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13 June 2009

Comments

King Drive

@ Chitown Kev:

I hear you man, from one Chicagoan to another. I hear that often from black brothas and sistahs here, that we gays need to "get over it" and we should be damn happy the president is willing to listen to us.

And I agree, Obama never really was big on gay rights, I think he even took credit for a bill that he didn't help pass.

I think Obama knows he doesn't have to do too much and he will still be applauded. But I know the president can do better. He has it in him. It's time to "lead" like he promised he would. This inaction on gay rights and this DOMA brief is not leadership.

kevjack

I think someone hit the nail on the head when they mentioned that the "hope" we had was *all* we had when we voted for this man. He was so evasive on every important issue that we just filled in the blanks since 1) we just *knew* his heart was in the right place (although we had no evidence he would follow through on any promise he made) and 2) he was much better than the other option.

Maybe we should have been paying attention to that whole "where is his record, what experience does he have" argument that so many of us dismissed months ago. Well, he has a record now, and unfortunately I don't like it very much.

JT

While I detest Obama's defense of Breeder Supremacy, the use of terms like "Obama Nazis" and "Obamabots" focus more on trying to demonize Obama as a person and mock his supporters rather than trying to create a protest movement that might combat Breeder Supremacy.

In short, terms like "Obama Nazis" reveal the political impotence of those who sling them. I am suspicious of such anti-Obama speech, which sounds more than a little Right-Wing. Those anti-Obama Hillary fans pretend she would have been their Saviour.

The Republican-Democrats in Congress passed DOMA and Hillary's Husband created DADT. During the campaign Hillary was as lukewarm on Queer Rights as Obama.

In other words, Queer Folk should stop looking to the Republican-Democrats to Save Them

Luther

Thank you JT for the best post of this thread, the wording is as vile as his non-action and more worthy of other sites than this one, yep, the ones who don't call him anything but that "word" that they love to use in thier anger, and, the same ones here never say anything about it on said sites.

Put Obama's feet to the fire along with the gay folks in Congress, who will speak out on anything other than glbt rights.

JT

THE QUEER MARCH ON WASHINGTON IS COMING!!! OCTOBER 10TH AND 11TH!
We must get EVERYONE there, help friends, family, strangers get to Washington to confront Congress and the Obama Administration

Ravenback

I agree with Luther and JT. Right now, Barney Frank is pushing a bill to legalize medical marijuana. While I'm sure medical marijuana is a worthy cause, why hasn't he pushed a bill to end DADT? The Dems control Congress, so why are they silent? They push bills all the time without the need for the President's approval. They oppose things even if the President is for it. Look at the Dems hypocrisy on GITMO. They are making it difficult for President Obama to transfer detainees to American prisons. They want GITMO closed, but they are being an obstacle to President Obama making that happen.

Carlos

@ JT:

I used the phrase "Obamabots" earlier and that was probably unnecessary. However, the core truth of the matter remains, that some of the president's most ardent defenders and apologists (especially in our own black community) will rationalize, excuse and defend any and everything in order to protect the president. It's cult behavior and reinforces the notion that Obama cannot be criticized or held to normal standards like any other president. I don't buy that.

I find this behavior even more sad when it comes from our own black LGBT community. We're lowest on the totem pole when it comes to unemployment, HIV infection, housing, job security, wealth ... if anyone should be demanding more protection from being fired, gay-bashed, its black LGBTs. Yet many of us have our fingers stuck in our ears saying "Lalalala, I can't hear you!" when there is any discussion of gay rights or the administration's inaction. Correction. ACTION. Because this legal brief was certainly a very big step in the wrong direction.

I'm not going to indulge any ridiculous Clinton bashing. Hillary Clinton is not the president, Barack Obama is, and there is no need to focus on HRC or even Bill. I'm upset that we have DADT, but, hell, at least Bill tried to do something. I'm also upset about DOMA, and won't try to excuse that, because that is what we are fighting to undo now. But I'm always incredulized by people who want to compare the extremely hostile attitude toward gay rights 12 or 16 years ago (under a Democratic president and a Republican congress) to the much more relaxed attitude today (marriage in six states, gay rights legislation, etc.) and a Democratic president and congress.

I am still hopeful that much can be accomplished over the course of this presidency. I voted for Obama and most likely will do so again. But I strongly believe that to do so we must make it loud and clear that we will not be sacrificed for political expediency, that there will be a steep price to pay if our constitutional rights are ignored or put off indefinitely, and that a deeply offensive brief like the one filed last week will not be allowed to go unchallenged.

I’m reminded of something President Obama said during the campaign. "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

Ravenback

Sorry Carlos, you are undercutting your own argument. You are saying that it was unnecessary to call people "Obamabots", but you turn around and say that those who strongly defend President Obama are exhibiting cult behavior. Maybe people are just expressing their views just like you are. Too many people want to make every issue have a right or wrong side to it. Then you go on to insinuate that all black LGBT people should think the same way; therefore, you find it sad when these individuals don't draw the same conclusions as you do. This is why I often stay away from these particular discussions about President Obama because it often degenerates into name-calling. I'm sure that you can make your point -- which you quite effectively do -- without calling people "Obamabots" or liken their defense of Obama to cult-like behavior. That's not fair or respectful.

Carlos

@ Ravenback:

I admire and respect your comments on this blog, and many of the other posters. I apologized for the using the "Obamabot" phrase. But I didn't have to apologize.

As far as undercutting my own argument, not really. Until now, the administration's lack of action, coupled with this horrible DOJ brief and the tendency of many people to excuse the president's lack of action "undercuts" itself. But even if I didn't use that word, the facts are still the same.

I never said "all" black LGBTs do this. I said too many of us in the black and black LGBT communities do this, which is unfortunate, because we are most at risk for HIV, unemployment, gaybashing, not having health insurance, and are disproportionately concentrated in the south and states without gay rights protections. There was a certain regular commenter on here last week saying he didn't care "if" Obama ever addressed gay rights.

The last part of comment specifically addressed the promise of the Obama administration, my desire to see it succeed, my intention to vote for the man and quoted the president's own words.

Your point is well taken on name calling. But if some people are focusing more on the random names/phrases used here and there and less on the White House's poor record on LGBTs, that speaks volumes for person claiming to be offended. But I'm a helluva lot more offended by that legal brief.

Dalton

For a campaign that was touted for being the smoothest in years and making the least errors, it's hard to put this latest straw down to being just a little tone deaf to the LGBT community. Too many times our ox is getting gored for it to be just an oversight. I think it's a conscious political strategy: throw gays under the bus to gain more approval from right-wing "normal" voters.

Fierce support? I think not.

Ravenback

@ Carlos

I admire and respect your views as well, but just because someone is offended by a set of circumstances, that doesn't mean they should offend those you don't agree with them. That does speak volumes. That's my point and the only point I'm making. We probably agree helluva lot more on issues than we disagree. I didn't make my comments to be insulting or mean. Please don't take it in that way.

B.O.

"I believe marriage is a union between a man and a woman (applause). For me, it’s also a sacred union, that is, God is in the mix."

Kevjack

People voted for Barack Obama (a creature created about 10 years ago for politics), but we are now meeting Barry Obama (the man who throws everybody under the bus when he needs/wants to). Barry is running things, has everything under control, is cool under pressure, etc etc etc. We don't ask him tough questions, we don't hold him accountable, we say he can do no wrong. And all the while he is going back on everything he ever said about GLBT issues. He is showing us who he is. Let's not forget-- be sure to take a picture.

Chitown Kev

You just can't insult the intimate relationships that I have on one hand and come to me asking for money, my vote, my time, or anything else.

If you go back on your promises this early in the game, what won't you say to appease anyone?

That's my view of it, with all due respect to those who would vote for this man again, in spite of all that.

Chris Cruz

@ Kevjack:

You have a point. I've said in other threads that if the president takes back his word on these issues, what else will he take back his word on? Unfortunately we've already seen it on wiretapping, surveillance, torture and other things he was "against" before he was "for" them.

The time to strike is now while the iron is hot. Barack Obama may never have more political capital than he does now. The Republicans managed to pass insane hard-right policies with just a bare majority of Congress and a hugely unpopular President; why is it asking too much for our hugely popular President and his vast majorities in Congress to do the right thing when they can?

Osiris

Obama has been in office almost 6 months and has 3 and a half more years to go. It took Bush years to become this hated. Give him time to get settled in. His very presence in the white house was in itself a huge change, so give the man time for people around him to get comfortable so that he can address all these concerns.

It's way too easy to fly off the handle and get angry when someone doesn't do something that you want them to do RIGHT NOW but grownups understand that the best things are worth waiting for. At least give the man his 4 years before throwing him under the bus for not being what you wanted him to be. The man is the first black president of the united states, which was enough to piss off all those old white men who were comfortable running the world. What those old white men would LOVE to see is exactly what's going on now: a bunch of impatient people tear the man down before he even finished 6 months. Think about it: has any other president had this kind of pressure put in him during the first 6 months of a 4 year term? NO! Why is it that Obama is treated differently? Honestly, what is it about him that is different from all of the other presidents before him? Couldn't possibly be his skin color, could it...?

Greg G

"It's way too easy to fly off the handle and get angry when someone doesn't do something that you want them to do RIGHT NOW but grownups understand that the best things are worth waiting for."

No offense, but WTF are you talking about? Obama's Justice Dept. just filed a legal brief equating same sex marriage to incest and child marriage, and suggested gays do not have the right to privacy. This legal brief can and will be used in marriage and gay rights cases and possibly in upcoming actions at the Supreme Court.

You obviously don't understand the issues at hand. Obama promised to repeal DOMA and threw "us" under the bus with this filing.

And seriously. Coming on a black gay blog and playing the race card? No one is "tearing" down Obama, they are trying to apply the same standards to him as we have to other politicians. Criticizing doesn't mean tearing down and you really need to get over that.

You have a lot of nerve to come on this blog and even imply anyone here is a racist. It's a BLACK GAY BLOG!

Oh and Ravenback, here is another example of black LGBTs defending Obama and playing the race card, even when he hurts our own community. Earlier you said you were not aware of that ... ?

Byron in PGC

I've commented before on the why-are-they-trying-to-tear-down-the-first-black-president argument. Unfortunately some of us feel that any criticism of the president is racist or forbidden. That's a fail especially when you are arguing with other black or black gay folks.

Looking ahead...Yes, we should be lobbying Congress over DOMA, DADT, ENDA, etc. And I also want to know why our gay and lesbian members of Congress aren't speaking out on this DOMA brief.

But what is the administration doing? If they want a bill, all they have to do is ask for one. What do they plan to do about DOMA? All we've heard is that the president still supports repeal, but we haven't heard anything about him lifting a finger to help? Sorry but writing a brief detailing why DOMA is good for the country does not help us convince Congress to repeal it. There's absolutely no reason why reluctant congressmen can't and shouldn't hide behind that brief. "But your administration said ..."

I want to hold everyone's feet to the fire, but make no mistake...this is the administration's brief, they own it.

B.O.

"It’s wrong to have millions of Americans living as SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS in this nation. And I ASK FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN THIS ELECTION so that together we can bring about real change for all LGBT Americans. I WILL NEVER COMPROMISE ON MY COMMITMENT TO EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL LGBT AMERICANS. As your President, I WILL USE THE BULLY PULPIT to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does. Americans are YEARNING FOR LEADERSHIP that can empower us to reach for what we know is possible. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, WE NEED LEADERSHIP that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit. JOIN WITH ME, AND I WILL PROVIDE THAT LEADERSHIP. Together, we will achieve real equality for all Americans, gay and straight alike." – Barack Obama, February 2008

Carter G

Osiris, I know you mean well, but that dog just won't hunt.

Before this weekend, some people have argued the Obama administration was "too busy" with ____ (economy, wars, health care etc.) and the president was didn't have time to focus on his campaign promises to the LGBT community. That's a big hypothetical, assuming not one single person out of the many thousands who work for Obama had any time for us.

You can't make that argument anymore. The Obama administration certainly does have the time to take up gay rights issues—but only, it seems, to do harm. That Dept. of Justice brief was signed off by an Assistant Attorney General. So now we see that top level staff do "have the time" to work on gay rights issues. Only to cut them down.

kayman

Oh Lord, you guys are going off the handle over this. I read the statement and they are doing like governmental lawyers are suppose to do and that is uphold the current law on the books. Yeah, they do work under the Executive branch, but that doesn't mean that those are the word of the President himself. Sometimes, I wonder about some of you guys just look for a reason to complain about this man.

Dalton

@ Kayman:

"I read the statement and they are doing like governmental lawyers are suppose to do and that is uphold the current law on the books."

Really? What "statement"? Are you referring to the BRIEF filed by Justice Dept or the STATEMENT issued by the White House? Because you may want to read the BRIEF to understand what the huge controversy is over.

So, are you saying "government lawyers" supposed to compare same sex marriage to incest and child rape? Or suggest gays do not have the same rights to privacy as straights?

What a load of BS. Everyone understands the feds have to enforce federal laws. But it's the tone and language that was used in this brief.

It's not about "complaining about this man", it's about fighting for our rights. But since you obviously don't care about our community, and don't mind if anti-gay rights activists use this new DOJ brief against us in future court proceedings, just STFU. Really.

Carter G

That's a good question. Kayman, where does it say that the administration that "wants to repeal DOMA" should defend it by comparing gay marriage to incest or suggesting gays have less right to privacy than heterosexual couples?

And do you really agree that DOMA "does not discriminate" against gays because we can just married someone of the opposite sex if we wanted to?

Everyone isn't questioning DOJ's decision to defend this statute. Many have argued they didn't have to. But if you want to accept they do, okay, so why the homophobic language and the kitchen sink arguments? Rod quotes Jon Davidson at Lambda Legal and another lawyer, and many others say the same thing, the gratuitous language and homophobic language were just plain unnecessary and will hurt our cause.

Chitown Kev

OMFG! Osiris, the resident house fa**ot.


FYI, if I remember correctly, the vitriol at Bush prior to 9/11/01 was pretty damn bad, especially considering that he stole the
election. And then, with bare majorities in both house he was attempting to cram the whole right wing agenda down the throat of a country that did not vote for him (Gore won the popular vote by 500,000).

Obama has what Bush never truly had: a mandate. Obama has more of a mandate then even Clinton did in his first 2 years.

If that's all that yo' happy ass cares about is that the president is black then you are the one with the low standards, IMHO, Osiris.

God, people like you infuriate me!

Chitown Kev

I apologize everybody for going off!

And you know what, he is the President of all Americans. While his ethnicity is something to note, he is the president of white america, black america, and latino america, and gay america. Barack Obama does not belong to black people and knowing this politician as I have known him he would highly resent you regarding him solely in that way, Osiris.

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