Well, it’s over.
The President gave his speech to the big gay A-listers at the White House (well, minus those who were blacklisted). Boy, that crowd was really into it. They clapped wildly when he said the words, “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.” Just because he said the words. Even though Bill Clinton said those words – what? – 17 years ago?
Also, your president wants you to know that unjust laws must be overturned. Some day. The crowd loved that one too. One might forget that the Obama administration defended the Defense of Marriage Act law recently. They not only defended it, they defended it in a way that demeaned and mocked same-sex marriages by invoking incest and pedophilia. But never mind.
Obama also told us that some would deny us full equality. Um, that would include him. He doesn’t support marriage equality — and his words are being used against our efforts to achieve those rights. But again, never mind.
The President tells us that he’s looking for a “practical” solution to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. (We’ve also heard the solution has to be “durable” or “sustainable.”) But, it has to be an Act of Congress. It really really really really has to be an Act of Congress and not a stop-loss order that could achieve the same thing by executive order immediately. It’s too bad that in the meantime two gay service men and women are kicked out every day. But hey, we’re a nation at war. And, for some reason it means that we should have fewer, and not more, Arabic linguists. See, we’re going to continue to ruin the lives of people who want to serve their nation, but, in the long run, that’s okay. Because we’re perpetually at war. But, someday we’ll have a “practical” or “durable” or “sustainable” solution. Although, it is funny how how “practical” and “durable” and “sustainable” weren’t talking points on DADT during the campaign. (Search for those terms in Senator Obama’s Statement on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell from November 2007.) They sure are now that Obama is dragging his feet on every major campaign promise to the gay community.
All in all, the president gave a very eloquent speech. But, you know what, we’ve heard those speeches already. He’s the president now, not some candidate. He can do more than talk. And so far, he’s chosen not to, and made up some pretty flimsy excuses to justify his action. And, while many of the so-called gay “leaders” in the East Room may be assuaged and bought off by the promise of champagne and a heartfelt “God bless you” from the man who promised much, lots more people are mad as hell and starting to think they’re being taken for a ride.
The people are way ahead of their leaders on these issues — both their gay and their elected leaders.
For some background on why we’re in this situation, read my post, Democrats and Political Homophobia, which reads, in part:
Political homophobes aren’t gay-hating in the traditional sense. In fact, publicly, most are strong supporters of LGBT equality. But, behind closed doors, many Democratic leaders, consultants, Hill staffers and the rest will vociferously argue that there is no political benefit to actually supporting LGBT rights. Political homophobia is rampant among some Democrats. In some ways, it’s worse than blatant homophobia, since we think most Democrats are on our side. And outwardly, they are.
Political homophobia dictates policy in DC more than we’d like to think.