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15 June 2009


Donnie Clarkson

Thanks, John.

I guess John berry is now the go-to-gay in the Obama administration. Oh and he's not a lawyer so I'm not sure how he can talk legislative and executive policy. But notice it's not Obama addressing our concerns.Obama made these pledges but he can't take the time to actually speak to us. All talk, no action.


Yawn. More or less what I expected. ENDA, DADT and especially DOMA are a heavily lift and the White House decides to admit to it NOW because their lack of action on anything is very noticeable. But why always trot out John Berry on all things gay? He is the HR guy, and really can't speak about some of these things.

I'm also concerned because Berry is not a personal friend or intimate of Obama's. It really would help if there were close, openly gay people in Obama's inner circle but I don't believe there are.

Derrick from Philly

History...history. You know, President Eisenhower didn't show any interest in the plight of Black America--not until he was forced to by the Little Rock Crisis. But more importantly, he put a man on the Supreme Court who was to change the federal governments inaction on civil rights for black folks. Same with FDR--he wouldn't support the anti-lynching efforts--even his wonderful wife couldn't convince him to (afraid to loose the South), but yet he put Hugo Black on the court. Black became part of the majority on the court to support civil rights.

I'm hoping, praying....well, you know.


Is this "bleak" news? Okay, so some things might have a wait a long time, but we knew that right?

Chris Cruz

Derrick, I think you make some very good points about SCOTUS. We had an exchange on this a week or two ago, changing the conservative majority on the court would take at least two terms in itself, since most of the conservative justices are fairly young. The liberals are the older ones. And there is no guarantee Obama will appoint pro-gay justices. Would you like the authors of that DOMA brief to vet your potential justices?

I don't think so.


yes, yes, we should just wait until the mythical second term. meantime, please keep donating to Obama and the DNC while they put these items on the back burner,. can't do it now because of midterms, oh then there's re-election, then there's ...

Greg G

Is this the "fierce advocate" talking who would use his bully pulpit to champion LGBT rights? I don't think so. He has only mentioned gays once since taking office (when asked on MSNBC) and now cannot even address us himself once the sh&t hits the fan.

Not impressed. At all.


Enough with the lame reassurances that Obama will fulfill his promises to LGBT constituents eventually. If the problem is that he's busy with higher priority issues, the LEAST he could do is order the military to stop expelling gay service members until DADT is shot down, and don't have the DOJ defend DOMA. There is no justification for these outrageous actions.

And anyway, why should our equal rights be a secondary issue? That's unutterably offensive! I want my campaign contributions to Obama and the Democrats refunded. And until they start dealing affirmatively with LGBT issues---NOT ANOTHER NICKEL!!


Well J, you have had one of the better replies to this situation, others are going off with rage and words that don't mean a thing, when the best way to stop the ignoring of glbt people is to stop putting MONEY into the pockets of the DNC and those aligned with the party and the HRC and other gay groups who are passive, since after all, if any of those in Congress had a backbone, especially those who are 'gay friendly' at election time would stand up maybe something would happen, its not as if Barney Frank does not have the power or ability to get into to see Obama or Biden to express his concern on gay issues. Where's Boxer of the other great gay hope Diane Fienstein? Where's HRC to pull him aside? That's the only way he or anyone else is going to hear anything, cut off the coins.


I've stopped donating to the DNC and told them why. I'm all about donating to progressive gay friendly state, local and congressional races. I donated $200 to the Obama campaign last year. The DNC and Obama won't see another red cent until they start addressing LGBT concerns.

And let me also agree with Donnie and Grant. Why is Obama so afraid to mention "teh gays" in public. He had no problem just mentioning "gay or lesbian" on the campaign trail and many speeches. Now it's very obvious he is hiding.

The president claimed he would work to eradicate DADT and DOMA from Day One. I didn't believe it, but it's what he said. The very least he can do is address our community and explain the why nots.



You are right, Ending our support of the Democratic Party is especially what Queer folk need to do

Obama's Justice Department provided a heterosexist legal precedent for further defenses of DOMA.

Obama is therefore not a "fierce ally", nor is his Party.

Hopefully, Queer Folk can confront Obama and Congress on their heterosexism with the March on Washington in October.

A. Ronald

This certainly does not sound like the "fierce advocate" we were promised. No worries, not another dime to the DNC, DSCC, or DCCC. And certainly not another to HopeChange Inc when they start begging again next year.

I'm tired of being treated like an ATM but being taken for granted and told I am second class. I am not. I would rather give my money and time to grassroots and state gay organizations, and the gay legal groups like Lambda or ACLU that are getting results.


Dear John Berry...
I am sure you mean well but at this point you are the White House Gay. How can you even talk about benefits for partners of federal employees when you knows bloody well that DOMA (which DOJ "had" to defend so viciously) prohibits this?

And what happened to our president, attorney general and gay congressmen? What, do they have mono or something? I want to hear our president say some of this is not doable until a second term. It sounds like a bait and switch and I'm calling BS on it.


A second term?
Democrats don't have much luck with that second term business, ask Jimmy Carter.

But the advantage of electing someone for a second term when they didn't do what they said they would in the first would be ... ?


@ Luther:

I don't see any rage in these comments...most are very reasonable, especially around the LOL talk about a "second term", which is the same thing many Obama defenders have been saying for months.

I think many of us are very upset...many of us strongly supported the president...and many of us feel disappointed he is showing zero leadership on something he said many times he would. He said it, he promised it, we're just holding him accountable. Like any other president or politician.

You can also count on me not to give anything either... I donated to DNC and Obama's campaign, not much, a hundred or so...but they won't get that.

That DOMA legal brief was just too much and to the gays who don't want to see it that way, sorry. It's obvious folks are hopping mad.

I'll be damned if I'm going to be called an "alleged marriage" does that mean I am an 'alleged person'? They don't need my money then. If they want my vote, they can work on it.

Winston Salem

"He has to enforce the laws that have been enacted appropriately and that he has inherited. It would be wrong for me or any of our community to advise him to lie or to shirk his responsibility. He’s doing his job."

We understand the job of the president and the executive branch. I don't see where, why or how it says this administration has to borrow the Bush playbook to demonize same sex marriage and equate it with incest. Oh and to argue against a gay couple's right to privacy. It will be very interesting to watch the right wing anti gay groups use this same brief to argue against us.


I agree with Derrick: We have to push, pull, and agitate to get what we want. Obama's heart may be in the right place (or at least closer to it than Dubya's) but it will take pressure to make any president act.

King Drive

Repeat after me: not another dime for a politician that doesn't prove his worth to the LGBT community. No more words, no more promises. No more talk. Action.

We had more than enough talk with that despicable DOJ brief. Now we know how they really feel about us.


agree, No gay rights now gay $$


look, just because im a bottom doesnt mean i am anyones beoytch. so no to the no on the money, no time for me then no dime for you. capisce?


TB, I think you've already summed it, I don't see a second term for Obama. He has waffled too much already and unless he gets his act and back bone upright he had better not do too many renovations in the WH. The only thing I hope for is he can get more left leaning people on the Supreme Court since that's going to be the place where glbt rights are going to come from, other than that, I will look into my dusty crystal ball and say, one term only.

Chris Cruz


Are you serious?
You and I have (amicably) sparred before. I've lost some confidence in Obama but am not giving up. Obama won by a huge majority which I hope he can keep, but I think you are right in that he continually disappoints his base to try to gain favor with Republicans and conservatives.

I am pissed at what his admin. has done, but yeah, this was too much. Obama has time to redeem himself, but he is hemorraghing gay supporters.


Luther and TB are onto something.
Just my two cents.


i would have preferred to have seen a specific timeline about, at least, ENDA and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal. any others feel the same way?

Nathan James

The DOJ brief on DOMA is a very telling thing about the Obama Administration's position on gay marriage and the LGBT community. The Administration has put itself on record as assigning second-class status (read: "less than") to the LGBT community. That DOMA shouldn't even exist--it's an end run around Article IV, Section I of our Constitution--something Obama knows full well, is also relevant. I still don't understand what, exactly, marriage needs "defending" from. That the DOJ, in all seriousness, would equate gay marriage with incest or bestiality, shows an astonishing degree of ignorance and bigotry.

The Obama Administration's further request to the Supreme Court to uphold DADT, even in the face of the Joint Chiefs' (ATCEN-JCS) recommendation that DADT be dropped, is further evidence of the poor regard the Administration holds LGBT's. Nowhere in these two legal documents do I see an atom or a tittle of evidence to suggest that Obama or his Administration are interested in ANY of the items (ENDA, DADT, DOMA, hate-crimes legislation) Berry talks about. Obama has, in fact, said several times, that he "supports civil unions", NOT gay marriage, because (among other things) "God is in the mix". The amicus brief the Administration filed with SCOTUS on DADT cites "the good order and discipline" of the military as the reason DADT needed to be upheld. As if openly gay servicemembers would do more damage just by being out in the service, than our enemies who have nuclear missiles aimed at us. Other countries with sizable military forces allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, and surprise, surprise, their fighting forces are doing just fine.

Repealing DOMA should have been a priority for Obama, even if only because this is an issue he can horsewhip the GOP with. Repealing DOMA would have immediately shown Obama and the Democrats to be the progressive, open-minded President and party they should be. The GOP has long been anti-gay, and being proactive on DOMA would have definitively demonstrated that Obama is truly a champion of diversity. The fact that he taught Constitutional law should be enough to remind him that DOMA is, in fact, illegal.

As for ENDA, I don't see any decisive action on that until we see some real progress on DADT and DOMA. Hate-crimes legislation is being passed by Congress, so at least the Legislative Branch is doing something. When Berry suggests that Obama will act on all these important LGBT issues "before the sun sets on his Administration", I hope he isn't suggesting that Obama will wait until late in his second term, when, as a "lame duck" he can act without fear of political reprisals.

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