No one in their right minds would want to turn over the House to the Republicans. I haven’t a clue why some believe that public criticism from the LGBT community of the White House, Congress and our advocacy organizations is going to tank the midterms or suppress the LGBT vote. I thought we were such a small portion of the electorate that it wouldn’t matter, right?
Non-performance, a lack of transparency, and broken promises cause depressed turnout. The Get Equal video stings because it tells the truth. We are in this predicament because of spinelessness, a disease we thought would be eradicated with “hope,” “change,” and “leadership.” What a concept.
Andrew Sullivan, who was also an Obama booster at one time, says it all with “Gays, The Battered Wife Of The Democratic Party: Dissents” as he takes on mail disagreeing with his position that we just keep coming back for more letdowns, begging for cash, and the legislative beatdowns and lying cover stories for abandoning promises.
[T]he Human Rights Campaign’s Number One item – the thing they postponed DADT repeal for – has resulted in no actual prosecutions in the year since it was passed.
Meanwhile, gay servicemembers are still being routinely fired by president Obama, and still live under the threat of persecution merely for not lying. And do you not think that a government that itself allows harassment and threats against gay people has no moral standing to prosecute private citizens for doing the same thing? If Obama opposes persecuting gay people for being gay, he should start with himself as commander in chief. He has discriminated against more gay people in the last year than any single private individual or company in the land. There are no excuses. And his cowardice may mean years more persecution for gay servicemembers. If the House goes Republican this fall, as seems very likely, and it it is jammed with Christianists, as seems even likelier, this critical window could be lost for another decade.
And that’s why it was important to get things rolling in the first two years. But no, the apologists told him to give him time, we’ll get to that later. None of the “smart people” seemed to believe that Congress could possibly be in jeopardy. Well it’s later and look at the political slaughter we’re facing at the mid-terms.
And if you take a look at the accomplishments, something we always cover on the Blend, most are not what Barack Obama campaigned on, nor are they permanent fixes, only Cinderella Crumbs. A reminder and breakdown of the utility of the accomplishments so far is below the fold.
Blender QueerInSoCal broke down the list of 35 items that DNC treasurer Andrew Tobias considers accomplishments by this administration:
It’s not 35 items, particularly if you discount the one blatant lie:
Dispatched the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to call on the Senate to repeal Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell, in the meantime dialing back on discharges
Actively agitated against successful repeal of DADT, substituting a compromise bill with no definitive end, and no provision for interim reduction/elimination of discharges under DADT.
Categorizing the balance of the “items”…
Substantial impact, easily reversed:
Instructed HHS to require any hospital receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds to allow LGBT visitation rights. *
Adopted transgender recommendations on the issuance of gender-appropriate passports
Extended the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover employees taking unpaid leave to care for the children of same-sex partners
Broad but minimal impact, easily reversed:
Committed to ensuring that HUD’s core housing programs are open to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity
Narrowly targeted and minimal impact:
Conceived a National Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Elders funded by a three-year HHS grant to SAGE
Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees in 2009 and, further, in 2010
Lifted the HIV Entry Ban effective January 2010
Issued diplomatic passports, and provided other benefits, to the partners of same-sex foreign service employees
Substantial impact on a tiny portion of LGBTs (sometimes as little as one person):
Appointed the first ever transgender DNC member
Sworn in Ambassador David Huebner
Named open transgender appointees
Banned job discrimination based on gender identity throughout the Federal government
Extended domestic violence protections to LGBT victims
Nothing more than lifting a pen – Congress did the actual work:
Signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act
Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
How is this related to LGBT?
Appointed Sonia Sotomayor and nominated Elena Kagan
Appointed long-time equality champion Chai Feldblum one of the four Commissioners of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Appointed Retired Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer, an early public champion of open service in the military, to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services**
Required all grant applicants seeking HUD funding to comply with state and local anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT individuals.
Finally we get to the biggest category…
Window dressing with no measurable impact:
Reversed an inexcusable US position by signing the UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Endorsed the Baldwin-Lieberman bill, The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009, to provide FULL partnership benefits to federal employees
Released the first Presidential PRIDE proclamations since 2000
Hosted the first LGBT Pride Month Celebration in White House history
Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Harvey Milk and Billie Jean King
Testified in favor of ENDA, the first time any official of any administration has testified in the Senate on ENDA
Changed the culture of government everywhere from – among others – HUD and HHS to the Export-Import Bank, the State Department, and the Department of Education (“changed the culture? Really? How about that DOJ filing on DOMA?)
Emphasized LGBT inclusion in everything from [yada, yada, yada]
Recommitted, in a televised address, to passing ENDA . . . repealing Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell . . . repealing the so-called Defense of Marriage Act
Spoken out against discrimination at the National Prayer Breakfast
Launched a website to gather public comment on first-ever federal LGBT housing discrimination study
Eliminated the discriminatory Census Bureau policy that kept our relationships from being counted
Produced U.S. Census Bureau PSAs featuring gay, lesbian, and transgender spokespersons.
Publicly invited shunned MIssissippi high school prom student to the White House
* – I expect to see a flurry of lawsuits after hospitals deny visitation anyway.
** – Wouldn’t it have made more sense – not to mention been more productive – to have named her to the commission studying the end of DADT? Since, you know, that’s what she’s known for.
This administration has been big on empty promises, and short on action.
Is this the list of items you voted for? It’s not zero progress, but it’s the big ticket items that are sorely needed and do not exist now – DADT, DOMA, ENDA, UAFA.