Sunday, October 11, 2009

Some Gays Still Believe The Hope And Change Stuff-- Buy Into Obama's Hot Air On Don't Ask Don't Tell


No one threw rotten eggs

As he can always be counted on to do, Obama-who-is-better-than-Bush gave a real purty speech for 3,000 gays, lesbians and friends at the annual Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington last night. The repetition of his old campaign promise to end Don't Ask Don't Tell-- plus an acknowledgment that it's taking longer than people expected-- was enough for many in the audience, excited to even be engaged by the president after 8 years of malevolent homophobia from the White House. Obama said, basically, "Trust me." And many of them-- noting that at least he wasn't Louie Gohmert or Jason Caffetz-- were happy to fall right in line. But not all.
Cleve Jones, a pioneer activist and creator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, said Obama delivered a brilliant speech, but added "it lacked the answer to our most pressing question, which is when."

"He repeated his promises that he's made to us before, but he did not indicate when he would accomplish these goals and we've been waiting for a while now," said Jones, an organizer of a major gay-rights rally expected to draw thousands of gay and lesbian activists to the National Mall on Sunday.

Obama also called on Congress to repeal the Defense Of Marriage Act, which limits how state, local and federal bodies can recognize partnerships and determine benefits. He also called for a law to extend benefits to domestic partners.

He expressed strong support for the Human Rights Campaign agenda-- ending discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people-- but stopped short of laying out a detailed plan for how to get there.

...Obama also addressed those who do not favor advancing gay rights. A recent Pew Research Center poll asked about homosexual behavior, and about half said it is morally wrong. "There's still laws to change and there's still hearts to open," Obama said.

Many gays see right through that kind of bullshit and point out that blacks would still be slaves if we had waited for the same kinds of narrow-minded bigots, who are the most homophobic today, to open their hearts to blacks in the 1860s. Obama's in a tough place. If he doesn't deliver for gays by the time of the midterm elections, donations and voter enthusiasm will fall off appreciably. Having appointed a gay lawyer, David Huebner, ambassador to New Zealand won't cut it-- and passing the same anti-hate crimes bill every few months is going to wear thin sooner or later too.
Bil Browning, a blogger for Bilerico Project, a Web site aimed at a gay audience, said moments after the speech ended that the site was flooded with critical comments by people who said they had heard nothing new. “I could have watched one of his old campaign speeches and heard the same thing,” one wrote.

Even inside the room, reaction was mixed. Terry Penrod, a real estate agent from Columbus, Ohio, said some gay rights advocates were being impatient with the president, while Raj Malthotra, 29, a management consultant from Washington, said he thought the speech was a rehash of Mr. Obama’s past promises.

“For him, it’s buy more time until he needs our votes again,” Mr. Malthotra said.

...“An opportunity was missed tonight,” Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which represents gay and lesbian soldiers, said in a statement afterward.

Mr. Obama spoke for about 20 minutes inside the packed Washington Convention Center; outside, a small band of protesters on the sidewalk carried banners urging the president to live up to his promises. Among them was Mark Katzenberger, a software trainer from San Francisco, who said that despite his disillusionment with Mr. Obama, he would probably vote for him again.

Capturing the feeling of many in the gay community, Mr. Katzenberger said, “Even our friends sometimes need a kick in the butt.”

Gays and their allies will have to fight and win their own battles. At least Obama won't be fighting against them. Right now the biggest battle is in Maine, where right-wing religious fanatics and bigots are trying to overturn the state's hard-won equality rights. That campaign is the only endorsement Blue America '10 has made so far.

Bloggers who watched the speech, Joe Sudbay, Andrew Sullivan and John Aravosis seemed substantially less than impressed. Joe: "The expectations were very high. The president spoke for approximately 25 minutes. And, tonight, he did not deliver anything new or exciting. He did not assuage our concerns. I'm sure HRC is happy. This was a big night for the institution. But, I'm not sure what it did for the movement-- or HRC's actual mission of full equality."

Today's gay rights march in Washington (see photo above) couldn't be termed "pro-Obama."

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At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is remember Sodom and Gommorah. God destroyed Sodom and Gommorah --- Obama has no business trying to play God. He will surely bring the wrath of God upon America. We are talking about people's souls, God set the specifications for eternity, not Obama.

At 6:38 PM, Blogger Dakotahgeo said...

Oh pulleassse....pull your head out of the OT prophecies and start reading the New Testament. Sodom and Gommorah were not destroyed because of homosexuality (which didn't even exist then). It was destroyed because it broke the laws of hospitality which were extremely important in OT times! If you are going to follow the laws of the Old Testament, follow all of them (read them for yourselves in Leviticus!!)!! Don't be picking favored quotes out of Scripture to fit your agenda and labeling yourselves learned people when you are the most hypocritical group of monsters on earth! What trash! You would be the first ones to crucify Jesus Christ, were he to return to us today. The only difference is that you would crucify him in less than 3 days. Go take a Spiritual shower!!!
Dakotahgeo, M.Div., Pastor/Chaplain

At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

too bad there is no god


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