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04 June 2009

Comments

FQ

"I don't think it makes sense for the federal government to get in the business of determining what marriage is. That isn't traditionally the federal government's role."

It isn't traditionally the federal government's role but that's what DOMA does. So let's get Congress and the White House behind it! OOoops not so fast, not very popular lol

So yea, I don't understand the resoponse either. I think he means well though, he just said nothing.

Oh and what a tough question by Mr. Williams!

Luther

My only question for him would be what and where is he going to find more funding for HIV research and prevention and getting the message out in the black community better than it has been and when will he get to be more vocal on hate crimes, get that signed into law stat and getting ENDA passed.

Chitown Kev

Yep, he could have mentioned the word DOMA. He has campaigned for DOMA repeal since 1996. And now he can't say a word?

And Luther, if Obama used the bully pulpit on those very issues that you mentioned that would create the conditions at the fedral level that are necessary that he may be able to take the pressure off of both himself and Congress and allow DOMA repeal to go through the courts.

And as far as HIV research, given the defunding of the needle exchange program and the massive cuts in California...man, this is going to be horrible and the black community will be hit hard. Has times changed since the 1980's as far as the black community handling AIDS?

Giselle

Am I the only one who finds Brian hot? shyt I dunno what it is about him I find so hot LMAO.


OBAMA ZZZZZZZZZZ boring. the government is already in people's buisness DOMA IDIOT.

alicia banks

with friends like him
we need no enemies

and his friends: warren/dungy/mcclurkin et al are worse than he is!

the friends of my enemies are my enemies too!!!

that makes this gwb 2.0 my DOUBLE enemy!!!

fyi
ab

Carlos

Did we elect a "good friend"? No, we elected a "fierce advocate" who would use the "bully pulpit" of teh White House to fight for equality.

Well, there is the bully pulpit right there, millions of people watching. Luther, that would have been a brilliant opportunity to talk about ENDA or black gay men and AIDS ... or even hate crimes, which is a no brainer. Instead he says nothing.

MSNBC and NBC have been in the tank for Obama since Iowa. The softball question was about marriage and Obama's non-answer was about DOMA. Luther, we have been through this before. You don't "care" about marriage. It's not my issue right now either...but that is what the question and Obama's answer was about. This would have been the perfect opportunity to "use the bully pulpit" and talk ENDA or AIDS funding, which is being decimated in your state of California. Nope, they talked about teh dog.

I'm all for the prez, but let's stop moving the bar. If you say ENDA should be teh White House's priority ... and I agree with that ... then why didn't he mention it?

You really can't keep pretending marriage won't become a larger issue. If New York or New Jersey go for it, that's millions of more people affected by DOMA.

Derrick from Philly

Any Democrat in the White House is a friend compared to a Republican. They have different contituencies to answer to. There are white, racist, anti-gay, anti-Latino bastards in this country who seethe with absolute hatred and violent scorn everytime they think of the President and his family in the White House. I hope those red-necks rot in their hatred.

Gay marriage rights? Progressive states will inact equal marriage rights laws for gays. The federal government won't act anytime soon--not until some case reaches the Supreme Court (hopefully, with 3 more Obama appointees along with Justice Sotomayor). The issue is not very high on the nation's agenda at this time.

Dalton

Derrick, is that "what Obama really meant"?

I'm also confused.,..This is the first time the president mentioned gays (since taking office) and he can't say what the admin's priorities are????

I'm really getting sick of people saying marriage isn't a priority and we shouldn't discuss it....Not for me, not for you, but clearly others and more states every week.

No matter if we think it is a priority or not, our president was asked a question and should answer the question fully...he didn't.

Oh and THREE more Obama appointees? So you're saying Obama should kick the can to SCOTUS and wait until later in his (possible) second term? Really? What three other justices do you see retiring from the conservative wing?

Some fierce advcate indeed.

Derrick from Philly

"I'm really getting sick of people saying marriage isn't a priority and we shouldn't discuss it.."

Ofcourse, you can discuss it. Of course, people can attack the President's performance (or him as person). And those of us who've come to admire him will defend him. Why should we back down? Rush Limbaugh doesn't.


"What three other justices do you see retiring from the conservative wing?"

Ginsburg and Stevens--both honorable--they will retire soon. The third? Among the 4 right-wing fascists? Well, I never claimed to be a nice fairy all the time--I can hope for terrible things to happen to terrible people.

W. Lotus

He answered a question about MARRIAGE by saying he believes in civil unions. If he believed in same-sex marriage, he would have SAID he believed in same-sex MARRIAGE. But he is hoping the GLBT community will not make the distinction and will not hold his feet to the fire.

Please don't be fooled.

alicia banks

the lesser of 2 evils is still evil

fyi
ab

Chitown Kev

@Derrick

It's our responsibility to put civil equality for all gay people (not just the rich white gays) on the President's agenda. And sure, we're bumbling and stumbling right now and it's moving in spite our bumbles and stumbles.

Obama is not going to give out anything without nothing in return. "Pay to play" if you will, even if he isn't as blatant as my former governor.

And let's stop comparing the Dems to the Republicans. Gay people voted for the Democrats (by and large). They must be held accountable.

FREELEO

I'm very curious as to what the entirety of the president's remarks were on this issue sense all remarks were edited to fit a television format.

It would be great if at some point during this month the president addressed lgbt people via lgbt media formats so that he can clarify where he stands on points of concern specific to our community.

Derrick from Philly

"And let's stop comparing the Dems to the Republican"

Well, that's very difficult for me, Chitown. I voted against the Democratic Party one time--in the PA governor's race in 1978. The winning Republican was my worst nightmare. I swore NEVER again. Chi, some folks just don't vote Democrat, they are Democrats. Our party loyalty seems foolish to others.

Dalton

@ Freeleo:

You make a very good point. But I am sure these were the president's "entire" remarks. When the president does a one-on-one with network or cable news, they do not "edit" his remarks. That just doesn't happen. Or we would have heard about it by now, right?

@ Derrick:

When it comes to fighting for my rights and my community versus defending a politician .... I always go my community and my rights. Mine wasn't an "attack" on the president. It was specific criticism. I voted for him why would I now "attack" him? He's not above to criticism but many of his more passionate supporters feel he cannot be criticized.

In re SCOTUS...you are right, Ginsburg and Stevens will retire soon. So that's "replacing" two liberal judges with (hopefully!) two other liberal judges.

How does that affect the conservative majority in the short term? Roberts, Scalia and Thomas and Alito aren't going anywhere. You are right that DOMA and marriage will come before the court. But that will happen sooner rather than later. A new case was filed against Prop 8 two weeks ago remember? That could conceivably go to SCOTUS in two years.

Are there employment and housing protections for gays in Pennsylvania? I could be wrong but I think only state employees are protected by anti-gay discrimination laws in Pa. That leaves tens of thousands of gays in your state without any protections. And many states don't even have that. Surely you can understand the importance here?

Chitown Kev

Well, Derrick. I didn't vote for Clinton in 1996 behind the way Clinton treated Elders and DOMA.

I voted Nader in 2000 (of course I live in Cook County, Illinois so I was outvoted by more than a few dead people in all likelihood)

I did vote for Kerry in '04 but I had to hold my nose to do it.

I voted for the homeboy in 2008. (Of course, Hillary is a homegirl, her damn self, so that was a no brainer regardless).

I've been a registered Independent since I've voted and I have voted for Repubs in a few local races.

But with only a 2 party system, we can't really hold politicians accountable. That's a big part of the problem.

Anderson

many black people and many black LGBTs are making a mistake and refusing to hold obama accountable. if you ask for nothing, you get nothing.

the arabs, the jews, the palestinians, unions, republicans, many white gays ... everyone asks obama 'what are going to do for my support" and they hold him to it. black folks and black gays ... we ask for not one single thing from obama and rationalize everything.

i find it very amusing that obama cuts funding HBCUs and black folks defend that. if bush or even clinton had did this, there would be riots.

shameful.

ReggieH

I think the President thinks of himself as a 'friend'; I'd like to see more action/movement on some of the issues mentioned here than more rhetoric. I also agree that he needs to be 'pushed'/prodded into action on behalf of LGBTQ people (and on other issues where he's a bit sluggish as well).

Jimmy

I would honestly love for people to get off of Obama's back. I'm really tired of the constant and consistent complaining about what he's NOT doing. Especially by the gay community. You want gay marriage. You want "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rescinded. You want him to review the current policy of disallowing HIV positive individuals from entering the USA. On top of that, he's supposed to fix the economy, fix health care, resolve international conflict, and etc. The mere fact he referred to himself as a "friend" of the LBGT community is a step. When have we ever had a President do that? The man has been in office five months. He is not Superman. Give him time.

Mark

Gay people act as if the battle for hearts and minds is won in this country, and now is the time to impose our will on the rest of the country through the courts and our friends in government. This will only backfire, and we could end up with some Christian fascists elected in this country. Ask the German communists of the 1920s and 1930s what happens when you push progressive politics faster than the population is ready to accept.

A lot of people see gay rights as a civil rights issue only insofar as it is a matter of privacy what a person does in the bedroom. They see being gay as a choice, albeit one that we have the right to make. But that does not equate to them recognizing the right to officially call a same-sex relationship a "marriage".

We still have work to do in getting people to understand that being gay is an inalienable characteristic rather than a "lifestyle". But this is our work to do: by listening, and reexamining our assumptions, and communicating smartly with the general population. We cannot ask straight people like the President to alienate the voting public on our behalf, when we are not willing or able to even contemplate, let alone get across to others, what it means to be gay.

Until such time as we can explain how and why being gay is not a choice but an innate status, our strident calls for politicians to disregard public opinion and impose our will simply enacts the stereotype of "screaming queers".

Straight people of good will want to tolerate and accept what appears to them as our "choice", but not at the cost of devaluing and denaturing their sacred institution of marriage. Personally, I think the whole "gay marriage" thing is misguided and a waste of resources. Instead of playing our God-given role to foster and support our brothers and sisters in their marriages, thereby helping to raise the next generation, we would rather create a separate parallel universe in which we can imitate marriage amongst ourselves, like we are back in childhood playing house.

I'm sorry if I offend anybody, but I never got a chance to vote on whether the gay movement should be about alienating the majority of society.

Kevjack

Obama will be less of a friend than Clinton was. After Clinton got burned by DADT, he cut gays off and never touched those issues again. Obama has decided not to even try.

I wish the defenders of Obama would simply go back to his campaign promises and see how little he has done. Everyone says his plate is full, and yet he has plenty of time to do everything *but* talk about LGBT issues. And some of the things he *has* done do not sit well with me.

As for marriage, I believe the white gay elite made a huge mistake. When the issue first broke it was a golden opportunity to divide marriage into it's civil and religious parts. In other words, civil marriage (civil unions) are about rights while religious marriage is about faith. The white gay elite decided that marriage was about " our love is as valid as yours" and rejected the rights in a push for a word and symbolism. But guess what? The word doesn't matter for beans if you don't have any of the rights!! We have been calling ourselves married for years and have nothing to show for it. I honestly believe that a pragmatic approach (such as a national partnership registry, suggested in 2004) would have avoided the backlash where we now have to wait for SCOTUS. I won't hold my breath.

And for those same white gay elites who believe that the Civil Rights struggle was won at the federal level in short order, please study Houston's legal strategy and get a clue before you muck this up any more than it has been.

Luther

Wow some impressive thoughts here on the marriage issue and other ones, good stuff and far better thought out and expressed than on main stream gay blogs.

JT

While I admire Obama with reservations, if queer folk or black folk or working folk depend on Obama to liberate us, we will be sorely disappointed. Despite his campaign promises, I still believe that far too many people expect far too much from him. Real change requires that masses of people engage in civil or uncivil disobedience. Only this will bring queer folk in America true equality.

Kevin Perez

"Personally, I think the whole "gay marriage" thing is misguided and a waste of resources. Instead of playing our God-given role to foster and support our brothers and sisters in their marriages, thereby helping to raise the next generation, we would rather create a separate parallel universe in which we can imitate marriage amongst ourselves, like we are back in childhood playing house"

What a bigoted thing to say.

So you're saying "marriage" should be just for heterosexuals. What do you mean "our brothers and sisters", you mean heterosexual Black men and women? Are you implying LGBT can't bring up the next generation and compare two people who love each other and in a commited relationship to two kids playing Mommy and Daddy in the backyard.

Marriage is a not a priority of mine. I'm young but I'll be damned if I let the likes of you and others who keep screaming the marriage isn't big deal SPEAK for those who DO consider marriage it a priority or at least in the near future.

Your comment reeks of heterosexism and I'm pretty sure church folk, homophobes of any color gladly feel the same way you do. Great to see people like you and others here want to make gay marriage and "White" issue ignorning the many people of color who also want to get married as well.

Great to see your resort to bible-thumping and bringing God to the discussion, as always!

Jim

Despite what some people may think, the whole idea of fighting for equal marriage is very much a grassroots issue. Not only didn’t it originate from the mainstream gay rights organizations, they fought bringing marriage to the forefront and hoped the whole issue would just fizzle.

But it didn’t. And that is because rather ordinary, non-activist gay couples (who were not ordinary, however, in their courage and stamina) refused to let it fizzle. They pressed and they pressed until the mainstream gay rights organizations were forced to adopt the issue, or be seen as counter-productive.

Although I am single, I personally think that these couples made the right decision to press the case of marriage. The reason why marriage is so important to the whole gay rights struggle is that the word “marriage” says “equal” and “accepted” as nothing else does. Once gay people have the right to marry, then nothing else can be legally denied, logically. And this is one of the biggest reasons why the right wing fights it so hard.

What the mainstream gay rights organizations were afraid of is that we would push too fast for things that were unobtainable, and that this would create a backlash. Well, it sure did create a backlash. But I think the push for marriage has advanced the gay cause despite the backlash. Within a fairly short period of time and because of this fight for marriage, straight folks have been truly forced to think about our issues, if only a little bit, and it has now come to the point where everyone has to take a stand one way or another. Especially now that six states have actually said, “Gay people are equal,” everyone everywhere else has to either say “I am a bigot,” and rationalize that away, or they have to agree that we are indeed equal. Haven’t we all seen many people, maybe even relatives, who support gay marriage now but who were at best lukewarm about the idea just five or ten years ago?

These gay couples who first pressed the issue of marriage learned this from the Civil Rights movement and the years that followed:

Obviously, the Civil Rights movement of the ’50s and ’60s could not have succeeded without a certain percentage of white people agreeing that equal rights for black people were morally right (even if many of these same white people were still personally prejudiced in their thinking). But we also know that huge portions of the white population were opposed to equal rights for black people, even to the point of violence, when President Johnson signed the Civil Rights laws in the ’60s. Even larger numbers of white people were basically indifferent to the whole issue.

So, the Civil Rights laws were passed, despite this huge opposition and indifference. Was there a backlash, then? Some people say that all of American politics since the ’60s has been nothing BUT a big backlash against the Civil Rights laws.

But what also happened? Because of these laws and their explicit statement that black people were equal in the eyes of the law, rather quickly, racial prejudice became something to mask, to be embarrassed about in polite company, and more importantly, something NOT to teach in the schools. Even the Mormon God, out of sheer divine embarrassment, was forced to tell His church’s president that black people were not sons of Ham after all.

The story of the next forty years is complex, of course, be we all know that as the older generations of white people died off and the white children who were raised in the new legal regime became adults, beliefs and attitudes improved. Yes, I know—acutely—that things are not only not perfect, but some things are even worse than they were before, but I don’t know too many middle class black people who would really want to go back to how things were in the 1940s, except maybe in their very romance-clouded imaginations.

The whole point of this is to say that not only do attitudes make legal change possible, the reverse is true, too: Laws cause changes in attitude. One reinforces the other, and they create a virtuous cycle. And I think this is one thing that the marriage advocates learned from the Civil Rights movement.

I believe they are right. And so do the Christian evangelists, who encourage their congregations’ belief in gay people’s moral inferiority to keep their collection plates full. With each additional law that allows gay marriage, they have horrifying visions of an eventual drop in their bank accounts and less luxurious automobiles.

Since the professional Christians are in this for the money, just follow it: See what the Christians fear most, and that is a pretty good guide to the correct political strategy.

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