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Monday, June 29, 2009

Obama's Remarks at White House Stonewall Event

Posted by on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 5:45 PM

And I know that many in this room don't believe that progress has come fast enough, and I understand that. It's not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half century ago.

But I say this: We have made progress and we will make more. And I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I've made, but by the promises that my administration keeps. And by the time you receive—(applause).

Will do, Mr. President.

I've called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to help end discrimination—(applause)—to help end discrimination against same-sex couples in this country. Now, I want to add we have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate old divides. And fulfilling this duty in upholding the law in no way lessens my commitment to reversing this law. I've made that clear.

Uh... too late, Mr. President. Citing state laws against incest and child rape in the now-infamous DOMA brief pretty thoroughly exacerbated all those "old divides." But my first impression after a quick read is that Obama wants credit for all the great stuff he's asked Congress to do for gay and lesbian Americans—and he's only asked Congress to do this stuff, he's not pressing Congress to do any of it—and he gives no indication that he's willing to do what he can on his own, like suspending enforcement of DADT. I'm not sure we should be applauding the president for passing the buck, however eloquently he is while he does so.

I Gotta run. Full text of Obama's remarks today after the jump. More thoughts tomorrow.

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT LGBT PRIDE MONTH RECEPTION

East Room

4:35 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. Hello, hello, hello. (Applause.) Hey! Good to see you. (Applause.) I'm waiting for FLOTUS here. FLOTUS always politics more than POTUS.

MRS. OBAMA: No, you move too slow. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: It is great to see everybody here today and they're just — I've got a lot of friends in the room, but there are some people I want to especially acknowledge. First of all, somebody who helped ensure that we are in the White House, Steve Hildebrand. Please give Steve a big round of applause. (Applause.) Where's Steve? He's around here somewhere. (Applause.)

The new chair of the Export-Import Bank, Fred Hochberg. (Applause.) Where's Fred? There's Fred. Good to see you, Fred. Our Director of the Institute of Education Sciences at DOE, John Easton. Where's John? (Applause.) A couple of special friends — Bishop Gene Robinson. Where's Gene? (Applause.) Hey, Gene. Ambassador Michael Guest is here. (Applause.) Ambassador Jim Hormel is here. (Applause.) Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown is here. (Applause.)

All of you are here. (Laughter and applause.) Welcome to your White House. (Applause.) So —

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.) (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Somebody asked from the Lincoln Bedroom here. (Laughter.) You knew I was from Chicago too. (Laughter.)

It's good to see so many friends and familiar faces, and I deeply appreciate the support I've received from so many of you. Michelle appreciates it and I want you to know that you have our support, as well. (Applause.) And you have my thanks for the work you do every day in pursuit of equality on behalf of the millions of people in this country who work hard and care about their communities — and who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. (Applause.)

Now this struggle, I don't need to tell you, is incredibly difficult, although I think it's important to consider the extraordinary progress that we have made. There are unjust laws to overturn and unfair practices to stop. And though we've made progress, there are still fellow citizens, perhaps neighbors or even family members and loved ones, who still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; and who would deny you the rights that most Americans take for granted. And I know this is painful and I know it can be heartbreaking.

And yet all of you continue, leading by the force of the arguments you make but also by the power of the example that you set in your own lives — as parents and friends, as PTA members and leaders in the community. And that's important, and I'm glad that so many LGBT families could join us today. (Applause.) For we know that progress depends not only on changing laws but also changing hearts. And that real, transformative change never begins in Washington.

(Cell phone "quacks.")

Whose duck is back there? (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA: It's a duck.

THE PRESIDENT: There's a duck quacking in there somewhere. (Laughter.) Where do you guys get these ring tones, by the way? (Laughter.) I'm just curious. (Laughter.)

Indeed, that's the story of the movement for fairness and equality — not just for those who are gay, but for all those in our history who've been denied the rights and responsibilities of citizenship; who've been told that the full blessings and opportunities of this country were closed to them. It's the story of progress sought by those who started off with little influence or power; by men and women who brought about change through quiet, personal acts of compassion and courage and sometimes defiance wherever and whenever they could.

That's the story of a civil rights pioneer who's here today, Frank Kameny, who was fired — (applause.) Frank was fired from his job as an astronomer for the federal government simply because he was gay. And in 1965, he led a protest outside the White House, which was at the time both an act of conscience but also an act of extraordinary courage. And so we are proud of you, Frank, and we are grateful to you for your leadership. (Applause.)

It's the story of the Stonewall protests, which took place 40 years ago this week, when a group of citizens — with few options, and fewer supporters — decided they'd had enough and refused to accept a policy of wanton discrimination. And two men who were at those protests are here today. Imagine the journey that they've travelled.

It's the story of an epidemic that decimated a community — and the gay men and women who came to support one another and save one another; and who continue to fight this scourge; and who demonstrated before the world that different kinds of families can show the same compassion and support in a time of need — that we all share the capacity to love.

So this story, this struggle, continues today — for even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot — and will not — put aside issues of basic equality. (Applause.) We seek an America in which no one feels the pain of discrimination based on who you are or who you love.

And I know that many in this room don't believe that progress has come fast enough, and I understand that. It's not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half century ago.

But I say this: We have made progress and we will make more. And I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I've made, but by the promises that my administration keeps. And by the time you receive — (applause.) We've been in office six months now. I suspect that by the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration. (Applause.)

Now, while there is much more work to do, we can point to important changes we've already put in place since coming into office. I've signed a memorandum requiring all agencies to extend as many federal benefits as possible to LGBT families as current law allows. And these are benefits that will make a real difference for federal employees and Foreign Service Officers, who are so often treated as if their families don't exist. And I'd like to note that one of the key voices in helping us develop this policy is John Berry, our director of the Office of Personnel Management, who is here today. And I want to thank John Berry. (Applause.)

I've called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to help end discrimination — (applause) — to help end discrimination against same-sex couples in this country. Now, I want to add we have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate old divides. And fulfilling this duty in upholding the law in no way lessens my commitment to reversing this law. I've made that clear.

I'm also urging Congress to pass the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, which will guarantee the full range of benefits, including health care, to LGBT couples and their children. (Applause.) My administration is also working hard to pass an employee non-discrimination bill and hate crimes bill, and we're making progress on both fronts. (Applause.) Judy and Dennis Shepard, as well as their son Logan, are here today. I met with Judy in the Oval Office in May — (applause) — and I assured her and I assured all of you that we are going to pass an inclusive hate crimes bill into law, a bill named for their son Matthew. (Applause.)

In addition, my administration is committed to rescinding the discriminatory ban on entry to the United States based on HIV status. (Applause.) The Office of Management and Budget just concluded a review of a proposal to repeal this entry ban, which is a first and very big step towards ending this policy. And we all know that HIV/AIDS continues to be a public health threat in many communities, including right here in the District of Columbia. And that's why this past Saturday, on National HIV Testing Day, I was proud once again to encourage all Americans to know their status and get tested the way Michelle and I know our status and got tested. (Applause.)

And finally, I want to say a word about "don't ask, don't tell." As I said before — I'll say it again — I believe "don't ask, don't tell" doesn't contribute to our national security. (Applause.) In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security. (Applause.)

Now, my administration is already working with the Pentagon and members of the House and the Senate on how we'll go about ending this policy, which will require an act of Congress.

Someday, I'm confident, we'll look back at this transition and ask why it generated such angst, but as Commander-in-Chief, in a time of war, I do have a responsibility to see that this change is administered in a practical way and a way that takes over the long term. That's why I've asked the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop a plan for how to thoroughly implement a repeal.

I know that every day that passes without a resolution is a deep disappointment to those men and women who continue to be discharged under this policy — patriots who often possess critical language skills and years of training and who've served this country well. But what I hope is that these cases underscore the urgency of reversing this policy not just because it's the right thing to do, but because it is essential for our national security.

Now, even as we take these steps, we must recognize that real progress depends not only on the laws we change but, as I said before, on the hearts we open. For if we're honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that there are good and decent people in this country who don't yet fully embrace their gay brothers and sisters — not yet.

That's why I've spoken about these issues not just in front of you, but in front of unlikely audiences — in front of African American church members, in front of other audiences that have traditionally resisted these changes. And that's what I'll continue to do so. That's how we'll shift attitudes. That's how we'll honor the legacy of leaders like Frank and many others who have refused to accept anything less than full and equal citizenship.

Now, 40 years ago, in the heart of New York City at a place called the Stonewall Inn, a group of citizens, including a few who are here today, as I said, defied an unjust policy and awakened a nascent movement.

It was the middle of the night. The police stormed the bar, which was known for being one of the few spots where it was safe to be gay in New York. Now, raids like this were entirely ordinary. Because it was considered obscene and illegal to be gay, no establishments for gays and lesbians could get licenses to operate. The nature of these businesses, combined with the vulnerability of the gay community itself, meant places like Stonewall, and the patrons inside, were often the victims of corruption and blackmail.

Now, ordinarily, the raid would come and the customers would disperse. But on this night, something was different. There are many accounts of what happened, and much has been lost to history, but what we do know is this: People didn't leave. They stood their ground. And over the course of several nights they declared that they had seen enough injustice in their time. This was an outpouring against not just what they experienced that night, but what they had experienced their whole lives. And as with so many movements, it was also something more: It was at this defining moment that these folks who had been marginalized rose up to challenge not just how the world saw them, but also how they saw themselves.

As we've seen so many times in history, once that spirit takes hold there is little that can stand in its way. (Applause.) And the riots at Stonewall gave way to protests, and protests gave way to a movement, and the movement gave way to a transformation that continues to this day. It continues when a partner fights for her right to sit at the hospital bedside of a woman she loves. It continues when a teenager is called a name for being different and says, "So what if I am?" It continues in your work and in your activism, in your fight to freely live your lives to the fullest.

In one year after the protests, a few hundred gays and lesbians and their supporters gathered at the Stonewall Inn to lead a historic march for equality. But when they reached Central Park, the few hundred that began the march had swelled to 5,000. Something had changed, and it would never change back.

The truth is when these folks protested at Stonewall 40 years ago no one could have imagined that you — or, for that matter, I — (laughter) — would be standing here today. (Applause.) So we are all witnesses to monumental changes in this country. That should give us hope, but we cannot rest. We must continue to do our part to make progress — step by step, law by law, mind by changing mind. And I want you to know that in this task I will not only be your friend, I will continue to be an ally and a champion and a President who fights with you and for you.

Thanks very much, everybody. God bless you. (Applause.) Thank you. It's a little stuffed in here. We're going to open — we opened up that door. We're going to walk this way, and then we're going to come around and we'll see some of you over there, all right? (Laughter.) But out there. (Laughter.)

But thank you very much, all, for being here. Enjoy the White House. Thank you. (Applause.)

 

Comments (47) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
StillNon 1
You are officially insane.

Your blogger pettiness is becoming clear -- Obama wants to take all the credit!!!!!

I wish you know how much you sicken the rest of the gay community sometimes
Posted by StillNon on June 29, 2009 at 5:51 PM · Report this
2
Yes, I am the only one who was upset by this stuff, the only person who took note and complained--besides the NYT, Frank Rich, Andrew Sullivan, Pam Spaulding, John Aravosis, David Mixner, Rachel Maddow, Andy Towle, et al.
Posted by Dan Savage on June 29, 2009 at 5:55 PM · Report this
4
This is a blatant attempt on the part of Obama to get back in the "Friends of Slog" column.

Don't forgive him, Dan.

Not until he kisses both cheeks of your ass on prime-time television.

That's really what this is about, isn't it?
Posted by Ackham on June 29, 2009 at 6:00 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 5
And though we've made progress, there are still fellow citizens, perhaps neighbors or even family members and loved ones, who still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; and who would deny you the rights that most Americans take for granted. And I know this is painful and I know it can be heartbreaking.


Uh... you mean like you and your "Justice" Department, Mr. President?

Gah. The irony and hypocrisy has reached Bush II levels.
Posted by Original Andrew on June 29, 2009 at 6:04 PM · Report this
Baconcat 6
Wait, he mentioned child rape? Where?
Posted by Baconcat on June 29, 2009 at 6:16 PM · Report this
7
#5. I thought the same thing when I read that, Andrew. He either has no self-awareness whatsoever or he thinks we're completely stupid.

Or he trusts that his apologists will back him up. And StillNon is my case in point.
Posted by jade on June 29, 2009 at 6:18 PM · Report this
8
And though we've made progress, there are still fellow citizens, your President, perhaps neighbors or even family members and loved ones, who still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; and who would deny you the rights that most Americans take for granted. And I know this is painful and I know it can be heartbreaking.


Fixed.
Posted by jade on June 29, 2009 at 6:23 PM · Report this
Enigma 9
There's a great take on Gibbs press conference before the cocktail party.
Lot's of circular logic about meeting with the Pentagon and Congress, then not meeting with them, then being supportive, but not actually supportive.

http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/1178…

protestforhumanrights.com
Posted by Enigma http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/ on June 29, 2009 at 6:28 PM · Report this
StillNon 10
Jade: you ARE stupid.

I almost can't wait until your kind either

A) ruins his Presidency by driving wedges between us and everybody else, thus losing the White House and untold other localities

B) ruins his Presidency by cornering him into drastic action and freaking the fuck out of the moderates, thus losing the White House and untold other localities

Your greed will go un-pacified for the next 8 years.

Think about it. Say it out loud.

2020

The year two thousand and twenty

that's our next chance at electability after a Republican gets voted into office in 2012.

All of you greedy bastards make fun of us "apologists"

How about calling us "realists" instead?

He promised us he would do it. He still acknowledges that promise.

Don't fuck this up for the rest of the USA and the rest of the WORLD
Posted by StillNon on June 29, 2009 at 6:33 PM · Report this
StillNon 11
(obviously 2016 would be our next chance, but we know how viciously Republicans can hold power, and will, defeat us with a sitting President)
Posted by StillNon on June 29, 2009 at 6:35 PM · Report this
12
StillNon, I'm not stupid. And neither are you.

I don't want to ruin his presidency. I was--and am--proud that I voted for him. But, no, I'm not going to ease off on the pressure. I'm not going to accept second best from him. And I'm damn sure not going to take abusive missives like the DOMA brief from his office.

And he wouldn't have it any other way. Don't worry, he can take it.
Posted by jade on June 29, 2009 at 6:43 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 13
The only way this makes any sense, logically, is that the Dems are playing the same rope-a-dope game with us that Caligutard and his team played with the xtian fascist nutcases who thought they were voting for a theocracy and instead got a kleptocracy.

Well, we thought we were voting for ch-ch-ch-Change, and instead we also got a kleptocracy, but I guess that's a separate, though tangentially related, issue.

Point is, Obama will say that Congress needs to move forward on GLBT-equality, and then Harry and Nancy will say that, oh no really Obama needs to give them a legislative proposal, then Obama will say, "no, you go first, I insist." Meanwhile, any legislation that actually gets introduced gets buried, and somehow we go round and round and nothing concrete ever gets accomplished. We've seen this movie before.

The most generous explanation is that they've determined that there's just nothing in it for them politically to aim for GLBT equality, and in fact it may aggravate other groups they're trying to placate, like religious conservatives, so there's really no reason for them to do anything for us, especially when we have rich dumbasses who're gonna give 'em a million bucks no-strings-attached no matter what they do.
Posted by Original Andrew on June 29, 2009 at 6:47 PM · Report this
DOUG. 14
"...too late, Mr President."

I can't wait for Dan to don the "Kucinich/Paul 2012" campaign button.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on June 29, 2009 at 6:47 PM · Report this
15
13.

...there's really no reason for them to do anything for us, especially when we have rich dumbasses who're gonna give 'em a million bucks no-strings-attached no matter what they do.


Boom. Spot on. Factor in those who vote Republican, those (ten) who vote Green, and those who don't vote at all, and . . . really why the hell should they give a shit?

Well, they should give a shit because it's the right thing to do, but . . . lol, right?
Posted by jade on June 29, 2009 at 6:54 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 16
@ StillNon,

Try putting yourself in our shoes. To quote the freakin' New York Daily News:

40 years since the watershed event that is usually referred to as the Stonewall Rebellion... all this excitement glosses over a critical fact: Gay people have the same federal protections against discrimination in terms of the most basic civil rights that we had at the time of Stonewall.

And that is exactly: zero.

Posted by Original Andrew on June 29, 2009 at 6:54 PM · Report this
17
14.

I can't wait for Dan to don the "Kucinich/Paul 2012" campaign button.


Since when does criticizing the president = taking our ball and going home? If read in context, Dan's "too late" comment doesn't mean what you're saying it means.

And, gosh, Kucinich and Paul would never run on the same ticket anyway!
Posted by jade on June 29, 2009 at 6:58 PM · Report this
18
Wow. I'm just so surprised that all of you don't see what Obama's doing and why. He wants the impetus for change to come from the people first-thru Congress, and then he will ardently follow but he's not going to initiate. He's a populist. He's not going to do anything unless he has the backing of the majority of Americans and right now he's pretty clear that they don't have it. He's right, I think. But society is changing and that support is eventually going to come. Probably not for a good few years though.
Posted by Confluence on June 29, 2009 at 7:22 PM · Report this
19
Where, exactly, was "child rape" discussed at all in the DOMA brief?
Posted by AnonymousCoward on June 29, 2009 at 7:44 PM · Report this
kim in portland 20
This is a little off topic. Lt. Dan Choi goes to court tomorrow morning at 08:00 in California. He is taking letters of support with him, if any of you are interested, here is the link:
http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/Su…
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on June 29, 2009 at 7:50 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 21
@ 18,

Something like 75% of Americans support repealing DADT.

What's he waiting for, 90%? 99%?
Posted by Original Andrew on June 29, 2009 at 7:50 PM · Report this
Partly Cloudy 22
Nice speech. But I WANT ACTION!!!!!!
Posted by Partly Cloudy on June 29, 2009 at 8:09 PM · Report this
23
He's waiting for the votes in congress. Duh.
Posted by Kevin Erickson on June 29, 2009 at 8:09 PM · Report this
Loveschild 25
Here we have the first American President to give gay and lesbians and official reception in the White House and still we have some fringe gays hating on him, for shame. No other President has ever given homosexuals so much respect and be sure that if people like Aravosis, Sullivan and Savage get their way the next republican president wont give a rats ass about gays not liking him or her. Dancing queen, more like ungrateful queens. That's what should've been playing instead.
Posted by Loveschild http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/responding_to_haiti_earthquake/ on June 29, 2009 at 8:28 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 26
Kevin Erickson @ 23,

And why, exactly, aren't our Demoncrats in Congress delivering said votes? Share your wisdom with us.
Posted by Original Andrew on June 29, 2009 at 8:31 PM · Report this
Mark in Colorado 27
At least Fiercy Fraud still talks pretty.

That seems to be sufficient for his battered wife syndrome afflicted apologists.
Posted by Mark in Colorado on June 29, 2009 at 8:32 PM · Report this
28
@21, then what needs to be done is to bring to bare that 70% on congress, have them draft and pass the law and I bet you dollars to donuts that Obama signs it, problem solved...
Posted by BaltiHimal on June 29, 2009 at 8:32 PM · Report this
Partly Cloudy 29
@26 I agree. The President needs to lead on this. LBJ shoved civil rights and the Great Society down Congress' throat. Why can't Obama have more balls?
Posted by Partly Cloudy on June 29, 2009 at 8:33 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 30
@ 28,

See @ 13, paragraph 3.
Posted by Original Andrew on June 29, 2009 at 8:33 PM · Report this
Aussie Steve 31
@18, (somehow I know I'm going to get poleaxed for offering a view on American politics from this side of the pond, but...) err, what about leadership? Obama is in a position of enormous influence. Instead of following behind the zeitgeist, why not drag it where it needs to go? After all, isn't that what he promised to do?

(Ok, now the obligatory perspective - at least you guys are having these discussions at this level. We're still a long way off that over here...)
Posted by Aussie Steve on June 29, 2009 at 8:37 PM · Report this
Partly Cloudy 32
Wow, a TEXAN, LBJ, did more for civil rights in the United States of America than Obama. Mr. Obama, please turn out to be even more inclusive of all Americans than LBJ was.
Posted by Partly Cloudy on June 29, 2009 at 8:38 PM · Report this
Partly Cloudy 34
I love "cuasing scenes."
Posted by Partly Cloudy on June 29, 2009 at 8:47 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 35
Aussie Steve @ 31,

Hey it's good to get your perspective. One of the many things that's so infuriating about the lack of action on GLBT rights is that we're so far behind other nations, especially in allowing soldiers to serve openly, non-discrimination laws and recognition of family rights.

We're #23! just isn't very catchy.
Posted by Original Andrew on June 29, 2009 at 8:51 PM · Report this
36
@30 Well on ENDA for example, he's not waiting. Barney Frank whose ability to understand what a string cite is caused him to be deemed a traitor and an apologist, introduced it last week, which undoubtedly took hard work. Vote probably by the fall.

but status of the holdouts is here:
http://docs.google.com/View?id=dc5pbmw3_…

give 'em a call.
Posted by Kevin Erickson on June 29, 2009 at 8:51 PM · Report this
Aussie Steve 39
@35, Thanks Andrew. I didn't mean to hijack this thread with the plight of gays and lesbians over here - just making the observation that there's a level of dialogue happening at multiple levels of government in the US that's absent here. I fear gay rights is still a "3rd rail" in my country (to use an American term).

But I think it's important to point out that the only reason that dialogue is happening - the only reason Obama made those campaign promises and is being forced into awkward press conferences on GLBT issues - is because the community there is so vocal - because of the likes of Dan and Andrew Sullivan doing precisely the things that many of the posters here are criticising them for doing.
Posted by Aussie Steve on June 29, 2009 at 9:14 PM · Report this
Partly Cloudy 40
@38 Wow. you have no idea how I vote. Or how I contribute to the community. How I donate. And yet you make that comment? Fuck you. I have no obligation to discuss how little or how much I give to support my causes. I support my community. And I do not feel any responsibility to publish my giving history here.

BTW, I don't claim responsibility for supporting any of the following, but I want to give shout outs to Pride Foundation, Gay City Health Project, Lambda Legal, HRC, KUOW, KPLU and others.
Posted by Partly Cloudy on June 29, 2009 at 9:18 PM · Report this
Parker Todd 41
39: I love how criticism and debate are invisible, wrong, and simply not welcome in this discussion.

Like the course of action has been settled upon. Just like the norms that they throw at us have been settled upon.

It's all hypocritically hilarious.

Posted by Parker Todd on June 29, 2009 at 9:21 PM · Report this
43
@20: Thanks for the link. Good on ya'.
Posted by California on June 29, 2009 at 10:47 PM · Report this
Enigma 44
"And I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I've made, but by the promises that my administration keeps."

He's saying right there he wants us to keep on him. He needs to be judged by his actions, not his words, but words are all he's given us. When he keeps his promises most of us will be happy to support him again. I'd rather be lobbying my Congresspeople on health care, but he's not moved on my civil rights, so I'm gonna yell loud and long until he does.
34 hours til I'm standing in front of the White House.

protestforhumanrights.com
Posted by Enigma http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/ on June 29, 2009 at 11:04 PM · Report this
45
All of you repeating this "child rape" meme, have you actually read the brief? Completely, yourselves, with your own eyes and brains? Because, well... maybe you should?
Posted by ohemgee on June 29, 2009 at 11:18 PM · Report this
Partly Cloudy 46
@45 do feel free to use the handy "copy/paste" functionality built into your handy PC and share that with us.
Posted by Partly Cloudy on June 29, 2009 at 11:22 PM · Report this
fendel 48
Dan, it's really pretty simple. Ask me if you still don't get it. Hilarious how they play you. Next!
Posted by fendel on June 30, 2009 at 1:13 AM · Report this
52
@51

Think you're absolutely right. Thanks for bringing some perspective.
Posted by Confluence on June 30, 2009 at 6:52 AM · Report this
53
we all need to think like #51 and just calm down for a second.

Obama does have a lot on his plate. Am I happy about this? Not really. Joe Biden's wife made it to the GLSEN awards dinner and did the schmoozing for crap's sake. The second lady or whatever the VP's wife is called seems to care more, and more punctually, than the actual president. I'm definitely not thrilled.

But Obama is running two wars, an economy, and every other issue that pops up. He really could do something, namely sign something, but #51 is right. Not everyone who voted for Obama likes the LGBT community. It is a ridiculously inflammatory issue in several parts of the nation, and while the blogging/blog commenting communities may be centered in at least gay-friendly states, the people who want DADT in place, DOMA defended and gay people shipped to Canada or someplace else are out there. Not necessarily wired in 100% of the time, but they're out there, and they have mondo political sway.

Obama shouldn't make a swift move in a public fashion on this, as much as we'd like him to. He's going to do this, but not in the spotlight, and not without being sure it won't impact the party. The Dems have always been good (or at least better than the Reps) at holding together solidarity in the party. Obama knows that adultery, drugs, violence, and so on will be bad moves for him AND his party, so he's taking the same approach with this issue.

We also need to back up and think about things for a minute. I'm angry that I can't grow up and marry who I want where I want, and that I can't visit any future partner in the hospital, but there are other issues to consider here, and the LGBT community (myself included) shouldn't think only of itself.

Finally, will everyone commenting shut the hell up about little quirks in language or things that haven't been said? Seriously? It's annoying, and immature, and what 4chan is for. Calm down, sit down, and write your congresspeople a letter if it bothers you so much either way.
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Posted by MC_crackin on June 30, 2009 at 7:17 AM · Report this
pants37 54
I'm frustrated by the lack of progress (and especially by the backwards movement of the DOMA brief), but #51's comment is hard to argue with. It reminded me of a conversation I had with my friend (he's gay, I'm straight) when I was expressing my extreme frustration and heartbreak of the prop 8 vote. He was all calm and said reminded me that progress is rarely a straight line.

The bigger picture shows that GLBT rights are nearly inevitable. http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~cook/movab…
I don't take that inevitability to mean that we shouldn't hold Obama's feet to the fire. The faster he/congress/the DOJ actually do something, the better. History won't look back kindly on massive fuckups like the DOMA brief or the DADT discharges.
Posted by pants37 on June 30, 2009 at 8:22 AM · Report this
56
@54 I think your friend had the right idea. Progress never is a straight line. And history won't be kind to the things you mentioned, and Obama is doing the "Senor Cool" thing here by keeping calm, not rushing ahead, and making sure everyone's on the same page. It may be infuriatingly slow, and it may take the line of progress and put it into a sharp turn if not a complete halt, but it's what's going on.

I'm not happy per se, but so long as some sort of progress is being made I can't go anarchistic.
Posted by MC_crackin on June 30, 2009 at 9:35 AM · Report this
kim in portland 57
@ 54,

Thanks for the link.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on June 30, 2009 at 9:57 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 58
@4 for the win.

If you want ACTION though, you're going to have to take ACTION yourselves.

Not your friend.

YOU. Physically.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on June 30, 2009 at 10:29 AM · Report this

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