Another reader responds to Fierce Advocate

Dear Mr. President.

Thank you for responding to my email. Please see my comments contained within the body of your email below.

Dear Friend:

Friend? I am a voter and a Citizen. You and the Democrats forget that at your political peril.

Thank you for writing. We must stand united to protect liberty and justice for all our citizens, and I appreciate your perspective on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights.

I’m sorry, Mr. President, but I don’t think you do.

My Administration has taken a number of steps to address issues affecting the LGBT community. Leading by example, I extended benefits to same-sex partners of Federal employees in the Civil and Foreign Services.

Why not all of the Federal Government? This could be solved by repeal of the Federal DOMA. It also does not affect me, I do not work for the Federal Government. This is a very small slice of the workforce that benefits from this.

I also signed a Presidential Memorandum directing hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds to give all patients the compassion and security they deserve in their time of need, including the ability to choose who can visit them and make medical decisions.

Which will expire when you are no longer in office. If the next President is a Republican, it will be immediately rescinded.

To help take on discrimination in all its forms, we are working to ensure that core Federal housing programs are open to all, and I signed landmark legislation that strengthens protections against hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

These are excellent legislative acts, and we do appreciate these things. Thank you.

We also ended the ban on entry to the United States for people living with HIV/AIDS, and we issued the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

Also excellently done. Thank you.

While we have made great strides, much work remains to achieve full equality for LGBT individuals. I stand by my commitment to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and Pentagon leaders are ensuring we can change this in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and national security.

From out here, it appears that you’ve done nothing, to repeal DADT Mr. President. You could have immediately suspended all discharges pending Congressional review. The Palm Center, and SLDN legal teams have presented exhaustive reviews on this matter to the White House. Why are men and women who wish to serve their nation in the Military still being discharged? An overwhelming percentage of the American population, including Republicans, support repeal of DADT. There is no political risk, here, Mr. President…it’s not 1993.

I have urged Congress to pass the bipartisan Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, and I support extending the over 1,100 Federal marital rights and benefits to same-sex couples.

This is simply unacceptable. Separate but equal is neither, and you of all people should know this. Repeal DOMA now. Make marriage equality a reality.

I support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, as well as legislative repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.

ENDA is also a no-risk win…it was passed by a Republican Congress under a Republican President. Why hasn’t it come before Congress again? Why have you not demaned that Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Reid bring it before their respective houses?

And, do you really support the legislative repeal of DOMA? Really? Because it seems from here that you do not. Multiple times, you have expressed your support for equivalent rights, (see the paragraph above) but continue to give the impression that you do not support full marriage equality.

Adoption rights must also be secured for LGBT families, and we need
to ensure our children are free to learn in supportive environments in

Also admirable, but again, I can’t help but think that this would all be solved in large part by repealing DOMA.

Every moment that you allow the “discussion” to continue without coming out and outright saying that LGBT Americans deserve full, unrestricted, equal rights in all things, no matter what, it gives people permission to discriminate against LGBT Americans. The recent spate of teenage suicides is but one example of what happens when well-meaning Americans continue to allow other Americans to think that somehow, LGBT Americans are something less than full, equal citizens of this nation.

We elected you to be a ‘fierce advocate’ for LGBT Americans, Mr. President, as you promised. You’ve failed us, and we feel it. We feel discouraged, we feel that you’ve simply thrown us under the bus for political expediency. The various things that you have accomplished feel like crumbs under the table; you keep dropping them hoping that we will be satisfied and will go away. We aren’t and we won’t until you do what you promised you would. Our disappointment is profound, Mr. President. It’s not too late to change our opinion, but you’ve got to get on it!

If you wish to talk to me personally, Mr. President, I invite you to contact me.

Rev. James J. Olson

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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