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Obama's steady progress on gay equality

In a few hours President and Mrs. Obama will throw open the White House doors to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans to celebrate pride month. It's a time to reflect on where the community is and how much farther it needs to go to achieve full equality. There are the marquee fights over ending the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military or the battle to secure same-sex marriage rights. The former is on its way to completion. The latter is a long-term effort that is riding a growing wave fueled by changed hearts and changing demographics.

Obama has been and continues to be criticized by many in the gay and lesbian community for not doing enough. And there is certainly more he could do. But that ignores so much that he has done so far. Today’s Post looks at what Obama has done to change how gay men and lesbians and their families are viewed by the federal government.

Among the changes: Gay partners of federal workers will now receive long-term health insurance, access to day care and other benefits. Federal Housing Authority loans can no longer consider the sexual orientation of applicants. The Census Bureau plans to report the number of people who report being in a same-sex relationship. Hospitals must allow gays to visit their ill partners. And federal child-care subsidies can be used by the children of same-sex domestic partners.

The things the president has put in place might not be earth shattering enough to capture the media’s imagination or the public’s attention, but they have a profound impact on real lives. And they bring equality that much closer.

By Jonathan Capehart  | June 22, 2010; 2:02 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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It seems to be easy for everyone to agree that we have inequality. So why would any American not see that our country was built on equality for all. Mr. President, do the right thing, eliminate inequality now.

Posted by: mark_plfd | June 22, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

From a gay man (myself): Gay relationships are not the same as marriages. I am happy I had the benefit of a conventional family, with a female mom and a male dad. I have been in an exclusive relationship with another man for 16 years. We share a home, friends, and 2 extended families--his and mine--whose members love and respect us. We don't march in parades, we don't go to gay bars (BORING!) and have a very few gay friends and many non-gay friends who couldn't care less about our sexuality. We are not ashamed of it, nor are we proud of it. It is a very small dimension of who we are as individuals.

We don't demand that anyone accept us "for who we are" as that's the only valid reason for ANYONE to accept anyone else.

No law has ever forced anyone to respect anyone else. Gays will not gain respect by changing the definition of marriage. They will gain respect, one by one, by behaving in a respectful manner to others.

People who think gays should be able to marry have not thought through the issue past the thrown bouquets and rice. It's foolish and ridiculous.

I demand the right to marry my cat and parrot! Why not?

Marriage has been defined as a union between one man and one woman in our culture.

It works. Leave it alone!

Posted by: jfrykman | June 22, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

This is ridiculous. My God, with all the issues facing our country at the present time, the president has to stop everything and applaud people because of how they have sex and with whom? It doesn't get anymore unseemly than that.

No, stop the obvious objection to what I say and think for a moment. What on earth have we become, a people who celebrate an act as old as Adam and Eve? I do not believe for a moment that gays seek equality in any sense of the term, they seek exceptionality. Gays want special treatment above and beyond the normal guy on the street. They want to 'get in your face' with what they are certain will offend many and DEMAND you bow to them publicly. Gays are so conceited that they expect extra attention be paid to them, homage almost. Every special interest group wants the world to stop and bow to their particular take on life. My thoughts are not strange to many, however, our Freedom of Speech is coming under fire because of special interest groups, which I for one will not tolerate, nor should anyone in America.

Don't get me wrong. Because I do not believe that gays or other special interest ways of life should be given special perks, does not mean that I believe that they should suffer disrespect either.

Gays deserve respect.
Military deserve respect.
Churches deserve respect, especially from gays who disrupt services and mock priests and make themselves obnoxious on Sunday mornings in SF.

However, no-one deserves the world to stop and bow to them because of how they have sex and with whom. No...

Posted by: prossers7 | June 22, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Live and let live, but government has no business using public personnel, facilities and resources to condone or excuse an immoral lifestyle, or to promote a radical ideology.

Posted by: thebump | June 23, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Time will tell........
Onward to full civil and marriage equality rights,
Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
Washington, Connecticut, USA.

Posted by: cornetmustich | June 23, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I look forward to the day when I, and my husband, can go to the legally recognized weddings of ALL our friends.

Posted by: 1toughlady | June 23, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

It's very simple: either you are equal or you are not. Amazing how hard heterosexuals work to deny equal treatment to homosexuals. Take heart! You will get used to it, eventually, just as you got used to racial and religious and gender equality. You hated those things too, once (any maybe you still do), but you discovered that they didn't have the bad results that you claimed--what a shame, eh? There are many good results, among them that you have fewer things to worry and fuss about (or is that a disadvantage?).

Posted by: ChrisVogel | June 23, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

To those of you using the Bible as a weapon against homosexuality, you are wrong. Homosexuality is not a sin. The Bible is constantly being taken out of context to support anti-gay views. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, Greek temple sex worship, prostitution, pederasty with teen boys, and rape, not homosexuality or two loving consenting adults.

Posted by: shadow_man | June 23, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

For those of you claiming homosexuality is a "lifestyle", that is a false and ignorant statement. Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don't choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. If you can, sorry, but you are not heterosexual, you are bi-sexual. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.
Gay, Straight Men's Brain Responses Differ,2933,155990,00.html

There is overwhelming scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. Sexual orientation is generally a biological trait that is determined pre-natally, although there is no one certain thing that explains all of the cases. "Nurture" may have some effect, but for the most part it is biological.

Posted by: shadow_man | June 23, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Violence against a minority group

Gays are being beaten, shot at, sent to the hospital, killed. In the Middle East, they are killing gays among other groups out of hatred. Is this what we want America to become? Do we want America to revert back to the 1960's when groups were killed and segregated against for simply no good reason? Do we want to follow the ways of the Middle East and Al Queda? Let's push forward, it's time to end bigotry, discrimination, hate, and ignorance. This is modern America, not the Dark Ages.

Posted by: shadow_man | June 23, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

This was taken from another poster that shows why we need to legalize gay marriage. If you don't feel for this person after reading it, you simply aren't human.

"I am not sure what our President thinks of this dicission but coming from a poor family and knowing what discrimination is all about I would assume he would not care if "Gays" have equal rights. The whole reason why they are asking for rights to be considered married is from the same reason why I would be for it. My own life partner commited suicide in our home with a gun to his heart. After a 28 year union I was deprived to even go his funeral. We had two plots next to each other. But because we did not have a marriage cirtificate "(Legal Document)" of our union his mother had him cremated and his ashes taken back to Missouri where we came from. That is only one example how painful it is. His suicide tramatized me so much and her disregard for my feelings only added to my heartach. That happened on March 21 of 2007 and I still cannot type this without crying for the trauma I have to endure each day. Oh did I mention I am in an electric wheelchair for life? Yes I am and it is very diffacult to find another mate when you are 58 and in a wheelchair. "

Posted by: shadow_man | June 23, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

One very simple question and a simple requested answer- "From where does 'sexual orientation' come?"

No solid, scientific study has proved it to be immutable! Thousands have changed from gay to straight! The 3 major religions of the world are against the practice! The spread of disease and abuse, and suicide is much higher with gays! The 2 or 3 percent of gays in the world's population have gained the same status of civil rights-for which blacks scraped and died to gain! All due to a "chosen sexual lifestyle!" PROVE ME WRONG!

Posted by: lyn3 | June 23, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

lyn3: The excessive use of "!" and your statements proves to obvious trolling :) You need to learn how to do it properly for it to work ^_^

Posted by: shadow_man | June 23, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

All those who use the bible and God to condemn gay people are simply trying to impose their religious beliefs on others. Little different then the maniacs of 9/11.

And while we lost 3000 people on 9/11, we have a 9/11 every year in the suicides of known gay children who cant take the social ostracism, and in 25% of the families, where christian love includes throwing their children out on the street, while whining about abortion in the next breath.

The bibles have been used since the beginning of time to justify murder for the most ridiculous of reasons, eg wearing clothes of multiple cloths, or stoning to death women who aren't virgins on their wedding day.

Quote: No solid, scientific study has proved it to be immutable! Thousands have changed from gay to straight! :unquote

Yes I've met some of these people. They are the most hate filled of the hatefilled. And Exodus, the leading change orientation group - its leader, Don Schmierer, is one of the so called christians behind the genocide of gays bill in the Uganda legislature

And one of his key lieutenants, David Busse of Exodus, after 20 years came out, got out, and married his male partner. Saying the whole thing is a scam.

And the above quoted person also said that gays have a high incidence of suicide. That is true. From being turned into a pariah of society . The writer, "lyn3" is doing the same trick of blaming the victim for their problems. She is one of those who should be held guilty of accessory before the fact for murder, for contributing to the death of so many gays, including children.

All in her corrupt version of god.

Posted by: SJames6621 | June 27, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Wow, there are many good comments here, but prossers7, it seems hard to believe you personally know anyone who is gay. Gays do not demand special attention, only equal protection and opportunity under the Constitution. Equality is a principle this nation was founded on 234 years ago...some day it may be realized.

Posted by: RichardGrochan | June 28, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

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