Here we go again:
The package of domestic partnership benefits that President Obama established for federal workers on Wednesday drew the loudest protests from some of those it was intended to help, gay men and lesbians who criticized the move as too timid.
The administrative memorandum extending some partnership rights to federal workers in same-sex relationships, which Mr. Obama signed late Wednesday, allows administration personnel to take leave to care for sick partners and requires the government to recognize their partners as household members when determining overseas housing allocations for State Department employees, among other things.
But several of the nation’s most prominent gay and lesbian political leaders quickly attacked the president for failing to extend full health care benefits to the same-sex partners of federal workers, questioning the administration’s explanation that it is precluded from doing so by the Defense of Marriage Act, which Mr. Obama had vowed to repeal during his presidential campaign.
And once again, Obama reiterated his support for the repeal of DOMA. But guess what? Obama is the President, not a congressmen, and those are the folks you need to pressure, and given their behavior on DADT, you are doing a pretty crappy job:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaking at a press conference Monday said he has no plans to introduce a bill to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the Senate.
“I haven’t identified any sponsors,” he said. “My hope is that it can be done administratively.”
A Democratic aide later clarified that Reid was speaking about the possibility of using an executive order to suspend discharges or perhaps halting enforcement of the policy by changing departmental regulations within the Department of Defense.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has continually said in recent months that President Barack Obama believes the only “durable solution” to repealing the military’s gay ban would be to do so through legislative action.
Nothing would be worse for the gay rights movement than to turn these issues into perks of the oval office- elect a Democrat, DADT is suspended. Elect a Republican, DADT is enacted. This has to come from Congress. But, by all means, keep flinging poo at Obama. It feels good, and you get to say clever things like “Hey, unlike Republicans, at least we keep our President honest” while you are shooting at the wrong person.
*** Update ***
As noted in the comments, I’m not being fair or honest when I fail to mention that a lot of the anger is a result of the
indefensible DOMA brief. I understand that and agree with the sentiment about it- I understand where a lot of the anger is coming from and get it.
And it turns out that the brief actually is quite defensible. So why are we yelling again?
A Mom Anon
I’m not sure about this,but I thought I heard the guy from the Human Rights Campaign say that the health care issue has to come from Congress too. Obama has to actually get the bill to his desk before he can do anything on that one. I was helping my kid with a project last night while the guy was on TV so I may have misheard.
Well, it is certainly easier to blame an individual rather than an institution. But, as seems to usually be the case, the new administration is more about the long view than instant gratification.
Going about this through a legislative route is a smart move in many respects. It is politically shrewd, as the Republicans will be looking to flare up the culture war to get back in power. It is also smart in that the point isn’t just to repeal DODT (or DOMA) for 4 or 8 years, but to end the policies altogether and making bringing them back as difficult as possible.
The administrative memo seems like a good start, but it is only that. And since when do people like executive orders? I hated them for the past 8 years, it seems a bit hypocritical to support them now
The Grand Panjandrum
The administration could send draft legislation to the Congress and ask them to act on it. That would at least be a good will gesture and force Congress to get off its collective arse and have a vote.
It should be pointed out that all along Obama has made it perfectly clear that he would take his time getting around to pushing changes in the law, that position being supported by none other then that homophobe Barney Frank.
Who defines what a “domestic partnership” is? Does this apply to hetero (unmarried) partnerships as well? Personally, I think the idea sucks. And in the end, self-supporting “non-partnered” individuals get NO-THING.
Trying to get Democrats to stop criticizing a Democratic President is as futile an exercise as trying to get Republicans to stop humping the corpse of Ronald Reagan. It isn’t going to happen. Distrust of leadership and outrage about broken promises is one of the defining characteristics of the Democratic Party, or at least it has been since I’ve been politically aware (about 30 or so years).
It’s not going to change, and the President makes a convenient target for the outrage. Sure it’s more effective to organize Congress-critters, but how much can you really pressure Congress-critters at a national level? Not much – the Democratic coalition is just too fragmented for any issue group beyond unions to be able to apply national pressure to the Democrats (and even unions haven’t been good at it for as long as I’ve been watching politics). That’s a tactic that works well with the GOP due to their more homogeneous ideological structure (witness the success of the NRA and the Christian Right and even fucking Rush Limbaugh in getting Republican Congress-critters to ask “how high” when they say “jump”), but it doesn’t work on Democrats for the most part because Democrats span the spectrum of ideology from moderate liberal to conservative, and it’s tough to find a single issue group that can apply pressure to all the Dems in every state effectively (conservative groups like the NRA do better than liberal ones with the Democratic Party because the conservative groups only have to peel off Democrats at the margins rather than get the entire caucus to back them, liberal groups have about zero chance of ever peeling off a Republican for a vote so you don’t see the same dynamic in the GOP).
Essentially, what you’re seeing is the activist frustration with the coalition nature of the Democratic Party. A sitting Democratic President makes a convenient target because he’s a national figure who at least in theory has to care about the things he campaigned for votes on. It may not be effective (and, frankly, I agree that I don’t think it is all that effective), but given the nature of the Democrats in Congress pressuring the President probably looks like a better strategy most of the time.
It’s amazing how much selective editing you had to do to that article to may the gays seem unreasonable. Practically Fox-worthy.
Well said, John.
The point of running these issues through Congress is to A.) develop an even broader base of support for them, and B.) to ensure that civil rights for people in the LGBT community have some measure of permanency. Obama has said — and continues to say — he wants to do these things.
So… why is a big huge deal, again?
It’s worth noting, too, he has been in office six months (almost exactly to the day). I seem to recall something about wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Something about the mortgage bubble bursting (please kindly don’t ask me the value of my home — I live in Florida). I also recall systemic bank failures, and the auto industry on life support. Didn’t somebody say something about health care? Is something going on with North Korea, perhaps?
Look, civil rights are remarkably important, of course. And yes, their brief on DOMA was offensive. But if you’re asking me to prioritize, I’ll take a president who helps me avoid the bread line first. We can work on civil rights in the next six months, okay?
Yeah. Pretty sneaky the way I used the first three paragraphs of the NY Times story and the first four paragraphs of the Advocate. I’m practically Bill Fucking O’Reilly.
Time for the President to call Harry Reid on the carpet and get this moving. The continual back and forth between executive order and congressional action is not change, it is more of the same.
And yes, I am speaking from a completely selfish, self-centered point of view. So tired of “partnerships” being held up as the end-all and be-all of everything. If you want to honor domestic partnerships that are defined by law (whether by marriage or contract), that’s cool with me but don’t make a special case for federal employees when no law is in effect (with the exceptions of Iowa, Vermont & Mass). However, I wonder why we can’t teach our kids that autonomy is not such a bad thing. Just ranting, pay me no mind.
On a tangential point . . .
Seeing as how marriage is fundamentally a religious institution, why doesn’t the government get out of the “marriage business” altogether and just make domestic partnerships the legal default for every long-term co-habitative relationship?
Sure, John, because God knows we can’t expect Obama to suspend DADT via stop-loss (which is perfectly legal and appropriate) while still pressuring Congress to change the law.
That would be wrong. Like starting to put out a fire yourself, instead of just waiting for the fire department to come and do it properly.
This is why I pay no heed to Bill Maher jumping up and down crying that Obama isn’t doing right by the left fast enough. This is why I’m willing to be more patient with the administration’s efforts on gay rights.
Again and again, they have shown to have the steady, patient long-term view. And they’ve been excellent at proving the hyperventilators wrong from the primaries to the general to now. Remember the week of stock market hysterics back in February? And how the president just swatted it away that concern like so many annoying houseflies? (John Harwood’s giggles notwithstanding).
Those howling OMG GIVE US TEH RIGHTS NOW!!!1 typically have no conception of how easily these gains could be washed away if done through executive order. If not, they don’t grasp the dynamics in Congress at the moment. It reminds me of the SNL bit where Keenan Thompson is upset about the economy and just screams “FIX IT!”, with no attempt to understand the situation or allow for nuance.
Also, why hasn’t DOMA been overturned by the courts yet? Even conservative judges should be horrified at what is pretty objectively an effort to drop-kick full faith and credit. I can’t believe that 13 years later, it’s left to Congress to eliminate a plainly unconstitutional law. I know justice is slow, but damn.
I am supportive of repealing DOMA and DADT, but I see the gay rights movement being very passive much like Prop 8. In essence, they began to campaign effectively against Prop 8 after they lost at the ballot box. If you are going to change the world it requires heavy lifting (bonus points for starting before losing ground). Where are the sponsors in Congress? Where is the ad campaign? Make some positive arguments. Demonstrate the wonderful stories that are out there of loving couples and brave Americans who want to serve their country. Be pissed off , but the gay rights movement has to convince people that this is a priority. This is not on anyone’s radar because they are worried about employment, health care and war.
(clarification, I am not the same Tom as above)
Except for the little detail that he campaigned on taking time to change the law and doing it in full consultation with the military. So what you expect is for him to break a promise he made on the campaign trail that you don’t like.
Why not hold Obama’s feet to the fire? He’s the one who made the promises. I think you’re missing the point. They key issue is the Motion to Dismiss filed in Smelt vs. United States, which went way beyond “defending the law.” It might as well have been written by the Liberty Counsel. The kindest interpretation is that whoever reviewed the thing is completely tone-deaf. And we’re told it has the president’s backing. There’s the spark. The fuse has been there for a long time.
It’s going to hurt the Democrats financially. Don’t think there’s any other reason for last night’s dog and pony show — most of what Obama offered last night has been available since the mid-1990s, even at DoD. So he’s making a big show out of nothing much because a major LGBT/Democratic fundraiser next week is about to go down the toilet.
The gay community is past the point where “someday” is good enough. Obama’s a proud multi-tasker — let him start multi-tasking. (It’s not like he has to do it all by himself.) And getting some draft legislation on congressional desks is a good place to start. Nice words and a “grand vision” aren’t going to draft a bill. Congress is looking for leadership on this as much as anyone else is — and let’s face it, no one expects leadership from Harry Reid.
I agree with this – stem-cell research is a great case in point. But I also think Obama needs to do a couple of things, and not just leave it up to Congress.
First, if he really supports the repeal of DOMA and DADT, he needs to clean out the DoJ and his AG’s office of the Bush appointees preparing Supreme Court briefs defending DOMA that invoke pedophilia and incest when discussing same-gender marriage. His DoJ doesn’t need to support DOMA just because it’s currently the law – every recent administration has prepared briefs recommending that laws be struck down.
And since he has the “bully pulpit” of the Oval Office, he needs to offer a clear stand that he wants legislation now on things like DADT that would light a fire under the congressperps in his party to get moving on it.
The big problem seems to be that neither of these issues allow for a “centrist” compromise – you’re either in favor of expanding gay rights, or you’re in favor of maintaining their second-class status. Obama seems to be searching desperately for a way to please David Broder and the rest of the bipartisanship fetishists, and it’s making him look foolish.
Anyway, I don’t get what DOMA really does any way, seems purely symbolic in nature. But it’s a nice way to obfuscate the issues at hand.
I believe the point, as you can see from ol’ Spineless Harry’s quote there, is that if Obama suspends, the Democratic Congress — which could be most charitably described as “risk avoidant” and less charitably described as “completely fucking useless” — would most definitely do nothing.
@Aaron: Excellent, agreed.
My dumbass optimistic hope about the Obama administration is that some of the stupid-seeming things they do are really smart. A lot of this goes to executive power and war/national security issues — just changing W.H. policy doesn’t keep the next guy from reverting. Litigating some of these issues with bad policy in place keeps the litigation from being discharged as moot and gives hope that an independent judiciary will draw hard and fast lines that cannot be crossed ever again. Then the right policy can be put in place.
Obama is a proceduralist — how things are done matters and has long term consequences. Such as not letting Congress off the hook on DADT by applying a 4-8 year bandaid. Doesn’t mean I don’t have skepticism and disagreements and that I don’t think I’m just being strung along, but it’s what I think I see behind it all.
Of course, this doesn’t relieve our obligation to complain when things are wrong in the interim.
You managed to leave out all context and present it as if the gays are stamping their feet over DADT not being repealed from the oval office, when there’s clearly so much more to it than that, not the least of which is the DOJ defending DOMA last week and comparing gay marriage to pedophilia and incest.
Well, if it’s true that Obama could not extend health care benefits because of DOMA, that would certainly be something concrete.
I don’t really understand what you’re angry about, and I’m not saying that to be belligerent or obtuse. Do you believe that there should not be any state recognition of bonds between people?
Of course, universal health care would solve this particular issue quite neatly, since it would not longer be an employee benefit but a basic human right. It still wouldn’t preclude the importance of repealing DADT and DOMA, but at least one of the most important benefits that comes with marriage would no longer be tied to a discriminatory system.
Napoleon: Obama campaigned on ‘full consultation of the military’ re. Iraq and Afghanistan, not DADT. He campaigned on ‘fierce advocate’ re. DADT. That’s the campaign promise in question.
Stop-loss is the law. I’m just asking him to follow the law.
Use stop loss now. Keep the Arab linguists and decorated fighter pilots–maybe we could even find some use for them, who knows? Suspend DADT. Keep pressuring Congress, while we’re actually living with the fact that we don’t need DADT, that queers don’t destroy the military in one year or two or three.
Honest-to-god thank you for acknowledging this — we are fucked folks, we’ve got to prioritize for the sick, starving and dying (all colors, all religions & sexual orientations), imo.
@Betsy: Because I’m an asshole
Actually it does a lot.
It prevents gay couples who are married in Massachusetts, for example, from having the same tax status as straight couples who are married in Massachusetts. They are denied those benefits and have to fill out
twothree separate federal tax returns, one as a married couple for MA, and then each has to fill out an individual return for the feds.
It prevents gay married couples in the states where it’s legal from having the standing to make their spouses permanent residents/citizens, which is granted to straight couples. (Edited.)
It prevents gay married couples from claiming social security benefits that straight married widows/widowers are entitled to.
I could go on, but you get the point. It has always been federal policy to recognize a couple as married if they were married in a state that recognizes them as such. DOMA reverses this longstanding tradition, and harms couples in material ways by doing so.
@jibeaux: Yeah, but you could equally say that Congress simply won’t suspend. Not with stop-loss, not without. Fine. That’s not entirely atypical. But meanwhile, people are getting fired for liking boys and girls when they’re supposed to like girls and boys, and we’ve lost 13,000 members of the military.
So if Congress is spineless, they’re spineless. Keep pressuring them. And in the meantime, stop firing people, and show everyone that gays aren’t gonna queerify the military. Maybe after years of a de facto end to DADT, Congress will be more willing to make a permanent end.
And if they can’t be counted on to do anything, then they can’t be counted on to do anything. That’s not really an argument either way.
The thing is, you see this point made on blogs a fair bit….and nowhere else. I don’t know how exactly to say it, but people just like to be married. 200 years ago, enslaved people were not content with the “domestic partnerships” their owners allowed them to have, and created their own marriage ceremonies. Today, gay people are not content either, and have THEIR own ceremonies, legally binding or not. Marriage is a feature in most cultures through time and geography.
One of my acquaintances who is, I guess you could say an anti-marriage (it’s patriarchal and outdated and stuff), pro-domestic relationship activist, well, get her started on the marriage stuff and you could hear a pin drop in the room, and then the subject gets changed right quick.
@jibeaux: But how does he do it for federal employees in states that don’t allow same-sex marriage? That would not change with the repeal of DOMA. I can’t see how DOMA makes a difference. Somebody call marcy wheeler!
So when Obama said he would use his “bully pulpit” to advocate for us, yet all we’ve received since is silence except for one really ugly defense of DOMA and this “gift” of benefits that were already available to federal workers, this is Congresses fault?
Obama made several promises campaigning. But has yet to lead on any issue, or even be vocal on any issue.
Did Obama lead the way in initiating any of the legislation that we’ve seen pass so far or was it all Congress’ initiative? Congress didn’t promise they’d push for federally recognized civil unions. Obama did. Perhaps he shouldn’t have said these things if he has no ability to lead or effect change.
It is also awesome to get this kind of “you have no one to blame but yourselves” support from our friends. No, the issue is that NO ONE (Congress or the President) feels comfortable advocating for us because we just don’t have the numbers to pressure anyone. Gays can’t exert enough pressure on these folks and straight people rarely find the issue important enough to pressure pols on it. So the safe play remains to screw us over.
I understand the frustration. But Obama is a long-game guy. If the long game requires Congress stepping up to the plate, then the only chance of getting them to do so is not to do their job for them. If he does their job, they are getting beer and pretzels in the seventh inning stretch and never coming back.
Thank you, thank you, that tortured analogy was in honor of Judge Sotomayor, who saved baseball, thank you, thank you.
Does nobody see the jiu-jitsu here?
I will point out that health care reform is one of if not the biggest issues on the agenda.
I’ll note that people who want usually fight harder than people who have but would like others to have – there are exceptions but it’s the general rule.
I’ll conclude by repeating the conclusion of the Roosevelt anectdote: You’ve convinced me, now make me.
It appears to me Obama may be making people make him fix something important. States are well on the way to fixing the DOMA issue. Health care? Not so much – and it’ll take federal coordination to pull it off, anyway.
@Betsy: Well then, I have been schooled. Thank you. Quite frankly, I always felt the thing had no teeth, but I stand corrected and humbled. I need bj’ers to straighten me out so I don’t have to think for myself. ;)
“Seeing as how marriage is fundamentally a religious institution, why doesn’t the government get out of the “marriage business” altogether and just make domestic partnerships the legal default for every long-term co-habitative relationship?”
Sorry, but I can’t let this go unchallenged. Marriage has always been about property and the legal control of children. It’s much more a civil institution than a religious one — keep in mind that ministers and priest who perform marriages do so as agents of the state. It wasn’t even a church sacrament until the early 13th century.
If the churches want to have a term reserved for religious unions let them go out and find one.
Then why in the FUCK did he shoot his mouth off on the campaign trail and say he promised he would do something about it?
Are you saying we all voted for a president who didn’t even know what he could or couldn’t do as president? Geez, that sounds like someone who probably didn’t have the experience to be president!
Stop defending a president who made promises (and not just on gay issues) that he doesn’t appear to be putting much effort into keeping now that he’s got the job.
I hope the the gay fundraiser for the DNC gets cancelled.
I’m sick of waiting for Obama to make any clear committment to do anything, and I’m even sicker of people who defend him.
Yep. As in “I’ll talk a good game, but I won’t do shit about it. I’l take the long view” In other words, I’ll let the next president take care of it – or the next one, or the next one.
You’re giving Obama a lot more credit than he deserves by attributing motives to him that you don’t even know exist. Obama might not be able to make laws, but if he actually wanted them passed, he’d be making a bit of noise about it, don’t you think?
Oh for Christ’s sake. All the bullshit executive powergrabs we put up with under Bush – 90% of them sustained under Obama…and he can’t sign a little paper for the gays?
What’re they gonna do, kick out 10% of the army in 4-8 years?
Really, because I seem to recall they have made it perfectly clear they would do so in full consultation with the military:
Gee, it looks like I am right about what I said.
Kinda hard to do – whenever we bring this issue up, our allies “agree” with us but caution that there are “more important things to do”. And when we point out there will always be other issues that affect more people, there is utter silence.
I need to just stay off the Internet right now. I’m sick of people blaming me for this shit. Apparently Obama does not need to acknowledge specific promises he made to us nor does he have any ability to influence Congress and make them move on it.
I myself look forward to the day where there are no wars, all the world is a pro-America democracy, and there is double-digit economic growth that actually cleans the environment as it grows before anyone can bother thinking about treating me like a citizen. God forbid we ask courts to protect minority rights. Instead we have to wait for straight people to deign to grant us these rights that they just get, no questions asked. And until then, by all means, blame gays for not convincing the rest of you that we deserve this.
Why am I in moderation at 38????? That is the second time today.
@harlana pepper The point is, DOMA blocks the states-rights approach to same-sex marriage. It means that, when states decide that same-sex marriage is appropriate for them, the federal government cannot recognize that and grant federal benefits.
That’s a big, big deal.
And John, you’re being really disingenuous about the “focus on Congress” bit. Obama promised to be a fierce advocate; instead so far he has passive aggressively opposed gay rights at almost every point where he could make a difference. The president has the bully pulpit to bring Congress’s totally scrambled attention to issues he chooses. And yet people were perfectly willing to wait — grumbling maybe, but willing — until his administration gratuitously attacked gay marriage in what could have, and should have, been at most a pro-forma defense of a distasteful law. He deserves the shit he’s getting flung at him
All those people saying “wait for health care, blah blah” — particularly those who are married — how’s about you forgo your rights during the health care debate in solidarity? If you and your spouse get in a car crash, and he is in the ICU, tell the nurses, “I’m sorry, I can’t go in to visit him; we’re not really blood relations, see.” Or if you get in a custody battle, tell the judge, “I’m sorry, really it’s not my kid; she gave birth. I just stood there like a jackass with a camcorder.”
What you said.
Well, you know, except for the detail that he promised to do it in full consultation with the military which you want to ignore. I posed the links @ 43 which are in moderation, but he made it clear before the election that is what he was going to do. I am 100% sure of that because I was paying very close attention to make sure he wouldn’t do what morons like you advocate and sink the entire Democratic Renaissance because some fringe of the party were screaming for attention first, just like in 1994.
@Napoleon: Except for the fact that when DOD was asked if any consultation had taken place, none had. The Pentagon claims that Obama has not initiated any discussions on the repeal of DADT with them.
As dim as he is, Harry Reid has caught on to Congress being set up to be the scapegoat on this – so he’s asked the administration to draft legislation on the repeal of DADT.
I don’t know about you, but I see a trio of institutions just passing the buck on this. No one wants to be the bad guy, and no one wants to lead. So perhaps some LEADERSHIP and use of the BULLY PULPIT by our FIERCE ADVOCATE would help.
Just not the comparing us to incest or pedophilia help. Please anything but that.
This issue is a perfect example of why the Democrats will be unlikely to continue any long term dominance of American politics. The minute a democrat is in office, every special interest group begins demanding that their particular issues gets dealt with immediately. Forget the multiple and concurrent historical crisis Obama has been dealing with! MY issue is most important, everything else be damned!
I understand the motivation, and I am sure what we’re hearing from is a small subset of the overall population, but damn am I already tired of this wailing about “Obama Fails!”.
Obama must proceed quite carefully and deliberately. There are far more important matters he HAS to deal with right now than gay marriage. Seems to me the momentum for that is coming from the states, and it’s going very well.
@Napoleon: My response is in moderation, but the short of it is that the Pentagon was asked if Obama had started these consultations and he hasn’t.
Nice play, Obama. Set up a precondition and then refuse to work on that precondition. No one will attack you for failing to work on the precondition and they will excuse away your failure to work on the main issue because that pesky precondition hasn’t been met.
Correction, my links ended up at 43.
Obama was clear all along that he was going to take his time on this subject.
Because when Clinton let the legislators take care of it, it worked out so fucking well for us, didn’t it?
Must be nice to just sit there and pontificate about how we’re our own worst enemies when you don’t have to live with this shit yourself.
I have an idea! Why don’t all the gay people on this blog go over to Hewitt’s, Malkin’s, Powerline and the other wingnut echo chambers and try to “convince” them that we deserve to be treated as equals!?
The Bag of Health and Politics
The brief that was written threw gas on the fire because it was a brief a Bush appointee would write. Of course, the left failed to notice that it was a Bush appointee who wrote the brief.
It’s one thing, in the left’s eyes, not to repeal DOMA. It’s quite another thing to defend it as good policy and compare gay marriage to incest and bigamy. That’s the line that got crossed, and that’s why they’re up in arms.
Sadly, this is typical of the left. Get upset at your own President and weaken him before a crucial vote (health care) that would shift American politics away from the neocon fringe for 40 years if it passed.
Welcome to the Democratic Party, where Will Rodgers’ enduring wisdom is still true…
Interesting what a warm reception Bill Clinton gets from liberal bloggers and the gay community since Clinton signed DOMA and ran re-election ads bragging about it.
Obama probably doesn’t think there will be any consequences for his slow action. Much as I like Obama overall, he is only a politician who responds to pressure. Somehow the hysterical freaking out I’ve seen about the DOMA brief, doesn’t feel very strategic. If there was a plan, I’d help out, but there isn’t, that I’ve seen.
Not to mention that this IS us exerting pressure. You all have an interesting response to us doing what you say we should be doing.
One more time… I USED THE FIRST THREE PARAGRAPHS OF THE NY TIMES PIECE AND THE FIRST FOUR PARAGRAPHS OF THE ADVOCATE PIECE. I THEN PROVIDED A LINK.
Had I used one more paragraph of the Advocate piece, I would have used the ENTIRE POST. I’m really ripping shit out of context.
This bullshit you are pulling here is a microcosm of the entire fucking gay rights movement. Focus on minutae, outright hostility and bad faith accusations, and what makes it even better, all targeted at your allies.
To let us know where he stood on the issue, and still stands on the issue. How exactly is he supposed to unilaterally end DOMA?
How can you call them “powergrab” when you are advocating your guy do the same thing? The only difference between you and Addington is the cause.
This was my take on the problem; it no longer is. There are two major problems with it.
First, it’s not true. Marriage was fundamentally a state and political institution. Look back at the early Christian churches and you’ll see that they were in fact neutral on, or even against , marriage, far preferring their members to join the church hierarchy and remain celibate. While many churches kept marriage registers in the Middle Ages, church sanctification didn’t become required by them until the 1500’s.
Second, we can talk about and advocate for getting the state out of the marriage business, but it’s not going to happen – too many people will fight against it. And given the contractual nature and state benefits that accompany marriage, it probably should be regulated by the state. That leaves us with a “separate but equal” dilemma. Straight couples are allowed to form domestic partnerships or get married; gay couples are denied the second option in most states. Legalizing gay marriage is the only fair solution.
Shorter Michael D:
Me me me mine mine mine now now now.
I used to hear that when I went to pick my kid up from day care. I was under the impression that people grew out of it. Apparently I was mistaken.
Democrats are just as bad as Republicans. Promises are only important BEFORE their candidate gets into office.
I actually agree. It reminds me of, as Nina Simone sang in “Mississippi Goddamn,” how blacks were always being told to “go slow.”
Oh, bullshit. I’m just telling you to cut down on the damned fratricide and to start pressuring the people that matter- congress. Not one sponsor of DADT repeal? Not one?
@burnspbesq: Go fuck yourself. I’m not exactly asking for a pork barrel project here, asshole.
Haven’t had a chance to read the rest of the comments, so this may have been covered.
Obama doesn’t have control of the legislature, but he does have control of what comes out of his justice department. The brief that his justice department filed in that CA case regarding DOMA was what pissed everybody off. It was as if Obama’s people had said that people from WV shouldn’t be allowed to marry because they’re just a bunch of inbred hillbillies marrying their cousins. It was really that bad. One of the guys who wrote the brief is a Mormon Bushie who didn’t keep his personal views out of the brief.
This is something Obama had control over. This is what we’re all so mad about.
Happy to oblige :D
And the DOMA brief was an abomination.
And I understand the anger. If I were being treated the way gays are treated, I would be burning shit in the streets. So I get the anger. I get the sense of betrayal. I’m just telling you that it is misplaced.
Look, I despise DOMA and DADT as much as the next queer, but me and my partner also have a small business to run.
I mean, FFS, we’ve waited this long for everything, another year changes nothing. I mean, for God’s sake, twenty years ago, we weren’t even able to be out. The notion that everything has to change RIGHT. THIS. VERY. SECOND. is greedy, presumptive, and has no basis in reality.
We are winning, dammit. We are slowly, but surely, making our way through this country. The homophobic shit IS falling, and our lives are getting better every day. But to have a bunch of impatient homos getting their panties in a bunch every 30 seconds towards a president dealing with the worst walk-into-office crap ever – well, it’s time to cut the SOB some slack.
The whole idea of Obama as Gandalf, swathed in white robe, changing the world as he goes, is unrealistic. He promised a lot of things on the trail, but he’s only been in the damned office for five months. I mean, the fact that we were even a TOPIC on the campaign trail in a way of anything but negative light should be exciting enough. But no, damn queens gotta bitch cause Liza wasn’t invited to the inauguration too.
Bottom line – chill the fuck out my gay brethren – it’s coming – and it’s a hell of a lot better today than when I was growing up. Get some damned perspective.
My thinking exactly, John. Why isn’t the message to the Democratic Congress “enact the President’s LGBT agenda,” rather than the current meme of “the President has failed,” which allows Congressional allies to escape accountability for their inaction?
And taking a more long-ranged view: if the meme right now is “Obama is not an LGBT advocate” and it’s only going to hamper the efforts of equality advocates to override that meme in 2010 when gay marriage is on the ballot in California and Maine (as it likely will be). People who think that excerpts of posts from John Aravosis and Pam Spaulding won’t make it into mailers to black and Hispanic families in CA is crazy—groups like the National Organization for Marriage is going to use this to advance their anti-equality agenda, just watch.
It may be legal, but I’d challenge the notion that it’s appropriate–namely because Obama opposed stop-loss during the campaign (it’s a bad policy that, like DADT, deserves to be ended, not extended, even for good reasons).
What Hunter said @35. Why should only the religious have the right to the term “marriage”? Gay people should not have to settle for the dreary, administrative-sounding “domestic partnership” or “civil union”, and neither should those who choose not to get married in a church. Equal is equal, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the state give religious people another excuse to think that my marriage is somehow lesser than theirs. Besides, if you get the wrong people in office, it’s a little too easy to take away certain rights from a group when their situation is given a different name.
There is such a goddamn simple solution to it that it makes me want to bang my head on my desk in frustration. Just do it like we do, for crissakes. Marriage is marriage is marriage, as long as you have a state-authorized marriage license and are married by someone who is authorized by the state to perform marriages. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight, or if you get married in a church, a courthouse, a hayfield or a phone booth. And once you’re married, you have the EXACT same rights, responsibilities, and legal standing as every other married couple. Friends of mine, a gay couple who’ve been together for 43 years now, got married in their living room. Other friends of mine, who’ve been together 7 years, got married in a huge cathedral, with a good chunk of the service being in Latin. In the eyes of our government, both couples are married, and both couples are EQUAL in their rights.
Why, oh why do we still talk about civil unions, or partnerships, or any other semantic, “equal but different” bullshit, when there is such a simple, uncomplicated way to give every married couple the same rights, regardless of their sexual orientation?
John, I have to take some exception to this post. I think a great many gay people have taken a few hits to the gut to support Obama with the understanding that the arrangement was reciprocal. You think I liked the budget package? You think I support the projected deficits and debt? I don’t at all. Obama’s budget numbers are literally breathtaking, and I know a number of my fellow homos in the Democratic and Independent columns who feel the same way, but supported passage because we assumed that once he got the major business of government operations out of the way, he could turn his attention and political capital to at least one of the issues we care about (DADT seems to be the shiniest target, given the national security implications of firing Arabic translators these days).
You’re right of course that Congress is the body responsible for creating legislation. You’d also be right to depict Congress as some kind of beast of burden with a big brass ring shoved through its septum. On divisive issues, or issues perceived to be so, it takes a strong hand to pull that beast to the desired location. Obama isn’t providing that leadership, so he and Reid can play hot potato while gay Americans continue to be deprived of the rights and responsibilities that other Americans naturally take for granted.
I’m a deficit hawk, always have been. My favorite piece of the 1990s was that the moronic tension between the adulterers running the country (Clinton and Gingrich, for those just joining us) resulted in budget surpluses. I realize there’s almost nothing that could be done to cause surpluses or even balance again in the next decade or so, having everything to do with George Bush’s mismanagement and little to do with Obama’s, but really. Obama has spoken rationally about unsustainable deficits, just as he’s spoken rationally about gay equality in America. If he applies the same leadership on America’s financial health that he’s showing right now on gay issues, well my, aren’t we all fucked?
@harlana pepper: Well at least you admit your ignorance on the issue.
DOMA prevents the Federal Government from providing any rights or privileges of marriage to same sex couples who are married, civilly unioned, or domestically partnered. It actually prevents the states from defining marriage as they see fit because New Hampshire wants to define marriage to include same sex couples, but those marriages can never be the same as opposite sex marriages because of DOMA.
Sadly this is par for the course. Straight people don’t follow the issues with any serious interest and can get fooled into voting for these “protect marriage” laws because they don’t know what the end result will be. The end result is that things that most people think gays should have access to are no longer legally available to us.
Lee from NC
So START CONSULTING ALREADY!! He hasn’t even started the process. While civil rights are obviously not a big deal to the mostly straight white male audience here at Balloon Juice, it is a huge deal to us.
This is supposed to be the President that can multitask, right? Get something going. Anything. He hasn’t done a damn thing for gays that he promised. And I wasn’t expecting it to be quick, but I was expecting him to at least START the process this year.
And yes, momentum is coming from the states, but with DOMA in place, that doesn’t mean squat at the Federal level. The Federal government does not recognize any of those marriages and does not grant the many, many benefits of said marriage to those gaily married couples.
*To clarify, though, I don’t think that’s what John is saying here. I think pressure needs to be brought to bear on both Obama and Congress, so I don’t agree with him that the anger/pressure are entirely misplaced. I’m not as enraged at Obama, because I think like any politician he’s not going to go out on a limb to advocate for it until he has to, and I also think he’s got a shitload on his plate right now. So I think that there’s truth to both sides – we need to bring pressure, but, like John, I don’t feel like he’s totally betrayed us yet (except with that brief, which I TRULY don’t understand).
Sorry if I’m totally muddled here; I’m running out the door to a meeting so I haven’t had time to edit.
You know WHY it’s coming?
It’s not because of people like you who “chill the fuck out.” It’s because of people who scream their heads off till it happens.
You just benefit from it. Congratulations for being able to sit there and reap the rewards.
EDIT: I remember when I was younger, I used to roll my eyes at drag queens and “angry lesbians”, etc because I thought they were too outspoken and did more damage to the gay rights movement than they did good. Later in life, I realized that it was THEM – their screaming, hollering, and not putting up with shit – that was responsible for the rights I now have. It was NOT me sitting there rolling my eyes and wishing they would go away.
I think this position is defensible, although there is definitely a chicken/egg thing going on here as to whether the focus on the president is the cause and/or the effect of congressional paralysis. However, what I think is fair to hang around the president’s neck is the spectacularly awful brief submitted by DOJ in defense of DOMA. I’m a lawyer, and I know how to file a piece of legal advocacy without demonizing the other guy, and so does Eric Holder. I don’t know who let that one go, but it was a real finger in the eye to gays.
I don’t know, I can see both sides of this, personally. I can certainly understand the hurt and frustration of gay activists – the DOMA brief was ridiculous, and there hasn’t yet been movement towards any big issues relevant to the community. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to keep the pressure on Obama as well as on Congress, because unlike them he has the bully pulpit to push the issues forward.
But on the other hand, I agree with you, John – and I think we all need to keep in mind that he’s only been in office 5 months. Writing off his administration as apathetic to gay rights is incredibly premature, at this point. I personally wish he was willing to push more on these sorts of issues, but anyone who paid attention to the campaign has to know that Obama’s fundamentally more inclined to cautious and gradual government action. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing – it arguably results in more people supporting the measures, and building a consensus in favor of gay rights is valuable in the longer term.
(Also, first post, w00t!)
@Michael D.: I can’t even imagine. Just look at this thread, and these people are mostly on our side.
Dude, that’s uncalled for. Michael and other gay folks have a real, legitimate human rights issue here. The discrimination that they face on a day to day basis just because they’re gay is disgusting for a country that supposedly prides itself on “Liberty and Justice For All”. If I were told that I couldn’t legally marry the person I wanted to marry, or that I could be fired from a job not because of my actions but because of my sexual orientation, or that I couldn’t even fucking volunteer to serve my country in the military without pretending to be someone I’m not, well, I’d be pretty goddamn pissed off about it too. Hell I’m pissed off about it enough and I don’t have to live with it, I can only imagine the seething anger I’d have every goddamn day if I had to deal with the crap these guys have to deal with.
I agree with John that the anger is somewhat misplaced – Obama can do very little and the things that he could do in the short term as short-term fixes to make things okay regarding DADT would probably remove any impetus from Congress to put a long-term fix in place and would, in the end, be more harmful than helpful to advancing gay rights. But I can still understand why the long game looks so unappealing and why grabbing for the short term fix might well be preferable right now even if it pushes the chances of a long-term change further off into the future. Especially given how the standard practice of our politicians is to promise you the stars and the moon when they’re campaigning and then drop their pants, wag their ass at you and say “we’ll get around to the stars eventually” once they’ve been elected. The long game is always unappealing, and when you have no guarantee that the fools are actually playing it on your behalf it’s even moreso.
Yes. Because if we know one thing about change in the United States, it is always most effective as the result of people screaming their heads off.
Why, in fact, more people are tolerant of homosexuality and supportive of equal rights because of the screaming and histrionics than because of the fact that public attitudes are slowly changing because people have gay friends, gay neighbors, gay co-workers, and gay children.
In fact, I intend to scream my head off about everything and I just know it will work. Michael D. said so.
And may I say that marriage is *highly* overrated
That IS one major difference between now and the Clinton administration — a lot more states are realizing that the sky isn’t going to fall if marriage is made legal for gays, so hopefully that will create some more momentum. But I think that really, it’s not a bad idea for everybody who supports equal marriage rights to write to ALL of their elected officials and really turn the heat on under them, instead of just grumbling about what Obama is doing or not doing. The former might actually accomplish something. The latter? Well, I just can’t see it being quite as effective.
@John Cole: Yes, and the war. I think I sprained my vocal chords over that one. That REALLY got results.
@The Bag of Health and Politics: This.
The DOMA brief was not just a routine defense of law. They rejected precedent set in Lawrence v. Texas, basically saying that gays and straights are both equally barred from same sex marriage and both equally have access to opposite sex marriage.
In Lawrence, the SC rejected the argument that straights and gays were both equally barred from homosexual sex, noting that heterosexual sex is not really an option for gay people. The argument Obama’s DOJ made was laughable. The incest and pedophilia comparisons were insulting but not new. The ultimate though, was the claim that the state has an interest in regulating SSM because it can cost the government money. They added that one.
Know what else will save the state money? Stop recognizing marriages altogether. There are more straight marriages costing the state money than if every gay couple got gay married to take the straights money.
Don’t forget that old people are dying off!
This is absolutely right, though. It doesn’t matter how loud you are, it doesn’t even matter how right you are, if the time hasn’t come. Single payer is almost definitely the way to really achieve health care reform, but the time has not come and something is better than nothing. So, not to go too Yoda on you, but the time will come, the world only spins forward. Plus, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Obama is completely unfazed by yelling.
Which is why the pedophile in the dress says “By the power vested in me by the state of…” when marrying people. Because it is a “religious” institution.
Lee from NC
There is a time and place for screaming. The gay rights movement itself is often said to have started with the Stonewall riots. A bunch of drag queens got tired of being rounded up by cops busting into gay clubs and fought back.
Having said that, there is, of course, a time and place for calm rational action.
But when you’re being compared to pedophilia and incest, I think a little screaming might just be a good thing.
@John Cole: So you’d be burning shit, while we’re calling out Obama, and *our* anger is misdirected?
I repeat again, Obama said he would use the bully pulpit to lead. I grant that he does not write legislation. But there has been silence on the bully pulpit – until the DOMA brief. Take a deep breath, try to see this from our stand point, and you will understand why we are angry at him.
Edit: Keep in mind – the anti-gay musician, the Rick Warren outreach, the Dobson outreach, and the inaction to date had all gone unremarked. The DOMA brief put this all over the top. We were sitting and waiting patiently. But when he started kicking us in the gut, we had to say something.
Point taken. I’m going to ask every gay and lesbian person in the United States to chill out now. No more bugging the crap out of people. No more complaining that Obama is not living up to his promises.
Just sit back and relax. Because that will help us get what we want. John said so.
There is a saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
Someone didn’t just pull that saying out of their ass you know.
John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams… they should have all just politely voiced their complaints to the King. And then waited for a couple years because, eventually, the King owuld have seen the light.
Instead, they just wasted a lot of good tea.
@Lee from NC: Screaming about the DOMA brief seems not only fair, but warranted. Screaming about the benefits change yesterday and claiming it sucks because you’re mad about the DOMA brief makes no sense whatsoever.
Unless, of course, the only thing you are concerned about is screaming.
Lee from NC
So you think all the protesters in Iran are wasting their time as well?
Kind of. It is correct to recognize the limitations of the oval office, but that also somewhat misses the point. DADT has always been driven by the executive, and speaking of fierce advocacy and the presidential bully pulpit suggests a certain level of engagement and leadership – engagement and leadership which have been conspicuous in their absence.
Granted, those who approach the administration expecting Obama to be the second coming of Oprah are destined for disappointment, but it’s based on expectations set by Obama himself in the campaign.
And the DOJ brief on DOMA is simply over the top. It’s a lie that the administration had no choice but to react as it did, and even if it really wanted to defend the policy it didn’t need to compare gay relationships to incest and child rape.
It’s not about Obama, so much as demanding a positive ROI from the Democratic Party in general. As Bruce Bastian said, fund specific candidates, but there’s little justification to provide blanket funds for the party at large when it’s providing nothing to show for it.
@Lee from NC:
They really need to relax. Just sit down calmly with the Ayatollahs, voice their opinions, and wait for the Ayatollahs to see the light.
All this yelling and screaming in the streets for something as stupid as a vote? Seriously!
Me me me. Mine mine mine. Stupid Iranians.
Lee from NC
But the benefits change was clearly a political stunt. It has no teeth, meaning once Obama leaves office it can be ignored. It also does not offer any real tangible benefits like health insurance. The two issues are not separate. The signing yesterday was a cheap ploy to deflate the anger related to the DOMA brief. So I don’t think you can separate the anger over one from anger over the other.
John, my friend, I commented here for a while, but then I left and emailed you privately why I did.
I left during the Rick Warren flap. I posted a comment here that the administration should invite the Rev. Gene Robinson to participate in the inauguration to balance Warren’s inclusion. You responded with a stunningly angry and homophobic rant about assless chaps and the Village People, as if I had suggested to turn the inauguration into a gay pride parade and the Folsom Street Fair rolled into one.
Well, as things turned out, I and several other people, in addition to posting comments online, contacted the LGBT liaisons inside the transition team and made this same suggestion, and who turned up at the inaugural celebration? The Rev. Gene Robinson. No assless chaps were on display, although we did get Queen Latifah introducing a song by Josh Groban and the DC gay mens’ chorus in the show. They wore tuxes.
Several commenters here have made excellent points. I will add that many of us, in addition to pressuring the WH, pressure our Congressional representatives on the same issues, and even though in my case my guy in the House is the odious and oily Dan Lungren, I still try. The HRC and other LGBT rights organizations do the same. I have seen many of them organize lobbying days bringing constituents in to DC to visit their representatives’ office, for example. Just because their work is invisible to you doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
The point of pressuring the WH on issues that require legislative action is transparently obvious. Why is Congress working on the legislative packages that it is? Because of leadership, emphasis and focus from the WH.
And I wish you would work on this anger issue of yours that causes you to unload so unattractively on the LGBT people who comment here by unapologetically speaking up for their rights as US citizens. I returned to play in your waters recently and I really like your blog, but I don’t much enjoy getting verbally abused in return.
Personally, I have no clue why ANYONE would want to get married, so I don’t get that at all. I think it’s the crappiest “institution” ever invented and, by the way, it was invented so wealthy men could sell their daughters to other wealthy men to gain power, prestige, and cold hard cash. So I don’t understand why anyone venerates or respects such an “institution.” I mean, people actually almost worship it and are crying about not being allowed to have it? Seriously? Sexual and economic slavery? Oh, yeah, baby. Gimme some of that!
There should be no such thing in law or government as marriage. If people want to execute a contract providing legal responsibilities and protections for their lives together, then contract law is the only way government should be involved. It should be like any other contract, specific to those particular parties and regardless of who or what those parties may be.
This whole marriage fetish thing is creepy, IMHO.
Which is precisely the problem with simply issuing an executive order over DADT, and what I have been saying for, well, months now.
tripletee (formerly tBone)
That’s right, it’s a binary situation: you can only scream your head off or just sit back and relax. There’s absolutely no room for anything in between that might actually be productive. That’s why MLK Jr. was such a spectacular failure.
John! Michael D! Don’t make me pull over!
As far as I can tell, social change won’t happen without screamers and lobbyists and lawyers and educators and community organizers, etc., etc. Everyone has a role to play and it wastes time, energy and emotion to argue over which role is most important right now. A certain amount of carping is inevitable but the accusations of bad faith (on all sides) really aren’t helpful.
Please, by all means include your half of the conversation which is:
If we’re going to go snarky here John, then consider that the truth is that the major change in public attitudes toward gays happened when a generation of gay men slowly wasted away and died in front of their friends and family. Families can all play pretend when their beautiful unmarried brother or son is discrete, but once the KS and weight loss have ravaged him, you sort of have to own up to the idea that the guy who’s been wiping the shit and vomit off of him isn’t just his roommate.
Yes, tolerance happened because so many of us came out. So many us have been able to come out because so many of them could no longer hide. They were dying. The generation before me bought my freedom by dying in front of their families, in front of cameras, by disrupting Catholic mass to insist that their church live up to its teachings, by screaming at insurers who wouldn’t cover experimental drugs, by screaming at hospitals who separated families, by screaming at congress and presidents to fund research and change housing laws and end discrimination.
So yes, John. Straight Americans learned a valuable lesson in tolerance and gay Americans learned a valuable lesson in visibility, but don’t think for a second that the people who stepped up and made it happen weren’t screaming their lungs out.
@Lee from NC:
Yes. There was a 900# gorilla in the room yesterday that was completely ignored. Happy talk didn’t make it disappear.
@harlana pepper: Fuck you. This is the most insulting response straight people can give. It’s not funny to act like you are protecting us from ourselves in this regard.
I am amazed at the amount of disrespect shown in so-called “liberal” blogs towards gay issues. Even here, where I really expected better.
What Obama did yesterday was an insult. He “requested” (not ordered, which as a President he has the right to do for the Executive Branch) managers to put this into place. He didn’t offer anything of importance. AND he made sure it could be cancelled after he left office. So let’s put it in another terms: health insurance. If he offers you a public plan that is forbidden to negotiate prices, can drop you whenever it wants, and won’t cover most major surgeries, you’d sit back and relax and wait? Bullshit. You’d be all over him like white on rice. But that’s important, right? Other people’s civil rights… not so much.
And BTW, I’m a middle-aged heterosexual latina. No axe to grind. Just observing from the outside without the Obama worship.
@Lee from NC: Well, no. It’s always nice to have some support
Oh, and unless you had true conniption fits like yours truly over the invasion of Iraq, don’t pick on me — I finally *had* to screaming lest I go mad. Unless you understand what that means, withhold your scorn
Raise your hands if you’d rather scream about Obama than write your representatives!
(I know I’d rather complain about Obama; I’m used to complaining about the President. And anyway, writing resembles actual work.)
Edited to add: there’s no reason you can’t do both.
tripletee (formerly tBone)
Has no one learned from #GOPFail that trying to coopt the Iranian struggle for your own purposes is a dicey proposition? Christ.
@jibeaux: I really disagree on this front. Most straight people that I know are gay-friendly, but they don’t have any clue exactly what the ramifications of me not being able to marry my partner are. Whenever I point out something that we are excluded from (which occurs almost daily) they are surprised.
If I wasn’t “yelling” about these issues, my friends would have harlana pepper’s attitude: like it’s no big deal we’re excluded, marriage isn’t all that anyhow.
@Lee from NC: Actually, Rep. Howard Berman was on the record in May saying that the Obama administration was set to announce movement on LGBT issues in June…and hey, look…it’s June. The timing may have been moved to alleviate the fallout from the DOMA brief but this wasn’t something ginned up for that reason.
As for the DOMA brief, I’ll withhold my thoughts and instead point you to Chris Geidner’s blog…as he’s written some great posts on the subject (and the misplaced outrage over the incest comparison that wasn’t).
@Michael D.: That is a most stupid comparison and you know it. They are dealing with an oppressive regime that held a fraudulent election, cares not one bit for the will of their masses, and are doing anything they can to stop their downfall up to and including outright killing.
We’re dealing with a civil rights issue whose progress is far from as speedy as we’d like yet progress IS being made and we’ll get there. Until we need a revolution to enact such reforms, don’t make such a stupid fucking comparison. This is just as bad as those asshole GOP congressmen comparing their minority status in the house with the Iranians.
Actually, the more I read some liberal blogs, the more convinced I am that they just want us to go away. There’s still this ICK feeling – even as they say they support us. When we speak up, they actually have to acknowledge that they have gay friends.
And I will actually get slammed for that comment. Mostly from defensive people who I’ve made feel uncomfortable with something they know to be true.
You know what most politicians on the left think gay people are good for?
…and we fall for it every time. It’s actually quite embarrassing that Dick Cheney has a more progressive position on equal marriage rights than many people on the left, including Obama.
@John Cole: You need to see this for the insult that it is. It wasn’t planned, it was a response to the anger over the DOMA brief and an attempt to salvage the $1000/plate GLBT dinner that the gays suddenly didn’t want to go to.
The peace offering is (some) federal benefits (not the main one though!) that were already available. If a dude picks your pocket and gives you your wallet, you are not likely to view that as a gift. This is why this brief is under fire.
Worse yet, now it appears to all the “chill the fuck out” crowd that Obama’s actually done something. If we keep pressuring Obama, I’m sure there are straight people out there who will think we want to dominate the agenda. I mean, didn’t Obama just do something for those uppity gays? Now they’re back already asking for more? The nerve!
@Allan: Then someone else has been commenting using your name.
And yes, Gene Robinson was in the ceremony, and it did not happen because of ranting and screaming, and you are missing the context of that discussion when you label it a homophobic rant. The context was the screaming, hollering, and yelling over inviting Rick Warren, and then suggetsing he be uninvited and replaced with Gene Robinson. Not that we also add Robinson, but that Warren be replaced. Here is the comment I was responding to, and note the tone and tenor, because I wasn’t coming out of the gate firing with the assless chaps comment because I’m some virulent homophobe- there was an ongoing discussion and the rhetoric was suited for that conversation:
And my point still stands. Had Warren been publicly uninvited and replaced with the openly gay Robinson because of said screaming and yelling, it would have undone EVERYTHING the Obama team had tried to accomplish during the campaign. He spent years portraying himself as a calm, moderate, unthreatening guy, and the voters believe it. Uninviting Warren and replacing him with Robinson would have done nothing but given the right wing the narrative that he is beholden to the “radical left,” and it would have been disastrous. Hence, my statement that he could also be sworn in on the Quran while wearing assless chaps. Instead, Obama wisely included Robinson in another portion of the ceremony and had Warren remain in his role. Worked out pretty well, I think.
That you continue to label me homophobic for that remark pisses me off, as it is pretty clear what my point was and is. I don’t have any anger at the homosexual community, I think it is bullshit some of the stuff they have to go through, I donated to and will continue to donate to the prop 8 cause, but I think that a lot of their tactics are just self-defeating and pointless.
What you wanted was not merely to include Robinson, you wanted to replace Warren, and it was a powerplay to show Obama who is boss. It would have been a disaster.
Wow – holy out of context.
First, I have been involved in many gay rights organizations while growing up, including marches, kiss-ins, and protests. So, claiming I’m just sitting back and reaping the rewards is disingenuous.
Second, I didn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, expect ‘chill out’ to be taken as shut up and sit down, but instead, ‘you’re going to give yourself an aneurysm if you don’t breathe.’
Finally, comparing the DOMA brief to the plight of the entire Iranian population’s struggle with basic freedom is Hoekstratic.
Hopefully, that clears up a few things.
Lee from NC
Ah. Sorry. My lifelong gay oppression is obviously nothing compared to your sore throat. My bad.
@Emma: I am so, so tired of anytime there’s a disagreement among “progressives” about issues and how they ought to be handled, they’re branded “Obama apologists.” Is this how it’s going to be for the next four/eight years? Because I’m sick of it already.
If we can’t have a discussion, among well-intentioned people, about the best path to take to accomplish mutually agreed upon goals, then there is no hope in having that discussion with people who think something is wrong with being gay.
I find the best argument against people who tell me that being gay is a choice and I’m going to hell is: “Religion is a choice, and that choice is protected by the Constitution”
We have to keep the pressure on all of the moral cowards in DC, from Congressmembers and Senators to the political side of the WH (yes, I’m looking at you, Rahm). It’s all a matter of political calculation, and right now the calculation is there might be a price to be paid for doing anything for the gays, while there’s no price to be paid for doing nothing – the gay votes and money will keep coming in, so what’s the problem. Doesn’t take a high IQ to figure out what to do in that case. This is the gang that can’t even be bothered to implement a law that was passed last year and signed by George Bush to allow HIV-positive people to enter the country legally.
If we can establish that there’s a price for doing nothing, then we might see some action. Without pressure, we’ll get to January 20, 2017, and nothing will have been done.
@gex: @harlana pepper:
gex’s explanation is exactly correct. Because so many of the tangible benefits of marriage come in the form of federal action and recognition (taxes, immigration, social security, etc.) state by state recognition of gay marriage, while definitely a positive step, is woefully inadequate to protect the interests those married couples.
It is utterly important to educate people about what marriage really means from a legal standpoint. It is absolutely NOT a purely symbolic act. Whenever my anti-establishment type friends talk about how they don’t want to get married because they don’t need a piece of paper defining their relationship or whatever I want to bonk them in the head. Instead I firmly but gently explain why not getting married for those reasons is a terrible terrible idea.
Boycotting the dinner seems to be precisely the right response to things- hit them in the wallet.
Screaming that the benefits suck or is not enough (when DOMA is what is restricting that) and Obama hates the gay seems, on the other hand, really pretty stupid.
@Hunter: Thank you, Hunter. That brief had me breathing fire. I think most people understand that progress doesn’t come overnight. But slapping people in the face is beyond that line for me, by a long shot.
This I do agree with. I just regret that it is the segue into the “there are more important issues” holding pattern.
@John Cole: You keep acting like Obama actually gave us something. These benefits have been in existence since the 90’s, and he’s simply requested that federal agencies not just laugh in our faces when we ask for them. He didn’t order them to grant them – which is exactly where you’d have him be on policy anyhow.
But our options are to accept this as his apology or call it for what it is. There’s *nothing* there and that is our point. It looks to everyone else that we got something. We got nothing, and we need to be vocal to make sure people know that this is nothing.
@natthedem: Kinda makes you wish we elected McInsane instead eh? We’d be even closer to nowhere on all issues (gays, economy, peace in middle east) and getting ready for a draft but at least we’d get along and not eat our allies alive.
(Snark for the sarcasm impaired). I must admit being relatively new to the political scene it’s taken me aback how we on the left think any one of us who dissents not on policy but on METHOD is no better than the jagoffs on the right. In a way, we’re collectively worse than the Free Republic crowd if you think about it. And this goes for pretty much anything we advocate for almost without exception, so don’t think I’m singling out LGBT issues.
Actually, the colonials did politely voice their complaints to the King for several years, and this worked for a while (I believe it caused the Stamp Act to be repealed). Eventually, however, the King told the colonials to go f-ck themselves. This resulted in the Declaration of Independence, one of the politest revolutionary documents in the history of the world.
So it seems to me that the question becomes “Is Obama telling gays and lesbians to go f-ck themselves”? I don’t think he is, although the legal brief that everyone keeps referring to is definitely an insult.
At the same time, I do not understand why Obama and Congress are not moving faster on gay rights issues. Gays and lesbians have been an open part of our society for the past 40 years, and no harm has come to our country (and, no. Pat Robertson, gays were not the reason we were attacked on 9/11, otherwise the hijackers would have flown the planes into the Village instead of the WTC). Just because a homophobe thinks that his pasty white ass is just too irresitable to the gays does not mean that gays are a threat; it merely means that you have an overinflated and severely misplaced sense of self worth.
Were I to run for Congress, my platform would be (1) drop Dick Cheney, David Addington, John Yoo, Don Rumsfeld, et al from an airplace at 30,000 feet, (2) equal rights forgays and lesbians, including repeal of DADT and DOMA (and anyone in the military who does not like serving with gays is free to resign and still receive an honorable discharge, although there would be an asterik on the discharge saying that they resigned because they are scared of gays), and (3) cut the defense budget by 50% at least.
@ronin122r: To myself, not sure why i added an r at the end of my screen name (not that I comment much anyway but still)
Wow, you really could scarcely be more wrong about pretty much every word here. And there’s a thinly veiled contempt under the words that is more indicative of YOU shooting at the wrong people. Meaning the GLBT community of course, who’s position you get very wrong, and then belittle for no reason. Screw you! Ugh, just when I think I’m safe reading here again, the place goes off into Right Wingnuttia again and I feel grossed out for even coming here.
@gex: Yes, there is something there. Something pretty significant.
A President on record supporting benefits for same sex partners, restating his opposition to DOA and desire to repeal it, and basically asking people to move on the issue.
You want to tell me that is no different from Bush, no different from what we would be seeing from McCain/Palin, and no different from Clinton, the guy who SIGNED DOMA?
@Napoleon: I appreciate the links, and read them all. I’m not sure they support your point, though. At most, they indicate that Obama promised both to aggressively end DADT and to consult with the military before ending DADT. So your argument about campaign promises, I think, holds no water.
And Cole: I read this website faithfully, though I don’t say much, because I find anyone who’s able to think through issues and actually change his or her mind pretty impressive. I think that if you reflect on this one, you’ll discover that while perhaps there’s a bit too much emphasis on Obama and too little on Congress, that’s because Obama has the ability to unilaterally, immediately, take a few simple, minor actions.
If he’d done that, we’d be pressuring congress. But his unwillingness to do the simplest things (such as: enforce the stop-loss law in a way that is ethically imperative, and legally and militarily sound, admit that he was wrong to suddenly decide to oppose gay marriage, acknowledge that the DOMA brief went much farther than necessary) attracts our ire. It’s like waving a pink flag at a bull.
Well, I shouldn’t make gay jokes. I’m not gay. I’m straight, white, middle-aged, male, married, centrist Dem who expects a president to show leadership in the easiest moral issue of our time, one that will actually enhance, not diminish his political power.
He’s losing me over this. Not my vote, not even my support in little ways. But he’s losing my enthusiastic support. I knocked on doors to get Obama elected, I made phone calls. I don’t know any gay, and I don’t really give a shit about gays, as such. But I care deeply for equal rights, and if you’re not willing to lead in the easy ways on an issue as easy as equal rights, you’re worse than weak.
I already knew that about Congress.
@Emma: indeed. this post and the Mr. Cole’s subsequent comments here are just, well, disgusting. what an ignorant person, I had no idea.
There was NO grant of NEW benefits to gay federal employees:
§ 4c This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
This was a mere statement of company policy (non-binding on his successor) that any boss’s grant of permission for gay employees to use the few benefits already available is now mandatory rather than discretionary.
And what? He would have liked to do more except his hands were tied by DOMA, which he says he doesn’t actually support despite defending it in court last week? Yeah, whatever.
This was an empty box with a bow pretending to be a gift.
By spreading half-truths, you give people permission to say that the gays are never satisfied.
Who would be satisfied by an empty gesture?
@John Cole: no, it is EXACTLY what you are arguing against, supposedly. this wasn’t even an executive order, its a memo in which Obama calls for half-assed benefits in order to staunch the bleeding from his completely tone-deaf handling of the whole matter, which expires THE DAY his term ends! learn more before you bloviate. you do not seem very knowledgeable on this subject.
Goddamn right I’m going to take shots at Obama. This is the guy who said he would use the bully pulpit to support us…well, he did take three minutes of his time yesterday to do so after an uproar over HIS DoJ’s bigoted brief, so I suppose I should be grateful.
Here is what he said in 2007:
“Look, when I went to Rick Warren’s church at Saddleback, he was under enormous heat because, among his constituency, my position on LGBT issues and my position on abortion is anathema. So his position could have been, we will not have Obama speak because he does not subscribe to our views on these two issues. To his credit, he allowed me to speak, in his church, from his pulpit, to 2,000 evangelicals. And I didn’t trim my remarks, I specifically told them, “I think you guys are wrong when it comes to issues like condom distribution.” And by the way, I got a standing ovation.
My views on gay issues and on choice issues are well-known. I did not trim my sails in the conversation I had with them. And I think as a consequence of appearances like that, I am helping to encourage understanding that will ultimately strengthen the cause of LGBT rights.”
The language in the DoJ brief did the complete opposite of that.
The mutiny inside the party over this is not just directed at Obama – take the DNC fundraiser for instance. Aside from that, stuff gets done in Congress as a RESULT of arm twisting at the Presidential staff level. Obama could trot out Rahmbo to serve the gay community, if he wanted to.
He’s the one who told us he would be a fierce advocate.
Thanks for responding John. As is clear, and thanks for reminding me, I was pissed off that particular morning.
But you assume that the language and rhetoric that I use when blowing off steam and commenting online is identical to the tenor and tone of my communications with our elected officials. That’s not the case.
I was one of many who asked that Robinson be included, and we got some of what we asked for. He was part of the pre-inaugural event, though not the inauguration itself, and though no one on the Capitol Mall heard his invocation because of a sound system problem, and though he appeared before the live telecast began so no one else in America saw him either, he was there. (We ‘screamed’ some more, and HBO included him in the re-broadcast.) It really wasn’t enough, but it was a nice table scrap, and I’m glad that you feel it worked out so well.
I will continue to ask for more than I think I can get, and then decide if I can settle for what I get in return.
There was a DKos diary yesterday evening that I particularly liked, and in response to it, I commented thusly:
I will attempt to express myself in a more dignified manner in the future on your blog. And you need to appreciate that you can support LGBT equality and still be somewhat homophobic. As they sing in Avenue Q, “Everyone’s a little bit racist.” Ditto that for homophobia. Including among LGBTs themselves. All you have to do is visit Citizen Crain and Gay Patriot for evidence of that.
@John Cole: Well, from that standard even the memo wasn’t needed. We don’t actually have to do anything, like actually grant rights and privileges. We just have to say that we’re all for it in public while working against it/doing nothing in arenas where action is actually taken.
I think we’re just going to have to agree to disagree here. We already knew that he supported us in his heart. Setting back arguments against the unconstitutionality of DOMA and signing an ineffectual piece of paper while saying he’s on our side isn’t “something” in my book.
Well, it’s good we’re continuing to fire perfectly good soldiers and linguists essential to the wars we’re fighting, then. Good policy at work!
@itsbenj: We are trying to balance a number of things, benj (although I’m not sure why you care what I think, since I am so clearly a homophobe, a bigot, and ignorant, as you have repeatedly stated).
We don’t want rule by executive order. We want a permanent solution to these things. The best way to achieve that is to repeal DADT and DOMA legislatively. So you move towards that by issuing a memo establishing guidelines normalizing things and restating your support for those goals.
The smart play here would be to state that the memo is a good start, but that it is not enough and that in order to achieve real equality DOMA must be repealed so that homosexuals can legally be allowed to receive all the benefits that straight couples receive. Act like this is something to build on, a positive first step.
Or, you could scream that nothing has changed, that Obama and progressive blogs secretly hate gay people, and that everyone who disagrees with you is a homophobe and ignorant. Because if there is anything that I find persuasive, it is knowing that I am fully supportive of complete equal rights for gays and still have people show up in my comments section and call me ignorant, homophobic, and a bigot because we disagree on strategy.
It is exactly why we have any of the rights we do now. We fought, we bled, we protested and we made our shit known!
You think if we had just sat down and waited for people to do the right thing, that anyone would have any rights at all save for rich white male landowners?
They actually threw us under the bus. But your point stands.
@rs: I honestly don’t know anyone who is defending the DOMA brief. I have no explanation for it other than that the guy who wrote it was a Bush holdover and it caught everyone by surprise.
That is the only charitable explanation I can come up with- it was incompetence from an overwhelmed Justice department. Anything else is inexplicable to me.
For anything to change, pressure has to come on all sides, from multiple sources, TO multiple recipients.
If the lone response by the GLBT community is to yell at Obama, it’s newsworthy, but it may not be all that effective.
If that yelling is combined with the GLBT community and their supporters writing to their elected representatives, combined with prominent, well-liked figures like Ellen Degeneres getting married, combined with a good, pithy publicity campaign, hopefully using some compelling, eloquent spokespeople…ah, NOW we’re talking.
Has Obama done enough? No, he hasn’t. Has he done more than his predecessors? Yes. So the key is to encourage him to do even more, and to put pressure on ALL of society. But shitting on him and saying he’s no better than Bush is not really the way to persuade him, or anybody else, to do more. All it does is alienate people who would otherwise be allies.
I’m all about the PR, baby. That’ll be $500 for the consultation.
@Michael D.: I thought under the bus was old meme!
@John Cole: And that’s why people are so angry. It’s the big picture, as far as I’m concerned– almost the only ‘real’ action Obama has taken concerning Teh Gays was that. Don’t get me wrong; I’d vote for him again, was a bit suspicious of his GLBT policies, and am daily glad that John McCain isn’t President right now. But holy shit am I mad, and I’m really not surprised other people are mad too.
It’s kind of amazing to me that folks come here with piss and vinegar aimed at people who basically support them, and, if it were in their power would grant them full rights in about two seconds.
Seems to me that brave folk would take the fight and anger to their actual enemy, say like wingnut blogs etc… etc….. This misfire is making me care less every time it happens.
Oh, please yourself.
This is just the same binary thinking the wingnuts practiced, with just the polarity changed.
The choice is not between passive acceptance or all out protest and rancor. There are all sorts of alternatives that shade into each other. There are all sorts of TACTICAL responses that you’re lumping into one or two categories.
That’s not effective, that’s not smart.
You’re trying to act like a wingnut—and that DEFINITELY didn’t work.
Let’s take an informal poll. I know most of you here are supportive of gay rights. So, besides voicing that support here – which IS appreciated, no matter how irritated I sometimes get –
name something tangible and effective that you have actually done.
I’m sure those of us here that are actually affected by all this would love to hear the stories of you actually writing to or visiting the offices of your congressional rep, or giving money to causes, or sitting down with your less tolerant parents and friends and explaining to them – convincing them – that we deserve to be treated equally.
And so it is known, I have never for a second thought you were a homophobic bigot, John.
Whatever you have to say, please do it, but, please, do not use the National Review and the Washington Times as sources. That practice immediately reduces your credibility.
I am so, so tired of anytime there’s a disagreement among “progressives” about issues and how they ought to be handled, they’re branded “Obama apologists.” Is this how it’s going to be for the next four/eight years? Because I’m sick of it already.
Well, I’ve never done it before. But after reading comment after comment about “chill out, he’ll take care of it” and “calm down, he’s playing the long game” and the best one “he has more important priorities” I am beginning to wonder when it is OK to criticize the man for NOT KEEPING HIS WORD.
The DADT policy is a perfect example. He said he would consult with his generals. There are at least two of them who have said publicly that they would support the change. The latest poll show 55+% support for it in the public. There is no political downside to this except from the people who would never vote for him anyway. He could stop the practice through executive order and send draft legislation to Congress and tell them to push it along. He has done neither. He has sat on his hands after promising to be a “fierce advocate” for equality.
Instead when gays complain they get… well, go back and read some of the comments on this list. And this is one of the most enlightened commentariat on the web, IMO.
My own private criticisms are not about the criticisms of Obama. I have seen a fair share of histrionics (e.g. he’s Bush +) along with legit rants with regards to them that border on stupid (and believe me I think calling him and Congress out on this is very warranted), but it gets hard to even bother paying attention when somehow a disagreement on the best course of action (coupled with both sides’ mutual error in making the action a binary issue) puts all us heterosexuals into the same boat: that we “don’t really care”, say “if you don’t like it, leave” or that we’re closeted bigots. Frankly that alone keeps me at bay from even talking to anyone gay when these issues come up, and I think attacking each other–not Obama who I think is fair game within reason but our friends/allies–is not only counterproductive half the time but loosens any alliance. Not that straight allies like me will ever stop advocacy but it will be as a loosened confederation with the LGBTs than a united front.
Shorter version: As a straight ally that completely agrees and sympathizes with you, I think attacking anyone here for just being straight and/or having an opposing opinion on methodology as an opponent drives us away from a more amicable unity to being bitterly separated groups who happen to have the same goal
That’s not the enemy. The enemy is legislative inertia. The cure for that is organizing and putting pressure on the legislature to get this passed.
Obama’s not doing the pressuring? Fine. He’s not the only way to apply pressure. Use that anger to get that legislation done.
Eyes on the prize, folks.
@ 67 taodon
I hear ya. When Senator Obama would say in his speechs about us having gay friends in the Blue states and the Red states, I thought that phrase alone would be something the Repubs would turn into something nasty and perverted. Instead, that phrase probably got the most applause. Oh, and Liza is still a icon to the gays? I thought Christina Arugula (whatever) was the new Liza, if not, she should be. Great voice.
I’ve done lots of that, if that’s any consolation.
I haven’t written to any U.S. representatives, as I wasn’t sure it would do any good for a Canadian to be doing that. But, if you think it’ll help, I’d be happy to do it.
1.) Donated money.
2.) Ran a website that helped to raise 50k for the more gay friendly Presidential candidate.
3.) Discuss the issues and provide vocal support for the cause here (albeit not always the strategies adopted by some).
4.) Openly wrote about the similarities between the biblical rhetoric employed by the right during the Civil Rights era and the rhetoric used to justify the anti-gay rights movement.
5.) Actually changed my mind. I used to just favor civil unions. Now I am fully supportive of gay marriage.
6.) Oh yeah. I promoted an openly gay guy who ran a website called Gay Orbit to front page poster status, allowing him the space to write about WHATEVER he wanted. You might know him. His name is Michael D. and he still has posting status here.
Clearly I am just all talk.
Another part and parcel of the Obama flap is that a lot of the language that was on the White House website supporting Gay rights and other important issues to the gay community had a maddening habit of quietly disappearing (until the gay community piped up again).
Obama’s people have brought a lot of the angst and anger on themselves. Yes it takes time to get things done, but they’ve been very ham handed in how they do things. There is a way to keep people on your side and patient while not insulting their intelligence or giving off signals as if you aren’t really planning on doing what you promised.
Sometimes it almost seems like they are intentionally trying to piss of the gay base.
“This has to come from Congress.”
I wonder why it hasn’t occurred to the gays that they can just take off the chaps, put on a tie and go secure a couple Acts of Congress?
Mr. Cole, many of the same asses that passed DOMA and DADT are still keeping seats warm there, and minority rights are rarely secured by majority votes.
As the chief executive, BO has the power to act on behalf of gay equality in substantial ways, but has pretended that his hands are tied.
Even though your children, your relationship, your career, your health and your property haven’t been compromised by these laws, millions of people’s have. They are frustrated and they deserve your compassion, not your dismissal.
@ronin122: I think it’s interesting, ronin, that you posted this particular statement in response to my comment.
You indicate that extreme rhetoric has the effect of making you feel alienated from the LGBT community and unfairly stereotyped as a straight person. Can you clarify if anything I wrote in this specific comment evinces that reaction in you? Because I just don’t see it, but I’m open to your feedback.
@John Cole: As I said, I never thought you EVER were an anti-gay bigot. I’ve never said that and I never will. I disagree with you on how to handle the issues, that’s all. I really DO hope you know that.
And perhaps my comment seemed like it was to throw your potential inaction in your face.
It was not intended that way. I just really wanted to know. So sorry if it came out wrong.
And I know I still have posting status here. I fixed a spelling mistake last month. :-)
@Emma: Emma, a poll done in 2006 indicates that the military also supports DADT, at least the rank and file. So yeah. Everyone ‘wants’ to do it but no one can seem to find the rocks to actually do something.
@Persia: I think that DADT and DOMA are awful and should be gotten rid of. My point is that I think that Americans can be reasoned with and the individuals and movements should work to convince the public that these policies are not only ineffective and cruel but that they come at a great cost to our society.
Personally, I don’t understand why there is not an effective television campaign in process to get rid of DADT (Rachel Maddow and the Daily Show have done great work to demonstrate how asinine the program is) Why aren’t their clips used in national commercials?
Get real, keyboard Commando Stuck. You’ve been sitting at your computer for FAR too long.
I know I’ve been gripinig and whining here, but I’ve also been talking very politely with my legislators. I’m pretty lucky in that they’ve been almost totally supportive (although I think Klobuchar has had one or two misfires).
Then put THEM on the defensive and make THEM the minority thwarting the will of the majority.
You’re still playing the Bush game of investing power in the executive branch. That’s not the only game in town.
Politics in this country travels on coalitions.
The gay rights “movement” has seen fit to basically flip a bird to its coalition cohorts, and turn to just acting out its impatience and frustration instead of working effectively with its natural allies and partners to move forward.
Okay, fine. I hope the strategy works for them. It won’t, but it’s polite to say “good luck.” You are something like 5,6,7 percent of the population, LGBT guys and gals. After you alienate everybody who started out on your side, maybe you can get the GOP to help you? They seem to be in need of some new voters over there these days.
My advice would be not to waste any more time talking about the plight of LGBT politics. Apparently they think they don’t need any help, like a little child, they want to do it “all by themselves.” Okay, go right ahead. Do it all by yourselves. I have plenty of other things to worry about.
Well, Gibbs is defending it.
If it caught everyone by surprise, then why hasn’t there been an apology for it? It’s Obama’s DoJ. He didn’t have any guidance to offer in terms of an important campaign promise to the gay community? Doesn’t he have some sort of liason there who would say, hey, a gay issue is coming up, let’s make sure we do this as sensitively as possible, etc.? Exert some control over the Bushies or hell, fire them. I think what is most embarrassing about all this is that it doesn’t seem like Obama has enough gay staff – or gay sensitive staff. Someone should’ve been looking at this.
What’s embarrassing is that it exposes the Obama Administration as having no overall game plan on gay rights. There’s no DADT plan. Clearly there’s no “gay sensitivity” game plan in the DoJ. John from Americablog says there’s no special liaison to the gay community. Obama needs to get his shit together.
I wonder how much of the problem is that the gay rights movement doesn’t really have very effective leadership. I always hear people trashing the HRC as ineffective and useless, and maybe it is a divided we fail sort of thing. It seems like they were out PR’d in California by the Mormon church. That just strikes me as sad.
Maybe I’m wrong, but the lack of a coordinated message and strategy, on top of over-reliance on the courts in previous decades had contributed to this mess, meanwhile the anger and resentment among the ranks has grown so that every now and then there are these outbursts of anger aimed at the very people who actually support them?
Does that make sense?
I am about as big an Obama fan as a person can be, but I disagree on this one. It is clear that Obama responds to public pressure from his constituencies. A lot of pressure has been applied from the LGBT constituency in the last few weeks to do something, ANYTHING to validate their loyalty to the president, in the wake of his slow-walking of DADT and DOMA repeal, and that horrible DOMA defense by the Justice Dept. I think a line can be drawn from that pressure, to Obama’s extension of federal benefits yesterday. It’s not much, but it proves that the man will listen if you scream loud enough.
On the one hand you have people criticizing Obama’s change to federal health benefits as toothless because it comes as an executive action, and on the other you have people demanding that Obama enact a further series of executive orders under penalty of ex-communication. Doesn’t make much sense.
People need to look at what John is and isn’t saying. He isn’t saying we shouldn’t advocate for gay rights, he’s saying we should focus our efforts on those who can make a lasting difference. This isn’t just about currently existing gays, its about future generations as well. The goal should be to have the issue settled permanently by the time Obama leaves office, not turned into an executive football.
@John Cole: I do think that’s part of the problem. But I do want to note that gay people campaigned pretty hard this year, in a united way for…oh, that’s right, Obama and the Democrats. It’s pretty depressing to think that everyone who wants to be heard in Washington needs their own organized lobbying group.
Excuse a brief OT comment – A few weeks ago you recommended Ursula Leguin’s “Lathe of Heaven“. Bought it. Loved it. Thanks.
Well, Gibbs is defending it.
It is after all Obama’s DoJ. You would think he would have some liason in the DoJ to handle gay issues as sensitively as possible. And it isn’t as though Bushie wingnut doesn’t have non-wingnut superiors. Hell, fire the Bushie wingnut. That would make sense.
This is embarrassing because it exposes Obama as without an actual plan for gay rights. There’s no DADT plan. No special liason to the gay community. Clearly no gay sensitivity training. Nothing is ever going to get done on our issues if Obama doesn’t have people in the Admin preparing the way. He does not seem to have those people.
@PeopleAreNoDamnGood: Thanks for commenting. In a comment above, I described the attitude you display, and it was suggested that I might be unfairly stereotyping straight people. I’m glad you happened along to buttress my argument.
Oh great. Two wars, economic and banking near-disasters, people losing jobs and savings, people desperate for healthcare reform and probably one chance — this summer and fall — to get it, Iran, Korea …. and you are telling the gays to scream louder.
Great, great advice.
( rolls eyes )
I don’t think in my lifetime I have ever seen a “movement” try so hard to shed its coalitions and fuck itself over as hard as I am seeing now. This is truly educational.
That’s right, kids. Scream louder. LOUDER.
@gbear: edit command wouldn’t work. I wanted to add that I know I’ve been venting a bit here, but I’ve also been politely calling my legislators and attending local events regarding GLBT rights issues. Voted for Obama. Still support Obama. Also very pissed that he hasn’t done anything to disavow that crap-filled brief that the DOJ put out. I really would have assumed that Obama would be horrified by the thing, and it’s such a drag to see him act like nothing bad happened.
And I’m sick of people telling me that by stating this disappointment about Obama that I’m shooting myself.
This makes sense to me. This whole discussion reminds me all too much of the Prop 8 debacle. Lots of emotional outburst and passion (which is good), but not a lot of tactical follow through or a refined sense of politics–how to assemble a coalition and keep pressing the right buttons to get things done.
That’s really a lost art, and not something that anybody can do (I’ve been doing a very small thing on getting arts districts done in a city so that you don’t lose performing spaces–and the work needed for that is frankly beyond my skills and scope). I think you can see that it’s a lost art in that neither political party have that many skilled operatives IN TOTAL.
Please point to anywhere in my comment where I said it was an either-or choice.
I give you some time to look for it …
In the meantime, I will tell you this: until someone got up in someone else’s face and yelled something, people would never realize that there is a problem.
Advocacy and donations both play their part in the cause. But don’t think for a second that people would not get off their asses if there wasn’t loud protests.
Parents are losing access to their children because the law only considers biological relationships protected.
People are being deported because they cannot be sponsored for citizenship.
People are dying or being bankrupted by medical bills because they can’t be added to healthcare policies.
People are on welfare because they have no access to their partner’s social security survivor benefits or pensions.
But these things should take a back seat to your home’s market value? Are you even actually selling your house?
Yeah, well, someone has always had to bend over and take it in this country, be it irish, women, blacks, etc. Welcome to the club.
Hey good for you man. Be sick of it. Yell and stamp your feet.
Maybe when you don’t have any more friends on the political landscape on the left you can try a meeting with Newt Gingrich and John Boehner. After they get done running off the Hispanics, they might be interested in a new voting bloc.
That way at least all the damn fools will be on the same side.
Be more depressed–anyone who wants to be heard on the city, county, state OR federal level needs to be organized into a lobbying group.
Yup. You and I are on the same wavelength. It seems (and I could be wrong), that every major societal change in America has had a figurehead — a leader (or a few leaders) behind whom people could rally. The civil rights movement had Rosa Parks and MLK Jr. The feminist movement had Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. Abolitionism had Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. But right now, there is no real cohesiveness to the gay rights movement — no compelling figureheads behind whom to rally — nobody who is willing to take up the sword and inspire people to join the cause. Hell, y’all don’t even have a cohesive lobbying group with a proper spokesperson, let alone a leader. That’s a big key that’s missing right there.
I’m curious, how many people have actually read the DOMA brief, cover to cover.
he says after he has no power to affect change. if you didn’t see that for the wedge that it was, you’re blind.
ok for some reason i don’t think my comment is getting through if it is er…my bad! sorry.
but @john cole Gibbs is defending the brief.
This brief debacle and the ensuing memo just exposes the Obama Admin as having no game plan. Clearly, there’s no sensitivity training going on nor has the DoJ been instructed to reflect at least the nature of Obama’s views. There’s no DADT plan. Has the Bushie wingnut who wrote it been fired? Has an apology been offered? No.
Obama needs to get his shit together.
I just had a month off on computer death furlough and am fresh for battle. So you’ve been rational and polite. Some others haven’t, and they are who I was referring to within the Cheeto realm.
The problem is that there is still a majority of Americans who still don’t much approve of ,and have strong feelings against, Gay Marriage and truthfully, gayness in general. And they are voters still, which scares politicians into inaction. Nothing new, that’s how the system works. My point is the fight is to change minds and that is happening slowly as younger people replace older ones. But singing, or browbeating (by some) to the choir isn’t helpful. The only minds changed are from supporters of your cause, to non-supporters with accusations of “not doing enough” or “you don’t really care enough” or whatever.
@Allan: I am sorry for being unclear; I wasn’t implying at all that it was your words that made me have that sentiment. I responded to you specifically because of what you said about John reaffirming your faith in the heterosexual community (or to that effect, sorry for being lazy and not looking for the exact quote, scrolling is laborous on the laptop at present) and thus thought it relevant since I felt it unfair to say faith in straight allies as a collective is shot to pieces over the particular things the left and the LGBTs are arguing about last few months or so.
I hinted at what I was getting at earlier in the comments but essentially my alienation stems primarily from the internet community (it’s much worse on DKos and other sites I frequent than here by far). Basically dating back from the Prop8 days and culminating with the Rick Warren fiasco, I get the sense from LGBTs on the left in these parts that because I am not gay the following therefore applies to me:
a) I don’t fully understand since I am not gay (this is true to an extent, even though I am not shut out from the gay community in the slightest) thus my opinion doesn’t count if it isn’t 100% in agreement with yours (this is not), and
b) that disagreeing with the approach one is taking means we’re not really allies and maybe even in the same camp as the enemy (e.g. the Christian Right) even though there are multiple and multifaceted approaches and we agree totally on the end result.
The whole issue about attacking Obama for not doing enough to repeal DADT and DOMA or any other LGBT-related issue isn’t a big concern for me since politicians are fair game, though I stress that all sides of the issue amongst us (e.g. executive order vs legislative action) are legitimate things to debate CIVILLY. Although I do think that equating his foot-dragging on the issues (something that irritates me too, but maybe I’m just overly patient or optimistic but it’s not like his lack of success from our viewpoint means he already failed, you know?) means he is just like Bush or equivalent is downright stupid, it’s pretty much that way with Obama on EVERY issue so far and this isn’t taken personal (face it, so many years without having anyone even remotely advocating our issues with only triangulation b.s. in between makes us severely impatient).
Hope that makes sense, I’m not mentally up to par at the moment so my rhetoric isn’t as clear.
Yeah, whatever. You are turning friends into enemies.
But the smart thing to do is to sit at your keyboard and hurl insults at people like me, somebody who has and will continue to vote in your interests every time. Piss ME off. Tell ME what opinions I should have and not have. Tell ME which is the only correct way to act on my natural desire to see your side move forward. Insult ME. Insist that you and only you should decide where your issues must fall on the grand priority lists in this historic time of war and crisis, because clearly, only you can know.
I’m just a pseudonymous poster on an obscure blog. Who cares, right?
@the crustybastard: Where is the ad campaign targetting congressmen showing families ripped apart by this sort of thing? Where is the advocacy explaining this to people? The American people will react if they know the circumstances.
Why is there no coordinated message? Why is there nothing being done but periodic outbursts and circular firing squads?
Again, the appropriate response to this would be to have a coordinated message that states “We appreciate this memo from President Obama, and recognize it is a good gesture and a small step towards full equality, but it is only a first step. We intend to work with President Obama to achieve his stated goal of repeal of DOMA and DADT, so that all Americans have equal rights. We intend to no longer support those congressmen who are no on board for the kind of change we believe should be made for all Americans.” And then follow it up with a coordinated ad campaign, targeting first the most liberal congressmen in safe districts until they come out in front of this issue, and provide cover for the folks in closer districts whose voted you will need and for whom this will be a tough vote and will pose electoral problems. And at the same time, a coordinated ad campaign showing how our current policies are hurting families.
Or, you could scream that Obama is just like Bush, and that this act was nothing and a slap in the face, and that everyone who disagrees with you on strategy is actually a secret homophobe who hates gay people and just wishes you would go away. Right now, the gay rights movement is behaving in a way that it is politically advantageous for many in Congress to keep Sister Soldjahing them. And I hate that damned term.
And John McCain said last week he would study DADT. HAHAHAHAHA.
The point is that this is a purely symbolic gesture. Is it significant in it’s own way? Sure. But it doesn’t actually provide much in the way of substantive change. Had his statements been made independent of the shitstorm created by the DOJ brief (not to mention several very high profile military firings) it would have had more positive impact. The problem is that it now comes across as a merely symbolic reaction to well earned ire (and more specifically to the closing of some pretty fat wallets).
I also find the comparisons to Bush, McCain and Clinton to be tiresome. We elected Obama because he promised meaningful substantive change.
I’m glad that he made the statements that he did. It’s good to have the President vocally supporting equality. I would be a lot more glad if I heard that someone in his office was penning legislation to send to Congress.
Disregard, the ACME editor has destroyed another post.
Again, the roadrunner gets away ……..
Depressing, but methinks that’s the way it is, sadly enough.
@John Cole: Well for one thing, there have been queer friendly ad campaigns that networks refuse to show because the queers are too distasteful to have on the television.
@John Cole: John, I’d suggest you could get work as a political strategist, but my experience with cable news is that “X” strategist (X being political, Democratic, Republican, etc) or any other stupid title really means “this person is just some jackass who at one point had a job related to something in politics who is willing to spout off predictable talking points on air without anything resembling thought or debate”. In short, you’re too smart for it.
Isn’t DADT repeal an easier sell to the American people? Even the wingnuts? Wouldn’t a coordinated strategy be to do a campaign on that, and start cutting into Congressional opposition to gay rights issue by issue?
Yes. It’s a great book! Glad you found it and liked it.
@John Cole: When did I say that Obama was no different than those others? Please, do tell.
I’m giving credit where it is due. I believe Cheney has always said that.
Maybe they can find a lobbying firm that advises them to attack their political friends on a regular basis.
Is there an ACME Lobbying Associates out there?
Wile E. Coyote has a better chance of eating roadrunner l’orange for dinner than these fools have of moving ahead with their agenda.
Tim in SF
I am breaking my rule of no posting before tea, so I hope this does not come out wrong.
I love this blog. It is the first blog I read in the morning and the last blog I read at night. I never miss a post and try to always read the comments, because I almost always learn something.
That said, WORST. POST. EVER.
No acknowledgement of the insult we received with that EFFING DOMA brief, followed by the constant drone from the commenters: you should wait for your rights, there are other priorities. THE SAME FUCKING THING WE GAYS HAVE BEEN TOLD BY DEMS FOR DECADES.
Maybe it’ time for YOUR needs to be put on hold for a while. We’ve been waiting for a LONG FUCKING TIME ALREADY and I am SICK and FUCKING TIRED of being told to WAIT by my ostensible political allies. I’m DONE! STOP TELLING ME TO WAIT FOR MY EQUALITY. YOU are not the one who had to pay an extra $1200 on April 15 because of DOMA – I AM.
crap…I effed up the block quotes on my comment above and now I can’t edit.
Lee from NC
Look, the basic issue is that Obama himself has said that he would use the “bully pulpit” to pursue gay rights. We have waited patiently. There is a lot on his plate. But rather than lead, he has been completely passive. Still we waited.
Then HIS DoJ files a legal brief in defense of DOMA that could easily have come straight from the bowels of the Bush DoJ.
We are pressuring Congress. We are working calmly towards the goal of equal rights. But we also are holding Obama’s feet to the fire to uphold his own promises. He made several specific promises to the gay community to get our money and our time to help get him elected. We’ve gotten zilch in return so far except a slap in the face from the DoJ.
Obama needs to man up. You guys can talk all you want about how it’s Congress’s job but that’s misdirection at best. He’s been out front leading on other issues. Financial regulation oversight, the stimulus package, etc.
My question is, why are gays being so unreasonable by asking him to lead on this issue, which he promised to do?
@the crustybastard: crustybastard, I understand all of those things — I really do. They are gross injustices, they are horrifying, and they are based on bigoted, bad policy. Everything you enumerate — and more, as you know — must be remedied.
And I believe that it will be. And I believe it will be under the Obama Administration.
Look, we need to right the broad, systemic failures of the American economy and ensure it is on solid ground for the future. Again, there are injustices that persist in the LGBT community — but the issues I laid out in my first comment, to include the economy, have been prioritized by this administration in such a way that they will be addressed now, today, in the first six months of this term. Frankly, I think this was the correct course of action.
I agree with John’s earlier comments on this. If the leadership of the LGBT community is frustrated with the action — or lack thereof — of the Obama Administration, then the right thing to do is boycott the DNC fundraiser. Or even just call it off. If the DOMA brief language is offensive — and we can surely agree that it is horrible, disgusting, evil, divisive, terrible, awful, and just plain mean — then I think it’s okay to express that.
My only point was, with respect to the larger issue of civil rights in the LGBT community, give the guy a little time, here. And press for more than just signing statements and executive orders. Hold the Congress accountable for strong, decisive legislative action as well.
@Tim in SF: Other participants in the Oppression Olympics are suitably impressed.
@@John Cole: . woah. I think you are confusing blog commenters with liberal organizations. Pretty much every gay advocacy organization is saying exactly what you said – this is an important but small step, we need more. No gay advocacy group is saying Obama is a gay hater.
And also, of course the gay advocacy groups are targeting Obama right now. It’s his DoJ that just pissed off the entire community, not the Congressional Budget Office or the Senate.
I actually think gay activists are being pretty smart right now. Eyes are on them and they are demanding what they actually want – full marriage equality, DOMA repeal, DADT repeal, etc. They’re not giving the DNC money (and Congress needs that money). It’s not all about Obama. Really.
Well, the gay marriage issue has progressed as follows while I’ve been out.
First gays couldn’t get married.
Next there were laws written saying we really truly mean it, gays can’t get married.
Then, rightly in my opinion, the courts started finding those laws unconstitutional.
This was followed by a majority of the states passing Constitutional amendments to fix that little old problem.
The one respite we’ve had was Lawrence v. Texas.
Then the DOMA brief which repudiated Lawrence v. Texas, compared us to pedophilia and incest, added new “but it would cost money!” arguments as to why the state has an interest in regulating SSM.
So yeah, after a decade or more of going from bad to worse, I do disagree on the strategy of going even further backwards still. We lose a little money on each transaction, but we’re going to make it up in volume.
That’s the best possible argument you can make. It’s what initially convinced me that the policy was madness back when I was one of the right-wingnuts.
The idea that our government would be deliberately shooting itself in the foot during a war where these specialized personnel were badly needed because they were involved in same sex relationships that would not violate military regs if their partners were of the opposite sex made me realize exactly how stupid the policy was.
And pointing out government stupidity is definitely one of the better ways of winning Republicans.
@Tim in SF:
Nor are they the ones who will have to up and leave his partner if he loses his job because his visa requires him to leave in 10 DAYS.
I sometimes think that, while people DO support my equality, they DON’T realize that it’s not something that can wait. It’s URGENT.
@John Cole: And when have you known Obama to be this clumsy and incompetent before?
@gex: I’d argue that your chronology is missing six states legalizing gay marriage and the election of a guy who openly supports repealing DOMA and ending DADT.
@Tim in SF: Have some tea. We have discussed it in the comments and I have updated the post.
@Comrade Stuck: I myself wonder why we don’t get more support from our allies instead of being asked why the 10% of us gay people can’t just win at the ballot box.
Honestly, do you hear yourself? We should go reason with wingnuts. I suppose anything else would be a waste of our time.
@rs: That would not be the first time I confuse the two.
@ronin122: Thanks for responding. I appreciate it. You make very good sense to me.
And I didn’t make clear enough that the blocked text in that comment was what I wrote in response to a DKos diary. I linked to it but didn’t quote any of its text, and it’s unrealistic of me to expect people to go jump and read it to understand my own comment.
The DKos diary was titled Criticizing Gays for Demanding Rights. CatM wrote about the backlash against gay diarists and commenters from the perspective of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and pointed out how she, as a straight woman, occupies a higher strata of that pyramid than do LGBT Americans, who lack consistent access to the second level of “safety” — security of body, of employment, of resources, of morality, of the family, of health, of property.
She says that it is “short-sighted” for those whose access to that level of needs is guaranteed by statute to criticize those who are asking to join them because of HOW they happen to express that request. It was interesting and level-headed and I enjoyed reading it.
@Tom: Have you read the actually brief? I am assuming most people did not. Here’s a link from a attorney who deals with GLBT issues and he expalins how the brief in question was argued properly. Even Barney Frank had to admit it. Yes there could have been a different way to rephrase things somewhat, but the words “pedophilia” or “incest” are not even written in the brief.
And on Rachel Maddow, Rep Tammy Baldwin admitted that it’s left up to CONGRESS to create a bill for Obama to sign. He never gave a timeline of when he was going to overturn ENDA, DOMA, or DADT. He didn’t say, that 140 days into my administration I will overturn all thses crappy laws. It doesn’t work that way. Civil Rights comes at small steps, not huge leaps that are sloppy.
Hold Congress accountable!
Here’s the linky:
Death By Mosquito Truck
So sick of gay people.
You mean we still have do things like primary conservative Democrats and force the party to recognize the urgency? But… but.. getting [whiny] Magic Unity Pony elected should’ve been all the work we needed to doooooo!![/whiny] Gawwwwwd.
A couple of people mentioned the origins of marriage being secular (and oriented around children and property). These are good points, but comparing marriage now to the origins of marriage is a long road to nowhere. The institutions has changed drastically – as you would be unlikely today to see a 40 year old marry a 13 year old to secure dynastic claims or arable land
My point was that, currently, marriage is a primarily religious institution. I have been involved in non-religious ceremonies, and I am sure there are numerous cases of non-religious ceremonies. But look at the defenders of “DOMA,” and a good bet says 99% of them are religious. Separating the two (religion and marriage) currently is impossible
To the particular point about friendly fire against Obama: This has to be what he wanted us to do, if he’s anything like as smart as you think.
All of our organizations have responded, Well, nice to see you asking for our money and support but this is a recycled building block, take care you don’t trip over it (in very diplomatic language that reflects your suggestion above.
The screaming and yelling has two effects: It puts pressure on our organizations to keep up their demands for the campaign promises to stop DADT and work around DOMA, not reinforce it–which were used to extract tens of millions of dollars from our pockets, not for nothing.
It also allows our extremists like Aravois to get media time. Believe it or not, you sorta-sometimes-maybe-supportive-as-long-as-no-one-says-anything-mean-about-President-Fierce self-styled progressives are not the audience. You’re going to vote for Dems regardless.
Our audience is the folks who are going to question supporting Democrats in 2010 based on a bunch of social-issue demagoguery–they’ve got nothing, in reality, so the campaign has to turn on the question, Is Obama and a Dem Congress ushering in the gaypocalypse?
I think we’re effectively communicating to that audience that the Obama administration is pissing all over the gays. How do you think we’re doing, now that you understand how to score the play?
Yeah, as others have pointed out, you’re wrong about a lot of this and that’s coming from ignorance–which has been addressed amply in this thread.
But the thing you’re most ignorant about, and I mean that in a loving way, is the history of our movement.
I’m not sure what ‘over-reliance on courts’ even means, in the context of an oppressed group that was facing the kinds of problems we faced 25 years ago. (Google terms include ‘Charlie Howard’, GRID, Bowers v. Hardwick for those who have no idea why I’d pick 1984 as the point to start educating yourselves.)
The context of our legislative victories in the states has been one of pressure from the judicial branch as well as social pressure. The social pressure is an outcome. It flows from being able to form families and live our normal, typical apple-pie-eating-and-baking American lives.
In 1984, courts routinely stripped divorcing parents of any right to contact with their kids if the court suspected that the parent might be a homosexual, which at that time in 16 states meant ‘criminal’. We could be arrested for having sex in our own bedrooms.
Courts HAD to fix the underlying problem there before any of the social pressure was possible. That’s just one example of how you’re talking out of your depth here.
You’re of course entitled to express your opinion. But as a fan of your willingness to change your opinion in the context of facts, I’d suggest learning why we’re doing things this way, before telling us we’re doing it wrong.
Sorry, John: You’re off on this. Going back to having renowned homophobe Donnie McClurkin on a campaign stop and pudgy scumbag Rick Warren at his inauguration, it’s pretty clear that Obama cares nothing at all about gay rights and marriage equality.
And what’s that phrase that keeps popping up on DADT? Consultation with the military? Geez if Harry Truman took that approach, we’d probably still have an all-white military…
I think I need to take a long break from reading the comments at Balloon Juice. Comments from people like OniHanzo that COMPLETELY MISCHARACTERIZE the nature of the complaints from the gay community make me literally sick to my stomach.
@gopher2b: I’m curious, what context would make equating homosexuality to pedophilia and incest acceptable? Also keep in mind they didn’t have to file anything at all.
And the best argument I’ve heard for marriage has been the angle that it is, in fact, domestic partnership which undermines marriage by providing heterosexual couples an alternative path for their relationships.
Continue to emphasis ‘civil’ marriage vs. ‘religious’ marriage and throw in some language and support for religious protections and contentious objections (regardless of how necessary you think it is), and you would probably gain even more ground and come off looking like the reasonable moderates.
@John Cole: Did you actually go and visit the HRC website and read their statement on yesterday’s actions? I ask because the statement you dreamed up that they ought to issue is pretty remarkably similar to the statement that they have already issued. It feels as if you are providing armchair advice to the LGBT community while remaining ignorant of what that community is already doing, but that’s just one man’s perception. To wit:
Washington – Today, in an Oval Office signing ceremony, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum granting non-discrimination protections and some same-sex partner benefits for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender federal employees.
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement tonight after the ceremony:
“Moments ago in the Oval Office, President Obama signed a memorandum committing his Administration to adhere to principles ensuring that the federal workplace is free from discrimination, including the extension of some benefits to same-sex partners of federal workers. This first step granting benefits such as giving federal employees the ability to provide their partners with access to long-term insurance and requiring supervisors to extend leave policies so that LGBT employees can take care of their loved ones, is a welcome and long-overdue movement towards bringing the government’s policies in line with the overwhelming majority of America’s businesses.
Earlier today, OPM Director John Berry affirmatively stated that this newly signed presidential memorandum will give him the authority to ban workplace discrimination for all members of the LGBT community.
Although today’s actions are only the beginning in what will be a multi-step process towards achieving real and tangible equality for our community, it is no doubt an important first step. We commend President Obama and his administration for taking this action to provide some basic benefits for same-sex partners of federal employees and his endorsement of legislation that would provide domestic partner health benefits.
Presidential leadership can be a powerful tool as we work to protect LGBT people under the law and President Obama’s continued leadership is what we need and expect as we move forward.”
How reasonable is it to vent anger and sling epitaphs at your supporters? I wasn’t suggesting you could change their minds, I was suggesting if you want to extract a pound of flesh, go take it from those who are holding your rights hostage.
Though not on this topic, I do that all the time when I’m angry about something their ideology is causing.
@Comrade Stuck: You really, really don’t get how politics works.
Screaming at people who want me back in the closet or dead by the side of the road lends them legitimacy with their supporters. ‘See how mad the queers are at me? I must be doing something right, give me money and votes’.
Screaming at an administration that pisses all over me after promising to help me out lends legitimacy to Tammy Baldwin when she has to say, ‘Gosh, Mr President, my not-wife appreciates this empty gesture a ton, but you have to understand that our people are restless. I’m the calm, reasonable insider who only wants _________’.
Now, which one is more likely to get my pragmatic problem, which is that I pay my share of taxes plus part of your share, addressed?
I think i read that the gay community in the US makes up 10 to 15% of the population. That would make it, roughly, the same size as blacks and hispanics. When these latter minority groups get passionate about something they take to the streets. Hispanics took to the streets in impressive numbers when the immigration issue was heating up. That sends a message! The gay rights movement in America should have a fucking army! Yet, I never see it. Are gays a more divided group? I hate to say this, but i know very little about the civil rights movement for gay people. Is there a national leader? African Americans had Dr. King. Hispanics had Chavez. Does the gay community have someone like this? A figure to rally around? I apologize for my ignorance. I’m working on it.
@Comrade Stuck: If you haven’t noticed, this thread is a reaction to John yelling at us about our yelling elsewhere. You’re reaction to our response to John is to tell us to yell elsewhere.
Very innovative use of blaming us for our reactions though. Poke us with a stick and then tell us our reactions are off-putting.
Again, that’s clearly not true – we do it every day, every time a couple is married via civil ceremony.
What is impossible is separating marriage and the state, given the necessity for the state to adjudicate contractual marriage disputes and enforce marriage rights.
Mr. Cole, as an initial matter, I want to thank you for your blog, which I’ve greatly enjoyed, and your involvement in this important discourse. However, I believe you are mistaken in characterizing this event as gay America being insufficiently grateful for what they see as mere professions of goodwill and empty political gestures.
Equality activists are having their own Birmingham Jail Epiphany — the problem is not the animus of our enemies, but the inertia of our friends.
“Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was ‘well timed’ in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.’
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
[sorry, couldn’t get blockquotes to work properly]
That Barack Obama, esq. — a constitutional scholar — cannot see that laws intended to legally disable a despised but law-abiding minority are unconstitutionally void as violative of Equal Protection and therefore impossible for him to enforce under his oath of office, is in my estimation an inexcusable act of willful blindness.
That George W. Bush — a baseball expert — couldn’t see that is actually more forgivable.
@Comrade Stuck: I’m guessing you thought MLK made a huge tactical mistake by writing his letter from the Birmingham jail, in which he stupidly pissed off his movement’s allies as follows:
Actually, Cheney always said that his opinion didn’t matter since it was his job to support the president’s policies as VP. That’s why it was news when he finally came out and admitted his support for gay marriage last month.
crustybastard and I are not actually the same person. We just think alike.
“We’ve waited patiently”.
6 months into the new Admin, and now it’s Fail.
Those statements strike me as exactly the right tone.
And to reiterate, it would not be the first time that I read a bunch of left wing blogs, then read something in the news, and misattribute the bomb throwing on the blogs with what I have read in the news.
You read wrong. It’s about 6-7%
Which by the way, I don’t agree with what was written, but there have been several legal professionals who have stated that all this fury is based on a a site thread of cases. The DOJ attorneys can be tone deaf when crafting some of their legal arguments, but the interpretation of this brief has been a little crazy.
I also believe that one day, everyone will have their right to marry, have benefits and do whatever the hell they want. I look forward to it. It will come.
The outset, I am for gay marriage, I think DOMA is probably unconstitutional (and if its not, it merely redundant of existing common law), and believe the sooner DADT is ended the better because its morally wrong and, for national security purposes, we need every qualified person who can and is willing to serve, to serve.
That being said, I wanted to address this:
The brief did not repudiate Lawrence. It stated that Lawrence did not provide precedent for ruling that DOMA is unconstitutional. And, in fact, it did not. The Supreme Court expressly said so in its decision in Lawrence.
The brief did not compare homosexuality to pedophilia and incest. It stated that there is precedent for states refusing to honor the marriages of other states because of “public policy” and it cited to these types cases. (“Public policy” is one of the many exceptions to the Full Faith and Credit Clause”). This is clearly the most troubling aspect of the brief. But, keep in mind, this is a legal brief, not a speech. I thought the parentheticals were unnecessary but you cannot state the legal principle that states are allowed to circumvent the FFCC with regard to marital issues without citing these types of cases (there simply are not any others).
The last argument (the state’s financial interest in saving money) is from Congress, not the DOJ. When Congress passed the bill, it stated one of the reasons for the restriction was that marriage costs the government money (becuase it subsidizes it). If less people get married, less people get benefits. This is noted because of the standard of review. Where, as you have here, the discrimination is not a protected class (and as of now, homosexuality is not), the basis only has to be “rational.” Rational is not what you think it is; it just means factually true. So, to the extent you disagree with the reason (as I do), blame Congress, not the DOJ.
In closing, I will say that I would be shocked if the WH even knew about the brief. Its a motion to dismiss in district court. Given the quality (or lack thereof) of the writing, I doubt it even got to the WH Counsel’s office, let alone the President himself.
@John Cole: I hope you had a chance to read the link I posted. It has an interested and legal perspective that is not being reported on any mainstream blogs.
No. It’s stupid remarks like this I am talking about.
So not screaming at the people causing your problem doesn’t work, and screaming at your supporters does, and is good politics. Sorry, No. Like I said before, Obama is a politician as are dem lawmakers, as are fearful of voter backlash until they sense their won’t be one. You could work to change non-supporters into supporters, or vote for the other candidate next time. Or, you can scream at BJ commenters
Anyways, the only way this is going to get solved is not by repealing DOMA, or any other adverse legislation. The way it will get solved is for the SCOTUS to bigfoot the whole process and rule it unconstitutional, and denial of marriage as an inequality of justice.
And how is Obama looking on that front?
@the crustybastard: One more thought on MLK. I was re-reading the letter and just noticed that the opening sentence of the paragraph that follows the block we both quoted crystallizes the LGBT community’s anger over the DOMA brief. He wrote:
That last phrase describes DOMA to a T, and President Obama says he recognizes exactly that.
Dammit. Blockquotes are screwed, and edit didn’t fix.
@PeopleAreNoDamnGood: What is this, your 500th different nick change? Do you do this to try to evade people’s pie filters?
The Main Gauche of Mild Reason
John, you should definitely read this post about the DOMA brief (Smelt v. US). It turns out a lot of the rhetoric about the brief (which we have the always shrill John Aravosis to thank for) is kind of inaccurate (like the comparisons to incest in pedophilia aren’t what they were advertised as).
Asked and answered, many times.
If you don’t like it, go fuck yourself. My handles are for my convenience, not yours.
Bite me right here.
My sentiments re:effective strategy are with JC on this-if you get an olive branch, accept it as a starting point for further progress. Throwing it back in their face doesn’t help the cause, IMO. I also think some are actively seeking out offense to be taken from the DOMA brief, transmogrifying a narrow legal comparison into a implied moral judgement. Lastly, there are political concerns as well (which are not objective reality, I realize-we all have our own views as to what is politically feasible at a given time). You don’t want to submit bills that don’t pass, because that usually kills that approach for the foreseeable future. I personally feel that a repeal of DOMA would be unlikely right now, but a repeal of DADT can be done-I’m happy to see Sen. Gillibrand talk today at DKos about putting together a bill + cosponsors to do just that.
Finally, on the main point of the post, any movement is necessarily comprised of all types of people, and they all can be effective in different ways at promoting their cause. Important stuff wouldn’t get done if it were all up to centrist/pragmatist types like me. If someone’s style of advocacy on a blog or TV show grates on me even though we agree on a goal, I AM free to not read/listen.
Then go fucking march somewhere. Get thrown in jail and write a letter. Or, organize a public campaign to change minds. To tell the truth, your cause is noble, you are not.
Moderate white guy.
Oh, and for the record, I’d say, maybe the 20th in going on five years. At this rate, if DougJ stopped using new handles today, which he won’t, I could catch up to him in about ten years. As for all the other spoofs around here, who the hell knows.
There is a difference between me and DougJ and the spoofs, though. I make no secret of my handle changes. Totally up front about them from day one.
So go moon somebody, asshole.
I have a post pending that deals with this but it is awaiting moderation because I said (inc#4t).
But, to answer you question, if you are stating that there is precedent for states not enforcing the marriages of other states, and the only precedent you have is [email protected] and pedoph##lia, then you have to cite it. That is not the same as comparing it (in a legal brief).
If the brief had said, “in the past, states have refused to recognize marriages in other states because it violated public policy. For example, in KY, you can marry a 12 year old. That policy runs against the policy of NY. Therefore, NY had a right to refuse to enforce it. This is the same case here…..” Then I would totally agree with you.
But that is not the point of that particular part of the brief. The point there is that DOMA is constitutional because there is precedent for allowing states to refuse to enforce other states marriages. There is no discussion of whether the two are analagous because there is no “other state” in this case. If the plaintiffs had tried to enforce in Oklahoma, and the U.S. gov’t made the same argument (which wouldn’t happen because the plaintiffs would be suing Oklahoma and not the U.S.) then I would share the outrage.
PS they could not refuse to file anything because the plaintiffs lack standing…which means the court lacks jurisdiction. this case could literally go to the supreme court, have a decision, and then be mooted on the basis there is no SMJ. Its a big a deal but its a matter of procedure which is why it gets so little attention.
Death By Mosquito Truck
If Allan wants to drop by my house, I can spray him with a water hose.
Goddamit man, will you stop saying things I agree with?
We both have reputations to uphold.
Okay, I do.
( that last part was a joke, I swear )
So all of this fauxtrage turns out to be ginned up by Aravosis’s lies and nonsense.
I’m eager to hear how this development rebunks my original post here.
@The Main Gauche of Mild Reason: We are on the same page. I have been forwarding this blog to everyone I know.
Wow, just wow. I have tears in my eyes, and not in a good way.
Just out of curiosity, when would it be the right time?
I am truly disappointed in a post and the responses for the first time at BJ. It’s not that I can’t see the points of both sides (I can), it’s that the majority seem way too eager to trash the LGBT folk.
I was embarrassed by ACT UP at first, but without them, the AIDS crisis would have taken a lot longer to have been tackled. As some people have said, we need screaming AND legislation AND protesting AND a concerted campaign effort.
Nothing will get done if we don’t push in all ways. For those of you sick of the gays and all our whining, well, at least we know where we stand with you.
Oh, and I am against marriage in general as well, but it’s a question of equality.
P.S. For me, it’s not a question of now or never. Until Obama repeated his firm support for repealing DOMA, I saw him as walking back his ‘fierce advocate talk’. Yes, queer rights may not be the most important issue to the majority, as it never is, but at least don’t go out of your way (Pres and Congress) to make it even more egregious than before. That’s where most of the anger is stemming from–not from the instant repeal of DADT or DOMA.
I just want to add that I totally understand the outrage about the brief. This is especially true given that every blog out there is saying “the Obama administration compared gays to dirty, pedo uncles.”
I just don’t read the brief that way. No doubt its a result of my training but this is a legal brief and cases, arguments, etc in legal briefs do not always mean what you may think they mean. And, this type of parsing and nuance can happen in a legal brief. There are, however, a lot of people out there expressing outrage (either our of personal motivation or ignorance) about the brief and I believe it is unnecessarily hurting people. I just wanted to add that perspective.
(BTW, see what Barney Frank said about the brief. He was initially outraged until he read it and then stated, although he disagrees with some of the arguments, he did not think it said or implied the things he was told it did).
@asiangrrlMN: For the love of everything holy, I have not read one person in this entire thread who doesn’t think “right now” is the appropriate time for these changes. What we are arguing about is how to approach it, not whether it should be done.
I’d prefer that the folks who get trashed are the people who are standing in the way of equal rights. I’d as soon as not get kicked in the balls over a disagreement of tactics (see–Republican politicians…kick THEM in the balls).
I’d say disappointment with Obama and coalition members is appropriate; I’d save the in-your-face stuff for when it’d do the most good (i.e., instrangiant foes).
@Comrade Stuck: This is the place where I am supposed to list my credentials and 30+ years of experience doing all of the things you list and more to demonstrate that I am, in spite of your ignorant protestations to the contrary, an “honorable” person.
But I think I’ll just suggest that the rhetoric you are using in this comment isn’t winning any support for your political agenda and might cause good people like me to turn against you. Good luck getting the Republicans to join your crusade.
Fantastic link. I was wondering what was in the brief, and I’m surprised that Americablog just made up stuff about pedophilia and incest being in the brief. They have gone off the deep end.
No disrespect, but I don’t think you all do.
I could be wrong, maybe you are the reasonable person who can make that case.
In any event, where you stand with me is, I will always vote for your interests. I will not support candidates who oppose your interests.
I will not support activism that is unreasonable or counterproductive. “We’ve waited long enough” is a slogan, it is not an imperative AFAIC. Slogans are fine, right up the point where it turns destrucive, as in “We’ve waited long enough and it’s Obama’s fault we have to wait longer.”
No, it is not. Governing is different from campaigning. Timing and priorities are everything in governance. Your impatience is not the most important thing going on here.
By “your” I don’t mean you personally, I mean a collective you. A lot of people are waiting for a lot of things, and standing in long lines waiting. Democracy is not about instant gratification. At least not in my experience.
I’m seriously just done discussing gay rights. I’m with you on the issues, but I’m sick of the antics and theatrics and melodrama. I’ll donate to the cause, and I’ll vote appropriately, but I’m sick of discussing it because should you dare point out that screaming and cuasing self-infliccted wounds is counter-productive, you get a doen comments questioning your loyalty to the cause, wondering if you are a bigot, or whether you have repressed rage against homosexuals. The fact that this whole freak out is brought on by Aravosis’s misinterpretation of the brief merely amplifies my point.
Screaming and yelling is not helping the cause. It merely rewards moderates by giving them an opportunity to distance themselves from you.
Also, I can honestly say that I hate Democrats more as a Democrat than I ever did as a Republican.
@John Cole: Really? You haven’t seen the people who are tired of the gays whining? That we should just shut up and go away?
I still don’t like the brief, but I can accept it.
The thing is, John, your tone towards the LGBT folk (in the initial post) was somewhat hostile. If you had said, “This is how I think we should approach it. It might be better if…” Instead, you tell the queers that we are doing a crappy job and to be better at it. As some have pointed out, news media refuses to run queer ads because it’s disgusting. Congress people have been pushed over and over again. Yes, they are the ones who need to initiate the change, but it’s not as if the queer communities haven’t been tirelessly working to get them to do it. All the problems you cited are real–no clear leadership, HRC being spineless–but it’s not as if the communities haven’t been trying to do things in an organized way.
So, to have our allies tell us just to try a bit harder and in a better way as deemed by them, well, it hurts.
Personally, when I heard Obama reiterate his commitment to repealing DOMA, I was heartened. However, with Reid being a spineless asshole and very few Democrats in either house apparently willing to take the lead, it’s pretty damn frustrating.
In other words, a little bit of, “There there” before the ass-kicking would have helped.
A neat side-effect of this tumult is that the Republicans — in their neverending quest to piss off democrats — might just become more supportive of gay-rights. Whether sincere or not, anything they can do to get the Democrats fighting one another is a win in their book.
Sorry, that’s bullshit. The tone was standard BJ and Cole, which is a little on the Don Rickles side of warm and fuzzy. And it was totally well intentioned, couched in support for your real interests — whether you agree on tactics or not.
And it’s this (blockquoted) type of reaction that gets LGBT the negative reaction here.
If this is the way you treat your supposed friends …. well, never mind. One either gets this, or one doesn’t.
In my background, people who are supposed to be on each others’ sides and end up at each others’ throats are called “family.”
Heh. So I have some experience with this.
I imagine it would help the discussion if people didn’t make claims about the DOJ brief that they can’t back up with a quote from the brief. Third-hand information about a legal document that is available for all to read (even word searchable!) is lazy and useless.
In particular, I’m annoyed with Aravois’s claim that it’s offensive for the brief to refer to disparities in state laws about marriage. When the Vermont Supreme Court granted marital status (albeit named “civil union”) to same-sex couples in 1999, it made exactly that comparison of first-cousin marriages to SSM, saying that VT recognizes first-cousin marriages and it hasn’t caused a problem for it to do so when other states don’t, so why should it cause a problem for VT to recognize SSM when other states don’t.
If Aravois can’t point to a contemporaneous statement he made at that time declaring what an outrage it was for the VT Supreme Court to make such a comparison, his outrage at the Obama DOJ for doing the same is clearly just so much BS.
I’m seeing a lot of patriarchal heteronormative privilege asserting itself in this post and comments thread. Teh Gays are too emotional! They get all shouty and screechy and hysterical (take that word apart for fun). We straight males suppress our emotions and act tough, and your failure to act like us disgusts us and makes us hate you. You should remain calm and analytical in your rhetoric and discuss this issue as if it were abstract. Asiangrrl arouses contempt because she has feelings and said they were hurt. Feelings bad! Must mock! Bringing your actual experience of discrimination and oppression into the conversation is ‘whining.’ You should take direction from us, the straight men, because the way to win in this world is to emulate us, as how we view the universe is normal and correct, and we make the rules by which you are expected to live. And if you’re a gay contributor here who suggests even obliquely that straight people could do more than they have to date, you will be threatened by the owner of this real estate that you should remember how lucky you are to be allowed to contribute here.
Some of it is coming from the landlord, and much from other tenants. But it clearly bugs me enough that I need to step away from the conversation. Sorry that my emotional response to this argument fails to conform to the heterosexual male standard.
Your list just proves my point. There are a million things going on to distract the president from the gay rights agenda. The only way to move it forward is to make themselves heard over the din.
Heh. And this is still the honeymoon. Wait until you are really sick of us.
Being the lesser of two evils is not all that easy to do, you know.
@John Cole: I’m sick of the antics and theatrics
I feel like I should be making a Broadway joke here.
Death By Mosquito Truck
John, maybe you could do a Balloon-Juice fundraiser to remunerate Tim in SF for his $1200 gay tax? I’d kick in a few dollars.
( rolls eyes )
Right. Sure. Make yourself heard.
It’s what is being heard that is the problem, not the being heard part.
Barack Obama is not your problem. I would like to hear a little of that over the din.
@Michael D.: 6-7% is more than enough to alter an election.
The only way to force the DNC to put equality on their action-items list is for activists to unequivocally, en masse, commit to withhold their votes and their money.
They got painfully nadered by a less committed, less organized bunch once already. Maybe they’re smart enough to learn.
@PeopleAreNoDamnGood: You can call bullshit. I call bullshit on your bullshit. Fine. But if it’s ok for John and you to have this tone, then it should be equally ok for queers to have this tone as well.
Obama criticized the civil rights movement for overusing the courts at the expense of the voting booth (I think its in his book). My personal belief is that the same reasoning is driving his approach here.
There is a certain legitimacy that comes with winning on these issues by voting them in whether it be your Congress[person] or at the state level. That legitimacy has real life consequences (think, no one showing up to protest outside your wedding). I have total confidence that states will start to fall like dominoes and Congress will grant federal rights to ALLL married couples. But those dolts have to be pressured and I don’t see that at all.
And the meme has already started: News stories about how Obama’s popularity is dropping. Watch for the media to run with this, and use the DOMA outrage as the evidence Obama is failing with both sides of the aisles. Maher is up in arms. Olberman led off with the story last night….
Now, if they can keep this up for a couple of months solid, maybe we can hobble Obama, and let the Repub’s back in. Lord knows they’ll give everyone everything they want. Promise!
Good god, whine and project much?
I for one have never said anyone was too emotional. What I have said is that some people are being stupid.
Stupid is a very precise word, really. It means stupid, not emotional.
When you are in a fight, maybe you should stop throwing punches at your allies?
@asiangrrlMN: That tone is kind of uppity…
Good grief, you folks are bad at this.
Really. I have the same tone all the time: Grumpy and driven by an irritable colon.
Keep warring on your friends, though. I’m sure you will find it a winning strategy.
No wonder gays are only 6% of the population. Who would want to belong to a group like that? The Shakers were self defeating, but at least they made nice furniture.
Goddam, that was a funny remark! I love me.
@John Cole: @John Cole: You should make that into a new tag as you have said to that effect more times than I can count by this point, something like “Why I am a self-hating Democrat”
John’s entire point is that focusing the energy toward Reid to force Congress to address the issue and get a bill to a sympathetic President who would sign it makes a hell of a lot more sense politically than criticizing the President for not doing things unilaterally.
Generally, this is one of the reasons why I dislike all activist groups because this energy is usually directed toward absurd hyperbole and media attention grabbing stunts.
Add to that the self-perpetuating nature of them, whereby there is always one more hill to conquer. I’ve yet to see a modern activist group disband after their original mission was accomplished.
BTW, I am not telling anyone to wait to get his rights. By all means, press it as you can, and I will be donating money and making phone calls and writing e-mails.
I’m just sick of the few people who think that being treated unjustly makes it OK to piss on others. Prop. 8’s passage is not a justification for harassing any black person or Mormon you encounter without knowing how that *individual* acted on the matter. DOMA is not a justification for calling for *all* Mormons to be prohibited from working on matters dealing with sexual orientation. DOMA is not a justification for calling my grandfather a pedophile because my grandmother married at 16. DOMA is not a justification for denigrating the marriages of first cousins.
If we could have less of that, and more of the lobbying for one’s own rights, please.
asiangirrl, let me explain to you how coalitions work.
Me: What have you done for me lately?
@asiangrrlMN: Well I respect your opinion, but also let’s flip the script here for a moment. I have also read LGBT blogs that are completely eviscerating the administration as whole, even Obama and not attacking Congress. I have also read insults lobbed at Barney Frank, because he has changed his stance on the DOJ since he has read the brief himself.
My father played a huge part in the Civil Rights movement in the late 50’s and 60’s. He is 76 years old. He still fights for his Civil Rights everyday. It’s an ongoing battle. He remembers all of the agony and pain plenty have suffered. But he always says Civil Rights comes in small steps not large sloppy leaps.Be grateful for every movement forward.
I sat there yesterday with my best friend and his boyfriend and we watched Obama signed the order and enforce his thoughts about the situation. My friend and his partner smiled too, saying that it was a great first step. Right afterwards, I go on several blogs, in particular, Pam’s House Blend and all the comments on there were so negative. It’s like they couldn’t see the forest from the trees. Not one bit.
Reading stuff like that was very disheartening for me. Every step towards your rights, regardlesshow big or small is positive.
How about when the shit economy, two disastrous wars and a looming healthcare crisis aren’t hanging over the country like the Sword of fucking Damocles.
Seriously, timing is everything and NOW is not the time for a fill-scale assault on the federal government with regards to gay rights. There has been a considerable amount of movement just in the last few years, and you have to see the momentum is gaining. But political momentum is a funny thing. Push too hard, and you will damage the machine. Push too soft, and you will not achieve enough critical mass to move the machine. It has to be juuuuust right.
I’m sorry if you are offended by my notion that there are more pressing matters facing this country at the moment than gay rights, but that is my opinion. I think if the GLBT crowd apply steady but moderate pressure, they will be very happy at the end of Obama’s first term, which you have to remember is THREE AND A HALF YEARS AWAY.
@John Cole: You know what, John, I heartily second your suggestion that you refrain from commenting on LGBT issues.
You offer a great deal of insight into many topics, but this is not one that you handle well, and you are especially hostile to feedback on how you handle it.
It’s OK. There are lots of blogs where LGBT issues are discussed from a more informed perspective. We’ll be OK if you take a moratorium.
I can do without this arrogance, as well.
Friendly fire, indeed. Prop 8 all over.
Shorter: Unless you totally agree with me, I don’t want you commenting on this subject.
Hey, you guys have already convinced me to stop being on your side so much. Now you want me to stop talking about it too?
Please, show some empathy.
I think I’m one of those who will step away from this. That there’s a lot of you who call people “whiny” and “emotional” and “stupid” because they want to be equal citizens under the law makes me ashamed of even wanting to participate as a Democrat.
And of course, as per PG, gays must be careful of language and not offend anybody. God knows nobody is offending them.
If this is how we treat our allies, we don’t deserve any.
But it does give me an insight into Log Cabin Republicans. They know they’re going to be spit on anyway, so they vote their wallets.
Death By Mosquito Truck
I thought he was being ironic.
John, maybe if you want to discuss gay issues, you should bone up on what gay organizations actually are saying about the particular event under discussion. Americablog is not the only gay organization in the world…actually, it’s just a blog.
Finally, the DOMA brief is NOT “defensible.” To quote from the NYTimes:
“A gay couple married under California law is challenging the act in federal court. In its brief, the Justice Department argues that the couple lack legal standing to do so. It goes on to contend that even if they have standing, the case should be dismissed on the merits.
The brief insists it is reasonable for states to favor heterosexual marriages because they are the “traditional and universally recognized form of marriage.” In arguing that other states do not have to recognize same-sex marriages under the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause, the Justice Department cites decades-old cases ruling that states do not have to recognize marriages between cousins or an uncle and a niece.”
I believe this has been pointed out elsewhere – the DoJ could’ve simply argued that the couple has no standing. That would be understandable. But they decided to go whole hog. They laid out a full legal argument – for the OTHER SIDE. And came up with some new nonsense to boot! As a whole, again, the brief is indefensible.
@John S.: Dumb argument. Sorry, but it is and you know it. Congress spent all day Monday asking questions of the big 5 cell phone companies about why they are charging what they are for text messaging.
But maybe you think that is something worth addressing during “two disastrous wars and a looming healthcare crisis aren’t hanging over the country like the Sword of fucking Damocles.”
Shorter John S.: The Obama administration and congress can’t multi-task.
tripletee (formerly tBone)
If you really think this is John being “especially hostile,” you haven’t been reading this blog long enough. He refrained from calling you a fucktard, didn’t he? Which, in the face of that line about “patriarchal heteronormative privilege,” shows significant restraint, IMO.
DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal)
Over the last few days I have been reading the train wreck that is Kos about this subject. One recommended diary over there was a screed about this issue and the insults the GLBT are taking from Obama because he hates teh geys. The idiotic diarist rants how ineffective and insulting Obama is being, yet buried in the comments is the little fact that the moron who wrote the screed did not vote for Obama in the primary and wrote in some name “in protest” against Obama in the general.
The diarist is bitching about not getting their pony, they never voted for Obama in the first place and the morons at Kos rec the diary as a winnah.
I agree with you John, Obama is handling this his way but the kids are not going to be patient about it. I have to laugh about how they sound like the religious right in that they are going to take their ball and go home if Obama doesn’t give them what they want. NOW!
Yeah, that’s a proven method for change, disengagement. Ought to work wonders, right?
Is there one of you who can stop being a whiny ass titty baby long enough to get the point?
The tactics are stupid because they are unreasonable, and self defeating. That is what makes them stupid.
It is not reasonable to assert that gay rights should be at the top of any governance priority list right now. Period, dot.
It is not an effective tactic to bash the hell out of the the guy with the most power and the most inclination to advance your interests in the next couple of years, just because you can.
No joke, this whole episode has revealed what a lying piece of s**t Aravosis is. His pack of lies on the DOJ brief, which I figured out a few days ago, spelled the end to me ever visiting that blog again.
When citing case law as controlling precedent, it is not enough to find a case that merely has the same outcome, it must apply a closely similar rationale for arriving at that outcome as the case at bar.
When the DOMA brief cited those…well, disgusting and illegal relationships as justifiably barred on public policy, they were making the point that gay relationships are properly barred on the same rationale.
Some people will say that’s not really a comparison per se, but such arguments are clever sophistry and verbal slight of hand.
Death By Mosquito Truck
@Emma: Fine, I’m going to stop watching Project Runway and boycott local theater.
I agree. Note that the claim isn’t even true on the merits.
No. That’s not the case. Not in what I read.
Maybe you should direct your whine to CONGRESS?
What does your congressman say about this? Maybe he is your problem, or maybe the fact that your district votes for morons is your problem?
In 1993 the Clintons managed to completely fuck up both gay rights and healthcare reform by not understanding how politics really work on a national level.
Maybe you would like to see a repeat of that? All that churn and yelling, and then failure …. right up your alley.
I find it a little ironic that a post titled “You’re shooting at the wrong people” – ends up with a full-scale critique of allies in the fight for LGBT rights.
I think we all agree that it would be great if Obama could just wave his magic wand / signing statement pen and repeat DOMA and DADT. Then, when LGBT issues become a political football, the entire gay community can go from election to election never knowing if they will have the same rights on January 21 as they had on the 19th.
I don’t think that is a result anyone would like, so why can’t we all take a deep breath, realize that we are all moving in the same direction, and focus the energy on the people who can make this happen (instead of tilting at windmills). Political realities suck, but they are realities nonetheless
@Death By Mosquito Truck:
Man, you are on a laugh riot roll today. I am stealing all your stuff.
And taking credit for it.
@DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal): Unfotunately, I read that blog on DKOS too. And the person who wrote that blog didn’t vote Obama in the primary either. I have been kinda keeping up that idiot. Alot of this misinterpretation of the brief comes from another person who was once a republican and worked for Ted Stevens in Alaska. He has alot of media connections.
As for the brief not being defensible, apparently it is considered legally defensible by several legal experts and Barney Frank(who in fact is one of the most influential openly gay men in government.)
The “same rational” that those cases were cited for is that states can determine what constitutes a proper marrage in those states.
Christ get a clue.
Stacie, thank you for writing this:
I’m old enough to remember when AIDS seemed to be an unstoppable plague that was going to decimate a previously-mostly-unsuspected ten or fifteen percent of the American population even as it spread into the “general” population. I’m even old enough (just) to remember why Roe v. Wade was a giant effin’ improvement over the status quo ante, and how making that particular piece of “judicial activism” happen was a life’s labor for a lot of people, most of them women. But — as John pointed out in his post about Reagan-deification yesterday — a considerable percentage of today’s voting population isn’t old enough to remember when good, decent, well-educated Americans could honestly believe that they didn’t even know any homosexuals, who were believed to be almost as rare as unicorns. And most of those same good, decent, well-educated Americans also believed that the crazy bra-burning feminists would never make any headway in mainstream politics, because it’s not like “normal” women wanted to get jobs as scientists or lawyers or firefighters or politicians, and the rare specimens who did, did so in full understanding that they’d never make more than 69% of what their equally qualified male counterparts made.
Sorry, but you are 100% wrong. The plaintiffs argument was that DOMA is unconstitutional because it regulates marriage in violation of the FFCC. The brief is merely pointing out that common law that predates DOMA entitled states to not enforce other state’s administrative decisions regarding marriage if it violated its own public policy. There is nothing there to suggest that the public policy considerations for gay marriage and [email protected] and pedof..lia are the same. Indeed, nothing can be there because there is no “other state” with which to analyze. Courts cannot resolve issues that are not before them.
@gwangung: No. That’s not the case. Not in what I read.
By all means, enlighten me.
Additionally, although the author of your updated link has an issue with the Americablog claims about incest and pedophilia, he has previously posted that he DOESN’T THINK THE BRIEF IS DEFENSIBLE…for a whole other host of reasons. You are rather mischaracterizing him.
Link Seriously, read it.
In his own words:
“Regardless of whether we believe that Justice was right to file any brief, we all agree that the brief that was filed went too far.”
You, Gibbs, and Obama are the only people standing behind this brief.
@gwangung: What is the state’s interest in prohibiting same sex marriage then, if not because it is something considered bad or damaging like those other instances?
@John S.: In this shit economy with a health care crisis, it’d be nice if everyone could get married and have health care benefits.
In the midst of two wars, as I’ve already said, it’d be fucking delightful if everyone who wanted to serve– especially those with specialized skills that are badly needed– without getting discharged for who they want to fuck.
And by the way, the expert that John picked up in his update in the post from something someone put in comments is also a gay guy who blogs on gay issues, and he also was editor in chief (as was Obama at Harvard) of Ohio State’s law review, which is usually considered the best of Ohio’s law schools and a nationally recognized law school (and it pains me to say since I choose to go to CWRU’s law school and declined OSU’s acceptance).
There isn’t a (good) lawyer in the country that would agree with you. You get one motion to dismiss and you have no idea what the judge will say; you put everything in it. Period.
As noted above, I disagree with your claim the argument was “nonsense.” Its actually one of the better LEGAL arguments in the brief.
Tim in SF
@gwangung: @Tim in SF: Other participants in the Oppression Olympics are suitably impressed.
Yeah, sorry. Incoherent, pre-caffeine post. My bad. Apologies.
Most of the commenters here are my allies. I get frustrated when my issues are sidelined in favor of “more important” stuff, even though I agree, that’s some important stuff Obama’s got on his plate right now. I actually would not mind waiting a year or two or three for DOMA and DADT.
That said, I’m still seeing red over the DOJ brief. That really was quite an insult. And the subsequent support by Gibbs is appalling. And this makes the other stuff that much more hard to swallow. I don’t mind waiting but being told to wait by my allies is hard for me to take.
And, really, I doubt I’m saying anything new, here. Most of you already get this.
I admit my ignorance on the subject, but why does the DOJ even have to defend DOMA if they don’t want to?
Is this because the DOJ is supposed to act independently because its in enforcement and so has to defend every law enacted by congress even if they feel its indefensible?
Even if they have to file a response to the initial claim, can they also just decide not to file an appeal if the judge decides to strike down DOMA?
@gex: fuck me for what? (that is, in non-monetary terms)
@PeopleAreNoDamnGood: I never worry about how my congressman feels about civil rights. You see, he was one of those whiny black guys who got the living shit kicked out of him a few times back in the 60’s while hanging out with Martin Luther King, Jr.
Back in the day, you probably would have told John Lewis he was too whiny as well, I suppose.
Tim in SF
@John Cole: @Tim in SF: Have some tea. We have discussed it in the comments and I have updated the post.
:-) I’ve had my tea while reading the 200 comments leading up to yours. I like this discussion, I really do.
I hope you breeders don’t think we don’t appreciate your advocacy and good will and efforts. I also know that you won’t begrudge us the right to bitch and complain about some issues where the annoyance is, I believe, quite justified.
@Napoleon: Oh I know. I was the one who originally linked the post in my comment, way up thread.
Replace Obama administration with Bush administration and replace DOMA with the Sherman Act (antitrust) or the Securities Act. That’s why generally its a bad idea to let administrations pick and choose what laws to defend and/or enforce.
With regard to why DOJ, the U.S. government is the defendant. The DOJ is the government’s lawyers. They have to because there is no one else.
Jesus. I skimmed the brief (and with my legal training that was a damned waste of time), I read the guys post, and while I don’t agree with the brief and wish it hadn’t been made, I certainly think it is defensible. This is the kind of bullshit rhetoric that is a perect example of what I am talking about in this post. This “you’re either with us or against us” nonsense.
That means he thinks it is a matter of going too far, which means someone else might disagree. Thus, it is “defensible.” It wasn’t a high point for the administration, but it is not what Aravosis is claiming.
The brief is defensible, and I don’t like it. Look at that- I just held two competing thoughts in my head. Quit acting like I’m Michael Savage for chrissakes.
I think they are the ones with a loaded gun and a cocked hammer aiming at the wrong people. Who should I be addressing this post to if not them?
Where is Russ Feingold on DADT? What about Mikulski? Why are we not focusing on the people who SHOULD be on the right side of these issues and gettig them to get the ball rolling? instead, we’re launching potshots at Obama, the day after he reiterated he wants DOMA and DADT repealed and will sign the damned bill. I’m supposed to stamp epic fail on Obama because he hasn’t written the bill?
@tripletee (formerly tBone): I was agreeing with something John wrote. If someone explained to me that I would be attacked for disagreeing with John and for agreeing with John, then I wouldn’t have expected better here. Thanks for resetting my expectations at a lower level.
DADT makes no sense for any number of reasons, least of all from the national security perspective. So why is it that the week after 90 Senators freaked out about releasing gitmo folks into the US on national security grounds, Harry Reid can’t find one Senator to sponsor a repeal of DADT.
Clearly Obama’s fault for not leading. Just like Bush. Plus did you read that brief calling all gays pedophiles!
It’s not the brief per se.
It’s the the lack of anything concrete being done on these issues (and the retrenchment on Obama’s web site; e.g., deleting his promise to push for the repeal of DOMA), which allowed people to fill in the blanks.
It’s also some of the arguments used in defense of the brief, and the administration’s failure to prepare people for it. For example, there still would have been objections, but they would have been qualitatively different if before the brief was filed, someone had publicly said “We don’t think we can make an effective constitutional challenge in this case, so we feel compelled to defend the statute in court. However, the president believes the statute goes against the best traditions of America and believes that Congress needs to act to change the law.”
Then, with respect to the benefits announcement, hyping the memo as extending “benefits,” when under DOMA, most benefits could not legally be extended to gay married couples. As others have described it, “You’re in love? Great. Here’s a moving van. Make sure to save your receipts.” If Obama follows through on pushing Lieberman-Baldwin, though, that hole will be filled.
Tim in SF
@the crustybastard: Thank you, Crusty, for posting that whole MLK quote. I don’t think I’ve ever read the whole thing before.
It surprises me how relevant it is right now, especially this bit: the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’;
As I wrote, they went “whole hog.” Plenty of “good lawyers” have been critical of that very aspect of the filing – the DoJ overreached and included a ton of unnecessary conservative shit. Ex: Linda McClain.
@John Cole: I thought you were done?
And, as for why the outrage directed against Obama rather than the Congress, he’s the one who campaigned on this stuff. Yes, the reps are being cowards, but no one expected anything different from them.
@rs: Which apprarently, you didn’t read his post from yesterday. Which he talks about the mischaracterization of the brief, mentions that Barney Frank retracted his original statement about the brief once reading it and said
Death By Mosquito Truck
@PeopleAreNoDamnGood: Jokes is all I got to tide me over ’til I can gaymarry John.
This thread needs to die in a fire.
If you can comprehend that it is ‘defensible’ and also comprehend that you don’t like it, don’t ask “why are we yelling.” It should be pretty fucking obvious. It is an over the top conservative filing…from a Democratic DoJ. In the year 2009.
I guess I don’t understand.
Why can Holder say hey is going to not enforce federal law, i.e. he is going to try and halt marijuana club raids, but he can’t say I’m not going to defend DOMA if anyone brings a case against it?
Isn’t that part of the discretion the DOJ is allowed?
tripletee (formerly tBone)
Maybe you should look at some of those “disgusting and illegal relationships” the brief cites. As it happens, my grandmother was in one (she got married at 16). That was not at all uncommon in the time and place she got married. Aravosis is being a dishonest asshole by equating that with “pedophilia.” Makes you wonder what else he’s being dishonest about, eh?
Anyway, quit oppressing my grandma.
@Tim in SF:
One of the most sensible comments in this entire thread. Time to hug it out, bitches!
tripletee (formerly tBone)
I live to serve. Though I have to tell you, your expectations are probably still too high.
Sorry, Tim in SF, but gbear just unseated you for Most Sensible Comment of the Thread.
I don’t know who Linda McClain is but after a quick google search I’m assuming she’s a law professor? My first reaction is that there is a big difference between what academics think should go in a brief and what practioners think should go in a brief. That being said, in her column she said this:
This is incredibly stupid. Is she suggesting that any case that can potentially reach the Supreme Court (i.e. every lawsuit in this country) should not be bound by Supreme Court precedent because the Supreme Court may one day overrule itself. Whatever her motivation here, she is not thinking clearly.
These issues are arising because people are looking at this brief as if it were a political statement. Was this a highly anticipated filing (I’m asking seriously, not rhetorical…was everyone expecting something here??).
Its a poorly written, poorly thought out routine motion drafted by a shitty lawyer. If the arguments have legal merit, they should be made. There is nothing in these brief that strikes me as legally frivilous. I disagree with almost all of it but the fact that certain legal arguments are offensive to a political group is an insufficient basis to exclude an argument from a brief. I think most lawyers would agree with that (the arguments most people are offended by are not actually in the brief as I and other have noted above).
Which to my knowledge, he hasn’t done.
But pot smokers are, by definition, fairly mellow and difficult to organize. :)
Tim in SF
@Death By Mosquito Truck: John, maybe you could do a Balloon-Juice fundraiser to remunerate Tim in SF for his $1200 gay tax? I’d kick in a few dollars.
LOL. Thanks. That’s funny.
Donate five dollars to my bartender. Far more effective use of your money, I think.
@Allan: You were being a smartass and he was being a smartass back.
@Allan: And there you go again.
@Tim in SF: Someone explain the gay tax thing again- I missed that.
@John Cole: I’m assuming that Tim in SF probably has a lifelong partner that the Federal Government refuses to recognize as someone he can claim as a dependent.
I’ll try one more time to explain. The brief said:
I. State 1: recognition of marriage entered in State 2 with feature P barred as a matter of sound public policy.
II. State 3: recognition of marriage entered in State 4 with feature I barred as a matter of sound public policy.
What do I & II have in common? Not the state. Not the feature. They have in common the fact that marriages were rejected as a matter of sound public policy against P & I.
The brief does not argue that states may capriciously reject other state’s marriages. The brief does not invoke cases like Loving where unsound public policy (“racial integrity”) barred marriages.
The brief, at its very essence, argues that states are free to reject marriages for feature G as a matter of sound public policy just like they can for instances of P & I.
Ergo — and this is not a leap of logic — the brief argues that P, I & G are equally sound public policy reasons to reject the recognitions of such marriages.
IANAAccountant, but I think he’s saying that he would be eligible for some tax break if he were married to a woman, but gay couples can’t get married, so he isn’t.
Emma @ 284,
If you offend people unnecessarily, you lose allies. It’s that simple. It’s one thing to stay on topic and bluntly tell the specific individuals who are oppressing you that, hello, they’re bigots. It’s another thing to go off on tangents about how marrying a 16 year old is pedophilia (now I’m curious about when y’all lost your virginities… everyone had sex with someone 17+?); how first cousins’ marrying is disgusting and abhorrent; how Mormons should be prohibited from jobs where they’d be dealing with gay rights issues.
There’s a reason why MLK gets a national holiday and the Black Panthers don’t. MLK rebuked specific white people for failing to stand up for equality. The Black Panthers rebuked all white people for being white.
@John Cole: And the problem with me being a smartass on your smartass blog is what, exactly?
Tim in SF
@John Cole: I’m seriously just done discussing gay rights. I’m with you on the issues, but I’m sick of the antics and theatrics and melodrama.
Well that’s a shame. I enjoy the conversations on this topic HERE immensely. I delisted Arivosis’s blog from my RSS reader in ’07 precisely because of his histrionics, taking things out of proportion, general bad writing and the worst comment strings on the Internet.
Yeah, you make a post on some gay issue and you get a bunch of screaming and disagreement and grousing. Don’t you get that several times a day on other topics, too? Seems like par for the course.
It seems like, for the most part, we agree on the issues but have some disagreement around the edges. Discussion, drama, hilarity ensues. So what?
the crustybastard @ 339,
“Ergo — and this is not a leap of logic — the brief argues that P, I & G are equally sound public policy reasons to reject the recognitions of such marriages.”
Actually, it’s a huge leap of logic to insert “equally” into that sentence. I can string cite cases on how states are allowed broad deference in regulating economic behavior, in order to make the argument that this other economic behavior also can be regulated by the state, without saying that all of the regulations are equally rational. I can cite a case on how the state is allowed to regulate barbers in support of my argument that the state should be allowed to require African hair braiders to have cosmetology licenses, without having to argue that the two regulations make an equal amount of sense.
Also, most states allow people to have sex before 18, but only a few allow people to marry before 18. PEDOPHILIA IS ABOUT SEX, NOT ABOUT MARRIAGE. If a state allows 16 year olds to have sex, but not to marry, it should be pretty damn obvious that it doesn’t consider marrying a 16 year old to be PEDOPHILIA, just that it doesn’t consider 16 year olds capable of consenting to a (theoretically lifelong) legal commitment. If a 16 year old wants to stop a sexual encounter, she has the legal right to say “Stop” and expect that it will stop and that she can leave. If a 16 year old wants to end her marriage, she is required to fill out a lot of paperwork, and in at least two states, provide a “ground” for divorce (e.g. adultery, abuse, etc.).
@John Cole: In my case, my partner is unemployed right now, while I am earning a programmer’s salary. If we could file jointly, we would be much better off, tax wise.
This does not even count the fact that I pay additional taxes on every pay check for her health care coverage because health care benefits are a privilege of marriage and the IRS is forbidden to treat it as anything other than taxable income.
Death By Mosquito Truck
Mrs. DBMT’s ma got married at age 15 to her first cousin so that’s like a double-whammy of DOJ toofarness. Now, all the fine jokes about West Virginia notwithstanding, it’s actually illegal to marry yer first cousin in West Virginia so they hadda elope to Virginia to graymarry.
I believe he’s referring to gay couples not being able to file jointly. Even if you live in a gay-marriage state, you can’t file federally as a married couple. There are many 100’s more ‘small’ discriminations like that.
(sprays poison on everything in sight)
My work is done here.
You would be correct if the brief actually said that, but it doesn’t.
The plaintiffs are challenging DOMA on its face, in absolute terms. They are saying that DOMA is unconstitutional because it violates the FFCC.
This would be true if the every state had to honor every other state’s decision regarding any type of marriage. Obviously, this is not the case and to demonstrate this point, those cases are cited.
The reason the FFCC doesn’t enforce every state marriage decision is because of legitimate public policy concerns. Moreover, public policy prohibiting I is different from public policy prohibiting P. In this case, there is no discussion of the public policy for or against prohibiting gay marriage (at the state level) because there is no “other state” in the case.
@PG said I can cite a case on how the state is allowed to regulate barbers in support of my argument that the state should be allowed to require African hair braiders to have cosmetology licenses, without having to argue that the two regulations make an equal amount of sense.
Sure, and on some level you understand my argument because, you’re comparing braiders to barbers, and asserting that the sound public policy underlying the state’s power to regulate barbers has equal application to braiders.
Chris in the post John Cole updated with a link to is just debunking those particular claims, I did not understand him to be backing down from his stance as a whole.
I suppose the difference between those two examples is one is the use of discretion on how to distribute limited resources to enforce federal criminal law (which is a valid function of the executive branch) and the other is unilaterally deciding that a federal statute is unconstitutional (which is the function of the judiciary, not the executive branch).
If you look at the states that prohibit first-cousin marriage, they actually tend to be the ones that are stereotyped as hotbeds of inbreds, while the states that allow it trend blue and coastal. I haven’t studied the history of these laws, but I’m betting that the states that prohibit it do so because there’s more of a tendency to have multi-generational first-cousin marrying (thereby increasing the chance of birth defects significantly, rather than slightly as a single occurrence of first-cousin marriage does), whereas the states that don’t bother prohibiting it figure it’s not creating enough of a problem in their gene pools to worry about it.
Jon Aravosis is a scourge. He’s effective, I’ll give him that, but he’s sloppy and wrong A LOT. Decent politics, OK intentions, but he needs to lay off the Jihad Juice.
Tim in SF
@John Cole: @Tim in SF: Someone explain the gay tax thing again- I missed that.
Me and my spouse saved over $800 in state taxes by filing a joint state tax return. Our tax lady said we would have saved a lot more if we were able to file joint federal tax return. I remember from the conversation that the number was around $1200, but the husband now says I am crazy and it wasn’t that high, and now I can’t remember. I do remember at the time just being happy about the $800.
Since I got no response from folks,I’ll ask again- why are we flailing Obama when a week ago the majority of Senate democrats freaked out about bringing gitmo detainees into the US on national security grounds, but we can’t get one of them to sponsor a repeal of DADT, which, unlike the detainee issue, is completely indefensible for national security reasons. I’d argue that it is because trashing Obama is morally satisfying and really feels good, whereas the other course of action might be effective.
But then again, all I did was write a post saying that gay rights advocates are going about the issues the wrong way, and was then told I am quoting things out of context ala Fox news, told that I am insufficiently devoted to the cause despite doing pretty much everything I can, and that it is all a result of my “heternormative patriarchal blah blah blah.”
Seriously- you are fighting the wrong people. Why are we not raising money to show ads detailing how DOMA ruins lives? Why it is unfair for couples not to have the same rights? Why are we not airing commercials about the negative impact of DADT on national security? Why are we not bombarding Senators and withholding support for them for failing to advance DADT legislation? instead, we’re screaming at Obama for a brief he didn’t even write which was wildly exaggerated. Why are we not pressuring legislators to write a bill Obama has stated he will sign? Oh yeah- because it is cheaper and easier and self-satisfying.
Again, maybe I just don’t understand these things because of my heteronormative bias.
@gopher2b: You would be correct if the brief actually said that, but it doesn’t.
Goddamit Gopher, I don’t like you because you’re just like John.
I bet you think I don’t like either of you, right?
Well you’re wrong because I didn’t say that I didn’t like John, did I?
@gex: I am in the same situation with my partner. He is on my company plan as well, and I get taxed on every cent of it.
Tim, you should see if you can arbitrage that difference between your state status and your federal status to make up some of that money. This article has suggestions on elaborate tax schemes for couples who have a recognized relationship at the state level but not the federal one:
@rs: Here’s a press release from Barney Frank that was published yesterday. He’s even backing down from his original stance. It is defensible.
Law Dork just explains that the brief has been mischaracterized in two particular ways. He’s defending it in that aspect.
Fuck you, man. I was in real civil rights marches before you were born.
I don’t owe you any explanation or defense of my political positions on anything, ever.
Fuck you forever, and the shitty horse you rode in on.
“asserting that the sound public policy underlying the state’s power to regulate barbers has equal application to braiders.”
No. I assume you understand how two laws can both pass rational basis scrutiny, without have the SAME public policy applied to both of them. In fact, with regard to my specific example, there is public policy to regulate barbers much more heavily than braiders, because barbers have a frigging blade at your throat. In NY, a felony conviction can prevent you from being a barber in the future, whereas it does not prevent you from being a braider. The reason to keep a felon from being in a position to have a razor over other people’s jugulars has no application to keeping a felon from being in a position to braid hair.
The brief does reference Loving…to explain that the decision there was appropriate because the prohibition of interracial marriage was discriminatory. So that public policy could be thrown out. Of course, the brief says “but DOMA isn’t discriminatory!”
“Loving v. Virginia is not to the contrary. There the Supreme Court rejected a contention that the assertedly “equal application” of a statute prohibiting interracial marriage immunized the statute from strict scrutiny. 388 U.S. 1, 8, 87 S.Ct. 1817, 18 L.Ed.2d 1010 (1967). The Court had little difficulty concluding that the statute, which applied only to “interracial marriages involving white persons,” was “designed to maintain White Supremacy” and therefore unconstitutional. Id. at 11. No comparable purpose is present here, however, for DOMA does not seek in any way to advance the “supremacy” of men over women, or of women over men.”
I dunno it’s just an extremely hard brief to stomach. Especially as we have come so far in recognizing sexual orientation as something that needs to be protected.
So I think I can infer from this that Obama has the agendas he gives lip service to and the agendas he actually works toward enacting which I believe makes him a politician.
If we start from the basis he’s a politician and try to infer where LGBT agenda is on Obama’s priority list based on his actions we see its fairly low. I think its understandable the LGBT community is upset at the seeming misalignment of his promises and his actions.
The office of the president has the ability to influence what becomes law and the laws content. If the president believes very strongly about an agenda he can even get the legislature to take up the agenda by using the ‘bully pulpit’. I think the current evidence suggests the president is doing none of this for LGBT agenda and hasn’t offered a timetable on when he will other then to say its someone else’s cause to lead.
On the other hand, the level of attention and action around defining the rights of non-citizens and how their rights will be exercised has received much more attention. These non-citizen’s rights are just as important as our citizen’s rights to marry who they want and to be treated the same as other married citizens by the federal and state governments.
Maybe I am naive and it is politically unwise, maybe even illogical, to use this current interest in what rights non-citizens have to the plight of our citizens who are having their rights denied to them as well, but I really would like some one on the national stage to point out that the American ideal of equality for all regardless of race, sex, and religion still has some way to go.
My life also is not perfect.
I blame queers.
You are treating the legal exception “public policy” like it has some concrete meaning. It doesn’t, it varies from context to context. The basis for banning gay marriage as a matter of public policy is not discussed in this brief. The brief says if a state can come up with a legitimate public policy reason for banning gay marriage then DOMA is not run afoul of the FFCC. That’s all it says. Whether a state comes up with a judicially acceptable public policy reason (and I don’t think any exist), remains to be seen. But you cannot go around saying that there is no public policy reason out that prohibits what you want to do without at least including the party who wants to make the public policy argument in the discussion.
Read Dale Carpenter’s on Volkh. I agree with everything he said.
Money quote regarding the merits of the legal brief (not political issues)
If Obama people were actually involved in drafting this thing then I would be shocked and it would change my opinion of him. But there is no evidence that this is anything more than a low level trial attorney trying to do his job. I have serious reservations with the political wing of the executive branch interferring with the day to day operations of career bureaucrats. That is the kind of shit Cheney used to do.
Death By Mosquito Truck
@PG: No doubt. Hell, her great-grandfather married his second cousin. Thankfully her grandfather married a stranger or my kids would be in a museum.
Tim in SF
@PG: That link doesn’t take me to a page which has tax schemes. Is that the right link?
@John Cole: Did you not read the comment on how gay friendly advertising gets rejected by networks? I believe a church, of all institutions, tried to air an ad that simply showed two women, arm-in-arm, entering a church with the sentiment that all were welcome in this church. Several networks rejected it for its controversial content. They didn’t even use the word gay.
But other than that, why haven’t there been more ads advocating for gay people?
Sure, you’d think at the rate LGBT is out there courting support and forming and maintaining alliances and nurturing relationships, people would be lining up to buy ads advocating for gay people.
Amirite? What’s up with that?
Don’t forget that Obama could easily make a meaningful change in our laws to allow Gay people with HIV into the country, but he still hasn’t done that. There is no need for a long game on this one. Congress already said it was a good idea. So why hasn’t it happened yet?
Via Sullivan (I had actually forgotten about this)
Edit — It’s all from Sullivan’s site from below the block quote damn freaking website code.
@PeopleAreNoDamnGood:Yes, network censorship is exactly the same as being unwilling or unable to drum up ad funding.
John, here is a brief coming from Obama’s DoJ – this is a guy, btw, who in his gay outreach often referenced the fact that he was sensitive to gay rights because he was a product of an interracial marriage – that says (directly contrary to Obama!!) that interracial marriage and gay marriage are two different things. I realize Obama did not write that himself. But that IS outrageous. It’s a right-wing attack on what the gay community believes – and it’s coming from the Executive Branch.
And again, I think you are confusing blog commenters with gay advocacy organizations. Why don’t you go read Pam’s House Blend and find out what the organizations are actually saying, and find out what the gay community is actually doing. The gay community has been stewing about Obama for a while anyway – here are two good reasons why:
GATES: Well, it continues to be the law. And any change in the policy would require a change in the law. We will follow that law whatever it is. That dialog though has really not progressed very far at this point in the administration. I think the President and I feel like we’ve got a lot on our plates right now and let’s push that one down the road a little bit.
Think Progress 2
Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell said today that it has had only “initial discussions” with the White House about repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and President Obama has “not asked for the 1993 policy to be scrapped.” “I do not believe there are any plans under way in this building for some expected, but not articulated, anticipation that don’t ask-don’t tell will be repealed,” Morrell said. He added that the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates are “aware of where the president wants to go on this issue, but I don’t think that there is any sense of any immediate developments in the offing on efforts to repeal don’t ask-don’t tell.” Today’s remarks appear contrary to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’s claim last week that Obama is currently “working with…members of the Joint Chiefs” to repeal the policy.
Since Obama said he would take a leadership role on this, since Obama said he was going to work on the policy with the military, it is certainly our right to ask HIM and not just Congress “what have you done for us lately?” Because he said he was going to work on it.
Overturning DADT doesn’t require airing commercials, most people think we should do it. Plus discharged gays are coming out and appearing on TV all the time. I think we’ve got the media angle on that covered. We need Obama to move it along. Congress too, but Obama needs to have the discussion with the Joint Chiefs (apparently).
Tim @ 368,
The text at the link I provided summarizes the article. The article itself should be available free if you click through to the “Selected Works.”
rs @ 363,
“Especially as we have come so far in recognizing sexual orientation as something that needs to be protected.”
If by “we” you mean people who are pro-SSM, sure. If by “we” you mean the U.S. Congress or the Supreme Court, no. The Supreme Court in Romer and Lawrence said that it was applying only rational basis scrutiny to the laws it was overturning. In Lawrence, the Court specifically said it was not dealing with the marriage issue (the present case “does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter”). This lawsuit is pushing the boundaries of existing precedent — which is what needs to be done eventually. I’m just not sure the timing is great.
If the DOJ doesn’t show up does the Judge always have to find in favor of the DOJ’s opposition or does he still have to make a judgment based on the law? If the Judge always has to side with the present litigants side over the absent, then I agree the DOJ has to show up in order to prevent abuse. I do wonder about how feasible our judicial system if this is the case though. Couldn’t you easily have citizens grinding the DOJ to a halt by filing suits all over the country tying up DOJ resources?
I am surprised to learn that building relationships with the networks, lobbying them, is not going as well as advancing your cause here.
Seriously. Who could have predicted that?
Edmund @ 371:
What exasperates me is that I agree with the policy change you want, but loathe the way you put it:
“to allow Gay people with HIV into the country”
It’s not about letting gay people, black people, Catholic people or whatever kind of people with HIV into the country. IT’S ABOUT LETTING PEOPLE WITH HIV INTO THE COUNTRY. Why does it have to be spun as a gay issue? Do you honestly believe it helps as a policy matter to frame this as something that’s only about gay people? You don’t see white conservatives do that on affirmative action; they’re desperate to make aff.action look like a horrible injury to Asians. If a policy can be claimed to have a bad effect on a larger group than just your own group, why frame it as something that’s about just your own group?
@John Cole: Since I got no response from folks,I’ll ask again- why are we flailing Obama when a week ago…
I think I’ve been trying to respond to your original post, and to your newfound love affair with the execrable DOMA brief. Maybe I’ll answer your question with one of my own.
Who the fuck are you to decide that that people are stupidly self-defeating for their failure to do as you would have them do on a schedule you find appropriate?
we’re screaming at Obama for a brief he didn’t even write which was wildly exaggerated.
Set aside your personal disdain for Aravosis for a moment. BO didn’t write the brief, but it originated in a cabinet level department so it comes with his imprimatur. He has not distanced himself from any statement therein. No, it wasn’t wildly exaggerated. A comparison is a comparison, even when lawyers do it.
Oh yeah- because it is cheaper and easier and self-satisfying [to blame BO]. Again, maybe I just don’t understand these things because of my heteronormative bias.
If you truly think the gay outrage against BO is unjustifiable, try to imagine a black president in the 1950s or 1960s elected on promises of civil rights progress telling activists after he’s elected, “Sorry, not my department. Have you tried Congress?”
I remember that ad. Wasn’t that church group trying to run it during one of the Obama/McCain debates or the thing at Saddleback (god, that name is so gay) Church?
I remember a few dust-ups in the past about ads that just show an innocuous gay couple in passing while trying to show the variety of people who use whatever the product may be.
I will answer for myself only.
I decide that people are stupidly self defeating when I see them behaving in a way that strikes me as stupidly self defeating.
I know that sounds crazy. In fact, it is crazy. But it was all they had to offer at the Stupidly Self Defeating Institute of Issue Advocacy when I matriculated there.
I didn’t last long there, I left after one semester because I just didn’t believe in myself enough.
I don’t know if I’m happy or not that I decided to sleep in, and missed most of this thread. Honestly, I was dreading BJ getting ahold of this issue. I *like* this place. And I knew it would devolve into a shouting match of “shut up and sit down!” With a bonus of what I assume is ThymeZone @ 361 claiming infallibility because of his past.
I’ve read the entire thread, and do have a few thoughts. John, you tell us to write and be activists, but not alienate folks. Sorry that there’s splash damage from some people not being careful, but we are trying to get civil rights the best we know. Some people on blogs will inevitably go too far. Please don’t tar the entire movement with them. Many of us are doing both – activist work *and* writing on blogs.
Gex @ 35: Ty. This.
the crustybastard @ 225: I was thinking much along the same lines, and have read the whole letter recently myself.
Actually, I’ll reiterate my point above – the only way DADT gets repealed is if we pressure Obama.
THAT’S WHY WE ARE PRESSURING OBAMA.
And it doesn’t seem like he is doing what he said he would do – which is start that work on his FIRST DAY IN OFFICE.
THAT’S WHY WE ARE PRESSURING OBAMA.
It’s up to him to work closely with the military.
Here is a diary of all the work he hasn’t done.
But I guess we’re supposed to ask Harry Reid to be the Commander in Chief?
OMFG, I can’t believe you actually wrote that.
Now I have seen everything.
Goodbye, cruel and stupid world.
( sound of gunshot )
@PeopleAreNoDamnGood: I was just thinking the same thing. WOW!
I think a civics lesson is order as well.
Actually, the post is 362 on my list, and has nothing to do with infallibility and everything to do with the fact that I don’t like Michael D. I think he sucks, and there is no pun intended. At all.
He’s a nasty little prick AFAIC, and typifies the shitty attitude that is at the root of this thread and this whole subject.
He represents a bloc of about 6% of the population that is quite happy giving the finger to the other 94% and demanding that the 94% kiss his ass because, if I understand correctly, “he has waited long enough.”
As if the other 300 million people haven’t waited long enough for something, or many things, and owe him an ass kissing.
I welcome this opportunity to say it again: Fuck him, very much.
rs @ 347,
“that says (directly contrary to Obama!!) that interracial marriage and gay marriage are two different things. I realize Obama did not write that himself. But that IS outrageous. It’s a right-wing attack on what the gay community believes – and it’s coming from the Executive Branch.”
Uh, did you miss that part in the presidential campaign where Obama and Biden said they are in favor of civil unions, and against DOMA and DADT, and pro ENDA, and not in favor of Prop. 8… but are not advocating for SSM?
Also, even though I consider Loving a stronger precedent for SSM than most people do*, technically race gets strict scrutiny while sex only gets heightened scrutiny. So if the government can come up with an argument against SSM that passes heightened scrutiny, it wins, whereas for anti-miscegenation laws, it had a higher standard to overcome.
* Most people, like the DOJ brief, say that the Loving precedent is based on the fact that anti-miscegenation laws were clearly motivated by a desire to maintain white supremacy. (The common thread among all anti-miscegenation laws was to keep those deemed white from marrying certain other races, even though those other races generally were free to marry each other: “The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy. “) While I consider hetero marriage traditionally to have been based on maintaining women in a subordinate position (consider all the ways in which women lost rights by marrying, e.g. the right to own property in their own name), this isn’t what most people think of hetero marriage.
@PeopleAreNoDamnGood: Wow. That’s mean. Um, ok.
Death By Mosquito Truck
@Da Bomb: Hard to believe something that so over the top stupid didn’t have Michael D.’s name attached to it. Maybe it was spoof?
Thread troll kills thread. Feels smart.
@PG: I assume you understand how two laws can both pass rational basis scrutiny, without have the SAME public policy applied to both of them. In fact, with regard to my specific example, there is public policy to regulate barbers much more heavily than braiders, because barbers have a frigging blade at your throat.
AH! You’re just trolling me, aren’t you? Nobody can really be this fucking obtuse.
Congratulations, I suppose. Please pick up your participation ribbon at the table in the back.
So, to recap this miserable thread:
I think gays should have full rights, down to every single benefit and right that heterosexuals have.
I think DADT should be repealed, and will support any candidate who works to repeal it.
I think Obama is right to reiterate his support for the repeal of DOMA.
I think the DOMA brief is bad, but upon reading it and reading a defense of the more “controversial” aspects, I can see it is defensible despite not liking it.
I will donate to causes that effectively advance the issue.
I have outlined ways I think would be effective advancing the issue.
But because I had the unmitigated fucking balls, on my own weblog, to suggest that the loudest and dumbest voices in the gay rights movement may be doing more harm than good because the only lesson they seem to have internalized is the squeaky wheel gets the grease, I’m an idiot, hetero-normatively biased, my support is unwanted, and I should just shut up and accept that screaming OBAMA SUCKS really is the most effective approach.
Nope. He’s a prick. That’s the whole point.
Death By Mosquito Truck
But secretly, it’s gotta be a little gratifying to finally be accused of being straight, amirite? :)
@gopher2b: But you cannot go around saying that there is no public policy reason out that prohibits what you want to do without at least including the party who wants to make the public policy argument in the discussion.
Got that everyone?
Gay rights don’t compare to the REAL civil rights this clown defended back in the day
Missed seeing this post earlier.
I don’t have a gay dog in this fight, but I’m going to disagree with half of this…
Yes for DOMA. Regardless of their personal belief, DOJ should defend any federal statues on the books. That’s part of their job description. Of course you could do so without calling the opposing side pedophiles, but…
DADT? I disagree with Obama that Truman was wrong to desegregate the military via executive order. And with those that think a legislative solution would be longer lasting.
Please, was nothing learned during the past 8 years? Imagine a President Palin, Bachmann, or insert your own favorite R-loon. You think they would be any more hesitant than Bush to issue executive orders? Reestablishing DADT, or worse? Or issue a retroactive signing statement that the legislation allowing gays to serve was an infringement on their decidering role as current CIC?
Yeah, back in the day ol’ Harry T. just didn’t get that the overriding purpose of parties and their representatives was to win elections. That’s their contribution to the country. Plus the dumb fucker didn’t realize he had a full plate back in 1948. Yes, WWII had come to an end, but the country had racked up massive deficits during. Was still reintegrating servicemen back into an economy that was changing from wartime production to peacetime. Rebuilding Europe, keeping a leash on Japan. Many thinking we should stay on a wartime footing seeing war with the USSR inevitable. Russia racing to develop their own atomic bomb; China in a civil war likely to go communist.
But shit, with all that going on what did Harry do? At the 1948 Democratic convention he inserted a civil rights plank into the Dem platform. Dixiecrats were furious with some state delegations leaving the convention. Republicans were ecstatic; their man Dewey would certainly win. They must have shit their pants in starbursts when several weeks after the convention close crazy Harry issued an executive order desegregating the military.
There were cries within his own party now was not the time. That there would be mass departures from the services severely impacting military readiness. Didn’t the former WWI artillery captain, later colonel in the Reserves, understand that like they did?
Actually, maybe Harry understood military culture a little better. Sometimes, even when it’s in their best interests and they know it, the only way you’re going to change that culture is to slap it upside its head with a sledgehammer. That’s what Harry did.
Guess Harry had a problem with that consensus thingy. And knowing the most important thing was to win an election. He should have left military segregation alone and focused on the rest of his plate. Desegregation would have happened; maybe by the end of the 60s? What would have been wrong with that? Just Harry’s conscience. He had seen black servicemen returning from WWII, many decorated, treated more than a little shabbily in his home state and others. He didn’t think that was right.
Obama has said he wants to build consensus among the JCS and bipartisan support in Congress to end DADT. Yeah. If he thinks any of the Joint Chiefs will be calling for gay pride week in their respective services anytime soon, Palin has a bridge to nowhere he can buy cheap. Bipartisanship in Congress? From the Rs on this? Gotta like his sense of humor on that one.
This country needs more Harry Trumans.
@Death By Mosquito Truck: Some days I really hate you.
@Death By Mosquito Truck:
ROTFL, you are killin me today.
We have donated to those same causes. We have done the things you have been suggesting. It’s clear you find our out cry of basically saying we aren’t going to put up with this inertia anymore as counter productive. I think that perhaps there’s a complacency that needs to be broken. I think making it clear that this is no longer okay is important too. Trust me, we’re sick of this shit too. No matter where we go on the internet, any post about us ends up in a thread like this. It is tiring to be debated in this way.
You are clearly incapable of understanding the legal aspects of this discussion so I’m done trying to explain them to you.
Death By Mosquito Truck
@John Cole: Dammit, thought you’d get a kick outta that one.
John Cole, you are impossible to please!
No, they do not compare, and we have been over that before.
If you assert that they do, then you are bigger horse’s ass than even I thought, which is really saying something.
Gay rights the equivalent of American civil rights?
Queers in the fields as slaves, later hanging from trees after being hung for looking the wrong way at a straight woman? Straight Only signs in the coffee shop windows?
Denied the right to vote? Gay suffrage movements? Gay rejections from colleges and universities? Gays forced to live in ghettos?
You are a fucking disgrace, man. Get away from me, you insulting and stupid little man.
@gopher2b: Read Dale Carpenter’s [sic] on Volkh. I agree with everything he said.
Money quote regarding the merits of the legal brief (not political issues) “…Much of the brief seems right to me, or at least entirely defensible, as a matter of constitutional law.”
You are 100% correct! Holy shit, I’ve been operating on the mistaken belief that the Constitution and fundamental rights apply to everyone. I completely missed that disclaimer at the end of the Constitution that excludes faggots and dykes.
In my defense, it’s really small type.
Tim in SF
@PeopleAreNoDamnGood: He represents a bloc of about 6% of the population that is quite happy giving the finger to the other 94% and demanding that the 94% kiss his ass because, if I understand correctly, “he has waited long enough.”
That 6% also includes me and I’m not giving the finger to the other 94%. And neither is Michael D.
Cool yer jets.
@John Cole:Oh, I didn’t realize that when you said
you only meant the loudest and dumbest amongst us. That sounds pretty reasonable. We must be overly sensitive to think that meant “you” meant “us”, when clearly it meant “the loud and dumb amongst you”. And again, I’m posting unhappily on blogs and doing activism. Just because you only see one, doesn’t mean the other isn’t happening.
@gex: I will say this again. Harry Reid said there is not one Senator willing to sponsor a repeal of DADT. Not one.
Instead of screaming at Obama, here is what should be done. Pick the most liberal Senator in Washington. Someone with a perfect voting record on gay rights.
Start picketing. Start protesting. Turn up the heat on him/her until they start the ball rolling. They are supposed to be on your side, and are in the part of Capitol Hill where this matters. Make them break the dam.
Try Bernie Sanders. Hell, his state has gay marriage.
Obama will sign the bill. He needs congress to pass it, so I would suggest working on Congresscritters.
Or keep throwing tomatoes at the White House. Your call.
And you’re wondering why people are dismissive of you?
@Tim in SF:
Sorry, I don’t agree. About him, not you.
My jets are just fine thanks.
Well, do both. But don’t focus on just one end.
@PeopleAreNoDamnGood: Please stop it.
Wow. An honest to god, queer hatin’, ‘I’m better’n you’ bigot. Can I take it’s picture, mom?
Please refer to post #402.
Death By Mosquito Truck
In other news, Michael D. compares being single to hundreds year struggle of African-Americans for equality.
Folks, I kid because I love. There ain’t a manjack in here I wouldn’t trade blowjobs with and most of ya know that. But ya really gotta stop with the overwrought civil rights movement comparisons. Srsly.
Stop what? We are going to sit here and permit comparisons between civil rights and gay rights now?
This is the same shit that MD and I got into a year ago.
Tell him to stop it.
What a cool thread. Leave for a few hours, come back and read the same comments made again from 4 hours ago. Kinda like BloggoTivo.
Again, DADT is never going to get repealed unless Obama moves to review the ban with those in the military.
Me: I think I’ve been trying to respond to your original post, and to your newfound love affair with the execrable DOMA brief.
@John Cole: Fail
Fail? Oh-ho! I see. I have failed. Clever, indeed.
To recap: You were against the DOMA defense until you discovered that someone you despise was also against it, at which point you found a reason to believe in the DOMA defense, except that you actually don’t.
Yes, how could anyone be confused by your crystal-clear position?
It never fails, the Repubs are all lost and unable to get their act together, unable to come up with ideas or get support – so what do we do? We tear apart the Democratic party with gay rights platforms.
Obama has a lot on his plate, some things are just going to have to wait. Sit down and shut up or go form your own party.
Nice, really fucking nice!
@gopher2b: Please refer to post # 396.
Haha. You keep me young!
There is one senator willing to end DADT
tripletee (formerly tBone)
@Death By Mosquito Truck:
Why do you hate black Iranians? Asshole.
@Death By Mosquito Truck:
Shit. I rant and break dinnerware, and then you come along and say my thing,in two sentences, better than I did.
I suck, and on this thread, I say that with all due caution.
And, I am stealing your material. Count on it.
One of my neighbors houses consists of two women who are not gay, but have chosen to adopt and raise four girls together. Because of the fact that the state, Texas, and the federal government choose to only recognize marriage as the proper form of designating parents, only one of the women can legally be a parent. One of the problems that has come up is that the woman who has adopted the children is no longer the one who makes the money in the household; therefore a family of six is paying taxes like a single person.
I bring this up because fights like I am seeing on this page are still meaningless because they still don’t guarantee equal treatment for everyone. Everyone should have the right to marry, but the right to designate rights and obligations should not be dependent on adults being married.
So when crustybastard dismisses an effort at someone’s making an actual point with “you must be obtuse,” that’s brilliant, but when JC dismisses crustybastard’s effort at argument with “FAIL,” crusty sneers, “Clever.”
Well, just so long as we know that crusty expects so little of himself, and so much of others.
“Because of the fact that the state, Texas, and the federal government choose to only recognize marriage as the proper form of designating parents, only one of the women can legally be a parent.”
Huh? I’m like 99% sure that the unmarried Brangelina are both legally designated as parents to their spawn.
We could always repeal the marriage and child tax breaks, but good luck getting that passed.
So which inalienable rights are OK to be abridged and which aren’t?
Well played, Aravosis and company. I’m just embarrassed I took your word that the brief did that. You’d think by now I would know better.
Outraged gays and crazed PUMAs all in the same day? I can’t take it, brain overload. Make it stop!
@Little Dreamer: That isn’t fair. Gays have a right to be pissed. PUMA’s are just nucking futs.
If I were gay, I’d probably be burning shit in the street I’d be so pissed off. But I’m not, so I can sit here and try to explain why I think their current methods aren’t helping.
Please, don’t spoof that kind of nonsense.
Any abridgement of rights equals the blacks’ history and struggle in this country?
I stand on my post, and also point you to #@Death By Mosquito Truck:
Look, I tried to explain my argument clearly and engage in a meaningful, respectful way.
You responded by moving the goalposts and completely obfuscating the point.
Clearly you don’t want to have a reasonable discussion. You want to feel like you’ve “won.” So here’s a nice blue ribbon that says:
Please to enjoy. Now go bother someone else.
Wile E. Quixote
Because most leftists are fucking stupid and weak and have no discipline or sticking power. The left is an alternate religion, worshipping impotence. There’s also the fact that the LGBT movement has some of the most useless shitsacks in the world running it. Look at how the established LGBT organizations fucked up the Prop. 8 campaign in California. Hell, if the NAACP was as worthless as the Human Rights Campaign we’d still have slavery.
Leftist dildos like Tom annoy the Hell out of me because of the fact that they’re so goddamned stupid, they’re like the Democratic party’s version of teabagging wingnuts. Sure Tom, go ahead and bitch about Obama because he’s not overriding DoMA and DADT with an executive order, but as soon as you do please shut the fuck up about Bush doing the same thing vis a vis the Geneva Conventions and FISA. Sorry, but a unitary executive is a bad thing, regardless of the ideology of the executive. Saying that Tom is the same as Addington, but that the cause is different doesn’t go far enough, I’d say that Tom is the same as John Yoo, and would be willing to have some kid get his nuts crushed if that’s what it took to repeal DoMA.
Oh, and while everyone is demanding that Obama pull a Gavin Newsom and just legalize gay marriage by legislative fiat why don’t you recall just how well that ended up for Newsom (a backer of Hillary “My husband proudly signed DoMA and bragged about it” Clinton). The CW in California was that Newsom’s decision was one of the factors that helped push Prop 8 over the top (well, that and the fact that the big LGBT organizations ran an incredibly incompetent campaign that did nothing more than rain money on a bunch of worthless consultants).
So the question I have is when the dipshits who are so pissed off about Obama going to get off of your lazy, pathetic and completely and totally ineffective asses and do something about the Democratic senators who voted for DoMA and who are up for re-election in 2010. Let’s see, that would be
Patty Murray (D, Washington)
Chris Dodd (D, Connecticut)
Patrick Leahy (D, Vermont)
Barbara Mikulski (D, Maryland)
Harry Reid (D, Nevada)
Byron Dorgan (D, North Dakota)
Now, if I were a political strategist for an LGBT organization, I’d plan on taking out Harry Reid in 2010. I’d fund a primary challenger and do everything I could to cost him his seat. Now, why would I do that?
Well because Harry’s one of the bigots who voted for DoMA back in 1996. Taking him out and letting people know that this was why you did it would send a loud message to members of Congress. This sort of thing works, ask the NRA if you don’t believe me.
Harry’s a spineless little backstabbing prick who is more concerned with the Senate being a club for rich white people than he is in actually getting anything done.
Getting Harry out of the way might mean that you’d get a progressive Democrat who might give a shit about things such as DoMA as Senate Majority Leader.
Unfortunately since I have an IQ over 50, an attention span longer than 30 seconds and regard street theatre and protests as being silly, self-indulgent and ultimately a waste of time, I’m ineligible for any leadership position in most of the LGBT organizations out there, all of whom would rather bitch about Obama, because doing so is really easy, instead of actually doing some work, flexing some muscle and showing that they’re a force to be reckoned with.
So yes John, you’re right, the trashing Obama strategy is being adopted because it feels good and because it’s easy. The “let’s go out and destroy a couple of fucks like Harry Reid or Patty Murray to send a message” strategy isn’t being adopted because that would be hard work and leftists are incapable of hard work, believing, stupidly, that folk songs, street theatre and protest marches are all that you need to effect change and that if you don’t do it that way that ur doin it rong because ur asserting patriarchal, heteronormative privilege.
JC I bet you’re really regretting putting this post up at this point (well you were by post 250 and we are now up to 433 at the moment) given all the poo flinging from all ends, eh? Off topic but has any other of your entries garnered anywhere near as many replies in the comment section?
Well looks like this isn’t the only place making the comparison between Iran and the LGBT rights issues. DailyKos now has a recommended diary making the same bullshit arguments.
Strong contender for the best line of the day.
@John Cole: Well played, Aravosis and company. I’m just embarrassed I took your word that the brief did that. You’d think by now I would know better.
I’d like to know what part of that quote block you find objectionable?
We’d be remiss to also not mention that the recent legal brief of the Obama Administration defending DOMA is incredibly hurtful.
Are they somehow wrong to feel hurt that BO, who campaigned on repealing DOMA, is legally defending DOMA by justifying nonrecognition of gay marriage (on the same legal basis as justifying nonrecognition of child marriages and consanguineous marriages) at the same time he is also claiming not to support DOMA?
The members of the Board and our membership put our hopes, our dollars and our time into ensuring the election of Barack Obama because we believed that he supported us.
They are wrong?
To now have his Administration refer to our relationships in the same terms used by our long time [sic] enemies such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson hurts on so many levels.
Again, inaccurate? They are wrong to feel betrayed?
To have our committed and loving relationships referred to as the moral equivalent of incest and pedophilia is not something that any of us ever expected from this Administration considering how hard we worked to be seen and respected.
Once again, having taken some pains to explain why a comparison is a comparison even when lawyers do it, is this somehow inaccurate?
You can start here, on Dec. 17, 2008…
and conclude here, a mere 24 hours later, on Dec. 18th.
1056 comments. Half of those on the final post alone:
“This Will Be My Last Post On This, So Help Me Flying Spaghetti Monster.”
Two words: Rick Warren.
You obviously feel that gay people can soldier on without certain rights till the ‘time is right’, which rights are they to do without?
I do not care if there is or isn’t an equality between the two civil rights movements, I’m just interested if you can actually articulate which rights are more important then others or do you think LBGT actually have all the rights they deserve.
Outraged gays have a right to be pissed? Do they now? Why, because Rome wasn’t built in a day and they’re lucky that our newly installed President is even willing to LOOK at their issues? These things take time.
There are a hell of a lot bigger fish to fry.
Get back to me when women are paid exactly the same pay as men.
Ya know John, I remember when you were as flabberghasted as I was that people didn’t seem to realize that Obama campaigned on a moderate bipartisan platform. Why are you now seeming to take the stand that gays should be pissed because Obama wasn’t progressive enough?
@the crustybastard: For starters, as the link to law dork plainly demonstrates, this never happened:
@Little Dreamer: I never said they have any right to be pissed off at Obama, I said they have a right to be pissed. If I were told my spouse would not get my benefits, or I could not legally visit my spouse in the hospital, or if people routinely tried to bash me as a part of a political campaign or there were amendments offered every election to marginalize me or ban my relationship or whatever, I be pretty fucking pissed. I’d be tearing shit up just because.
I’d still be pretty stupid and not accomplishing anything, though.
There is a very real possibility that I will find myself in that very same position one day (not being able to visit a loved one in the hospital because of no marriage/family connection) and I am still not buying it, sorry.
Congrats! Your comment wins this thread in the cognitive dissonance competition.
This attitude, certain peoples rights are more important and should be addressed first, is just as destructive and divisive as the attitude that everyone else is decrying.
Its feels like struggle for equality is never finished.
(I give up the blockquote gremlins win. :( )
Wile E. Quixote
Wow, you’re right, I realize now that the abject contempt in which I hold PUMAs, tea-baggers and birthers is wrong and nothing more than an assertion of patriarchal, heteronormative privilege. I should be more sensitive to the feelings of myiq2xu and when the tea-baggers tell me how they’re being oppressed by the Obama administration. And surely the mockery that I’ve directed towards the birthers hurt their feelings.
I can’t believe how incredibly insensitive I’ve been. I’m going to head over to the GOS and apologize for all of the bad things I wrote about PUMAs. Oh, and that post I wrote a few weeks back, the one that got linked to from RumpRoast? I need to delete that because obviously Peter Doau was writing about his feelings about Hillary Clinton and there I was, being all patriarchal and heteronormative ‘n shit and mocking him.
@Laura W: Thanks for digging back in the archives, must also say I almost forgot about the whole Rick Warren fiasco. Yeah that’s a lot of posts in 1-2 days on one subject, with the last one being over 500. Concerning comment sections in general, not sure what’s better, if they were all by mostly different people (like dailykos) or as here where it’s the same group of 20-30 commenters? On one hand, you get more communal discussions but with big arguments, the other more diffuse and less personal but any random person can spout crap and throw bombs and cause a whole out war of same-sided factions (since most blog posts that get such attention tend to be on very controversial subjects to begin with).
Your 6% doesn’t stand ahead of the other 94%. We stand together, intermingled, and fight for all rights and accept that certain things can only be done on timetables that may not be agreeable to all (your 6% issues are not popular, there are processes that have to be applied to get them through and accepted) – if you don’t like that, go form your own party and good luck getting the rights those 6% want.
@Death By Mosquito Truck:
Yer no Joe Klein, Mosquito Truck. That right there is yer problem.
All it took was two glasses of wine, and I am ready to have hot gay man on man sex with Joe Klein.
I’ve been trying to not post in anger here, but I’m just a little too pissed to let this go.
Fuck you, Peoplearenodamngood, fuck you.
I’m transgender. I don’t have the right to go to *any* fucking restroom. I put up with shit every day from assholes like you who think that I should just fucking die. Fuck you. Plenty of them do more than just think about it. If you don’t think I’ve suffered enough, you can just go to hell. Payed less? Hell, it’s hard for me to get paid at all, because well meaning folk won’t hire freaks like me.
I’m just so angry right now.
John, you’re still not getting it. Law Dork’s post only addressed the issue of whether the brief had to be filed and one of the arguments in it. Neither of his points is the one that has me angry. That would be this part:
If there’s a way to read that other than, “It’s too expensive to stop taxing my wife’s health benefits through my job and to allow her to get my Social Security benefits if I die,” please point it out to me. But from where I sit, having to pay higher taxes than my het married co-workers and not being able to have the benefits I worked for go to my spouse is nothing more than a Gay Tax.
Well, unless you look like you have no gender at all, you certainly do have a right to use one or the other (and even then, all you have to do is say “I’m a woman”). Are you telling me you have hordes of people standing at each public restroom you enter beating you with sticks? How long have you been holding it? This is a bullshit line.
ETA because I missed the edit window:
Okay, evidently you do get that, John…but we’re not supposed to say anything?
Obama’s shown on more than one occasion that GLBT issues just aren’t a priority for him. The only way to change that is for him to know that we are paying attention, and that we are going to call bullshit on him when necessary.
DOMA is unconscionable, and the DOJ defense of it could hardly have been written in a way to make the gay community feel more marginalized or shut out. If we just shut up and say, “Well, I guess we’ll just wait,” then we deserve to get thrown under the metaphorical bus on more time.
Death By Mosquito Truck
Bethany Anne, feel free to use either one until we get a third one built with a question mark on the door.
Why should they be a priority? Why does the 6% have to come before the other 94%?
You’re not special, you are only victimizing yourself.
@450 – Seriously, don’t ever put the imagery of journalists and sex together. Associating the pasty, sweaty bloggers and journalists I’ve known with bumping uglies makes me nauseous.
I’m totally stealing this for my band’s name, Dude.
I look like a boy in makeup in a dress. Women don’t like me in their restroom. I don’t belong in the mens’ room,and I’m scared to be in it anyway.
So did Sinead O’Connor. I don’t think she had that problem.
It seems you are the one who feels upset about your own appearance. Perhaps a wig would help? If you chose to be a woman, then be a woman, and act like a woman and don’t feel bad about it. Own your gender of choice, don’t be afraid of it.
People have a much harder time approaching those who seem confident to break them down then they do approaching those who seem timid and scared.
What the fuck does your transgender status have to do with DADT and DOMA and Barack Obama, the topic of this thread?
Transgender/restroom discrimination? Bull-shit. In my 60 years of using men’s rooms, I have never seen any scenario in which any person of any gender would not be welcome to use a men’s room. I just don’t believe you. And furthermore, if there is such an issue, which I doubt, it has nothing to do with this thread, nor with anything that has been said on this thread. In fact in going on 5 years here I have never seen any person state any opinion or position on transgender issues at all, or express any prejudices against transgenderism in any sense. Period.
If you are actually in some sort of distress, you need some counseling. If that is not available to you, then maybe this year’s healthcare reforms will help you get it.
Get some help.
Ah, screw it. My blood pressure doesn’t need this.
@Comrade Dread: Your t-shirt sales are going to suck.
I liked Armchair Eberts.
Christ! This thread went to complete shit. No wonder we win so few battles. The only one we seem to be passionate about fighting is between each other. Ever since I’ve cared to take stock of my own views I’ve considered them, and myself, liberal. However, if this is how debate goes down between liberals, I’m a little embarrassed to call myself one.
Also, we used to rip republicans for being “single issue voters”. Are members of the LGBT community “single issue voters”? Will you stay or will you go? I mean this as an honest question.
your dilemma has me stumped. Come on in with we boys. Just ignore the urinals and you’ll be ok. But you have to leave the lid down when your finished. You know how we are.
@Darkrose: No, goddamnit, no one here thinks it is ok.
We just don’t think trashing the guy who says he will sign the bills you want is worthwhile when you are letting the congresscritters who need to write the god damned bill get off unscathed.
So you are the one with the men’s room problem. Why? I don’t get that.
I am not talking about the boy’s room at the high school, where everyone is treated rudely. I am talking about the common public men’s room. I’ve seen women in men’s rooms and the only reaction I have ever seen is the men trying to get the hell out of the way to give the woman space and privacy.
Death By Mosquito Truck
We’re all scared in there. Women’s restrooms have couches and double as a social gathering. Men’s restrooms are like a watering hole on the dry african savannah, full of wary and dangerous animals.
No, but I have no proof that what you are saying is true. You could be totally misconstruing it. I believe people should be treated equally.
No, the majority does not win total interest, but their issues are issues that affect more people and need to be fixed because they are EASIER to fix. Your issues are harder to fix and they take more time and effort.
We who are not part of the 6% are willing to help you, but you have to stand in line with the rest of us, not at the head of it.
I’m not trying to derail this thread – I thought someone said something about colored water fountains and restrooms above. I don’t see it now.
@Death By Mosquito Truck:
I am apparently using the wrong women’s restrooms. I’ve only seen couches in Vegas.
and like I said, this thread has me a bit upset. I really shouldn’t talk about my situation. It’s not what y’all are arguing about. My folk are lumped in with GLBT, so we get some benefits when the G’s & L’s win a round.
I concur completely!
Death By Mosquito Truck
They also have colored water fountains in Vegas.
Well, since you are only concerned about when G’s and L’s win a round and not when Democrats win a round, I guess we find ourselves on opposing sides. You are hijacking the Democratic party for your own personal reasons. It doesn’t work that way, and if you continue, you will find yourself out on the street with no Dem party affiliation.
@Little Dreamer: When did I say that I only wanted the G’s and L’s to win a round?
I’m actually in the 94%, but realize all the platitudes of timetables(that are never defined) and speeches of support(that never lead to action) are just sublimated bigotry, irrational fears that if someone else’s rights are affirmed with apparently scarce political capital will some how short shrift their rights, or just outright pandering by the political class.
There seems to be a need for another civil rights movement to reaffirm the rights that only rich white men used to have actually apply to everyone regardless of how someone may characterize them on a government form.
Of course, we have to much on our plate right now, we can worry about your civil rights later, right? Of course nobody can say when that mytical ‘right time’ will be. Thanks for voting and enjoy your not quite equal status and don’t forget to come out in support of us next election and maybe we’ll deem your rights important enough this time to get the ball rolling. If you don’t smile and say think you, try don’t let the door hit you on the way out as we don’t need your kind distracting us from our important agenda with your shrillness and agenda which alienates voters. /sarcasm
Excuse me? Barack Obama has been in office for five and a half months. Come back to me when you have seen no movement on your issue in November 2011.
I am neither rich nor male. Your target missed it’s mark.
edit, whoops, I mean to reference a BA post and got the wrong link. sorry
Seriously, I am pretty sure that in the vast majority of cases, you will be welcome in any men’s room. Further, if there is some consideration you need in there, I am pretty sure all you have to do is ask for it and you will get it.
If I am in there and anybody gives you any guff, I will take care of them. Trust me.
I didn’t think I was saying that was all that I wanted. I’m sorry if it came across that way.
Well, TZ, as you know, I have a pretty strong personality, and I’m not afraid to use a men’s restroom. I don’t need your help, but thank you. ;)
Perhaps we should do a study to see how often I get thrown out of men’s restrooms?
@PeopleAreNoDamnGood: I shouldn’t have gotten angry and said anything. My situation is real, but talking about it is a mistake. Natal women are as scared of me in their restrooms as I’m scared of the men in their room.
Trust me. This thread has nowhere to go but to improve.
I saw you pushing the times that G’s and L’s win a round, with no acknowledgment of when those who are of the same party and are not G’s and L’s win a round. You’re pushing a single issue voter stance. Many GLBT’s are upset at a democratically elected president because he hasn’t done enough for your single issue (equality of GLBT) yet, and therefore they are sounding like they’re trying to pull rank and kill the chances for our new Democratic president to enjoy his popularity. Try it, I’m sure you’ll find yourself on the outside mighty quickly.
Well, BethanyAnne, if you were in my location and using a restroom where I was, I’d hold guard for you and help you to get out without incident. You are welcome in my restroom anytime.
Honestly I think you will find most men’s rooms to be safe, and polite. Men are pretty practical … we go in there to do our business and get out. We are not looking to have any trouble or cause anyone any trouble.
I am not talking about the mens room at the cowboy bar, or the biker bar, or the high school. But in most public places, we are going to treat you as you wish to be treated.
I’m sorry if you took offense to anything said on the thread. Nobody intended any offense to you I am quite sure.
@Little Dreamer: heh. thanks. Mostly, honestly, I just try to make it back home.
holding it for too long can create bladder infections (as well as discomfort).
If you are uncomfortable, get a wig. You may get people with dirty looks, ignore them. If someone assaults you, then sue them.
@John Cole: For starters, as the link to law dork plainly demonstrates, this never happened.
Uh, lawdork.com is the final arbiter of all that is lawfully proper?
Heh. lawdork.com makes the argument that (1) a comparison is not a comparison when lawyers do it, and (2) it is inaccurate to complain of comparisons to pedophil!a (because the cited case had to do with 16-year-olds). Ta-da! It’s actually ephebophilia not pedoph!ia so their entire argument is invalid!
Assuming you missed my previous explanation, please permit me to recap:
PRECEDENT I. State 1’s recognition of marriage entered in State 2 with feature P barred as a matter of sound public policy.
PRECEDENT II. State 3’s recognition of marriage entered in State 4 with feature I barred as a matter of sound public policy.
What do I & II have in common? The fact that marriages were rejected as a matter of sound public policy against P & I.
The brief does not argue that states may capriciously reject other state’s marriages. The brief does not cite cases like Loving to buttress any argument that unsound public policy (“racial integrity”) justifiably barred marriages.
In short: the memo recognizes that, at a minimum, sound public policy must underlie any denial of recognizing a foreign state’s marriage.
Rational basis is a surpassingly low standard of review — some say it’s no judicial review at all. But there has to be SOME conceivable logic that a judge could imagine the legislators might have employed. “Sound public policy” has historically been an argument that is more than adequate to survive “rational basis.”
The brief exists to make the point that states are free to reject marriages, notwithstanding the Full Faith and Immunities Clause, precisely because a novel feature G can be rejected, as a matter of sound public policy, just like P & I.
That is a comparison by any definition.
And seriously — regardless of what you feel about me personally — just read that a couple of times and give it a moment to sink in.
Or, y’know, just get angry and reflexively bellow “FAIL!” because that is like a brazilion times more smart and funny.
Do you imagine that I give a shit what a dumbass like you thinks?
I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt since I see you’ve been busily responding to others in the thread that you didn’t realize I was the same person who chastised you for elevating one of the discriminations you suffer, being a women and thus underpaid for the same work, as more important then other peoples discrimination. It was obvious you are a women.
I guess I didn’t make my point obvious, the rights the rich white males, who have made up the ruling class of America for the longest time, have to slowly trickled down to the rest of us and certain of them are seemingly being intentionally abridged. To give an example that maybe more relatable to you, Your right as to choose when and with who you have a child are tied to your right to earn a fair wage for a days work which is tied to your right to privacy. When you don’t let your political leaders know basic human rights are important for everyone regardless if they are a member of an unpopular class you are lessening your own rights.
As to the rest, the democratic party has for the last 2 years failed to stand up for all of our rights, not just the LGBT specific ones, on many occasions. It seems it is poised to continue to do so under Obama’s leadership, Waiting till some arbitrary date to wait to see if Obama has changed from the course he’s very visibly taking is just another way of saying you aren’t interested in Obama’s civil rights stance and more interested in other aspects of his agenda.
Wile E. Quixote
@Harry Reid (D, Nevada)
What an asswipe. “I haven’t identified any sponsors.” “My hope is that it can be done administratively.” What Reid is saying is that he’s a cowardly little shit who is unwilling to sponsor a bill himself, and there’s nothing that would prevent him from doing so, and that he hopes that the Obama administration will take the heat for repealing DADT. Yet despite this everyone is going after Obama instead of going after this spineless and brainless piece of garbage, slapping him until he’s lying on the ground crying and pissing himself and saying “Enough with your mewling bullshit Harry. Legislate or get off the pot, you sniveling little punk”.
Harry Reid needs to go, I know I’m going to sound like a Republican purity troll here, but how would we be worse off if he lost his seat and was replaced by a Republican? Having Reid as Senate Majority Leader is every bit as bad as having Joe Lieberman as Senate Majority Leader. With Democrats like Harry Reid, who needs Republicans?
@A Cat: He doesn’t care about our rights. He SAYS he supports them, but he doesn’t. He’s one of those Democrats that REALLY wants gay people to just go away so they can focus on all the things regular straight people are concerned about.
He’s not representative of even FIVE percent of the people on this blog.
He SAYS he marched for civil rights back in the day, but he probably just thought it was cool to be one of the white people who hung out with the negroes. He SAYS he supports gay people, but he thinks we whine too much about being forced to separate because one of us has to leave the country, or when one of our partners is in pallative care and the other partner can’t visit because the family of the sick one refuses to let the queer in.
You just have to deal with people like him.
He resorts to nothing more than insult and invective and, every now and then, throw in a witticism to make you think he’s smart. He will tell the whole commentariat here that I am a fucking prick and a useless human being. Fortunately, I couldn’t give a shit wat he or anyone else here thinks. But that’s the best he has, so you deal with it and move on. Really, he is a sad, pathetic old person who really wants to hang out with the cool progressives – as long at the people he claims to support will just shut the fuck up and wait.
Death By Mosquito Truck
I did. I got a rep to maintain here.
Wile E. Quixote
Who are not only trashing the guy who says that he will sign the bills you want and who are letting the congresscritters, such as the lamentable Harry Reid who need to write the god-damned bill get off unscathed but who also are letting those Democratic politicians, and Harry Reid is one of them, who voted for the nasty piece of bigotry that was DoMA back in 1996 completely off the hook for their support of this bigoted piece of legislation.
WTF are you talking about? People have been producing little versions of themselves since long before Hammurabi’s Law, or the Roman Senate, or the Constitution of the United States.
My right to choose whom I have a child with and when rests on these simple things:
1. Did I have sex?
2. Was I ovulating?
3. Did I use birth control?
4. Did I seek an abortion after finding out about the pregnancy?
5. Was I raped?
If the answers to 3, 4 and 5 are in the negative and the answers to 1 and 2 are in the positive, then I have chosen when and with whom to have a child. Not congress, not the law, me, and I did it all by myself.
@Wile E. Quixote: Not at all; while I don’t think there is anywhere close to universal agreement that Reid should be replaced by a Republican, I think the consensus is that pretty much all liberals want him either primaried out of office or at least taken off as majority leader and replaced by someone-anyone (likely Durbin who is their whip, but frankly at this point I’d more than happy accept a lottery drawing amongst all the Dems in the senate for the position and take my chances at possibly ending up with Ben Nelson). He is beyond worthless and spineless, and his sniveling does nothing but embolden the GOP to walk all over him and enable a few Dems to break party ranks and join them…never a majority on most issues but just enough to make a 59 senate majority mean not a dick thing. I mean he doesn’t even need 60 yay votes, just to show a dick and tell the no-voting senators to vote no but yes for cloture just to support the party. Oh right, he has no dick, no balls, no spine. He’s worse than a jellyfish, which once in a while actually stings something.
You have no idea how far off the mark you are.
I’d tell you straight, but it’s not my place to do so.
So I guess you won’t be collecting your prize. We’ll keep in the liars safe in case you change your mind.
@Little Dreamer: Hey, I’ll be honest, I have no idea of anything about him. So, I feel free to make up shit about him – just as he feels free to call me a bunch of crap when he doesn’t know how far off the mark he is either.
And, by the way, it just occurred to me that I have NO idea that he’s a white guy, and I don’t know why I made that assumption. Stil, what I DO know about him is that he is an asshole who attibutes the WORST motives to people who are just fighting for what they believe in.
Well JC we’ve reached post 500. Still regretting this post? I think it more or less calmed down but still in oscillated fight-mode (but at least it beats DailyKos at the moment, I learned to avoid that place when something resonates).
Excuse me? You have made your position well known. You want gay rights NOW and you are angry at Obama because he won’t give them to you.
You are making generalized remarks about who he is and what drives him without known ANYTHING about who he is and what drives him. I can assure you, the specifics of what you stated above are nothing but fictions which exist in your own mind.
Because he’s a man who believes in equality for all but won’t allow you to usurp his party for your single issue bullshit which will implode the party.
@Little Dreamer: You’re right you know.
I DO want my rights, and I DO want them now – just as much as the women who wanted the right to vote. And right now, I have an awesome president who campaigned, partly, on repealing DOMA and DATD…
And yes, I want him to do it, and I am going to hold him accountable.
And if you don’t like it, or like me because of it, I frankly don’t give a shit because with supporters like you, I don’t need enemies.
I’d like to point out that the Rick Warren megathread was pretty much about this same topic. And similarly baffling.
I want you to hold him accountable, but you are asking for him to do the impossible in five months. Be realistic, will you?
If he hasn’t done what he campaigned he would do then don’t vote for him next time.
@Redshirt: And almost the same size at this point (well the last one anyway).
This argument comes with layers of code and talking past one another. In a word “baffling” like you say.
How long did the women’s suffrage movement last? It took almost 200 years.
Don’t equate the gay issue with them. You’ve got a long way to go… “baby”.
@Wile E. Quixote
Yeah, homos are so so gullible and poorly-informed it’s almost a certainty that nary a faggot noticed that the DNC congressional leadership were the very group that fucked them over in the first place.
They’re too busy dressing up and worrying about who won which Tony Award!
The fact the queers haven’t put a helluva lot of stock in Congress and are now boycotting the DNC must be SHEER COINCIDENCE.
Hell, I bet Harry Reid had to build a goddam fence to keep the sycophantic faggots off the end of his dong.
Gays. So, soooo dumb and lacking in perspective. But they’re our burden, no?
@the crustybastard: Seriously you’ve pretty much jumped the shark on being obnoxious and asinine, or at least now there’s no doubt about it.
It took a LOT longer than that. Read your history.
And do you know how long gays have been around?
It’s not like we just started wanting to be accepted 25 years ago, you know.
There were gay cavemen too who were afraid to tell Og The Republican Leader that they liked men.
You’d think, listening to some people, that this was a recent thing. Maybe we haven’t done a good enough job explaining that.
Asshole, sorry, not a crime. You’re an asshole. The world is full of assholes. So what? I’m still right about this thread topic.
The problem I have with you is that you try to equate gay rights with the civil rights of blacks. There simply is no comparison, and I am hardly the only person who thinks so. Further, the argument is well made, not just here, but widely. Equating gay inequality with slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings and widespread discrimination and exclusion from every aspect of opportunity and society is just insulting and ridiculous.
As for Obama, that case has been well made here too. Your issues are not top priority right now. Neither are a lot of other things. You and your pals are not the only people waiting for remediations and policy changes that are long overdue.
But the bottom line here is, this is a political topic on a (generally) political blog. The key political questions here are open to political discussion, and you always attempt to put your personal teary story ahead of all other realities. Sorry, but your unhappiness is not my fault, I don’t owe you anything, and I am not going to be browbeaten into putting your stuff first.
And quite frankly, if you can’t do better than this with a guy who has (a) defended your team against gay bashing for long, tedious flame wars in here for years, (b) supported every gay rights measure I’ve ever seen, (c) voted for every gay rights proposition I’ve ever encountered, and (d) generally in favor of all progressive, live and let live approaches to government, then you are a sorry excuse for an advocate for anything. Nice job.
Wish I would’ve thought of that.
I’m glad Obama could find the time to cancel raids on medical marijuana operations in California in violation of Federal law (which I agree with wholeheartedly, btw.)
This is obviously more important than helping people achieve fundamental rights.
The man is going to be president for at least four, probably eight years. How do you know how long any particular initiative is going to take, or why?
And are you reading the news lately, besides scanning for items like the one you just posted which have nothing to do with your issues? Are you so blinded by your own insistence on immediate satisfaction that you can’t fathom that could be imperatives and circumstances you know nothing about which will determine the timelines here? And then to compound it, unwilling to consider any criticism of that impatient view?
You are supposed to be allowed to bash the most promising government you’ve seen in your lifetime…. and an atmosphere conducive to the change you seek … but nobody is allowed to criticize your team? Anyone who criticizes you guys is lumped in there with the Republicans and the crass bigots we all have been fighting lo these many years? All of a sudden, we don’t matter, Obama doesn’t matter, we are all just a bunch of stupid homophobes and mean people?
Because that’s what I’m seeing. If I am reading it wrong, please correct me.
Since when is your 6% equality issue a fundamental right? The reason why we are arguing this here is because it is extra-fundamental. A majority of the population will not suffer if you do not get to admit you’re in love with another man and get to share all of his assets and such.
Extra-fundamental rights do not come before fundamental rights.
Regarding the women’s suffragist movement, it has been clearly shown through the ages that women are at least regarded as half the population (actually, they are historically just over MORE than half).
Gays are not half the population, they are not even a quarter of the population. Get in line.
Do you know how many different laws had to be added, striked, and re-interprated so the decisions 3,4,5 were EVEN available? I believe the majority events that lead up to you having the ability to do 3,4,5 only started to happen about AFTER you gained the right to VOTE? Do you really believe your would have the ability to do 3,4,5 if you didn’t have the right to vote?
Which is my entire point, your rights interconnected, you lose the access to some of your rights, then your other rights are will be eroded or to phrase it another way once you gain some rights if you keep pushing more rights will flow from the rights you were just granted.
I’m sure PeopleAreNoDamnGood did all the things he says he did during the Civils Rights movement, that doesn’t mean he is a staunch supporter of LBGT rights. I think many people find his chastisement of LGBT movement’s odd, because the same thing was said by white moderates to the civil rights protesters as is being said to the LGBT movement now, to paraphrase, You are to “militant” this must be done “softly softly”.
What exactly constitutes “stauch support” of gay rights, in a non gay person?
Seriously. Spell it out please.
Well, since I wasn’t raped, didn’t choose birth control, and I didn’t have an abortion when I chose to have children, your point is exactly moot. All I did was have sex and ovulate. Viola! I got pregnant. Had nothing to do with any law.
Furthermore, the civil rights movement was different, because many more people had an easier time admitting that black people were still human and should be treated as such, while many of those same people would not see that the right to sleep with a member of their own sex is important. You still have a lot of work to do on that front. Get to it.
@Michael D.: I have to tell you that is really a poor argument, considering gays and women have been around for equally amount of time, and that while societies differed in their reception of homosexuals (from it being an abomination to the zenith of romanticism) they were in much more agreement in basically treating all women as de facto property and servants.
Are you fucking KIDDING?
Wow! We’re 6% of the population and because of that, we don’t have rights? Are you that stupid You just proved that you are the biggest morAn here. And I would almost think PeopleAreNoDamnGood would agree with me on this one.
If there was ONE person in the United States who was denied the right to marry or serve in the armed forces because of something which had NOTHING to do with either, then I would stand with that person no matter what!
In my case, we’re talking about 20 MILLION people.
Nobody has made that argument here that I am aware of.
I myself have vociferously argued the opposite viewpoint here for years. You don’t remember the battles I had with Darrell on that subject?
So why are we arguing?
I think not saying they need to pipe down and wait their turn would be a great start, maybe? It sounds to much like they need to go back to being closeted, which I hear isn’t what they want.
Maybe you should ask them?
Well, I think what some people are saying is, it’s going to take a little more time.
What some people are hearing is, you aren’t entitled to get the remedies you seek.
It’s clearly a failure to communicate.
What’s the remedy?
Right, and yet, because you’re not getting your temper tantrum demands met “right fucking NOW”, you’re NOT going to stand with the other Democrats (and others) who voted Barack Obama into office anymore. Nope, you’re going to scream that he’s a bad man making bad policy because your demands haven’t been met in five and a half months.
That makes perfect sense, equality for you and those like you, and for nobody else until you get yours.
@PeopleAreNoDamnGood: First of all, I never wanted to argue with you. You just seemed to go off on me and call me “The worst person in the world” for being angry that Obama, who I STILL support 100%, hasn’t done what he said he would do on the trail – be an advocate for gay rights. I know he’s only been in office for a few months, but this is NOT a promise to build a sports complex in buttfuck nowhere. This was a promise to deliver on a MAJOR issue for a core constituency. And one that is, obviously, important to you.
As for Dreamer:
Am I taking this wrong? Because it seems to me that he or she is saying that, because I am a minority, nobody should be bothered with me right now.
And I don’t think ANYTHING gay people are asking for are “extra-fundamental.”
PeopleAreNoDamnGood, I may have been harsh before because I was angry at you, but I DO believe that you are on our side and we just have disagreements on how we should handle our bitching.
But I don’t think you, from what I’ve read in your coments, would think of my rights as “extra-fundamental.”
At least I hope not.
And, on that note, I am going to APOLOGIZE, without reservation for what I said about you here and here. Not necessary. It was motivated by the crap you posted about me, and I usually don’t take that bait.
I still don’t think what you said here was even remotely called for, however. I don’t understand your hostility towards me for the life of me.
I asked if it was okay to tell this story:
I have a friend X, who used to be with girlfriend Q. Q wanted a baby, but was an unemployed student. X had a lower-middle-class job, but couldn’t put Q, much less Q’s baby, on her healthcare policy. If X had been a man, they would have married and health insurance wouldn’t have been a problem.
The friction over the financial burdens of making a family finally caused their break up. Q moved out, got pregnant, became homeless, then came back to X near the end of her pregnancy, needing for a place to live.
X took Q in and Q delivered K at a public hospital, at public expense. X was the first person to hold little K, and they bonded as a parent and child instantly.
The only options on K’s birth certificate were mother and father. If X was a man, X could have claimed to be K’s parent, legally assuming all attendant obligations and rights. The birth certificate listed K’s parents as Q and Unknown.
X assumed financial responsibility for her dependents Q and K. If X was a man, those expenses would have been deductible.
X sought to officially adopt her daughter K, but was told that was impossible only because X was a woman.
One day Q told X “I think you love K more than I do.” K always told X that X was her favorite. After 4 years, Q landed a solid job, left X, married a man named Y, and moved K to a far-off state. X and K were predictably devastated. If X had been a man, X could have sued for visitation of K.
Ten years later, K and X still wish to live together as mother and daughter. That is is impossible because X and K are legal strangers and X lacks legal standing to even complain.
X is only permitted to see K as Q permits, and Q sometimes just arbitrarily doesn’t permit as a way to punish K or X. Y likes to force K to say that X is not her mother. There is no mechanism to force Q, Y, or anyone to recognize K & X’s relationship, because there is no legal relationship.
I tell this story to pose this question: How should X and K regard Obama’s policy statement that permits some federal civil servants to enjoy rights they already legally had?
a. Wow! Totally bitchin’!
b. Awesome! A huge leap forward!
c. Finally! A light at the end of a tunnel!
Because apparently no other response is reasonable.
Gays can talk all they want, they can say they need more support, they can say they aren’t getting what they want, but when they start saying this president is failing simply because he hasn’t given them their demands in five months (they are lucky to have a president who would even consider their issues, seriously) then they need to control themselves and STFU. The Democratic party will not be usurped by gay issues. If it comes to that, I’d rather throw them out of the party.
Hmmm. 528 Posts? Glad I stayed out of this one. No dog in this fight.
Equal rights for all. And you can quote me.
Wrong. It is a powder keg issue which has the ability to blow up the Democratic party, THAT is why. Until you get a whole lot more people to empathize with your issue, holding temper tantrums and demands isn’t going to get you shit.
Stop making demands and work on an upgrade of image that makes it easier to accept what you are asking heterosexual people to accept. Work on arguments to solidify a positive reputation that would be seen as being reasonable to demands for what you are asking. So far, it hasn’t worked.
Michael, you don’t owe me any apology. Seriously. This is verbal hardball around here.
I probably owe you one more than you owe me one. I also was pissed, but I agree that we are at the end of the day on the same side here. I take back the heated insults from earlier in the day, they were unwarranted.
I came at this period of time with different expectations. There was the budget, the financial crisis, and healthcare, massive legislative projects that pretty much have to get done in the first 2/3 of this year or else the opportunities are gone.
Now, I’m sure that you recognize the importance of those, the same way I recognize the importance of getting rid of DADT (a hideous anachronism at this point) and DOMA (a grotesque overreach of government).
I also think that the Obama team made a serious error by letting the DOMA brief thing happen without making sure that your team was informed, reassured that progress was coming, and asked to participate in the process in a way that eased the fears you must be having. This is the same kind of mistake they made with the Guantanamo thing when they failed to get Congress on board. These guys are good, but they are not perfect, and they seem to forget that people need to be kept in the loop and kept on board with what is going on. They are under tremendous pressure to do huge things and they are going to make mistakes. Scaring the hell out of the LGBT community was one of those mistakes in my view.
I’m open to whatever you think we should be doing up to the point at which we insist that DADT be dealt with before we get the healthcare thing done. I think that politically, we are in for a life and death struggle over healthcare and I am very concerned about doing anything that impairs that. Please don’t take that to mean that I don’t care about your issues, that is not the case. I think that gets done, or fails, by fall, and after that, unless we are at war with Korea or Iran, I see no reason not to see real progress on your issues.
We are on the same team, I would much prefer to work together than argue like rats. I appreciate your willingness to do that, also.
You got that, A-Cat? You are very stupid if you think that, because Barak Obama promised – PROMISED – to work to repeal DOMA and DADT – he’d actually make stides to either:
a. Say he was kidding, or
b. Explain to us why it doesn’t seem that he’s doing what he promised.
Actually, never mind. You should not complain about Barack Obama. You’re not allowed to. If you complain about anyting he does or has not done, you may as well be a Bush supporter.
Hes only been in office for 5 months after all. I get the impression well be hearing this in awhile….
“Give the guy a break! He’s only been in office for 7.4 years!!”
You know what this thread needs?
I’m not against equal rights. I want the GLBT community to have equal rights, but not at the sacrifice of the Democratic party that they say they support.
What is the correct acronym? I have been saying LGBT.
Nope, at that point, I’ll be joining in right along with you.
I stated above (and I still mean it) if he hasn’t done it in time for campaign 2012 where he can sell it, then he failed. If he fails, I will also be screaming.
Five months is not enough time. The more you scream about it five months after he was installed in office, the harder you are making it for him to sell the idea by 2012. Stop screaming and let him get some work done. After all, he did make that promise, and I want you to hold him accountable.
@ronin122: Seriously you’ve pretty much jumped the shark on being obnoxious and asinine, or at least now there’s no doubt about it.
Listen, do a search on “crusty,” top to bottom, and re-evaluate how things started and how I responded. You will find that I am always willing to be polite and conversational to people who return the gesture.
If you respond to some bullshit you merely imagined I said, fuck you. If you dismiss what I wrote with a flippant one-word response, fuck you. If you’re too dumb to understand what I wrote, but you feel compelled respond with some senseless shit anyway, fuck you. If you’re a troll who persistently flings poo, fuck you.
I’m not Jesus, dood.
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transexual (GLBT)
Gay first because almost all of the others fall directly under that I believe.
And Micheal, what TZ said also goes for me. The key is to work together and realize all that falls under “change”. There are a lot of issues, and there is still a lot of time left in this administration (barring any unforseen circumstances).
Work with us, and throw your support behind this administration and tell them, you will hold them accountable if it’s not done during this term.
@Little Dreamer: I see both, but I personally use LGBT since it rolls off the tongue more easily (at least in English, and in spanish technically I guess too).
@Little Dreamer: I don’t believe that the T in GLBT belongs there. Transgendered and transexual rights have little or nothing to do with GLB.
I never understood why that acronym gained acceptance.
Most T’s are not fighting for the same things I am. We’ve hitched our wagons to each other and I never knew why. It’s a different fight, which I am COMPLETELY on board with.
I TOTALLY support T’s. but I don’t see their stuggle as being connected to ours – other than being in a sexual minority. That’s just me though.
And now, I am going to be the most hated homosexual ever.
Well, until the legislation is in place (and I honestly haven’t been monitoring how likely the legislation would affect this type of situation), anyone who gets themselves into this situation is playing with fire. Putting the child through such a thing is heartbreaking.
Furthermore, where was the biological father in all this? He’s never mentioned. Why is his name not preferred to be on the birth certificate if he fathered the child? Was he just a sperm donor? Did he not have any rights?
I’m sorry that your friends are going through this, but they chose this predicament. They knew the political consequences, it’s sad they involved a child in this heartbreaking story.
@the crustybastard: You may not be Jesus but you sure are a jackass, but hey they both begin with “J”. Frankly you’ve been an asshole all day and don’t blame one poster you’ve been a jagoff to pretty much half the commenters here, hence the jump the shark comment. If anything I will say you were right, I should have used that comment elsewhere in this thread. So no, good sir, fuck YOU. Fuck you in the neck.
@Michael D.: Disagree. Sure the “T”s aren’t fighting the marriage battle but my understanding is that this is pretty much just a recent issue anyway; the gay rights movement historically was more about ending such discrimination as having their sexual actions considered absolutely illegal, allowing anyone to fire you simply for what you were sexually, hate crime protection, etc. Those things I think follow closely with the trans-folk sufficiently to warrant it, at least until the last few years. Anyway it’s okay, we’re all pretty much hating each other at the moment. I suppose this is what we call a dysfunctional family, minus the presents and first communions (mine is catholic though I no longer am) and any opportunity for incest.
tripletee (formerly tBone)
Fucking Christ, Cole. He’s like Beetlejuice – you never, ever say his name.
But see, this is a part of the problem. When the bisexuals are included, do they eventually ask for the right to have multiple bigamist marriages because they sleep with both genders? Where does it end?
It’s a scary road that you’re going down, looking at it from the viewpoint of a straight person (and I say that as someone who doesn’t give a fig about the “righteousness” argument of DOMA at all).
I’ve been known to have had sexual relations with women in my past. I am still concerned about how these questions play out politically. For that reason (as well as my own personal preference) I keep my romantic involvements in the realm of the opposite sex. I will not go in the other direction simply because I would find the definition of my relationship to be confusing and out of bounds with the acceptable parameters of society.
To be told that I HAVE to accept that women and men who sleep with the same gender should enjoy all the same rights and privileges (while I agree with equality on all levels) creates all sorts of confusing questions, such as the one I had above.
Can you understand how heterosexuals can be concerned about how this all plays out?
@ronin122: I see where you are coming from, but I don’t see us having the same struggle.
I am a man who loves a man. I want to marry him. And he wants to join the Marines. Neither is legal- from a marrige and “join the marines point of view.
On the other hand, you have a man who wants to be a woman. That man might be COMPLETELY heterosexual, by the way, and many times IS.
Just because this issue has to do with sexual identity doesn’t mean we’re having the same fight.
Having said that, I 100% support the T’s. Why? Because the T’s are largely responsible for ME having the rights I have today. And. again, I love them and support them with every fibre of my being.
And I apologize to the T’s for calling them “the T’s.” I am lazy and don’t want to type “Transgender and transsexual” every time! :-)
No, I can’t sorry. Nothing scary about me and my partner getting married, me making deisions about him in the hospital, or him collecting my Social Security benefits when I die or all vice versa.
Might be scary for you, but I don’t understand.
LD and I probably don’t agree on this point. I see opposition to gay rights as bigotry, pure and simple. And I give no quarter to those who use religion as a cover. Just because some passage in the Bible suggests something about behavior is no reason to choose our behavior now in real life.
So I am totally opposed to the government imposing any sex rules or trying to be the sex police under any pretext whatever.
I also think that any two adults should be able to establish a family under the law, by simple declaration. This person is my immediate family member, this person will be my survivor. Signed, me. Signed, him/her. The end. Who in the world gave the government the idea that it should decide whose name can be on that declaration? That’s just nonsense, to me.
@PeopleAreNoDamnGood: So why do you hate me so much when we agree on EVERYTHING except on, maybe, tactics?
You’ve been a complete asshole to me. I mean, on the high end of asshole. Not just a BIT of an asshole. A huge asshole.
I was an ass to you (not an assHOLE – an ass) AND I apologized.
You’ve been a complete fuckwad, and I say that with the love I offer to any ally who is, well, an asshole.
@Little Dreamer: anyone who gets themselves into this situation is playing with fire…I’m sorry that your friends are going through this, but they chose this predicament. They knew the political consequences, it’s sad they involved a child in this heartbreaking story.
The people who are adversely affected — X & K — didn’t “get themselves” into this situation, it was foisted upon them by a person who now enjoys the benefits and protections of MARRIAGE.
X & K also didn’t “chose this predicament” ferchrissakes — a mother and child bond was established at birth. This is not a “choice.”
Moreover, no child, nor any parent who selflessly assumes responsibility for that child, should suffer any “political consequences” as the result of forming such a family bond.
A person — any person — who steps up to responsibly assume the care of a child with whom they have bonded, whether there is a biological association or not, is deserving of all the same legal rights, protections, and obligations that any biological parent gets by default.
Courts will LABOR to return children to some crackhead who leaves them in an unlocked idling car in a Walmart fire lane while she shops, then they’ll turn around and tell a responsible gay parent to fuck right off.
That you are not only okay with this, but you also blame the victims pretty much makes your post the perfect microcosm of this entire thread.
So on this note I give up.
Look, I have nothing against you and your lover getting married. I have nothing against you wanting to be included in every part of his life legally. I do have a problem when we start delving into all sorts of confusing questions, one of which I placed above. When do bisexuals get equality? What needs to be done to make sure they have the right to be included in their lovers (plural) lives as well? How far do we go in that direction?
I am all for equality, but, do we then state that all people should be allowed to marry as many people as they want so that the bisexuals are also included?
Personally, I’m not a proponent of marriage anymore, I have had my experience with marriage and I don’t want to do it again. At the same time, if you want it, I want it for you, but, should we allow multiple marriages to accommodate those who have multiple partners?
Um, er… well, I guess I’m the only T out on the boards (sigh, what the fsck was I thinking…) My sense is that we are lumped together because many of us feel that the fights overlap lots. At it’s core, the same people want to beat us up and shut us up, and largely for the same reasons. When a butch woman is beaten, the person beating her doesn’t really care if she’s L or T, you know? Transfolk still lag *way* behind on many of the fights. We still make folk uncomfortable, and that includes lots of GLB people who are cisgendered. Some of the fights, like not being fired for using the “wrong” restroom, or wearing the “wrong” clothes, are different. Some, like arguing that we should get to have jobs, and we aren’t child molesters, are exactly the same. My $.02
…and darn you Michael for not saying LGBTIQQ, darn you right to heck! ;-)
Well, I said I owed you an apology, and made it.
Tried to lay out common ground for possible agreement. I don’t think we’d necessarily agree on the who struck John aspects of how and why we got into a fight.
You said you were pissed earlier. I said I was too. I thought we might find a way to move forward on the same team.
Actually, no… I never said the child was at fault. I also don’t see where X was a victim. X made choices that would make her a party to the situation. X could have stayed out of it altogether. Of course, X had no idea that Q would eventually leave her and take the child. X is not a biological parent either. Q had every right to take the child should X and Q’s relationship not work out. Q of course did a disservice to X by allowing her to bond with the child, but, the child was not a biological product of X.
I was under the impression it was because you all could accomplish so much more as a group rather than separate. I see nothing wrong with that.
Pogo time, my dear? ;)
Whoops, I thought I had actually stated the apology at 532 but it looks like I forgot it.
I apologize for what I said earlier in the day. It was out of line.
After this rant, your opinion means nothing to me (or probably anyone here.) The people that matter have read the refutations of this and other stupid crap on other blogs and news sites.
I may disagree wth people here. But they at least, for the most part, argue with me AFTER reading stuff.
Do that, and I will talk to you.
Oh, I see, because I have never read certain blogs and posts you’re just going to dismiss me?
Fuck your agenda then, I don’t give a shit whether you get it, since you refuse to even treat me like a real person simply because I’m not gay and don’t completely clothe my knowledge in the gay issues of the day.
Seriously, you just lost a possible ally. Fuck off.
well, slap me in my face and expect me to thank you for it? i don’t think so. just because Obama is unable to get his policies done due to the spineless Democrats who sell out to the highest bidder?
being equated to goats and other inhuman creatures is not in my playbook anymore. yeah enough is enough.
i don’t expect full rights to come anytime soon until other important bs is dealt with, like health care, the economy and the lunatic Right. just don’t expect me to accept being abused and used as fodder for the Right and go quietly into the night.
with Democrats that wont stand up for Democratic principles, who else is going to look out for Number 1 or even Number 21?
what a sorry excuse to light this fire and apparently not even question what is in the brief? so i hope is the case here. otherwise. what the F do the Democrats stand for? just sit there and take it until i call your number? lol
i’m beginning to think that some Democrats are really Republicans in disguise. and who needs that. With not a single Democrats having the balls to stand up to the Republicans for anything, i certainly can’t imagine wanting to be sold out by my “own” kind, as the DOMA brief does.
wait till next year?
Yes. Glad you caught on quickly so I don’t have to explain it.
@Little Dreamer: um, that’s a good reason, too :-)
You catch more flies with honey and pointing the way to knowledge rather than acting like some elitist gay fuck who can’t be bothered to teach those who have never seen anything regarding this argument.
But, since you’re not looking for support for your issues, I’ll gladly not offer it anymore.
I’m outta here for the night.
I’m seeing a new tag, John. :D
I’m late to the argument (actually, I was ignoring it) but on rereading the thread, I notice that taodon has said what I would have said anyway.
Serious block quote fail.
@Wile E. Quixote:
I love you for that entire post, but in particular this:
My contribution is small, but…there’s never a right time.
2009: Getting established, cleaning up Bush messes (or perpetuating them and obstructing justice some more, as may be), general budgeting, financial crisis, health care.
2010: The above continued, plus midterms.
2011: The above continued, plus crises we haven’t yet suspected, plus a second wave of mortgage troubles as Atrios has been pointing out.
2012: The above continued, plus the next presidential election.
It goes on and on. There is always something. And can anyone really sit down, think over, and say with a straight face “Oh, but there will be no pressing national calamities or international crises in 2013, or 2018, or whenever?” Can you point at any year in the last 20 that would be precedent for such a claim for any year in the next 20? Changes in the acknowledgement of civil rights are always untimely, awkward, unwelcome, and inconvenient.
There are a lot of things that seem like they should be reasonable but don’t hold up in reality, and this is one of them. I’d like each of you saying that we should wait till the time is right to describe what that right time would really look like, and what reason you have for believing it’ll ever happen. And if there is no really good reason to look for that placid tranquil time, then I think there’s a big presumption in favor of going ahead and acting now.