President Obama’s Empty Promise of Gay Equality

Sunday, October 11, 2009

lgbt flg

Last night in Washington DC, President Obama delivered his familiar campaign stump speech to the gay and lesbian rotary club, AKA, the Human Rights Campaign, promising to repeal the viciously homophobic, Clinton-era military policy of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The champagne stoked crowd of gay A-listers gave the president a rousing standing O.

Yes Mr. President, this is precisely why you defeated Hillary Clinton and later, John McCain. Promising to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ along with the equally horrendous ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ is what earned you the support of the LGBT community. You enjoyed our time, money, energy, creativity and ultimately, our vote, because you pledged rid this country of two unjust and discriminatory policies that have resulted in profound hardship to hundreds-of-thousands of LGBT Americans.

The problem with President Obama’s speech is it was delivered nearly ten months into office and it’s riddled with contradictions. Mr. Obama said his administration is treating gay couples just the same as straight couples. Then why President Obama opposed to gay marriage equality? Mr. Obama said despite the fact he’s busy managing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, working to end the recession and, bring about reform health care, gay civil rights remain a top priority for him. Then why is the Obama Dept. of Justice issuing legal briefs defending the ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ why has Mr. Obama refused to order the Pentagon to suspend the enforcement of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ until the Congress revisits the policy?

At least General Jim Jones last week had the cajones to tell the LGBT community the truth and admit the Obama administration can’t repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ this year because they’re busy fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe the Human Rights Campaign invited the wrong speaker to last night’s gala?

While President Obama wins kudos for showing up last night to speak to 3,000 LGBT Americans — something neither Presidents George W. Bush or Bill Clinton had the cajones to do, Mr. Obama still doesn’t get it. Gay Americans want to see results. Until then, President Obama commitment to gay equality is just an empty promise.

This entry was posted in DADT, DOMA, Gay Marriage, HRC, News, President Barack Obama and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to President Obama’s Empty Promise of Gay Equality

  1. feminazi says:

    What I just don’t understand is this. Why didn’t Mr. Obama have his transition team working with the Congress on a bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” before the inaugural? Then, it would’ve been on his desk to sign into law during his first hundred days in office and the issue would be well behind us? It just suggests to me the Obama administration lacked a clear vision for gay rights from the start.

  2. Ending DADT and passing ENDA are the two big pieces of legislation I want to see happen. Eventually DOMA will get overturned but the first two need to happen now, right fucking now and not in two years or four years or six years.

  3. libhomo says:

    We need to start pushing pressure on the Congress to pass ENDA. We can’t rely on Obama or any politician. We need to really fight for our rights.

  4. Tao says:

    I think Obama needs to tie the repeal of DADT to any additional troops sent to Afghanistan; if you want more troops then change your policies. I think Congress needs to add a provision to healthcare reform that makes healthcare benefits to same sex couples a requirement of all healthcare policies issued via employers and or individually issued policies.

  5. Harry says:

    Where’s the beef? Oh yeah. At McDonald’s.

  6. Brigadoon says:

    I can already see the next fundraiser literature from the Human Rights Campaign with colorful pictures of Joe Solomnese and President Obama shaking hands and grinning like drunken sailors. Sorry folks, but until DADT and DOMA are firmly in the past tense I don’t plan on writing any more checks.

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  8. Rachel says:

    I like Tao’s idea. Make more troops for Afghanistan conditional on repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ This is something Lyndon Johnson or Ronald Reagan would have done to Congress. BTW, I thought NY’s junior Sen. Kristin Gillibrand was going to introduce a repeal bill this fall? Is she still on-board or did she abandon ship too?

  9. Gabrielle says:

    You’re right. Obama has had nine months to change the fabric of American society. All this should have been done before he even set foot in the Lincoln bedroom…

  10. MacDaddy says:

    Tao: I love your idea. That will DADT for sure.

  11. JollyRoger says:

    There are no “gay civil rights.” There are HUMAN rights, and no one is exempt from them.

    I have said it a thousand times, and I say it now; there is no logical, or Constitutional, basis for what is being done to American citizens who are doing nothing more than pursuing the happiness the Declaration of Independence told tells them to pursue. Whatever one’s feelings are about how anyone else lives their lives, the bottom line remains that you should be far MORE appalled that States have been allowed to write discrimination into their Constitutions. People who do not harm me are of no concern to me, insofar as how I should regard their way of life. I do not give a flying fuck about what makes someone else happy, and nobody should care about what makes ME happy.

  12. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    Gays and lesbians have served their country in one of the four branches of the military for decades.

    Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was a Republican attack on the gay community pushed and orchestrated by the late NC Sen. Jesse Helms. I remember it well but I was foolish — I expected more and better from President Clinton but he was weak and busy getting knob from pudgy interns while the wife was out of town.

  13. Gabrielle says:

    Jolly Roger, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  14. Matteo says:

    Peter LaBarbera is angry: “Obama’s Expanding Anti-Christian Agenda.

    President Obama used the bully pulpit tonight to defy the Creator, by brazenly declaring before a homosexual activist audience that homosexual based relationships are ‘just as real and admirable’ as normal relationships between a man and a woman.”

    Well, as a matter of fact, Petey, our relationships are just “as normal.”

  15. Tao says:

    Jolly Rogers,

    You are absolutely correct, and any liberal and or conservative would agree with you…

    The trouble is we have a whole bunch of folks that are reactionary; they feel their world is being turned upside down and inside out and rather than looking at things philosophically and or objectively they feel threatened…

    Then you got a whole bunch of politicians who love to play lip service to these fears because it is easy and doesn’t cost anything.

    Besides then you can play to the concept of family values while you are banging hookers and or Congressional pages…..

  16. Tao,

    I think your proposal to tie the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ to the request for additional troops for Afghanistan is brilliant.

    In fact, I put this in a letter I’ve just written and addressed to President Obama and Robert Gates.

    This is precisely the sort of conditional hardball we would’ve seen from Lyndon B. Johnson.

  17. jimmy says:

    With regard to DADT, The Military Readiness Enhancement Act is in the House Committee on Armed Services and the Subcommittee on Military Personnel. I haven’t seen if hearings have been scheduled. The Senate hasn’t taken the bill up yet.

    Democratic Congressional leaders are as culpable and as deserving of having their feet held to the fire.

  18. Abby Peripatetic says:

    Man, is it getting heated over on Facebook.

    The general sense on this has people falling into two distinct camps:

    1. President Obama deserves praise for speaking to the HRC audience but the appearance isn’t enough and people want DADT and DOMA repealed. No more excuses from the Obama White House.

    2. Patience is a virtue and if we dare to criticize the president on the slow pace of the repeal, then we’re akin to Birthers or worse, closet Republicans.

    Fortunately, group no. 1 is the largest group and group no. 2 is small and rather silly and uninformed.

    Thanks for the great discussion.

  19. Whatever happened to “We’re MAD AS HELL, and we’re NOT going to take it anymore!”??

    I realize many LGBTQ’s live fairly comfortably, but there are also many who’ve been PROFOUNDLY harmed specifically by legal inequity. It may take an economic shift with more Queers finding themselves impoverished, homeless, mentally ill, disabled, or seriously traumatized before they wake up and realize we need to begin thinking OUTSIDE of the box if we’re ever going to get out of this box.

    The New Rules –

  20. retahyajyajav says:

    Phew! That Facebook romp was too rough for me.

    I was thinking about jumping in but chickened out at the last minute.

    Overall, I don’t think I can add much to the discussion. I agree, blaming Obama’s failure repeal DADT by now on the war (take your pick) or the economy just doesn’t wash. Get it done, Barry and soon.

  21. Fran says:

    Better yet NO ADDITIONAL TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN. Who better to stop this madness than the latest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

    I don’t want gay troops coming back in boxes, severely injured or suffering with PTSD for the rest of their lives either.

    I do think these issues are Civil Rights issues & also fall under the “Peace Category”, as did MLK’s work for racial Civil Rights.

    Earn that Nobel Peace Prize, Obama…. get us out of Iraq & Afghanistan, and get basic civil rights in order. ASAP.

  22. bradfrmphnx says:

    I still believe that in order to make put these ideals into law we need a Supreme Court ruling saying that DADT/DOMA are discriminatory. Obama will eventually get around to fulfilling his promises to the LGBT community, about a year before its time for re-election. I don’t think anybody is a “birther” for being critical of him. He promised things and everyone bought into it. He made it seem like it was going to be a stroke of the pen…much like every politician.

  23. Woodcliffe says:

    Last I read, none of the four branches of the military had met their recruitment targets but they have still kicked 449 gay soldiers since Obama was sworn in as president?

    What am I missing here?

  24. Tao says:


    Been watching politics way too long…so if you ever need any other advice..well just ask.

    Forget the Supreme Court, it will be 20 years minimum before you get anything out of that bunch; anything before that time will be a split decision and will be highly contested.

    THERE WILL BE TROOPS SENT TO AFGANISTAN…that is a forgone conclusion and right now the meetings are all really about what to do with Pakistan….so tie DADT to that and be done with it. Within 5 years no one will notice a difference and the military will be openly “integrated” (sorry for that one).

    The next thing is to get ‘partnership’ recognition on healthcare; I know this is common in big cities and in big companies…but you got to get it out into small towns and small cities and out in small companies where the majority of people live and work…

    Once that happens hetrosexuals will realize that homosexual couples deal with the same problems and issues they do….then gay marriage is de facto if not de jure way of life.

    Seven years ago I offered it to my employees when our insurance carrier started offering ‘single with children’ and we had eight people sign up (of course I had to tell six of them that I expected them to sign up…in other words, I outed my own employees).

  25. Ryan says:

    Why can’t you just have some faith in this man and believe that indeed he is in this fight with us? He is trying to persuade a fat, lazy, old-world thinking Congress to see gays in a new light. This is not an easy task considering many holy-rollers can usually quote only one or two passages from the bible and the standard “a man shall not lay with a man as with a woman…” bit is their thing. It is not an easy thing he is trying to do, however, I believe he is trying to bring about change against the desire of many who do not want change. Well, they want change in reopening Auschwitz and having all gays gassed to death as part of the ‘gay question.’ I watched the speech last night and I was moved by what he said. I understand the desire to leap to the conclusion that his speech is nothing less than mental masturbation in order to make us feel better, but I don’t want to follow you there. I want to believe that he is on our side in this fight! Isn’t it so much better to lay down this burden and believe he wants to make change? There was a time, not too long ago, in fact, when the black man was viewed as the nigger and today he is viewed (by most, I should say) as an African American. Well, today many view us as fagots and President Obama is trying to change that so we are viewed as gay people. It is not an easy fight but I am happy he is on our side in this fight.

  26. as long as rahm is whispering in his ear — 2012 — dont expect anything until he is “safely” reeelcted

    which by that time it will be too late

  27. bradfrmphnx says:

    Tao…yes, you are probably right about the Supreme Court ruling in another twenty years. So why then is the discrimination against gay couples extended to our highest court? Are they ruling out of biblical context or judicial ideology? Or do they really truly believe that sanctity of marriage bologna? My fifteen year old twin daughters know that the LGBT community is being discriminated against with DADT/DOMA. I would think/wish/hope that those placed in our highest court could see as well as my daughters. I’m hoping Obama will place court justices in place in his time as president that will rule with justice for all, and not just for some.

  28. Randy Arroyo says:

    Obama is our best hope of cleaning up Bill Clinton’s cowardice on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I look at Obama and I see a decent man, a sincere man and a smart man. I think he means what he says. However, I don’t have the same confidence with some of the team he’s assembled. Gates, Clinton and Emanual are self-serving, ambitious politicians. Obama would be well served to fire them all.

  29. Jim says:

    Enough. We have waited long enough. It’s time gays and lesbians are NOT marginalized.

  30. Tao says:


    Your daughters are the future and the make of our Supreme Court is the past…

    They are not ruling from a religious or a judicial perspective but rather from an inability to see that they can and or should make a difference.

    Look at their backgrounds, except for Sotomayer and or Brennan…and then study the backgrounds of the justices who sat on the Supreme Court during the Warren years….
    There is no diversity, and it is as if Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, and Alioto are cutting cutter justices…they have no real deep thought and or convictions or beliefs…

    This is by far the most lackluster and unoriginal supreme court we have ever seen….of course it is easy to explain when 60% of them went to the same law school.

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