You got DADT, now STFU


One Battle Won, Gay Rights Activists Shift Sights

As gay people around the country reveled on Sunday in the historic Senate vote to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a liberal media watchdog group said it planned to announce on Monday that it was setting up a “communications war room for gay equality” in an effort to win the movement’s next and biggest battle: for a right to same-sex marriage.

[...]

Mr. Obama ran for office promising to be a “fierce advocate” for the rights of gay people, and he pledged his support for goals deeply important to them.

Obama and the Democrats threw LGBT’s a bone, and they better be happy gnawing on it because that’s all they’re gonna get for a while.


Curb your enthusiasm


It looks like DADT will finally be repealed. It was a bad law, a compromise to prevent something worse. I’ll remain skeptical until it is dead and buried and gays and lesbians are serving openly in our military.

But lets not get too excited. When Truman desegregated the military it didn’t end segregation in the rest of the nation, and it also meant that young black men could be used as cannon fodder in the jungles of Vietnam.

Despite what Rachel Maddow and others might think, Obama didn’t cover himself in glory on this issue. He fought court challenges against DADT and when he lost he appealed. Even now the White House won’t commit to ending discharges of gay and lesbians:

Saying that they had been “focused” on the vote, a senior White House aide intimately familiar with the administration’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal efforts was unwilling to say whether President Obama agrees with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) that DADT-releated investigations and discharges should be halted immediately.

But even if gays and lesbians can now serve openly they still can’t get married.

DADT only affects a minority of the LGBT community. Repealing DOMA and legalizing gay marriage affects all of them.

BTW – What is to stop another Congress and POTUS from reinstituting the ban on gays in the military?

The court ruling that is under appeal said that DADT was unconstitutional. The repeal of DADT doesn’t affect it’s constitutionality.


Elena Kagan and Laura Bush: When Pigs Really Fly

Kudos to the President for nominating another lady to the supreme court. Well done. But something’s not right here. What is it…? Oh, yeah.

I’m really, really glad Obama chose a woman. I really, really wish she were more liberal. I suspect she’ll be okay on Roe and other “social issues,” but her attitude to executive power is alarming.

Also, rumors abound that Kagan is gay. Let’s just pretend for a second that we care….

Glad that’s over.

As for social issues, the President has really given us a treat! He picked someone that is kind of pro-choice! OMG! But wait…

As a White House adviser in 1997, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan urged then-President Bill Clinton to support a ban on late-term abortions, a political compromise that put the administration at odds with abortion rights groups.

Documents reviewed Monday by The Associated Press show Kagan encouraging Clinton to support a bill that would have banned all abortions of viable fetuses except when the physical health of the mother was at risk. The documents from Clinton’s presidential library are among the first to surface in which Kagan weighs in the thorny issue of abortion.

The abortion proposal was a compromise by Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle. Clinton supported it, but the proposal failed and Clinton vetoed a stricter Republican ban.

In a May 13, 1997, memo from the White House domestic policy office, Kagan and her boss, Bruce Reed, told Clinton that abortion rights groups opposed Daschle’s compromise. But they urged the president to support it, saying he otherwise risked seeing a Republican-led Congress override his veto on the stricter bill.

Oh. But still! Since Kagan is probably a lezbo, she must support gay marriage, right? Wrong.

The meme has taken hold that Kagan is a stealth candidate who has avoided taking positions on important constitutional or other issues throughout her career.

But on one issue of critical importance to the left — the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Kagan has staked out a very clear and unequivocal position: There is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

In the course of her nomination for Solicitor General, Kagan filled out questionnaires on a variety of issues. While she bobbed and weaved on many issues, with standard invocations of the need to follow precedent and enforce presumptively valid statutes, on the issue of same-sex marriage Kagan was unequivocal.

Kagan is a winner in other ways, too:

“Like Harriet Miers, she doesn’t have a record to tell us how she would adjudicate from the bench. They led a rebellion against the executive branch and the same thing should happen here.”

“I object to appointment somebody that has no track record. Corporate power is a big one because of the Citizens United decision, and also Miranda. There are a lot of things where it would be helpful to be able to examine past writings.”

“If I was in the Senate, I would vote no, because like Harriet Miers she doesn’t have the judicial experience.”

“Accepting Kagan just because people like Obama is wrong. That’s appropriate for American Idol, not the Supreme Court. Nobody knows what she stands for but him. It’s just a cult of personality with Obama. This is the Supreme Court.”

There is something fundamentally wrong about this. Everyone is used to Obama constantly rejecting his base. They are like devoted mistresses who constantly tell themselves that their boyfriends will leave their wives–he is just making a compromise right now; it’s a secret game of eleven dimensional chest and during the election time he will come crawling back. But really, why do liberals have to compromise in the first place?

The selection of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be the nation’s 112th justice extends a quarter-century pattern in which Republican presidents generally install strong conservatives on the Supreme Court while Democratic presidents pick candidates who often disappoint their liberal base.

[...]

Along the way, conservatives have largely succeeded in framing the debate, putting liberals on the defensive. Sonia Sotomayor echoed conservatives in her Supreme Court confirmation hearings last year by rejecting the idea of a “living” Constitution that evolves, and even President Obama recently said the court had gone too far in the past. While conservatives have played a powerful role in influencing Republican nominations, liberals have not been as potent in Democratic selections.

Well, I don’t know. Maybe the blogger boyz just need a reality check. For one thing, Obama is just not that into them.

For another, the notion that Obama is a “Democratic President” is laughable anyway. Democratic Presidents don’t pass Heritage Foundation Health Insurance Reforms and then claim it as the biggest victory of their Presidency. Just sayin.’

The Democratic Party is obviously in trouble, and that is no secret. But they can’t be any worse than Republicans, right? NOTHING is worse than a Republican. I mean, Elena Kagan might not be perfect on social issues, but at least she’s more liberal that Laura Bush!

On her media tour for her memoir, Spoken from the Heart, Laura Bush stopped by Larry King Live, where she opened up for the first time about her advocacy for marriage equality, as well as her belief that Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision regarding a woman’s right to an abortion, should be upheld.

Yo Barack, how about an EO on this?


From Bilerico via Corrente:

Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place–wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold’s care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes.

Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care.

What happened next is even more chilling.

The worst parts of this tragedy have nothing to do with any hospital rules:

Without authority, without determining the value of Clay and Harold’s possessions accumulated over the course of their 20 years together or making any effort to determine which items belonged to whom, the county took everything Harold and Clay owned and auctioned off all of their belongings. Adding further insult to grave injury, the county removed Clay from his home and confined him to a nursing home against his will. The county workers then terminated Clay and Harold’s lease and surrendered the home they had shared for many years to the landlord.

Three months after he was hospitalized, Harold died in the nursing home.

The two men were unable to see each other during the final three months of Harold’s life, and almost everything they owned is gone.

Sonoma County is about an hour north of San Francisco, just above Marin County. When I lived up that way in the mid-eighties it was a fairly liberal place with a sizable LGBT community. Not exactly a hot bed of homophobia.

Words fail.


Not to be a wet blanket but . . .

Sadly, when I first read this:

Obama extends hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners of gays

my first reaction was suspicion rather than elation.

President Obama mandated Thursday that nearly all hospitals extend visitation rights to the partners of gay men and lesbians and respect patients’ choices about who may make critical health-care decisions for them, perhaps the most significant step so far in his efforts to expand the rights of gay Americans.

The president directed the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation in a memo that was e-mailed to reporters Thursday night while he was at a fundraiser in Miami.

As with any Obama policy or proposal you have to look for the loopholes. The first one is a biggie: While the proposed rule would apply to any hospital receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding (which is the vast majority of them) it would not apply to military or VA hospitals.

The next loophole is also huge:

Obama’s order will start a rule-making process at HHS that could take several months, officials said.

How long is “several months?” Remember when Obama ordered that Gitmo be closed in a year??

What exactly will these new rules say? How will “same-sex partners” be defined? How will this apply in states that don’t permit gay marriage or domestic partnerships? How will this affect someone who is rendered unconscious or incapacitated from a stroke or accident and didn’t predesignate their LGBT partner as a visitor or give them a medical power of attorney?

Without a properly executed medical power of attorney will state laws on next-of-kin still apply?

What about religious hospitals?

I’m curious to see how the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reacts to this executive order. I don’t know whether Catholic hospitals are more likely to have rules in place preventing visitation by gay or lesbian partners, but I would expect religious conservatives to complain about the government nullifying such rules. I wonder whether there is even grounds to challenge Obama’s order in court, if hospitals could demonstrate that their visitation bans are grounded in religious principles.

I’m also suspicious of how the story about these proposed new rules was publicized. No speech, no formal announcement, just an emailed memo while Obama jets off to another fundraiser. Not exactly bold leadership by a “fierce advocate” of LGBT rights.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe strongly in equal rights for lesbians and gays and the end of discrimination against them. But I’m not ready to celebrate this announcement just yet.

Cindy McCain Supports Gay Marriage


From The Guardian:

John McCain’s staunch opposition to gay marriage was one of the key parts of his presidential campaign. But it has become clear this was not supported in his own household. His daughter, Meghan, is a vocal advocate of gay rights. Now his wife, Cindy, has appeared in a poster campaign against California’s proposition 8 – a law banning same-sex marriage.

[...]

Cindy McCain appears in the poster with silver duct tape across her mouth and the campaign slogan, “NOH8″, marked on her cheek.

[...]

“Aligning yourself with the platform of gay marriage as a Republican still tends to be very stigmatic, but Cindy McCain wanted to participate in the campaign to show people that party doesn’t matter.”

John McCain’s office said in a statement that he respected the views of his family but remained opposed to gay marriage. “Senator McCain believes the sanctity of marriage is only defined as between one man and one woman,” it said. In 2008 McCain backed a measure in his home state of Arizona to ban same-sex marriage.

Meghan McCain also appears in the poster campaign. “I couldn’t be more proud of my mother for posing for the NOH8 campaign,” she wrote on Twitter. “I think more Republicans need to start taking a stand for equality.

“I was there when she did it and I almost started crying during the photo shoot.”

Totally uncalled for cheap shot:

Pam Spaulding, who blogs on gay issues, was reminded of an infamous and foul-mouthed bust up between John and Cindy during a campaign in 1992. “Given the Senator’s hot temper, and the fact that he called his wife a trollop and ‘you c*nt’ … this was a nice ‘screw you’ for picking that dimwit Palin and derailing the campaign,” Spaulding wrote.

Kudos, props and thumbs up for Cindy and Meghan McCain. Shame on John McCain and Pam Spaulding.


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We’re Winning This, at Least

BILLVictories should be taken when they come. With the passage of Proposition 8 and all the Drama with Miss California and Perez Hilton, the LGBT Community needed something good, and it came.

We all love the Big Dawg. Regency said it best in what is possibly one of the best posts ever written at the Confluence.

I lived in this country during the 1990s. I knew the Clintons. I grew up worshiping Bill Clinton, that Bubba from a place called Hope with an affinity for Big Macs and a little bit of “soul” in his soul.

[...]

Millions of new jobs created throughout this country. Millions raised from poverty to hallowed middle-class status. Even with the battles he couldn’t win—like the Defense of Marriage Act, which he abhorred but that prevented the passage of a Federal Gay-Marriage Ban; like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell that as best it could prevented an outright ban of gays and lesbians in the military—things were a little better, positive steps in positive directions had been taken. In that decade, it was good to be alive in America. And it was my party that had made it so.

[...]

I remember the man who cried as those around him struggled and deigned to share their struggles with him. I remember the President who apologized for the Tuskegee Experiment and asked that those still standing in its wake found it in their battered hearts to forgive a nation whose morality once stood so terribly bigoted. I remember the man who helped to re-enact the March on Selma because it meant so much to him. I remember a President who walked into Office on day one ready to lead, only to be stabbed in the back by the very people that brought him—but he soldiered on. That was the Way I was a part of, the Way that “embraces ‘tolerant traditionalism,’ honoring traditional moral and family values while resisting attempts to impose them on others.” There was no battle too small to undertake, no cause unworthy of effort or tears, nobody left behind. Anybody who “worked hard and played by the rules” got ahead, because no way was William Jefferson Clinton going to leave them in the dust.

Modo could never say as much. Recently, Bill came out in favor of Single Payer Health Care. In case you’re wondering why he didn’t go for it while he was President, he explained:

Mr. Clinton said that as he looked at the matter in 1993 he believed that he had two options for providing universal coverage: either a tax increase or an employer mandate. Since he had already expended a lot of political capital on a deficit-reduction plan that included tax increases as well as spending cuts, he said he had to rely on the employer mandate.

“If you had an employer mandate, then you could leave the small businesses out or come up with enough revenues to subsidize the smaller employers — and since we couldn’t raise taxes, having an employer mandate guaranteed that the National Federation of Independent Businesses would join with the insurance companies,” he said. “Now they don’t have to have an employer mandate, because they can offer buy-ins. I hope they won’t give up on this public option.”

Oh, Bill! In a similar vein, the Big Dawg has also come out in favor of same sex marriage.

He is now the most high profile politician to do so, beating out even Dick Cheney in his endorsement of gay matrimony. And since Bill and Hillary agree on most things politically, I predict that she will also come out in favor of Same Sex Marriage shortly.

In May of this year, Clinton told a crowd at Toronto’s Convention Centre that his position on same-sex marriage was “evolving.”Apparently, Clinton’s thinking has now further evolved. Asked if he would commit his support for same-sex marriage, Clinton responded, “I’m basically in support.”

This spring, same-sex marriage was legalized in Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire. In his most recent remarks on the subject, Clinton said, “I think all these states that do it should do it.” The former president, however, added that he does not believe that same-sex marriage is “a federal question.”

Asked if he personally supported same-sex marriage, Clinton replied, “Yeah.” “I personally support people doing what they want to do,” Clinton said. “I think it’s wrong for someone to stop someone else from doing that [same-sex marriage].”

We all ready know what the Obots will scream. We have heard the song and dance so many times before we could recite it in our sleep. Bill passed DOMA! Bill passed DADT! The Clintons are Racist and EEEEEEEVVVVVIL!

Crimony. Tell them Bill.

Talking about Melissa Etheridge’s comment about the Clintons “throwing the gay community under a bus” when introducing DOMA, Bill Clinton said:

“I think it’s a slight rewriting of history that, let me just say, let me remind you, one of the raids that the Republican Party used to get its base out, I think it was in 2004, to have all these amendments on the ballot, right, to change the constitution of these states to ban gay marriage.

“There was at the time, a serious effort to argue that the congress ought to present to the states a constitutional amendment, a national constitutional amendment, on gay marriage. So the idea behind the defense of marriage act was not to ban gay marriage but simply to say that just because Massachusetts recognized gay marriage, which Hillary and I at the time defended their right to do, that marriage had always been a matter of state law and religious practice.

“The defense of marriage act did nothing to change that, all it said was that [the state of] Idaho did not have to recognize a marriage sanctified in Massachusetts, and that seemed to be a reasonable compromise in the environment of the time, and its a slight rewriting of history for Melissa, whom I very much respect, to imply that somehow this was anti-gay when I had more openly gay people in my administration and did more for gay rights and tried to provide an opportunity for gays to serve in the military and did provide an opportunity for gays to serve in civilian positions involving national security that they had been previously been denied to serving in. That’s a little bit of rewriting of history there.”

In the Nineties, public support for Gay Marriage, Equality of Benefits, and the right for Gays to serve openly in the Military wasn’t very strong. In fact, Gay rights were still something of a taboo back then. When Bill was President, he dealt with a foaming Republican Congress, Democrats on the Hill who loathed him, an overly hostile Press Corps, and a Right Wing Conspiracy Independent Counsel sniffing for his impeachment every time he or Hillary so much as farted. Because of Ross Perot’s Candidacy, he wasn’t elected with a majority, and he defeated an extremely popular incumbent. He didn’t have much Political Capitol at all, but he still tried to push as much liberal legislation through Congress as he possibly could before the midterm elections, when the party in power almost always loses seats. Even Dubya, when he was first elected President, passed whatever legislation he wanted, despite not being elected by a majority (and in fact, stealing the election) because his party was in power.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, has a fawning Press Corps and solid, filibuster proof majorities in the House and the Senate at his disposal. He is following an extremely unpopular administration into the White House and he was elected with 53% of the vote. At the moment he doesn’t seem to have much opposition for reelection in 2012. He should be the liberal God Obots claim him to be, but sadly, he is wiping his ass with the Constitution, continuing the War in Iraq, passing Stimulus Bills that stimulate nothing, Bailing out Banks with taxpayer money and proposing lousy Healthcare Reform.

On Gay rights and everything else, he has no viable excused. Polls show that a majority of Americans favor Gays serving openly in the Military and Gay Marriage. Similarly, with the roll out of several high Profile endorsements of Same Sex Marriage, it is apparent that Americans have evolved with their favorite President on the issue of Gay Rights. Not only should Obama be stronger for the LGBT Community, he should be shoving Single Payer Healthcare, which a majority of Americans also support, up Congress’s Bum-ol-ey and prosecuting Bush Administration Officials, but he obviously isn’t.

Obama is just a self absorbed, arrogant, immature, narcissistic coward. I hate to call him names, but there it is folks.

But regardless of what TOTUS does, we do have this victory of changing attitudes about LGBT rights in America. Americans clearly favor treating our Gay brothers and sisters with humanity and respect. And that is a victory worth celebrating, because it is a step in the right direction, and it makes equality for Gays, Lesbians, Bis and Trannies that much more attainable.

Cross posted at Age of Aquairius

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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: “It’s the President’s Justice Department.”

I’ve been waiting for the W.O.R.M, but so far nothing. In his daily press briefing today, Robert Gibbs responded to a question by Jake Tapper on the Justice Department’s brief supporting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):

Q Does the President stand by the legal brief that the Justice Department filed last week that argued in favor of the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act?

MR. GIBBS: Well, Jake, as you know, the Justice Department is charged with upholding the law of the land, even though the President believes that that law should be repealed.

Q I understand that. But a lot of legal experts say that the brief didn’t have to be as comprehensive and make all the arguments that it made, such as comparing same-sex unions to incestuous ones in one controversial paragraph that’s upset a lot of the President’s supporters. Does the President stand by the content, the arguments made in that brief?

MR. GIBBS: Well, again, it’s the President’s Justice Department. And again, we have the role of upholding the law of the land while the President has stated and will work with Congress to change that law.

In other words, yes, the President agrees with the argument that essentially draws an analogy between incest and same sex marriage–the same argument used by the Bush Justice Department! Continue reading

Punk’d

2-face-obama

The Two Faces of Obama

This would be funny if it wasn’t tragic.  Obama throws some more of his most loyal supporters under the bus:

This week, the Obama administration is facing the ire of gay rights groups after it filed a brief in California federal court defending the Defense of Marriage Act and calling it a “valid exercise of Congress’ power” that is saving taxpayers money.

This is an occasion where there is no pleasure in saying “We told you so!”  Okay, well maybe a little – Kool-aid blogger John Aravosis:

We just got the brief from reader Lavi Soloway. It’s pretty despicable, and gratuitously homophobic. It reads as if it were written by one of George Bush’s top political appointees. I cannot state strongly enough how damaging this brief is to us. Obama didn’t just argue a technicality about the case, he argued that DOMA is reasonable. That DOMA is constitutional. That DOMA wasn’t motivated by any anti-gay animus. He argued why our Supreme Court victories in Roemer and Lawrence shouldn’t be interpreted to give us rights in any other area (which hurts us in countless other cases and battles). He argued that DOMA doesn’t discriminate against us because it also discriminates about straight unmarried couples (ignoring the fact that they can get married and we can’t).

Andy Sullivan is barely starting to realize he should have spent more time looking at Obama’s homophobic BFF’s and less time rummaging through Sarah Palin’s panty drawer.

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Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, NCLR, GLAD, the ACLU and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force  issued a joint statement:

Continue reading

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