative to gay marriage. Several states have specifically included a ban on such civil unions in their “protect marriage” amendments, which gives the lie to the claim that conservative groups are merely opposed to expanding the meaning of the term “marriage”; they are really opposed to any act that would benefit gay couples. Until you can show that the suggestions for civil unions are more than a red herring to distract people from what’s really going on, I will continue to push for legalizing gay marriage throughout the country.

As for Obama, while I recognize that not everything can be accomplished in the first few months of a presidency, it would be nice to see more leadership from him for a constituency that worked very hard for his election.

Posted by: cyberwa | June 5, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Muddyone,

"I deserve certain rights that you do not, because you are different from me."

That, my straight friend, is bigotry. And always will be.

Posted by: gettingdizzy1 | June 5, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@sstent

While we're giving the president time, do we laugh at his juvenile jokes mocking gay marriage in Iowa? Is that leadership? Do we ignore the fact that the administration is doing NOTHING to start the ball rolling on repealing DADT?

And the quantum leaps in gay rights during the 1990s came IN SPITE OF Bill Clinton, not BECAUSE OF him. We had even greater quantum leaps during George W. Bush's tenure. Clinton gets no more credit than Bush. What we got from Clinton was DADT and DOMA. And you can use softening language like "forced" all you want. Bill Clinton is the one who signed DOMA and then promptly touted his support for it on Christian radio. Yeah, his arm was really twisted--not! In 1996, why did he sabotage the ENDA vote in the Senate? Why didn't he insist on combining ENDA with DOMA?

Spare us the partisan spin.

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 5, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

uh_huhh

Just one quantifiable difference between "gay" and straight relationships - procreation. You can do what you want all you want but no matter how you slice it - it does not, for some odd biological reason, result in human life. Face it, if straights do not have sex, the planet would drop to zero population in no time - an absurdity, of course. The point is, you seem to overlook the obvious to your own convenience.

Posted by: gamiller1 | June 5, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I think it makes sense for the White House to let the DADT firings continue. To intervene case by case would "enable" Democrats in Congress who could say, well, the law isn't being enforced, it's been relaxed on a "de facto" basis, no need to worry about actually repealing it.

Instead, legislators need to face up to what has happened and is still happening under this disastrous law, its harm and injustice to a minority of Americans, its harm to our national security, and to the fact that guess what, they command majorities in the House and Senate. For historical reasons under the Clinton administration this policy was codified into law instead of being left to the discretion of the commander in chief. Now the lawmakers have to fix it.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | June 5, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@abbott24

"The cloak of true marriage cannot casually ignore the strong probably of procreativity."

Well, as you concede, bigot, not all straight couples have the capacity to procreate. So the day you defame the marriages of all infertile straight couples as shams is the day I take seriously anything you have to say.

And, bigot, sexual orientation is just as genuinely immutable as race and sex. Religion and nationality, which also defined protected minorities, are not immutable.

As for the lack of need for sexual intimacy, go ask celibate priests how well that works out.

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 5, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@gamiller1

Gay couples are not different from infertile straight couples with respect to procreation. Are their marriages shams? The point is, you seem to overlook the obvious to your own convenience.

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 5, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Same Sex Marriage is getting addressed by States. Federal Government should not step in.
Posted by: SeedofChange

This argument is absolutely false. This is and should be a Federal issue, and for the following reasons: First, it is a civil rights issue, and that alone means it pertains to people in every state in teh Republic. Second, if only some states will recognize these marriages, then the right of citizens to relocate and live throughout about our country is being impeded. That can only be dealt with through Federal laws requiring equal treatment.

I am heterosexual, but when I hear the arguments agsint gay and lesbain marriage I can find no logical reason to not recognize the right of any couple to marry and reap the benefits equally without consideration of their sexual orientation. I certainly see no "threat" to heterosexual marriage by this happening, and of course no threat to the 'institution' of marriage either (how could gay or lesbians possibly do more damage to this 'institution' than heterosexuals have already wrought with their divorce rate in excess of 50%, or record of spousal and child abuse?). I do have an alternative solution for those opposed to gay/lesbian marriage though... lets remove all of the benefits that now accrue to heterosexual marriage, such as tax benefits. Then there would be nothing to fight about!

Posted by: harmonie555 | June 5, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

zorrolx I notice you call your self a person of color, a name you are choosing for yourself. What gives you the right to then go on and say use the correct term homosexual not Gay. Oh yes the icky factor keep the word sex in-front of people so they will have negative thoughts about how it's all about sex. Well you do not have the right to choose the name by which I call myself. BTW the term gay as used to refer to Gay people started in Paris in the 1840's the term homosexual originated in Germany in the 1890's

Posted by: unreligious | June 5, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

As an attorney, I fail to see how equal rights for gays is in any way different than the struggle for equal rights for racial minorities. For example: In Virginia in the 1960s (and in many other states), it was illegal for a white person to marry a non-white person. A white man by the name of Loving (which I think is especially appropriate) married an African-American woman in D.C. (where such marriages were legal). Both being Virginia residents, they returned to Virginia to live as man and wife. However, the local police were informed of the couple and they were arrested. They were ultimately convicted of violation of the state's ban on interracial marriage and were sentenced to one year in prison. Their sentence was suspended on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia for 25 years. The Supreme Court heard this case in 1967 and held that the right to marry was so important that it is "fundamental to our very existence and survival." The court held that Virginia's law was in violation of the right to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution because it was solely based on the race of the people.

Now, today, we can't even imagine that a state would have such a discriminatory law on its books. But compare the illegal Virginia statute on interracial marriage, with the many states that are passing laws restricting marriage to only men and women. Mr. Loving couldn't change his race, nor could his wife. They wanted to be married and to have their state recognize that marriage. Today, many gay and lesbian people (who also cannot change who they are) want the same from their states and the federal govt. The law is clear. Denying marriage to some based solely on their gender, while allowing others to marry, is a violation of the equal protection clause of our great Constitution. This is what the Supreme Court will decide when this issue reaches them in the next year or two. What a landmark day that will be.

Posted by: sdposter | June 5, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

SeedofChange,

That is absolutely not the right way to do it. All constitutional rights are federal law and the states cannot mess with them. It doesn't matter if you were unlucky enough to be born in a red state, you still ahve all the rights under the constitution, which does not allow separate from equal. So while states have stepped in to at least make sure gay people in their jurisdiction have their rights respected, the federal government has the absolute responsible to uphold the consititution, which requires all people to have the same rights, meaning no state has the right to deny this right legally to anyone within their jurisdiction.

Posted by: EAR0614 | June 5, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Speaking about 'gay' rights I want to state that their are - homeless people,physically and mentally disabled people,other sick people,elderly people,immigrant people,civilized people,barbaric people,rich people,poor people,eco-friendly people and many, many more. The Question is Does anyone ever gets equal or similar rights?

Posted by: mrmunna | June 5, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

When I read the heterosexist arguments that "marriage" is uniquely a "male and female only" term, concept, practice while "civil unions" is an appropropriate term, concept, and practice for LGBT persons, it reminds me of my younger years of being hard-core, dogmatic, hateful homophobic.

Yes, from childhood to my teens (age 17), prior to entering the military, if any LGBT person were to make their "identity" known to me, dared to come out the closet, they risked virolent discrimination if not potential death, the risk of becoming a hate-crime victim. And most of my family, friends, community, and the broader society affirmed this vile bigoted value-system with impunity. I was, in effect, a walking-talking moral, intellectual, spiritual, political, HYPOCRITE. On one hand, I hated white racism, fought tooth and nail to oppose it, and would not tolerate any excuses for its practice. To me, all the racists who rationalize why I and all blacks were "different" (not white), why I and all blacks must live "separate but equal" lives, and be grateful for this "tolerance" made me puke, my mind and stomach convulse. To me, anything less than full 100% equality was capitulation, self-negation, to another group presuming the self-serving right to define my existence -- my mind, body, and soul.

After entering the military, and finding out almost 90% of my colleaques (enlisted and soldiers) were LGBT covert, and meeting hundreds of multicultural human beings (many themself LGBT persons), my "cognitive abilities" were compelled to evolve, to renounce ALL of the arbitrary, hypocritical, socializations and programming of heterosexist me-ism superiority. Yes, SUPERIORITY was the bottom-line bigoted-logic that enabled me to rationalize, justify, my murderous-hatred of anything and everything gay. My entire existence (way of life), my entire being (perceptions of reality), were dependent on my "heterosexuality" and "masculinity" being defined absolute in opposition to "gayness".

Like Plato's cave allegory, my mind had to recognize I was living in an ignorant-cave, that I need to not fear the light shining into the cave, that light being the infinite diversity and complexity of all human beings, not these myopic labels and boxes, all indoctrinated and programmed from birth, that trap us into perceiving and relating to the world and each other in dogmatic/bigoted/limited ways. So at age 18, a young adult, I stopped being that which I loathed, which I hated being subjected to myself -- self-serving, self-referential, 100% arbitrary subjective BIGOTRY. So I say to my fellow homophobic heterosexuals, please leave YOUR CAVES, please EVOLVE, please JOIN THE MULTICULTURAL HUMAN RACE.

Posted by: GroupThink | June 5, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"No. I refuse to accept any more self-serving demands from straight Democrats to wait."

Good luck with that, then.

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 5, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

gettingdizzy1;
If your quote reflected what I said then I would agree with you. But it doesn't. NOWHERE did I say that I deserve certain rights that you do not.

Having your relationship granted a certain label is NOT a right, no matter how much you may like the sound of the label (no matter how much an anglo person may wish to be called hispanic, they don't get to do so. Why? Because the definition DOESN"T APPLY TO THEM.) If there are rights attached to that label which you deserve (and I believe there are) then sever those rights from the existing label, move on and create a more appropriate NEW label (for everyone to whom it should apply), and attach the rights accordingly.

Sorry--if you believe that's bigotry, then I wish you luck in your continuing education.

Posted by: Muddyone | June 5, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

How about this? Tens of thousands of people were ejected from the U.S. after the Revolutionary War. The Congress seized their land, burned their homes, took their livestock, and turned a blind eye while people like Charles Lynch wandered the country and murdered anyone who disagreed with him. Why - because they were deemed "enemies of the state" because they didn't want to start a war with Britain. So if we're going to pander to every group out there - I'd like compensation for the dozen or so relatives of mine that were murdered, as well as the property seized from those that survived.

Posted by: mwcob | June 5, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

@uh_huhh
Wow. Where do I start? Okay...

If "marriage" is a signifier, then why is it the term that matters, rather than the significance? To argue that it has no inherent, fixed definition is pointless, because one could make the same argument about any word. But before one takes advantage of that flexibility, they should consider at what point the word loses its significance, not just to those who want the change but to those who oppose it. So I don't insist that it CAN only mean opposite-sex relationships. I simply argue that it HAS only meant that (BOTH de facto, as in your Obama analogy that I supposedly missed, and by definition, as found in almost any dictionary [and yes, I understand that there have been recent changes administratively reflecting state laws, but they are irrelevant to this point, which is whether those state laws should even have used the term]).

So we can then skip your paragraphs addressing the numbered points, since they are based upon the faulty assumption outlined above. The question then becomes how to strike the balance between the benefits of changing the definition versus keeping it the same and using a new term in the government's eyes.

You need to question why you so badly want this to be called "marriage". The argument is for equal rights. Absolutely: grant them. But then the argument is against separate-but-equal in the eyes of the government. Okay--use the same term for both. But what is the argument for specifically using the term "marriage"? WHY does it have to be the same term currently used? That is not logically supported by any of the reasonable arguments in support of gay rights.

The answer is simple: because it offends you that a term for a loving relationship could exclude gays. That's fine, and understandable. But it equally offends many other people that a term specific to a heterosexual loving relationship would be generalized to include loving gay relationships.

So you're both offended. Stalemate. Time to get back to the real issue, which is: how to we ensure that gay couples gain equal rights under the law? The answer: the government recognizes a new, broader term without weakening an existing one to achieve the goal. Voila, everybody wins. (And before you rant about my use of the term "weaken", I mean it simply as an acknowledgement that to broaden a definition is to reduce its specificity.)

Posted by: Muddyone | June 5, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Now, again, you need to read and digest before analyzing. I never used the term "civil unions" anywhere in my post. I don't really care what we determine the new term for committed-couple-regardless-of-gender-structure-in-the-eyes-of-the-government to be. But that term would apply to ALL unions, whther gay or straight. The only reason the government even uses the term "marriage" was because there was no reason not to. Now there is. Again, YOU miss the point of my comment on your Obama analogy: what we need to have is an all-encompassing term going forward. For anyone. It's not preserving tradition; it's recognizing outmoded tradition and moving forward accordingly as a society.

So why can't both sides (below the governmental level) have their own term that excludes the other? Your answer (I suspect): because the straight couples have a head start and you think gays will never "catch up" in acceptance. But that's an even stronger argument against co-opting the term "marriage". Doing so is a shortcut that will likely just anger people and slow acceptance--ultimately counter-productive. Why not do it the intellectually honest way? Yes, it's sad that gays have not yet achieved full social acceptance. But why is angering people the way to overcome that? Especially when the true goal of equal rights can be achieved without doing so? (Talk about non-RELEVANT.)

A side note: "mom" and "dad" are not socially equivalent terms, by the way. Mothers have all sorts of legal presumptions over fathers in the eyes of the law (and therefore the state), as well as the employer (e.g., maternity vs. paternity leave). To call the analogy absurd is to arbitrarily decide that YOU find the definitions of "mom" and "dad" acceptable, but the definition of "marriage" unacceptable. Fine, but YOU don't get to decide for everyone, especially when people feel just as passionately on the other side. "But I'M right!" doesn't count as a logical argument.

Finally, I am not running away from anything here. You illustrate my original point, by your focus on "ANY RELEVANT WAY". This is simply your term for the "picking and choosing" that I mentioned originally. You don't get to do it. To an awful lot of people, the gender IS relevant. You say it's not. Again: stalemate.

I'm sorry if you can't understand that a position such as this--which makes absolutely no argument in support of intolerance--is not bigotry. Perhaps you should acknowledge the bigotry in your own intolerance to this argument?

Posted by: Muddyone | June 5, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Change doesn't happen exclusively or only from intellectual debate or dialogue. Human beings are also experiential creatures. Our minds AND bodies must be influenced before we find ourself motivated to adapt, to change. No civil rights, human rights, movement has achieved any progress, successes, from intellectual debate/dialogue only, from legal/civil suit action, but also from horrendous, bloody, murderous, hateful, vile, contentious clashes. Change happens all on levels, not just one. So, unfortunately, there will be thousands of deaths, enormous pain, much blood-shed, many lives oppressed, marginalized, and destroyed before LGBT citizens achieve 100% equal rights (in law) and 100% equal respect, value, and love (day-to-day affirmation) from our heterosexist American culture. Many heterosexuals will change, not tolerate gays but actually affirm them, just as heterosexuals affirm each other. But many will remain dogmatic, entrenched, hateful, murderous, and still others organized in their political and legal efforts to marginalize, constrain, and suppress full expression of anyone not heterosexual. This is the war, there will be many battles, there will be many casualities on both sides, until most Americans eventually unlearn their homophobic bigotries and adopt a new inclusive value system. And, yes, just as there are still racial hate-groups (the KKK, neo-nazi, etc) that remain and flourish, there will be such persistent homophobic-remenants from the past. The LGBT communities must be willing to fight and die for 100% citizenship for I can guarantee you homophobic heterosexuals will not change unless in any significant way under any other terms. Such was the case for blacks, women, labor movements, all social change movements. Progress demands a high price, Evolution demands a high price, and that high price is the often not so nice process we call CHANGE. I can promise you, it won't happen on one level only, in the form of civilized debates/dialogus. So if one is not willing to risk injury or death to experience 100% freedom, 100% civil rights, then capitulate now, accept marginalization, invisibility (a close gay life), and pretend to be just another heterosexual, meaning "blend in" -- pass for being straight. Otherwise, fight the good fight, on all levels -- for at some point, millions of organized-LGBT citizens are going to agree, shout, and put into protest-action Obama's campaign words: "Enough Is Enough!"

Posted by: GroupThink | June 5, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

GroupThink:

Wow.

Posted by: Muddyone | June 5, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

To all people supporting Gay marriage, do you look at ALL the ramifications? Do you know what Pandora's Box means? Once you legalize Gay marriage, you give pedophiles the ability to "claim" to Gay, get married, and ADOPT. It's going to happen. Please don't open that Box.

Posted by: teganmcdonough | June 5, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

teganmcdonough:

Wow.

Posted by: Muddyone | June 5, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

just look at obama's nominee to the supreme court and one can tell gays will get nothing... i am just appalled at the californians (my home state) that are continuing to give money to obama..

Posted by: rmcgolden | June 5, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

@Muddyone

Keep running away from the critical inquiry. All that desperate blathering and still you never can answer the simple question: What is the relevant difference between gay relationships and straight relationships? (Crickets chirping.)

Is the difference procreation? Because that one doesn't work.

All you're willing to say is that some people subjectively believe that gender is relevant. Well, sorry, that proves only that they have an opinion, not that it isn't bigoted. But to get into that you'd have to deal with my numbered points, which you can't deal with so you simply declare (based on your desire to evade them) that they aren't relevant. Well, I say they are relevant? So given your silly insistence that no one gets to judge relevance absolutely, you can't possibly declare my points to be irrelevant.

Your definitional sophistry ultimately fails in its desperate attempt to avoid the decisive issue: In what relevant way are they different?

Cling to your personal definition of the word marriage. Ultimately, there's nothing there but your own prejudice. Sorry if that disrupts your self-conception.

Lastly, since there is less than zero chance that your pet solution to the "homosexual problem" will ever be adopted by a legislature--because straight people will NEVER support removing the word marriage from law books to describe their unions because it is there stamp of personal superiority--all your elaborate, naive argumentation gets you is "marriage" for straights and "civil unions" for gays. Try factoring in the reality that your solution is not politically viable.

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 5, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree Muddyone ... WOW!

Now you understand what I mean when I say "intellectual debate/dialogue" won't be the only levels and ways homophobia is challenged. There will always be your Cave-Dwellers (ad hominem per se) like "TeganMcDonough". He equates "pedophilia" with "homosexuality" just as another blogger here associated it with "HIV" -- familiar bigoted-logic arguments as to why LGBT citizens should be discriminated-against, denied 100% rights, and so forth. Some of these persons you can change with a presentation of "facts" and "logic" while others will prescribed to these fallacies lif-long.

It is these persons who can be that potential hate-crime culprit, who alone or with friends (the hate-mob) attack anyone openly gay or any heterosexual they mistake to be gay. I've witnessed it, that uglyness, that hatred, that bigot, act itself out in colleges, bars, clubs, social events, at work, in public, etc. We human beings can be civilized, thoughtful, compassionate, loving. But we can also with the flip of a mental switch also be savage, primitive, evil, hateful, murderous ... just like that pro-life nut-case who shot the abortion-provider (doctor), and at his church, a suppposed "sanctuary for non-violence". This doctor openly and actively supported women's right to choice, proving them reproductive services. And in being "visible" he became a "target" for those who disagree ... just as any LGBT person who makes themself "visible" in their personal, profession, and political life also becomes a potential hate-crime target or subject to discrimination.

This is why I say, if you're going to fight the fight, not just esoteric debate it, be prepared to be injured or killed, by those who disagree with you, and want to take to another level -- persecuting and silencing you. One must be prepared to defend-themself, or being willing to suffer injury, or be willing to be murdered if they're going to be openly gay (especially politically) in our heterosexist society. Real-life ain't Mayberry! Real-life is Stonewall ... before homophobic cops provoked it, during, and after ... Harvey Milk, Matthew Shepard, and thousands before and after ... the MLK's, whites and blacks who got beaten, lynch, during the sit-ins, the students who got shot during Kent State, the women who got burned at stakes, beaten, and stoned for suffrage movement participation, and on and on.

Human progress ain't always nice, peaceful, debate and dialogue, incremental law suits, or peaceful protest. Both sides can act savage, thought usually and primarily the status-quo side wanting to defend their exclusive bigoted privilege.

Posted by: GroupThink | June 5, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

there is about as much chance of obama giving a speech about gays as there was ronald reagan giving a speech about aids

Posted by: rmcgolden | June 5, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

@uh_huhh

Ahh, now we're getting somewhere! The real reason that you want to redefine the term "marriage" is because you think that the more intellectually sound course is less politically tenable. That's fair--but it's no longer a philosophical argument based on equal rights but more of a cynical political strategy, now isn't it?

That said, it's understandable. But it doesn't make it anything more than an inferior shortcut that you are choosing based on nothing more than your own perceptions. (And one that's likely to have unintended consequences, such as increasing oppoosition rather than acceptance.) Of course that's how people make their decisions, so not much we can do to change that, now, is there?

Now: we agree that the procreation argument is irrelevant.

As for "running away from the critical inquiry", you attack me for saying that "some people subjectively believe that gender is relevant" while making the subjective argument that you believe it is not. Not exactly a tenably superior position. Further, since definitions are nothing more than agreements on the meaning of words anyway, then opinions (on BOTH sides) are important. But in this case, since expanding the definition of marriage would offend many while doing what I propose would not make the same offense AND would deliver the stated goal--equal rights for gay relationships--there is no reasonable argument for continuing to pursue gay "marriage" (unless you consider your own political expediency point).

As for the irrelevance of your points, you based them on my supposed insistence that "marriage" can only mean opposite-sex relationships. Since I never insisted that, the points therefore remain irrelevant.

Your arguments do lead to equal rights and to avoidance of "separate-but-equal". Absolutely. But they do NOT lead to co-opting the specific term "marriage". Ergo, the only solution is, as you so nicely put it, my "pet solution".

By the way, it's quite disingenuous for you to respond to me using the term "homosexual problem" in quotes. I never did--or would--write such a phrase, except when reponding to hateful posts such as yours.

Posted by: Muddyone | June 5, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight, a Civil Union is an offense to the gay community because even though it grants the same rights and responsibilities as a marriage the gay community doesn't want it? So now instead of working their way forward towards an actual legal acknowledgement of a couple irregardless of its make-up, it seems some want an all or nothing approach. That seems a little senseless. I am sorry I have friends who had to hide their "gayness" because growing up when we did you could darn near be arrested. But, now it is perfectly acceptable for them to be out. Our country is changing and will continue to change their thoughts and attitudes towards people who are "different," but it takes time.

I think if people quit worrying about what other people are doing and focused on improving their own lives we would be a lot better off. And by the way that goes for all parties, I don't need to know if you're gay or a straight person, I just want to know you as a person pure and simple. You sexual preference should not define you.

So no I don't think the president needs to make a speech, it just doesn't work. (Look at all the speeches he has given already...)

Posted by: lpickard64 | June 5, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

This article seems to just want to stir up rancor about why Gay issues havent taken priority in what, the 5th month of Obama's presidency? Is it NOT clear enough that he has just a few other issues to deal with right now that, yes, are more important than this? Also, It seems pretty clear to me that Obama is smart enough not to go stirring the pot right now when he needs the attention or at least tacit support of those who dont support Gay rights issues.
Call me dense but I think dealing with Health Care, the 2 wars, The Economy, the failure of the Automotive sector and a start on peace in the Middle East - thats enough to deal with right now!

Posted by: dogfighter | June 5, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I am sick to death of african-americans trying to deny GLBT folk their civil rights. I'm 62 years old and it was the civil rights movement that gave me the courage to come out in 1971. To see blacks with their "got mine" attitude is infuriating. Dr. King rolls in his grave with shame.

Posted by: SteveBurns1947 | June 5, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree Stevenburns!

I'm black male. I used to be homophic and sexist and ageist (all of those ISMS) during my teens. So I understand how even the targets of discrimination can take for-granted the other forms of bigoted indoctrination and socialization. I also understood what it felt like to be discriminated-against most of my life, even still so today.

So, like yourself, it infuriates me to see other targets of discrimination, rationalize discrimination themselves: blacks hating racism but practicing internalized (reverse)racism, sexism, homophobia and ageism; white females hating sexism but practicing internalized (reverse) sexism, homophobia, and ageism; white gay males hating homophobia but practicing internalized homophobia, racism, sexist, ageism; younger adults hating ageism on the part of older adults but discriminating against older adults themself and vice versa.

So, yes, I agree most of us internalize ISMS (the bigotry we hate being subjected to) but then rationalize how other groups should be discriminated-against ... via some arbitrary self-serving status quo logic like "there's no comparison" when in actuality there are many parallel and similarities amongst all the ISMS beyond their distinctive qualities.

Posted by: GroupThink | June 5, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Uh, you can do whatever you want. It seems the only thing left is that you just want to be able to advertise it as well. You can serve in the military. You can leave things via a will to whoever you designate. So companies don't recognize same sex partners as beneficiaries. Get over it. We don't all get what we want. My insurance policy doesn't give me everything I want or need either. Nothing in life is completely fair. That's just life. Please just live your lives with a little dignity and let this national temper tantrum end!

Posted by: gloriagarza | June 5, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Real Brother here.

I disagree that President Obama should taint his historic Presidency by taking on the cause of Gays.

Gay Rights is NOT akin to African American Rights and in fact with 70% of Black women being Black man HATING lesbians out to destroy Black men(including our President) the last thing he needs to do is come out in favor of them.

Why isn't anyone asking Hillary to do it, she's most likely gay?

No, the last thing we need is for Obama's Presidency to be stained with this leave something for the next guy to handle.

TKCAL

Posted by: Realbrother86 | June 6, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

1. Real Brother here.

Are there two categories of "brother" -- "real" and "non-real" (fake)? Or are there other categories of reality? If so, can you state which categories 19,651,276 million black males (age 0 to 100) sort into?

2. I disagree that President Obama should taint his historic Presidency by taking on the cause of Gays.

What do you mean by "taint" and why?

3. Gay Rights is NOT akin to African American Rights ...

Why? I agree all ISMs are distinct. But don't they also share commonalities: e.g., "males" tend to believe they're "superior/strong" but "females" are inferior/weak ... "whites" tend to believe they're "superior" but "non-whites (especially blacks) are "inferior" ... "heterosexuals" believe they are "superior" but "LGBT persons" are "inferior/deviant" .... the commonality being one group presumes one of their "identities is superior" (the universal biological, secular, religious, historical, present-day STANDARD and all others SUBSTANDARD.

4. 70% of Black women being Black man HATING lesbians out to destroy Black men(including our President)...

Fact or fiction? 70% (15,032,872 million) out of 21,475,532 million black females (age 0 to 100) are "lesbians"? So only 6,442,660 million black females (age 0 to 100) are heterosexual, bi-sexual, and transgender -- how many of each? 21.5 million black lesbians have conspired, plotted, to "destroy" 48% (19.6 million) black males out of 42.2 million blacks -- including the President?

5. Why isn't anyone asking Hillary to do it, she's most likely gay?

Why should she be asked? How do YOU know she might be "gay" -- lesbian, bisexual, what?

6. "our President"

What do you mean "our" -- 41.2 million black Americans own him like "property" ... 21st century slave masters "sold" him to us? Or do you mean "We The People" ... all 307 million?

Whether YOU are a "brother" is suspect. But regardless of such, your opinion suggest YOU could also be "an ignorant, mis-informed, homophobic" person. But I'm a "Fake Brotha" so ignore my rebuttal:)

Posted by: GroupThink | June 6, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

With over 30 states having "Defense of Marriage" statutes and a majority of Americans, according to a lot of polls, against same sex marriage, it would be political suicide for Obama to change his stance which is the same as a majority of Americans.

No mattter how many states, there are now only six, that pass same sex marriage statutes, federal tax codes remain unchanged. Better to work for a federal "Civil Unions" act that grants full civil and legal rights to ALL committed couples regardless of gender than to risk this issue going before a Supreme Court that is certain to throw it out thereby erasing most gains. Think about it. Also, certain strident members of the LGBT community with their "in your face" tactics are turning off millions of us. Think it about it!

Posted by: NotBubba | June 6, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Obama's a politician. He told gays what they wanted to hear to get their vote.

He knows that following up on his promises, however, would be very politically unpopular in Jesuslandia.

Posted by: coloradodog | June 6, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Oh let's not!!! Please! Another subject I have had enough of. This week I have seen a mother try to explain to a 4 year old her gayness. Did you hear that? You expose a 4yr. old to that!!! She has lost her ever loving mind!!! Why? in the hell would anyone do that? So, be selfish and take this child's innocence away? Gay rights heaven help us. The world is truly getting sicker by the minute. If one decides to do that-that is their problem but, leave the children alone until they are actually old enough to understand and God help them make a correct decision for themselves.

Posted by: Scar1 | June 6, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

No! No! No! let's not even! AHHHHHHH!!

Posted by: Scar1 | June 6, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

These are state issues and it is up to each indeviual state to decide what they will and will not do with this matter the people of this nation need to understand a state has rights the feds can not step on and that is how it was set up and will remain

Posted by: heyUwakeup | June 6, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@Muddyone

Sadly, we are getting anywhere with this. Contrary to your insistent opening that "there are good arguments against recognizing gay unions as 'marriages,'" you clearly can't offer a single, substantive argument. Your sole rationale--singular, I might add--is that lots of people subjectively don't want the word "marriage" to encompass gay relationships. As I said, you simply rely on that fact, embrace it, and give it overriding weight. Yet you absolutely run from any exploration of it. So you prance about declaring that you've offered non-bigoted "arguments" (actually, argument) which in the end boils down to nothing more than coddling attitudes which in many instances are raw bigotry and pretending that your "argument" is somehow bigotry-free. You're engaged in philosophy-class sophistry. Nothing more.

And the politics are unavoidable. While you prance about expounding your pseude-non-bigoted pet idea (which is hardly original), you disdain political reality as mere expedience. And don't misunderstand, I have no philosophical objection whatsoever to your pet solution. Yes, indeed, it avoids separate but equal and would be perfectly fine with me. But, yes indeedy, the most fundamental problem with your armchair philosophizing--which includes grotesquely false moral equivalences that consistently belittle the pespective of lesbians and gay men--is that your pet resolution is realistically untenable. Armchair philosophizers have the luxury of pronouncing their ideal answers and then looking down their nose at practical implementation, as though pronouncing their ideal has resolved the issue. But you idea has been raised for years, has no following on either side of the debate, and has never found any support in any court or legislature. It's not viable. So when it is the first option that gets rejected, deary, you then have to decide whether to take your marbles and go home, like a spoiled little boy who didn't get his way, or you have to pick a second-order preference. Your choices then are (1) doing nothing and leaving the current denial of everything in place, (2) voting for a separate but equal regime, or (3) extending marriage. You see, eventually, it isn't enough to sit in your armchair and grant false equivalent status to everything everyone says by the contrivance of demanding a third way. At that point, you have to take a position. And I have little doubt that your position would be separate but equal, but for no substantive reason you've bother to share--you know, your mysterious many "good arguments."

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 6, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Plenty of gays have legally adopted their lovers. It's an option.

Posted by: KathyWi | June 6, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

coloradodog said "Obama's a politician. He told gays what they wanted to hear to get their vote."

right. he ALWAYS said he does not support gay marriage but he supports civil unions. so. . . . what exactly did he say that was different just to get their vote?

Posted by: dotheresearch | June 6, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"However, I do not forgive him for allowing two senior soldiers to be fired for being gay. He has it in his powers to suspend their proceedings. He can issue an executive order to suspend DADT pending Congressional hearings.

He also can order the Federal government to recognize marriages for tax purposes and to give full marriage benefits to gay Federal employees and their spouses.

What is more unforgiveable was his flippant mocking of gay rights activists last week. "What promises have I failed to keep?"


garbage

Posted by: dotheresearch | June 6, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Actions speak louder than words and so far, Obama has taken no action to implement ANY of his campaign promises on gay rights.

So do you really expect him to do anything else besides issue his utterly worthless "proclamation" that is nothing but words?

I don't. Obama has shown what a lying, craven coward he is, over and over.

I'm sorry I bothered to vote for him, and I will never vote for him again.

Posted by: ccatmoon | June 6, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

There are many, many valiant heroes within the international LGBT community whose stories of struggles have been ignored because why?? People in the media like Jonathan, hiding until all the handwork has been accomplished now its mainly clarification of legal statures.

I am exhausted with all these "professional homosexuals."

Point:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/13890650/Evidence

Posted by: LAGCII | June 6, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Also, that's Mr. Obama or Mr. President to you junior.

Posted by: LAGCII | June 6, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

With the country in two different wars, and fighting terrorism, also having the whole economic structure in shambles. With everything going on in the world do you really think that gay rights should be at the top of his agenda? I have nothing against the gay community but lets get serious here!!! There is plenty time to fix this issue. Getting the country in order first is more important. Stop being selfish!!!

Posted by: tonyw7000 | June 6, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Effectively, there is nothing Obama can do at this point to change the situation that wouldn't at the same time, destroy his administration.


The best way, indeed the only realistic way of changing the law is through the courts. The attorneys David Boies and Ted Olsen plan on appealing Prop 8 all the way to the supreme Court and that is where the issue should and will be decided.

Since there is no legal argument to justify denying due process to the gay and lesbian communities, it is very likely that the Supremes will have little choice but to reaffirm their right to marry.

The worst thing would be for Obama to hurt his standing with the people when there are so many important things that need addressing, especially since it's likely very that the Supremes will strike down Prop 8.

Posted by: amym2 | June 6, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

My partner and I are willing to give Obama some time to deliver on his promises to the LGBT community. That said, I think Jonathan Capehart makes a good point about the need for Obama to communicate more with the LGBT community if he wants to quell a noticeable growing rebellion.

It must be understood (by democrats) that many view the Clinton years unfavorably. Happy to take our votes and then squash us with with DOMA. Because of this history, I'm not willing to give a second chance, a second term, if all we have are words and 'promises'. I don't want to be Bill Clintoned again. Deliver in the first term, and Obama can sail into a second term with unwavering support. DOMA and DADT are the two big issues. Everything else can wait. These two issues will not wait for a second term. He's got 3.5 more years to make good. Go Obama go! Don't be a Bill.

Posted by: daharvill | June 6, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

The columnist issued some of the weakest, less informed commentaries on the campaign during its course. He proves once again he is extremely out of touch and personally uncomfortable with even the concept of Barack Obama. Why, I don't know, but why does WaPo waste the electrons on him, eh?

Posted by: axolotl | June 6, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I personally can't wait for his long overdue speech on the rights of our Norwegian dwarf population.

Posted by: spmackin | June 6, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

As a gay man, I very much Obama to want to do more - but let's be serious here. There are AT LEAST two important laws that need to be in place BEFORE Same Sex Marriages get endorsed at a Federal Level - Hate Crimes Act, Employment Non-Discrimination Act. I would hate to have marriage legal and ENDA and Hate Crimes not legal. Hate Crimes looks good to get passed this year with ENDA next year or early 2011. I agree with what many have said about Obama being a smart man - it would be lunacy to have Marriage laws legal before these two VERY important protections are enacted into law. That could cause a lot of chaos in areas, frankly similar to Civil Rights issues in the south after the Civil War all over again. Let's learn from the past and effectively manage the future.

Posted by: robbygtx | June 6, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

No equal rights, no peace.

End of story.

Posted by: JeffBarea | June 6, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

My patience with Obama is short.

Certainly, he's only been in office for a few months. But, within the last three weeks, three incredibly valuable and decorated gays who have served this country honorably have been booted from the armed services. What good is patience when we are losing some of our most dedicated and valuable servicemembers to the Neanderthal policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell"?

And, to the idiot who claims that heterosexual marriage and heterosexuals are the only ones of value because they produce children, I have a couple of points for you:

1) Gays have children and families, whose rights you, in your insipid and self-centered moral superiority, wish to deny.

2) If the ability to reproduce is the validation of marriage, then elderly people should be denied marriage rights and people who don't wish to bear children should be denied marriage rights.

Your arguments, like all the rest I've heard against Gay marriage are false and illogical. And, most important, bigoted.

You're on the wrong side of history. Get used to it.

Posted by: aakalan | June 6, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@Muddyone & uh_huhh...
Fascinating debate. Determining who won it is, as it usually works, most easily discerned by which party descended to name calling (in this case, the accusation that the other party is a bigot.)

Posted by: JoyReid | June 6, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

sonny 2 wrote: " I don't agree with that. I think there's something unnatural about homosexuality, and although I don't think the government should use that as a reason to deny homosexuals legal rights, I don't agree that society in general, has any moral obligation to elevate it's view of homosexuality to just another normal, healthy lifestyle. "

Natural? "Natural" is what exists in nature. There is no longer any question that homosexuality is "natural". It is almost assuredly genetic, and therefore a product of creation as surely as heterosexuality is.

And you display your own ignorance when you call it a "lifestyle". It is not a lifestyle, it is an innate sexual orientation. Too bad if that doesn't fit your prejudices, but perhaps that means you need to adjust your prejudices rather than distorting reality.

Normal? Being left-handed is not "normal", if you define normal by the numbers. Normalcy is whatever the majority is.

Being blond is not "normal". Being Black is not "normal". Being of Hispanic origin is not "normal" in the US (so far). So, I guess, according to you, that any people who fit these categories should not dare to ask for acceptance?

Ignorance is a terrible thing. You need to educate yourself or you will continue to embarass yourself in public, as you have here.

Posted by: aakalan | June 6, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

As for Obama giving a speech, I think it would be helpful Mr. Capehart and other members of the gay community to remember that President Obama is, as a matter of religion, opposed to gay marriage, so it would be surprising if gave a speech that said the opposite. Second, Obama is attempting to solve some of the most dire economic, national security and domestic policy challenges in a generation. Is it really a priority for him to deal with these issues 6 months into his presidency?

Going head to head with the military establishment on DADT strikes me as a counterproductive when he's trying to work out Iraq and Afghanistan. Potentially touching off a new round of culture wars and bolstering the cooky conservative movement over DOMA at a time when Republican governors who want to run for president in 2012 are already spoiling for a fight seems like political malpractice. And cornering members of Congress who are staring down the barrel of re-election, over both policies, strikes me as poor "strategery" when Obama is trying to move healthcare reform through Congress and stimulus packages through the states.

The gay community seems to be insisting that Obama put their desire for social recognition before the rest of his rather large agenda. And if uh-huhh is any representative, they plan to do so with angry name calling and tantrums, rather than reasonable dialogue.

Oh, and before anyone says that it was politically difficult for LBJ to sign civil rights legislation but he did it anyway, recall that the year after the Voting Rights Act was signed, Johnson lost the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, killing the Great Society plan. Clinton suffered equally in the midterms, in part due to the dust-up over gays in the military, even with the compromise of DADT. Obama is surely a student of history, and 2010 is almost upon us.

Posted by: JoyReid | June 6, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

@teganmacdonough: Once you legalize Gay marriage, you give pedophiles the ability to "claim" to Gay, get married, and ADOPT. It's going to happen. Please don't open that Box.

Your logic is going to make my head explode! Gay marriage means more pedophile parents? Wow, I'm dizzy just thinking about your brain.

Most pedophiles -are- heterosexual, -are- married, and -are- related to the abused child. How in the hell will gay marriage make that worse?

I've never before heard someone use a heterosexual crime to attack gays with!

Have you been drinking or smoking something? If not, then you need to get your wiring fixed.

Posted by: aakalan | June 6, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

@gloriagarza: Uh, you can do whatever you want. It seems the only thing left is that you just want to be able to advertise it as well. You can serve in the military. You can leave things via a will to whoever you designate. So companies don't recognize same sex partners as beneficiaries. Get over it. We don't all get what we want. My insurance policy doesn't give me everything I want or need either. Nothing in life is completely fair. That's just life. Please just live your lives with a little dignity and let this national temper tantrum end!

What a small-minded mean-spirited post this is. In many places in the US, I cannot make medical decisions for a dying partner and his parents can sell his half of our house out from under me, leaving me in the street. You have family health insurance through your employer. I do not.

As for the military, yes I can serve, but only in fear. If I mention my boyfriend or my partner, my butt is out on the street the next day - something our military can ill-afford right now.

These are not small things, as you suggest. We are treated differently from you. You have rights I don't have, just because of what makes your sexual organs arouse.

There is something very wrong with this. And with your silly, bigoted statement.

Posted by: aakalan | June 6, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

President Obama needs to do something positive towards recognition of gay rights (get rid of DA/DT, rescinding DOMA, make a positive statement about the movement of several states to recognizing gay marriage) or he has lost this family of supporters in the swing state of Colorado for his re-election campaign in 2012. My partner and I donated heavily to both his primary and general election campaign last year. We knocked on doors and drove people to our caucus sites and the polling places on election day.

Unless he does something, he's lost our support in 2012. The gay community is not like the Christian Right---we will not support a candidate just because they say the right thing and then don't do squat for us when they are elected.

Posted by: Coloradem1 | June 6, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

We don't need a token Gay and Lesbian day or month; we already have that with Gay Pride and all around the world too. For such a "fierce advocate" of Gay rights, Obama could have at least ordered a suspension of DADT and he hasn't. To even leave this up the military is insane as well. After all, who's Commander in Chief? DADT has been talked to death. There's nothing to discuss anymore andnot with the military or anyone. You either change the policy or let it fester for a long time so the republicans and right-wing dems can beat whatever comes down asalmost meaningless. Obama's too much a compromiser with the GOP too and that's exactly what will happen. Both he and Bill Clinton came to the White House with a lot of talk and then when it came time walk that talk, Clinton stepped all over us and now Obama is too much of a wuss to do anything about that talk.

Just this past week about 60 AIDS activists from other countries attending an AIDS conference were turned back. Did the military have a veto over that too? How are we to ever "claim full title to the American dream" when Obama believes seperate but equal in regard to marriage is suitable for us as well. His position is to leave that issue up the states when he knows marriage for us will never come about across the board if left to the states, and he's not for it personally. Some of us thought he would come around after he won and change his mind but his silence on those issues that impact us and on any change of thought about his stance about marriage is a disgrace. He won't do it.

No minority should be subject to the tyranny of the majority as has happened in California and elsewhere with these ant-Gay propositions. Obama's audacity of hope has turned into a president having the audacity of speaking out of both sides of his mouth. I'm feds up with Obama.

Come the next election if another democrat doesn't successfully challenge him, I'll write in Harvy Milk's name. Better a dead hero than someone who has shown us that promises are not something you have to keep.

Posted by: Steamboater | June 6, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

You have those who sypmathize with us who say Obama's only been in office 4 or 5 months. Wait ... Wait ... Wait. Martin Luther King recognized this talk for what it was and said, "Waiting means never", so thank you but no thank you. Are we supposed to be so patient that even DADT won't be overturned until a time politically expedient for Obama? This isn't about him; it's about us. We don't want sympathy; we want full equal rights and we want it now.

If Obama ever does give that speech Capehart talks about, he needs to tell America that we're more than "homosexuals" too because of those (such as one post I read here) who insist that we're "homosexuals" and the term Gay doesn't define us. Homophobes like that know very well what they're doing. Say "homosexual" and America is terrified. Talk about us in the sense of being Gay and we're more than that clinical defintion of the sexual only; we're full human beings. To fall back and refer to us as something used by Nazis to destroy us, even if there wasn't the term Gay then, is shameful and ignorant but mostly highly manipulative and deceptive.

Lastly, many blacks are insulted that we compare our struggle with theirs which is frankly attempting to say that they have all exclusive rights and priviledges to being victimized by hate and that somehow these hetero blacks are superior to us, and when we come in all colors! The very bible used against blacks to keep them in slavery is used against us to keep us down. Violence, murder, losing a job or not getting one because someone is perceived as Gay was common and still happens. Homophobia affects everyone too. The straight couple attacked in NY because they were perceived as Gay, straight people for Gay rights are called Q word lovers, the young man thrown off a bridge in Maine several years ago because he was Gay, the guy who had his head bashed-in while he was sleeping in a military barracks, Mathew Shephard, the two adolescents boys who recently hung themselves because they were bullied at school and called Gay and so many others. Gay rights is also a child advocacy issue because in circumstances where one partner has died and that partner has adopted children, the surviving parnter has no rights to those kids. I know, it happened to me with the kids we had for 6 years and who were put back into foster care.

Every day Obama does nothing in regard to Gay rights that really mean something he loses more and support. Our money and votes won't be taken for granted any more. His campaign was the first campaign I ever donated money to and more than once. I'll know better the next time he runs. It doesn't make any difference to me whether a republican or Obama wins the presidency then; they're both slick political hacks only interested in power and at our expense.

Posted by: Steamboater | June 6, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

This article has created a HUGE firestorm of debate on the Huffington Post as well. Congratulations on a great article. My thoughts:

Obama is doing better than a lot of people thought, but I think most people think he can do A LOT better. He is spending a lot of time smiling and giving speeches, but his stupid handlers are constantly afraid of doing anything. I just think Obama needs to BE A MAN and show that he is actually running the show, and that he isn't being managed by polls or handlers. He needs to be FEARLESS like the greatest of our Presidents: LINCOLN REAGAN FDR After all, wasn't Bush popular because he at least tried to show that he had cajones?

Gay people are not wimps. People who choose to "have another beer" or "let the courts decide" our world around us are. ALL people should defend equal rights. What is the harm, anyway?

Posted by: starrianna | June 6, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Get real, people! If Obama pulled a Dubya and repealed DADT, which is the law of the land, by fiat he'd have a mini-revolt among the uniformed military brass on his hands, plus he would be viewed with suspicion by the military as Clinton was, at a time he needs their full support to clean up the mess left to him by George. Obama's team is working on this, but as Bob Gates said, it is not a priority compared to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, etc. There are privacy issues that would have to be worked out, and the Pentagon is working on it. Besides, Congress passed DADT, and DOMA too. At the time that Stop barking at the president and write to your members of Congress. It is they, and the state governors and legislatures, you have an issue with.

At the time Truman desegregated the Army, there was no law on the books that had to be overturned. It was Army POLICY to segregate its units. As commander in chief, Truman could order that policy reverse. That's simply not the case with DADT. The only thing Obama could do would be to issue a stop loss order, which wouldn't just impact gays, it would impact EVERY troop desperate to get home to their families. Is your pique over this issue really worth that?

Gay households, usually consisting of two white men, are the highest income households in the country. Yes, there are instances of violence, but not the kind of institutionalized violence faced historically by blacks. There are no separate schools, separate water fountains, or any of the signifiers of total societal exclusion. A little perspective, please. What we're talking about is the desire to feel sanctioned by society, by virtue of being able to call your relationships "marriages." Okay, I think most people sympathize, and I know of no one who wants to deny hospital visitation and the like. But all of the stomping and whining about not supporting Obama in 2012 is, well, off key. What you're saying is you'd rather see Romney or Palin as president? And that would get you ... what? Revenge?

Gays are not Obama's only constituency, people.

Posted by: JoyReid | June 7, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Joy,

While I appreciate your observation you are setting up a false choice. No candidate for office is automatically entitled to my vote. Obama, like every other candidate has to earn it and so far, he has failed. I have an obligation to my family first. I have not said I'd prefer a Romney or a Palin or a Huckabee to an Obama....and that may not be the choice. (Who knows, by 2012 Charlie Crist may be out of the closet and better on gay issues...perhaps he would earn my vote). If the choice is a Rom/lin/bee type candidate v. Obama and Rom/lin/bee still has their anti-gay issues and Obama has sat on his hands for his entire term, I likely would vote third party or not at all for president.

Bottom line is this: I have had two days to cast my vote for Obama and both times I came through for him; he has 1460 days in his first term to cast his vote for me and my family...so far he has let roughly 136 of those slip away without doing so.

As to your other point..contacting our member of congress. You are spot on. I've contacted my congress-critter (Ed Perlmutter) and told him I fully expect him to take a leadership role on fighting for my family. I told him no excuses. Democrats have the House, the Senate, and the Executive. I expect to see some action or there will be hell to pay in 2010. He and Senator Bennett (who I've also contacted) have to earn my vote as well. Governor Ritter has signed domestic partner benefits for state employees here in Colorado...he will likely get my vote when he comes up for re-election next year.

By the way, if no one wants to deny hospital visitation to my partner, why did St. Anthony's Central Hospital in Denver not allow me to put my partner down as "Next of Kin" when I was treated in their emergency room? Nope couldn't list him even though he was sitting in the ER waiting room with me....I had to list a cousin who lives 1500 miles away. Had I experienced a bad reaction to their treatment and was unable to communicate my wishes, they would have called her to get treatment permission and not spoken with my partner of 15 years who was a few feet away. This, by the way, happened 2 months ago. You know not of what you speak....

Screw patience! Life is too short and I'm already too old!

Posted by: Coloradem1 | June 7, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Joy.... I agree that the debate between Muddyone and uh_huhh has been interesting. I disagree with your verdict, for dealing with sophistry and refusal to address questions is most frustrating. And calling bigotry, no matter how masked, for what it is does not rise to name calling. While uh_huhh's last post is somewhat patronizing, this can be somewhat forgiven by the repeated refusal of Muddyone to answer the repeated question of uh_huhh requesting statement of the relevant difference. In my estimation, that is indeed the crucial question, and Muddyone's failure to address it indicates there is not a valid answer. And THAT supports that uh_huhh has identified the fundamental weakness in what I too feel is a very sophisticated and, indeed, sophistical argument of Muddyone. And since there is no response to the request for a relevant difference given, the entire argument appears to arise from bigotry.

Posted by: Hephaestion | June 7, 2009 4:23 AM | Report abuse

To Joy Reid:
I'm not looking for revenge. I want action and when someone promises us so much and delivers so little, then it doesn't matter to me whther it's Palin or Obama in the White House. These are our lives we're concerned with. You haven't a clue as to what so many of us go through. My lover and I were together for 24 years and we those kids he adopted for 6 years and then he died and DCS put the kids back into foster care; I lost everyone. Walk in my shoes and the shoes of others who come up against homophobia and you might not be so patient for the change that was promised.

If there are those in the army who can't handle Gays as open then get rid of those who can't handle it. I remember when Colin Powell was one of the ones leading the charge against Gays in the military when Clinton was president and when asked what he would do if that occured he said, "I'll quit!". Clinton should have fired him on the spot for insubordination but Clinton was slick and too concerned with retaining black support so we wound up with DADT and to top it off, The Defense of Marriage Act.

Excuses excuses. The clock keeps ticking and all we hear is Obama is working on it. One day it's Obama can't do anything about us having equal rights because of Pakistan and Afghanistan etc. Tommoroow it will be something else. Maybe attending weddings of his heterosexual staff, weddings that aren't afforded us. You can call it whatever you want e.g., revenge, impatience; I don't give a hoot.

For you to also trivialize the Gay experience by saying that whatever blacks went through are not the same as what we went through and are going through is inane. You just don't realize that when a black person walks out of the room, for those who are against Gay rights, they're as much as the N word as we are the Q word and we're all in the same box. A black president doesn't immune them from that either. You don't think racist organizations target Gays, and Jews for that matter? The KKk or any of these out-of-control militia groups etc don't? Slavery comes in different forms. It's simply a matter of others trying to control you and that's exactly what homophobes have done and are trying to do. I will NOT vote for Obama again.

Posted by: Steamboater | June 7, 2009 6:17 AM | Report abuse

Joy Reid: "Stop barking at the president and write to your members of Congress. It is they, and the state governors and legislatures, you have an issue with."

So the buck doesn't stop in the Oval Office for you after all huh? Obama does not get a free pass just because we voted for him. Sure, write to your representatives but Obama needs to know that his refusal to speak out as publicly as he did about Gay rights during his campaign for the presidency (but speaking out only in cities where there was a large Gay community--read votes) is intolerable and inexexcusable.

As to that Stop Loss order and it impacting hetero troops desperate to get to their families, I only wish you cared as much for the rights of those in military who are Gay and their families. Obama could simply suspend DADT until it's overturned.

As to those troops, if you think Obama is ending this war in Iraq that's not about to happen, not when he brings home combat troops and leaves behind almost 50,000 troops called other than combat troops who will still be fighting for their lives every day. Throw in his upping the ante in Afghanistan in another reckless war we cant win and you've got a witches brew that will bubble into an endless loss of all those soldiers you appear to care so much about. FISA, Obama's weakness in assaulting assault weapons--another promise broken--Gay Rights, refusal to accept prosecution of those who tortured and therefore defecated on our Constitution while two people in the miltary who did torture languish in prison as higher-ups who ordered torture get off scott-free, giving tax payer's money in the billions to an auto company destined to file for bankruptcy, giving a republican the head role in the National Council For the Arts and who has say over what monies are given to who etc; some change huh? We're supposed to forgive and forget and put it all behind us like Obama sanctions for those who ordered torture and why? Because the country country can't handle it? It's the same lame excuse used to deny Gays equal rights. Any excuse to keep his word will do for this president. This conuntry and our military have been though worse than this torture issue too. We had several presidential assasinations, Nixon, two world wars and 9/11. We're still here.

Posted by: Steamboater | June 7, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

GroupThink sez: "Homophobes and Heterosexists aren't compromising. So why should the LGBT communities!"

Answer: Because the LGBT communities comprise <10% of the general population. Silly homosexist and heterophobe.

Posted by: unclesmedley1 | June 7, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

To Mr. Obama: Please take your finger out of the air. The winds are now blowing against you, and a "twister" is coming our way. You are the elected leader of this great country. START LEADING!

Posted by: M-Stuff | June 7, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Here's a simple question. I have identical twin sons, one is straight and one is gay. You could tell when they were just toddlers that one twin was gay. The boys turned 28 this week. The straight twin is married has a beautiful baby girl. Why shouldn't my gay son have all the same rights as his identical brother?

Posted by: Bobo21 | June 7, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Obama will never go for same-sex marriage! He knows it will be political suicide with his voters which about 50 Million will not agree. He does not see the marriage issue for LGBT mattering at all since most of them as voters will not vote GOP. He is going to stick with African Americans and 90% are AGAINST same-sex marrige!
Face it, he has bambozeled the gay communty!!

Posted by: MNcountryGirl | June 7, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@uh_huhh, JoyReid, & Hephaestion
Briefly, a response to each of you:

uh_huhh: if your response to not getting every single inch of your way is to shriek charges of "Bigot! BIGOT!!" at even those who not only argue forcefully in support of equal relationship rights and recognition for gays, but who also state that "there are...no good arguments against equal domestic rights for gays" and that the president should immediately implement domestic partnership recognition for federal employees, is it any wonder that you are having so much trouble finding allies?

JoyReid: thank you for your fair-minded hearing. I've enjoyed the debate as well, but getting reflexively called names grows tiresome.

Hephaestion: seemingly fair points. But I've not failed to address uh_huhh's questions--I've simply disagreed with the stipulated options. uh_huhh insisted that my only options were to be a bigot, be a bigot or...be an idiot. Hardly surprising that I won't pick one now, is it?

Given that you insist that the only important question is RELEVANT difference, I'll do you the courtesy of repeating--yes, repeating--my position, which I thought had been made clear in my very first hypothetical: RELEVANCE IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER. It is by definition subjective, and just because you insist gender is irrelevant DOES NOT MAKE IT SO. My answer--and that of many others--is that gender composition IS the relevant difference. We can quibble over whether it's the balance provided by one member of each gender, whether it's the fact that a "marriage" is composed of a "husband" AND a "wife", or whether it's something else entirely. But the WHY doesn't really matter, here. The important point is that we all agree that gender composition represents a specific difference, and while you and uh_huhh do not believe that acknowledged difference to be relevant TO THE TERM "MARRIAGE", many, MANY others do.

Now please note, I am NOT saying the difference is relevant to the gay couple's inherent claim on any of the rights granted by the government. I am simply saying that it is relevant to the applicability of the term "marriage"--and ONLY to such applicability. So if that's bigotry, the those who changed "stewardess" to "flight attendant", "fireman and policeman" to "firefighter and police officer" and "Congressman" to "Member of Congress" must share in my particularly vile strain of it.

Posted by: Muddyone | June 7, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan pleae, as a black woman with children this is not my first priority. First comes the economy and then education. Don't you ever compare the gay rights to the civil rights or what blacks had to go through. Have they been hung, beaten,whipped,etc. Hell no. Give your own damn speech on gay rights. Also your memory isn't to good prez said from the beginning he didn't believe in gay marriage. If I hear one more gay person compare their experience with what the heck my grandparents and parents went thru I will throw up. Maybe you should see family pictures of what happened to some of my family members. I never heard you say that Bush needed to give a speech on gay rights. Most blacks don't believe in gay marriage. Remember it is a state issue not federal. Enough of the bull with gay marriage. The economy is more important to must of us.

Posted by: vze39p8e | June 7, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

There have been a lot of posts on here suggesting that gay people should be satisfied with "civil unions" rather than marriage.

What's interesting to me is that most states have neither, and the federal government recognizes neither. At all.

So if it's such a "no brainer" that gay people should be satisfied with "civil unions," how about those of you on here who take that position DOING something about it? How about President Obama DOING something about it?

I could die tomorrow, and my partner of many years would not be recognized by either my state or my country as having any relationship to me.

While I would hope that, in time, marriage equality would become the rule rather than the exception, in the meantime, please, fix it: let us sign a legally-binding civil union contract, recognized by my state, by the rest of the states that we might pass through or move to, and by the federal government that is there to ensure us equal protection under the law.

Thanks.

Posted by: ricklinguist | June 8, 2009 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Must we? I am so sick and tired of hearing about gays. It leaves a picture in my mind that is very disturbing.

Why don't ask a Republican to do a speech about gays, like Dick Cheney? His daughter is a lesbian.

Why should gays have more rights than anyone else? It's like you want an award for taking it in the azz.

What about women who have to take it in the azz? Shouldn't they be allowed special rights too?

It's just all disgusting to constantly put what should be your private sex life in the media all the time, and even have us voting on your sex lives. Yuck!

The only difference between gays and straights is we straights don't constantly publicize our sex lives, and we don't blame our sex lives for every unfair thing that happens to us, nor do we ask everybody in the State to vote on our sex lives. We keep what's supposed to be private, private, and I wish you folks would too.

We really don't want to hear about your sex lives anymore than you should be forced to hear about ours.

Geez!

That has completed my speech on gay rights.


Posted by: lindalovejones | June 8, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama has a very tough road to hoe. He needs more hours than are in a day to appease everyone who hopes to benefit from him being in office. I read an article recently that derided him for not attending Black Pride. Seriously? We want the man who by many admissions has the power to usher in new rights for gays to alienate a huge chunk of the population by attending a small event here in our Nation's Capital?

I support my fellow gays and lesbians in the quest for civil rights, but I must wonder why we put so much hope in one man, even if he is the President. The fight is still ours and ours alone to continue. Attacking the President because in 120 days he has not been able to change what has been status quo in this country for centuries seems a trifle short-sighted and mostly unrealistic.

Let's not forget that he has made historic speeches in the Middle East, taken on a crippled economy affecting the lives of much more than 10% of the country. All in all, he has been a busy guy, and we all know how well the American public is at taking change. Imagine if he had tried to cram gay marriage down our throats as well; I posture a failure.

Further, while he is President, and while the Democratic Party may control Congress we cannot forget that Obama cannot force people to vote one way or another. There is no guarantee that Congress as it stands would pass a repeal of the DOMA. Many Democrats still have very conservative constituencies back home to please. California is a blue state that voted in Prop 8, remember?

So to all my fellow gays whose comments bring to mind the mindset that any gay rights legislation is coming a day late or a buck short, let's give our new President a little credit and then a lot more time. And while we wait, let's remember that we have our own duties and responsibilities, to ourselves and to our neighbors. The responsibility to not perpetuate the stereotypes that fuel bigotry and hatred, to not counter anger and misunderstanding with more anger of our own, the duty to be the kind of people we would want to live next to-welcome and polite and considerate towards those of all cultures and faiths, even those who do not accept us. Rome was not built in a day, and Obama is not the Great Oz. Dorothy and her friends may have some work ahead of them still if they want to find a way home and remember that the Wizard did not kill the Wicked Witch, Dorothy had to do that herself.

Posted by: josh2082 | June 8, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

lindalovejones wrote, "...Why should gays have more rights than anyone else? It's like you want an award for taking it in the azz...The only difference between gays and straights is we straights don't constantly publicize our sex lives..."

With respect, you're misstating a number of points.

As a gay person, I don't want "more rights" than anyone else. I want to protect my primary relationship, the one that was sanctified in a temple by a rabbi before God and friends and family. You get to protect yours legally. I want to protect mine to precisely the same degree as you already can, no more no less.

It also has nothing to do with my private intimate activities. Based on your post, I have to tell you that you really don't know anything about me. At all. You've made up a private sex life for me. It's not only completely mistaken, but, with respect, it's also completely none of your business.

And finally, heterosexuals discuss their relationships all the time. Heterosexuals wear rings to declare that they are married. They frequently put photos of their spouses on their desks at work. They talk about what they did over the weekend with their spouses.

That's what gay people do as well.

Not sure why you see this as any different from what you do. It really isn't, except that you don't appear not to mind it when heterosexuals discuss their lives --you don't even realize it, apparently, but want gay people to pretend they are single when they are not.

Sorry. We each get to live our lives fully, and no one should have to play such games. And the law makes a special promise to Americans to protect everyone, not just the people you approve of.

Peace,
Linguist

Posted by: ricklinguist | June 8, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

LindaLoveJones,

YOU reduce being "gay" or "straight" down to "who does or doesn't perform anal sex" and "who does or doesn't communicate their sexual orientation in public"? And then you claim straights may perform anal-sex but they only do it in private, and we never communicate to others our sexual orientation in public, only private.

So, according to YOU, when 307 million Americans (minus babies) see, meet, and interact in all spheres of our society (private and public), we don't know what the other's sexual orientation is or may be, especially straights -- we all ask, don't presume it or project it. You claim we're all neutral until we decide to become intimate? Your opinion, and those like it, is why I a straight person suggest to LGBT communities: Don't tolerate this crap not 1 more second, not 1 more minute, not 1 more hour, not 1 more day, not 1 more week, not 1 more month, not 1 more year, because in the minds of homophobic heterosexuals, our society should NEVER affirm/treat you as equal citizens.

It is an irrefutable historical fact that emancipating, affirming, and empowering 100% of our nation's DIVERSITY (be it race, gender, class, age, sexual orientation, and all else) is the catalyst of change that makes our nation progress and evolve, open-ended. One doesn't have to be a student of history or politics to know CHANGE IS INEVITABLE. What we change into, become, and how slow or fast that process takes place, is at the heart of human struggle and conflict, amongst the forces of regression, stagnation, incrementalism, progress, and evolution. Regression and stagnation always battle progress and evolution, where more often than not thus far, "fundamental incrementalism" has prevailed to broaden and deepen our beliefs and practices.

However, too often, the persistence of racism, sexism, classism, ageism, mysticism, tribalism, and parochialism in newer (organized and sophisticated) forms prevails. This increases the risk that our nation will implode (self-destruct). Moreover, as we become a more geopolitical species (increasingly interdependent technology and resource wise), such risk increases our species' negative capacity for extinction.

Historically, the American Civil War was a potential implosion. Present-day, Martial Law would be evidence of potential extinction. In each case, status-quo ISMS provoke these forms of armageddon (lose-lose conflict).

Posted by: GroupThink | June 8, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps President Obama can give a speech about the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding No Ask, No Tell, and explain how his, Vice-President Biden's and Ms. Clinton's views are in agreement with the those of Miss California and the majority of other residents in the Golden State.

Posted by: AlongTheWatchTowers | June 8, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

The WatchTower,

President Obama, Vice President Clinton, and VP Biden don't share the "same view" as Miss California. The former are political opportunist and pragmatist. So they pandered to previaling homophobia. In contrast, Miss California claims she "beliefs" in male/female marriage only. And she is being proactive in defending that belief, opposes us broadening our "marriage" definition and practices (legal rights) to gays. These views are quite distinct -- though I'd agree Obama, Biden, and Clinton have 100% more clout/power to change the "status" of gays than Miss California. THE U.S. Supreme Court refused to "hear" the case, though others are pending. This is not a decision about gay-marriage, but a "deferment of the issue" to Obama and Congress, and until other cases reach the high court.

In other words, the tyranny of the homophobic majority still prevails, as do their justifications/rationales for such. But make no mistake, the latter will change, via the courts, via self-enlightenment, via peaceful protest, via increased public exposure of hate-crimes, and all the other ways our society discriminates against gays. I don't wear chains today nor suffer any of the savage forms of bigotry blacks were subjected to and told to tolerate not more than 40 years ago. Why? Because a minority of blacks (and their non-black allies) never conceded to this absurd notion that any majority can absolutely and permanently justify its oppression and bigotry. Remember, only 1 year ago, few Americans out of 307 million could not imagine, conceptualize, our nation have a bi-racial (visually black) elite male President or even a white elite female running for President! "What Was" rarely persist to become "What Is" and "What Is" rarely persist to become "What Can Be"! CHANGE IS INEVITABLE! It is the ONE CONSTANT none of us can refute or keep from happening. So the fundamental issues, as it relates to gays, are:

1. What will that CHANGE be?
2. How soon will this CHANGE happen?

To think otherwise is to suggest the absurd, in spite of the status quo:

1. Most LGBT citizens will permanent tolerate and capitulate to constant hate-crimes and discrimination against them.

2. Most heterosexuals will remain unchangeably homophobic, discriminatory, hate-crime culprits towards LGBT citizens, always, forever, unless our species becomes extinct.

I challenge any heterosexual (especially homophobic) posting here to present irrefutable facts and logic, other than merely regurgitating the obvious precarious status quo, that predict LGBT citizens won't EVER obtain 100% equal rights comparable to what most heterosexuals take for granted!

Posted by: GroupThink | June 8, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

"Obama should be doing more to quell the rebellion. He has proclaimed June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month."

Shove more changes down the county's throat asap plz. First trickle down economics (from the treasury downwards) and now trickle down social engineering. Go Obamatrons!

Posted by: NoWeCant | June 8, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

There is only one conclusion, the President wanted to swing some votes his way in the primary and so made a promise he had no intention of keeping.

African American Evangelicals are the ones keeping Obama from acting on this issue, they are wholeheartedly against legalizing gay marriage, and Obama owes them for his huge showing amongst African Americans in the Primary.

One never knows but it is likely that the most credible threat Obama faces in getting re-elected in 2012 may be in the Primary. He is counting on African American Evangelicals to continue his hold on the Democratic party and so cannot push them to the side.

Well so much for Obama being some kind of civil rights leader.

Posted by: DCDave11 | June 8, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I understand the whole, "no more waiting" attitude. Every oppressed group has every right to feel that way.

But, as many posters have noted, sometimes ... you just have to wait.

President Clinton is widely considered to have made a bad move when he dived into gays in the military in his first months of office.

President Obama, if nothing else, is a shrewd politician. As, again, other posters have noted, with all that he has to deal with now - economy, N. Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq - it would be political capital poorly spent for him to plunge headlong into this issue now.

And (again, as others note here), do any of the impatient really think that a) the guy should have done it all in four months and/or b) that we'll be better off regarding gay rights if everybody starts moping, sits out 2012, and we get Romney or Palin or Newt or whomever?

Politics is the art of compromise.

Obama will come through; give him time.

It's just astounding how we on the left are so willing to eat our own the second they don't do exactly what we want, when we want it. Gay people deserve their full compliment of rights - now, even. But it's not politically feasible right this second.

Ultimately, I'd like to see Obama embrace the following: Forget "marriage." Civil unions, endorsed by goverment, for purposes of (essentially) enforcing contracts and rights, whether the couple is gay or straight, are the answer. "Marriage" is something that should be left to religious institutions (or whatever), for those who wish their unions to be so endorsed.

And, I gotta say, the poster who ranted about gay people marrying for the sole purpose of adopting kids they can sexually abuse is one of the most remarkably foolish and poorly thought-out notions I've ever seen.

Posted by: claybonnyman | June 8, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"Politics is the art of compromise."

I agree ClaybonnMan. I'd even qualify and say, "Leadership" is the art of balancing fundamentally competing stakeholder self-interests.

Having qualified such, I as YOU (or any heterosexual here), being straight myself, what "compromises" have WE straights made towards "fundamental incrementalism" in affirming/treating LGBT citizens as 100% equals -- emphasis on "affirming/empowering" versus "tolerating" ... a word I find insulting, condescending, and paternalistic.

Why? Because I cannot imagine a non-black or white person or group coming up to me present-day and saying: "GroupThink, why you trippin? Why are you so upset? Why are you so impatient? We TOLERATE YOU!" Feel me?

So, again, can anyone list the compromises (changes) that "most heterosexuals" (as individuals, groups, institutions, laws) and beliefs) have made, in all spheres of our society ... since tolerance, patience, and comprise are the status quo politics of the day? Note, it goes without saying, if the societal roles were reversed, I doubt most heterosexuals would be advocating the same incrementalism approach or watered down societal goals for themself, self-interest wise:)

So, please, educate my "impatient intolerant heterosexual mind" by sharing this exhaustive list of "heterosexual compromises" ... month by month, or year by year, or decade by decade, or century by century, in reverse chronological order. And note I'm not speaking on behalf of the LGBT communities, for I'm not a member of their community. I'm a member of the "straight community" that keeps telling me 24-7/365 to hate gays at worst, at best to tolerate them:

Compromise - Change 1:
Compromise - Change 2:
Compromise - Change 3:
Compromise - Change 4:

I'm listening ... as President Obama might say, since he has earned a reputation of listening, respecting, valuing all sides to a fudamental and complex dispute.

Posted by: GroupThink | June 8, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Good grief people! Obama's not five months into his administration and already has had to contend with a collapsing banking system and auto industry, high unemployment and foreclosures, Guantanamo, Iraq, Iran, N Korea, a cuba sideshow, a SCOTUS pick and oh yeah, pirates!

States seem to be on a roll right now though! So why not let that play out rather than assume Obama has stabbed gays in the back.

Posted by: cardonut | June 8, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

BO will not give such a speech before 11/7/2012. I am not sure he do it after that date either.

Posted by: arosscpa | June 9, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Why would B.O. risk his good approval rating to champion special rights for a few percentage points of the population??

Foolish! Remember the trouble Bill Clinton got into over homosexuals?? The political roof caved in on him in 1994.

America is not yet a homosexual paradise. Not even in California. Let's keep it that way.

Posted by: battleground51 | June 9, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

One good thing about outlaw immigration from the South is that most Hispanics are culturally conservative. They are repulsed by homosexual behavior and will not vote it in.

California is proof of that. Heavy Hispanic voting tipped the scales.

I would think homosexuals and their sypathizers would be 100% anti-immigrant because of this.

Posted by: battleground51 | June 9, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

As much as gay rights activists would love to see Obama take action on their behalf, I think they need to take a small dose of a drug called reality.

Mr. Obama has a wide range of issues on his plate to deal with right now that are all requiring his attention: economic recession, stifling national debt, large-scale military involvement in two fronts, repairing diplomacy with countless nations across 6 continents, the quagmire that is our healthcare beauracracy, environmental policy... the list is far from exhaustive.

Mr. Obama has been one of the most active presidents we've ever had since he set foot in the Oval Office. He has attempted to address an astonishing number of issues both foreign and domestic in an exceedingly short time, but to do so without incompletely informed and rushed to action. It's a Herculean task.

I would argue that I would rather have my President working on securing peace in the Middle East, mending ties with Islamic nations, Europe, and our own traditional allies here in the Western hemisphere. I would rather have him working to make substantive change to protect the environment the way no president has since TR first created our National Parks. I would rather have him focusing hard on jump starting our economy so that I can find a job and can get credit for student loans when I go back to school next year.

A simple speech isn't going to convince the Bible Belt conservatives to accept homosexuality. Nor could a single speech (even the famous 'I have a dream' speech) instantly change the civil rights movement and convince Southern states to repeal Jim Crow. Social change is characteristically slow and painfully so for many who feel disenfranchised and silenced.

But, the states are already taking action on their own, as they should. Be patient. Public opinion is increasingly on your side, and policy changes quickly when that's the case.

Posted by: Joat | June 9, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

One good thing about outlaw immigration from the South is that most Hispanics are culturally conservative. They are repulsed by homosexual behavior and will not vote it in."

What's good about that? It's good to be prejudiced in a country that declares that all of us are born equal?


And that was before the ratwingers started raging about the Latino Sotomayor, the first possible LATINA (that's what they wish to be called now) for the USSC. They threw away their Latino vote.

Republicans even lost the support of Cuban-Americans with their racism. "Latino" is not even a race, yet they slimed HER as a racist! The party of racism decides that we should continue having almost all white men on courts.

What's the percent of white men who've been on the USSC? More than 90% and the very very white and male Republicans still want it all!''

Note: white men are now a minority in the USSC. Maybe the righties should try for Affirmative action!

And there was another problem: the way the proposition was posed, it was one of those that you can't figure out what you are voting for if you vote "yes" and what you are voting for if you say "no". So the count is invalid.


"I would think homosexuals and their sypathizers would be 100% anti-immigrant because of this."

Posted by: battleground51 | June 9, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

If you don't know that there are Latino who are gay or lesbian, you need to think again. And unlike other groups, I know that LGBT's will not vote against Democrats because some Latinos don't like gays.

Unlike the Republicans who are kicking all their moderates under the bus for such things as what Sotomayor SAID.

Posted by: ISOTEP | July 6, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

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