Karen Ocamb

Are Democrats Throwing Gays Under the Bus?

Filed By Karen Ocamb | October 13, 2008 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, DNC, Equality California, gay marriage, Joe Biden, LGBT politics, Mayor Gavin Newsom, No On 8, same-sex marriage, Steve Hildebrand, Yes on 8

With just over three weeks until the elections, it seems a pretty certain bet that most of the LGBT community will vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden, though with curtailed enthusiasm after numerous missteps.

But electoral support does not mean surrendering the right to critique and hold the candidates or the Democratic Party accountable. Indeed, it is the obligation of citizenship to call out disparities between avowed principles and actions that conflict with those principles. If the actions are not corrected, at least the credit-card promises are de-mythologized and once starry-eyed voters will not be surprised when the disappointing compromise bills come due.

So let's stipulate that Obama has captured most of the LGBT vote. After all, LGBT people have been deeply impacted by the Bush-Cheney-Rove regime and can't wait to exhale. But, frankly, it seems the Obama camp and the Democratic Party just aren't all that into us anymore.

Let's also stipulate these facts: Obama's deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand is gay; Obama's gay outreach is light-years ahead of the McCain camp's publicized acceptance of Log Cabin's endorsement at the GOP convention; and the DNC's Inclusion Rule, in conjunction with Gov. Howard Dean's 50-state strategy and executed by the National Stonewall Democrats, yielded the largest ever contingent of LGBT delegates and participants to the Democratic Convention and laid a possible foundation for future inclusion.

But none of that translated to viewers of the Democratic Convention - which I wrote about in "Requiem for Gay Political Power." From my seat glued to the TV, it looked like a shameful replay of 2004 when the LGBT community agreed to invisibility for the "greater good" of electing John Kerry.

It didn't matter. We were blamed for Kerry's loss anyway - ostensibly because WE brought about the eleven antigay marriage initiatives in battleground states, not Karl Rove - by wanting full equality "too fast."

So here we are in 2008 and what's changed, really? There are antigay marriage initiatives in California, Arizona, and Florida. But who's paying attention, other than the LGBT community and its allies, and the well-funded Religious Right for whom this is the ultimate spiritual warfare, as described by The Call?

The focus here is Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment on the November ballot in California that would eliminate the right of same sex couples to marry. That right was recognized by the Republican-dominated California Supreme Court May 15, a ruling in which the court also called gay people a "suspect class" or minority deserving equal protection under the law.

But this fight goes beyond the "fundamental" right of same sex couples to marry. If Prop 8 passes, it would be an ugly addition to U.S. history (remember to Jim Crow laws and the Japanese Internment, to mention a couple) where a majority has stripped rights away from a minority.

Yet so far the DNC and the Obama campaign have issued plenty of statements with no action.

Here's the record:

  1. May 3, 2006. The DNC hired longtime LGBT politico Brian Bond to handle the LGBT constituency. Dean said:

    The Democratic Party has a long history of standing against discrimination and standing up for equal rights for every American. Unfortunately, the Republicans are again taking a page from the Karl Rove playbook and using issues to scapegoat the LGBT community with the divisive Federal Marriage Amendment and hate-filled ballot initiatives aimed at dividing and distracting America from critical issues facing our country. Brian will help lead our fight to end the Republican politics of fear and division.

  2. May 10, 2006. In Bond's first interview, he is asked if the DNC has a strategy to combat the ballot initiatives. Bond said:

    I would say yes, but I think you have to look at this in both a short-term and long-term context. In the short term, clearly strategy is being put in place.

    If such a strategy existed, it failed in California, Arizona and Florida.

  3. February 2008. Equality California, the statewide LGBT lobbying group, launched the "Decline to Sign" campaign trying to prevent the antigay ProtectMarriage.com and the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage from gathering enough petition signatures to qualify the ballot initiative. According to the Secretary of State's website, the DNC contributed $25,000 (the California Democratic Party contributed nothing) but the petition qualified with over one million signatures.
  4. May 15, 2008. The Obama campaign released a statement about the marriage ruling:

    "On the issue of constitutional amendments, Senator Obama has been on record for some time: He opposes all divisive and discriminatory constitutional amendments, state or federal. That includes the proposed amendments in California and Florida."

    The Obamas made similar statements in March, June and July.

  5. The DNC also issued a statement:

    The Supreme Court of California today took a step forward in the long march toward protecting equal rights under the law for every American. This should not be a matter of politics or partisanship; it is a matter of protecting the rights and dignity of all American families.

  6. In August, the Democratic Party Platform included this:

    "We all have to do our part to lift up this country, and that means changing hearts and changing minds, and making sure that every American is treated equally under the law.... We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act and all attempts to use this issue to divide us."

But while the Democratic Party has helped the No on Prop 8 campaign on the ground, the DNC has made no financial contribution to fight Prop 8 since the "Decline to Sign" campaign. Nor has Obama publicly mentioned the grave and historic fight to retain this minority right. One wonders if there would be such silence and benign neglect if an initiative threatened to take away an existing right of the African American, Latino, Asian or Jewish communities.

How ironic that this fight falls during the 10th anniversary of Matthew Shepard's hate crime-murder, about which Cathy Renna notes: "The sense of being 'other' is still a constant feature for many of us, even those who try to assimilate as much as possible and proclaim that they're just ordinary citizens like everyone else."

But the cruelest blow came when Biden agreed with GOP candidate Sarah Palin about same sex marriage during the vice presidential debate. His comments are now highlighted on the Yes on 8/ProtectMarriage website.

Obama has steadfastly opposed same sex civil marriage because, he told evangelist Rick Warren, as a Christian,

God's in the mix....I am not somebody who promotes same sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions. I do believe that we should not -- that for gay partners to want to visit each other in a hospital for the state to say, you know what, that's all right, I don't think in any way inhibits my core beliefs about what marriage are.

The conflation of a civil marriage right with a private religious belief and the argument in favor of "separate but equal" by a constitutional lawyer is jarring. But the political ramifications could be catastrophic for gays, as the New York Times pointed out last September.

Mr. Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, is against the measure. But opponents of the proposed ban worry that many black voters, enthused by Mr. Obama's candidacy but traditionally conservative on issues involving homosexuality, could pour into voting stations in record numbers to punch the Obama ticket -- and then cast a vote for Proposition 8.

In a statement released Oct. 12 commemorating the anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death, Obama said:

All Americans deserve to live their lives free of fear, and as Americans, it is our moral obligation to stand up against bigotry and strive for equality for all.

The LGBT community has ACHIEVED equality in California, yet where is that "moral obligation" when it comes to fighting like hell to retain it? Where are the robocalls to targeted communities or the training to teach all those new young voters how to vote down-ticket and why the propositions are important?

While deflated gays expressed anguish - or excused Biden - amongst ourselves, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom went public with his "frustration." Because of his courageous principled stand on marriage equality, Newsom is the not-so-unexpected "star" of the first Yes on 8 commercial.

Newsom told the Long Beach Lambda Democratic Club Oct. 5:

It was very frustrating for someone who has done fundraisers for Senator Biden - who believes in him, who is excited about him, his future, and the future of this country with him as vice-president - that he agreed [with Palin]. That somehow a party that has always stood for the principles of human rights on women's rights, on civil rights, on environmental justice and labor rights - that somehow today, our party leadership is arguing that separate is now somehow equal - but only for the gay community. That's wrong. And we've got to call them out on it.

What's even more frustrating is that the DNC and the Obama campaign are throwing two major fundraisers in Southern California at a time when the No on Prop 8 campaign is begging for money.

The campaign is in such dire straights that they released their internal polling conducted by Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners - which was matched by another poll taken by SurveyUSA - showing Prop 8 winning by four points, which the No on Prop 8 campaign attributed to the widespread airing of antigay Yes on 8 commercials. They said the Yes on 8 campaign reported raising roughly $26 million (over 40 percent from the Mormon Church), compared to roughly $16 million by No on Prop 8.

Tickets for the non-gay Biden fundraiser at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood are $500 each, $5,000 for a VIP dinner.

Another fundraiser in Palm Springs, featuring Rep. Barney Frank and singer Rufus Wainwright is being held the day after an EQCA/No on Prop 8 fundraiser - and some gays have cancelled their No on Prop 8 tickets to attend the Barney Frank event.

The upshot: the DNC and the Obama campaign are taking money out of California at a time when Obama is leading in the national polls and has so much money he can buy 30 minute blocks of primetime television on three networks. No one from the DNC replied to my request for a response and the gay Obama supporters referred me to his previous statements.

(Perhaps not so coincidentally, the SurveyUSA poll also showed the anti-abortion rights Proposition 4 - the Parental notification measure - also passing. Another core Democratic value ignored.)

If Prop 8 passes, will we consider the DNC and the Obama campaign complicit in our defeat?

Right now, the No on Prop 8 campaign is being supported by generous LGBT and straight donors, hundreds of grassroots volunteers across the nation, unions such as the California Teachers Association and the Service Employees International Union and LGBT non-profits who understand that the future of their organizations are at stake.

So while Obama and the Democratic Party say they stand for the principle of equality for all, when it comes to gay people - they appear to be sitting this one out. And if Prop 8 passes, their hand-prints will be on our backs - having pushed us under the proverbial bus.


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$26 million, over $10 million of that just from individual Mormons ordered by the Church Presidency to Give 'Till it Hurts in order to protect the All Powerful Oz -er- God from same-sex marriages?

Does anybody see a huge problem here?

I think the bigger question one should be asking is why in a Democrat leaning state which will go overwhelmingly towards Obama, this measure might fail. Lack of money is an issue, but it is not the only issue. The disorganization in fighting this campaign is evident.

I personally am glad Obama is staying out of this. Like it or not, without those swing states now in play, we would be electing McCain president. Like it or not, this issue is bigger than Prop 8. Like it or not, this issue and others will be decided by the Supreme Court. Like it or not, electing Obama is our only chance. Stevens is holding on. Souter wants to retire badly as well.

Go ahead and be idealistic. As for me, I've had two presidential campaigns full of it, and would like a chance at practicality.

I really respect where you're going with this post and vehemently agree that we can't just forget about prop 8 and gay marriage in favor of support for the Democratic ticket. However, I can't in good conscience raise too much ruckus about this because I desperately want Obama-Biden to win. No, nix that..I think it's essential to LGBT rights that Obama and Biden win. I've actually posted about this myself and we had an interesting discussion about some of the same points you made here.

That said, I'd like to find some way to help keep LGBT rights visible in this election without railing against Obama. Does the fight for marriage equality necessarily have to be attached to the Obama-Biden platform? (I really think they're pretty damn LGBT friendly and seriously doubt Biden is actually anti-gay marriage or that either of them would actively oppose same-sex marriage once in office.) How do we support LGBT rights/equality without undermining the Democratic party? I don't think we need to be silent and let ourselves be thrown under the bus, but how do we make ourselves heard? Is money for the No on Prop 8 campaign (and similar) enough?

We really could have done without that Biden statement at the VP debate. Obama will probably be asked about it Wednesday, so I guess we'll see his response. I doubt it'll change from the Warren interview.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 14, 2008 12:04 AM

The true measure of our strength is after the election. Through better national organization each Democratic member of congress in the incoming class of new senators and congressmen must be informed of what percentage of their winning margin we comprised. Every incumbent who won re election as a Democrat must be reminded that it is time to either recognize our legitimacy or change to the Republican side.

Where's Madonna. Where's Cher. Our supposed "gay icons" who can't be bothered to donate.

Anybody find it amusing that Ellen herself hasn't donated any money? Gay men have quite large discretionary income, and yet they won't bother to donate, while some Mormons are foregoing vacations for years in order to send in money.

Self-absorbed community much?

And, chuck, put a sock in it. Why should we have to help them win? Obama's been running a piss poor campaign, as shown by the numbers; we shouldn't have to carry him, when all he'll allow us is empty rhetoric. The degree to which some gays will favor partisanship over their community is disgusting. Years of loyalty to Democrats on a federal level, and what have we so far? Nothing. What makes you think anything might change?

Karen's not being idealistic; she's merely pointing out how we keep letting ourselves be used as the party's personal ATM, just because they throw some nice words our way.

Here we go again. Time to turn the guns inward at the last moment.

Karen...you are doing it again. I was trying my damnedest to stay away from this topic because I am so frustrated that I could scream and I can hardly sleep.

Here we are lined up homo after homo handing our citizenship over to the Democratic Party - freely and willingly. "It's ok with us if you (again) take our support and stab us in the back."

Oh, sure, some have said to me that stopping prop 8 is only about having a party. I just have sour grapes because I want to have a wedding and have my asshole family members buy me a toaster just like I have had to do every time one of them sent out an invitation.

That is such misguided and cowardly and ignorant trash. I have been re-reading the decision of the CA Supreme Court a few pages every day just to keep the focus on what Prop 8 is all about. Remember this from the decision?:

"As past cases establish, the substantive right of two adults who share a loving relationship to join together to establish an officially recognized family of their own - and, if the couple chooses, to raise children within that family - constitutes a vitally important attribute of the fundamental interest in liberty and personal autonomy that the California Constitution secures to all persons for the benefit of both the individual and society."

But maybe that's not so important? Hey...why should I get all worked up over my liberty and personal autonomy? Why should I expect Obama to be able to defend his position in support of me and my right to have a family? Am I that embarrassed of my identity to ask for his support?

Obama is heading toward landslide proportions in his lead over McCain. He has proven over and over again to anyone that isn't a racist, reactionary, fool, that he is capable of being President and he can win. He is branded as being in support of gay marriage even though he isn't.

He has more money than he can spend in the next 21 days. Who else does he need to convince in those days? Is there anyone left that might not vote for him if they don't hear one more of his commercials in the next 3 weeks?

Is the first African American President of the United States going to stand by and allow the Mormon church to rip equal protections away from LGBT citizens because he is afraid to do anything about it?

I wouldn't vote for him if you paid me. I won't place his candidacy ahead of my citizenship and I won't let one gay person within 10 feet of me get away with promoting Obama to me without getting a loud earful about his lack of visible and tangible support.

His financial support of NO on 8 won't cause him to lose. A campaign statement spoken from his lips at his high priced fund raiser in southern california might help.

It is not too much to ask him to do and it is cowardly and foolish to allow him to get away without making a principled stand? It will be absolutely disgraceful if Prop 8 passes, Obama wins and his administration does nothing to protect our citizenship - like the last Democratic administration did. Do you remember that??? The Clinton's shit all over us. What makes anyone think the Obamas will be better? Faith is swell...but we need proof.

Both he and every stupid homosexual that helps him to win while giving him a pass on Prop 8 should be ashamed of themselves.

How will you feel if you wake up to President McCain and VP Palin on November 5. I know Obama/Biden is in the lead, but so was Gore, and we saw what happened then. This election will not be a done deal until every vote is counted, and the result will not be certain until then.

Marc Paige
Ft. Lauderdale

PS Are you a Republican who really wants to siphon off some gay votes from Obama??

Oh Marc...is your middle initial W by any chance?

You sound an awful like GWB when you accuse me of being a Republican because I won't tow the Obama line.

"You're either with us or you're agin (sic) us"

Is that how it is, Marc?

Because I could apply the same reasoning to any LGBT person that gives Obama a pass on his sheepish opposition to Prop 8.

Are you a secret heterosexual trying to get Obama elected by encouraging his acquiescence to religious zealots determined to rip the equal protections away from LGBTs?

Come on, Marc...which is it? Are you with us or agin (sic) us?

I will sleep like a baby if I vote my conscience in November no matter who wins. It's called integrity.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 14, 2008 1:36 AM

Thanks Karen, it takes courage to report the truth and swim against the stream. In the frenzy of the campaign partisanship blinds some to the fact that what they're voting for is totally opposed to the interest of the GLBT communities. Their partisan victory is our defeat, and the bigger the Democrats win, the greater our defeat.

They and their Republican co-conspirators are totally hostile to our equality agenda and have been all along. There is absolutely no reason to think they’ll change, especially if they win big, because both parties are controlled by bigots.

Here are the facts. Bill and Hillary Clinton championed DOMA and he boasted about it in paid ads on bigoted christist media outlets. Biden voted for DOMA and DADT. They refuse to repeal them and instead demand that we accept the second class status inherent in civil unions. Pelosi, Frank, Reid and Kennedy gutted ENDA to please the Chamber of Commerce and Frank went out of his way to attack and goad transfolk to divide the LGBT communities. They deliberately sabotaged the Hate Crimes bill to avoid being seen as pro-GLBT. They won't even use the words LGBT in their platform. The DNC is a cesspool of homophobia. Biden and Obama stab us in the back every time they oppose treating us like first class citizens who have the simple right to marry.

They have no apologies for their bigotry and pandering to bigots.

Simply put, those are the actions of hostile enemies. Some people, for partisan reasons will support not only the bigotry of the Democrats, but their extension of the war and their program to impose austerity on working people. They want to be on the winning side instead of on the side of our communities and our agenda for equality.

That’s their right, but it’s our right to take that into account as we rebuild the movement when reality – the reality of war, bigotry and austerity – sits in after January 20th.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | October 14, 2008 3:30 AM

Yeah, very odd that two constitutional scholars on a historic 1/4 black ticket are arguing a racist position (separate is equal) that undermines the legal foundation of basic civil rights -- and that their party, which opposes racism in its platform, is saying nothing about it.

For Obama, is it yet another of those strange disconnects he seems to have with the average African-American's experience and cognizance of racist oppression?

One thing's for sure, it's why I continue to say that I cannot donate to the party itself, the DCCC, or the DSCC -- that I don't trust them anymore not to screw me -- and why I'm also saying that, not only wasn't I born Republican, I wasn't born a Democrat -- or yesterday.

Karen,

Democrats have not "thrown us under the bus." They've taken our vote, and placed in a meat grinder, placed us under the bus, and rolled over us forth and back.

I was quote surprised your article neglected the promises made by Bill Clinton, supported by Hillary Clinton, that he would give us rights if we voted for him. In return for our votes, we got Don't Ask, Don't tell, and DOMA, which I've heard in that, in some circles, he bragged about.

Sadly, I will vote for Mr. Obama, then take my claims through protest; a vote for McCain, or the absence of one, might set us back further. I refuse, however, to give Senator Obama a dime more of my time and money, as he has proven that his "Change we can believe in" is the same old thing: Continued oppression against Gays. Were one to take away his rights as a person of mixed-race often perceived as both black and a Muslim, there would be quite a different response.

The difference speaks volumes.

Democrats throw gays under the bus, gays throw trans under the bus, etc.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 14, 2008 9:40 AM

I reiterate, it has to be about organization, persistence and engagement after the election even more than before it. Voting, walking away and expecting congress to do the right thing without prodding is as ignorant as thinking that you can tell a four year old what they should be doing and leave them unsupervised all day.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 15, 2008 3:08 PM

What are you going on about now? Do you really believe no one here remembers the Democrats promises to end the war if they were elected in ’06 and all the wasted, if well intentioned, lobbying by antiwar groups for the last two years?

Did you think Mark Twain was kidding when he wondered if:

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress.

There was a Democratic majority in both houses for the last two years (and no whimpering about Lieberman; he, like most pro-war centrist rightwing Democrats could switch parties and nobody would even notice and their voting habits wouldn't change).

While the Democrats ran Congress dozens of LGBT groups including the experts at NLGTF lobbied hard and tirelessly for a hate crimes bill and ENDA and both were deliberately trashed by Democrats. SLDN and others lobbied against DADT but only got about a fourth of the Democratic controlled Congress to support repeal. We’ve been there, done that, and got pushed under the bus for our efforts. Again and again.

Instead of helping, lobbying proved to be a sinkhole swallowing the energies of activists. That will change when even more bigots, Wall Street toadies and prowar Democrats are elected. People will begin, are beginning, to see that reliance on either of the parties of the rich and the government they own is a dead end. Mass action will begin to replace lobbying bigots about bigotry on January 20th.

I stand with all my trans family. I was practically raise by the transgender element of BAGLY, the boston alliance of gay and lesbian youth; while others made me feel bad about myself, they taught me the importance of being who I am transcends contstructs. If I can help you, do not hesitate to contact me. I am with you.

As for the rest of the GLBTQQ community. Only by acknowledging, and then moving past, our differences for the greater good of us all will be able to stand against oppression. This includes reaching out and supporting other oppressed groups. We can be leaders and followers; however, I'd like to be one of the leaders of unity.

Sing it! We are family!

Get under this bus. What you don't want to get all dirty with us trannies? They don't care about our infighting and backstabbing and political screwyaovers (maybe amused)to them you and I are "Queers". Have a nice day.

Remember I'm a NeoCon, so biased etc etc.

But to answer your question of course the DNC, and Obama in particular, are throwing GLBTs under the bus! What possible downside does it have for them. Who are GLBTs going to vote for, McCain?

I think the above is objectively factual. Now for something that will be perceived as biased. Remember though that I'm Australian, so have no dog in this hunt.

Obama is a Chicago Machine politician. He is whatever he needs to be to get elected. Associated with racist churches? Why not, if there's votes in it. Associated with genuine and unrepentant terrorists? Why not, if it's popular.

That doesn't mean he's "pals" with them. The nanosecond they cease to be assets and become liabilities, out they go, ditched as fast as he'd ditch his own grandmother. In fact, as fast as he did ditch his own grandmother.

So please don't expect him to do anything other than what is most expedient. The key to securing GLBT rights - or the support of any other cause you care about - under the upcoming Obama Presidency is to show that it will be personally advantageous to him.

Of course, once he's in power, once he no longer has to make the concessions, the deals and the compromises needed, he may remember the Idealism that caused him to go into politics in the first place. I saw that happen with George Bush. But it certainly didn't happen with Bill Clinton, and I see Obama as being in the same mold.

Maybe not under the bus, but definitely at the back of the bus!

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 14, 2008 1:44 PM

No, Bil. I think you’re wrong.

Maybe you could say that they put us in the back of the bus when the Democrats herded LGBT delegates back in the closet in '04. Likewise when Obama refused to mention our name so as not to offend... who? Religious bigots. That kind of crap is par for the course for Democrats and happens on a regular basis.

But DOMA, written by Gingrich and championed by the Democrats knight in shining straight armor, King Bill, defender of the faith, etc. - that was under the bus. When he bought time on southern baptist bigot radio outlets to brag about it that was under the bus. So was DADT. So was what Frank did to ENDA. And ditching the Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill after it passed both houses was a stab in the back. How many LGBT youth have been harassed, beaten or killed since last December because thugs were emboldened by Pelosi’s and Reid’s backstabbing?

The thing that’s key here is that Obama is fully conscious of what he’s doing. Like Clinton, he’s the recipient of an enviable education. Clinton was fully aware that DOMA and DADT were bigoted bills. Obama is fully aware that he’s segregating us, making us vulnerable to political and physical attack. He could care less. As usual, we’re expendable.

Obama and Clinton are unrepentant hustlers cut from the same mold; they’re in it for the power and the money and our equality agenda will never be allowed to get in the way of their real goals. Ka-ching!

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 14, 2008 1:56 PM

For those who think ENDA and the hate crimes bill were the only backstabbing we got from Democrats here’s a transcription of the infamous radio ads which your contributions paid for in ’96. They ran on Southern christist radio stations where much of the audience drools, plays the banjo and dances with rattlers. They also have an extra set of sheets on hand for “Sunday go to meetin’ time.

CLINTON CHRISTIAN RADIO AD
TRANSCRIBED OCTOBER 14, 1996

"Protecting religious freedom. It's the foundation of our nation.

"When the Justice Department went after a church to gather the parishioners' tithing money, the government was stopped cold because President Clinton overturned the government's policy and protected us. It's not the only time he's defended our values. Don't be misled by Bob Dole's attack ads.

"President Clinton wants a complete ban on late term abortions except when the mother's life is in danger or faces severe health risks, such as the inability to have another child.

"The President signed the Defense of Marriage Act, supports curfews and school uniforms to teach our children discipline.

"The President enacted the V-chip to block out violent TV programs. His crime bill expanded the death penalty for drug kingpins. Bob Dole opposed him and is resorting to untrue negative attacks. President Clinton has fought for our values and America is better for it.

"Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96"

Sound familiar? Does it sound like “God’s in the mix”? No doubt about it.

http://www-cgi.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/analysis/time/9611/23/kramer/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6415858/site/newsweek/


THANK YOU for stating the obvious instead of pandering to Obama and Biden's sell-out antics just like the Democratic Party is pandering to sell-out "centrism". I have had enough. Who says it's even a given that I will be voting for Obama? I am registered to vote in the highly blue state of California, and Obama is going to win the electoral votes anyway. How can I cast my absentee ballot in favor of him and Biden, knowing that they sell me out at all opportune moments?

The tepid support of gay rights by many Dems is cowardly; even when it costs you politically, you should always stand up for what's right. There should never be a call to wait for justice; some Dems did just that with civil rights in the 1960s as well, but it's hard to wait when you're the one being stomped on.

The tepid support of gay rights by many Dems is cowardly; even when it costs you politically, you should always stand up for what's right. There should never be a call to wait for justice; some Dems did just that with civil rights in the 1960s as well, but it's hard to wait when you're the one being stomped on.

beachcomberT | October 18, 2008 11:33 PM

GLBT people in heavily blue states could consider voting for 3rd party candidates to make a protest statement. Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney and several others all have platforms that unequivocally support gay rights. Sen. Obama, for all his fine principles and knowledge of constitutional law, still keeps citing religious reasons for his opposition to gay marriage. Gay people are not asking for any religious rights -- it's civil, i.e. secular, rights we're seeking.

I speak with love and respect, fully acknowledging that as a straight ally, I have no reason to demand a hearing, but I request one.

Division has been both strategy and tactics for Rove and his disciples.

I suggest we don't fall for it.

I recommend that instead of voting for Obama, Americans vote against McCain/Palin.

And I suggest that we vote against them effectively. The effective way to vote against a team that we know will actively be our enemies is to vote for Obama, not in the hope that he'll be a reliable shield and advocate, but in the hope that he won't destroy us, and occasionally might listen and respect us. McCain and Palin don't just lack the willingness to listen and respect us, they lack the capacity.

As to voting for 3rd party candidates as a protest, I suggest people go find a country where that will work. Please don't fuck up this country with tactics we already know won't work.

I don't think we win with this election. We win by organizing and pulling all the levers. I won't settle for holding off a disaster. Being patient isn't in me. I believe this is what we can do now. And what we can do tomorrow we must do tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that.

And if you find yourselves able to put in a word from time to time for a group with even less acceptance and influence - us atheists - I'd appreciate it.

Rev. Bob, your opinions don’t amount to much more that partisanship, and that’s what got us into this mess in the first place.

You warn that “Division has been both strategy and tactics for Rove and his disciples.” And it’s true, but who did Rove learn it from? From Bill Clinton, that’s who. He promised the moon and the stars but delivered DOMA and DADT. Clinton is the mold from which opportunist hustlers like Obama are made. As proof positive, Obama uses the same divisive bigotry in his own campaign. He masks his prejudiced views about same sex marriage under the guise of superstition: “god’s in the mix”. Obama’s party gutted ENDA and trashed the hate crimes bill.

You tell us that “I recommend that instead of voting for Obama, Americans vote against McCain/Palin.” That’s silly. If we vote at all it should be to oppose or support political programs, but Obama and McCain have none of significant differences. It’s as lame and desperate as the plea to vote for Obama “ in the hope that he won't destroy us, and occasionally might listen and respect us." You'd better not just hope for that. The fact that you and tens of millions don't know that for a fact fully justifies the cynicism of most working people about Obama and McCain.

Then you exclaim "As to voting for 3rd party candidates as a protest, I suggest people go find a country where that will work. Please don't fuck up this country with tactics we already know won't work." Here’s a news flash, Rev., the US has been fucked up and fucked over sans KY by the two centrist parties since Lincoln’s assassination. Voting for one long string of lesser evils is what’s fucked up and it led to the situation we now face – unchecked bigotry, war and economic disaster.

As the fellow atheist I support criminal penalties for any cults that interfere on any level in civil affairs. We have to keep superstition out of marriage, education, the courts and government in general. The cults are part of the entertainment industry and should be taxed as such, and then there’s the question of back taxes...

Bill, we all know about Nader's voters in Florida in 2000. Even if it really was Harris telling her consultants "Strike some more people with Hispanic names off the voter rolls" and not Nader, it still comes own to this: show me something that works and I'm all over it.

I simply can't stand to see McCain and Palin swept into office by these folks.

I especially can't stand to see those folks further empowered.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 19, 2008 4:35 PM

Bob, it doesn't matter if it was Nader or not. The centrist and right wing policies of Democrats - not their supporters but the people who own that party - is what defeats them, time and again.

The 2000 race was lost because people were tired of being lied to about DOMA, DADT, NAFTA, and deregulation, tired of wars in the Middle East and the Balkans and costly bungled interventions like Somalia. And they lost a certain amount of respect guffawing and chortling at Clintons remarks about his “not’ sex with Monica, her of the cum stained blue dress.

The truth remains that Gore supported all of Clinton’s policies, including his bigotry against us, his union busting and deregulation and his genocide in Iraq. Gore deserved to lose because there were no differences between him and Bush, or Kerry and Bush. Not in practice, at any rate.

Elections are not the agent of change. Mass movements like the civil rights, antiwar and union movements are the vehicles for the kind of fundamental change we need. Elections are just a side show they run up every few years to bamboozle people.

It's not winning elections that matters so much as the awful hangover we get for the next 4-8 years.

Rev. Bob, your opinions don’t amount to much more that partisanship, and that’s what got us into this mess in the first place.

You warn that “Division has been both strategy and tactics for Rove and his disciples.” And it’s true, but who did Rove learn it from? From Bill Clinton, that’s who. He promised the moon and the stars but delivered DOMA and DADT. Clinton is the mold from which opportunist hustlers like Obama are made. As proof positive, Obama uses the same divisive bigotry in his own campaign. He masks his prejudiced views about same sex marriage under the guise of superstition: “god’s in the mix”. Obama’s party t gutted ENDA and trashed the hate crimes bill.

You tell us that “I recommend that instead of voting for Obama, Americans vote against McCain/Palin.” That’s silly. If we vote at all it should be to oppose or support political programs, but Obama and McCain have none of significant differences. It’s as lame and desperate as the plea to vote for Obama “ in the hope that he won't destroy us, and occasionally might listen and respect us." You'd better not just hope for that. The fact that you and tens of millions don't know that for a fact fully justifies the cynicism of most working people about Obama and McCain.

Then you exclaim "As to voting for 3rd party candidates as a protest, I suggest people go find a country where that will work. Please don't fuck up this country with tactics we already know won't work." Here’s a news flash, Rev., the US has been fucked up and fucked over sans KY by the two centrist parties since Lincoln’s assassination. Voting for one long string of lesser evils is what’s fucked up and it led to the situation we now face – unchecked bigotry, war and economic disaster.

As the fellow atheist I support criminal penalties for any cults that interfere on any level in civil affairs. We have to keep superstition out of marriage, education, the courts and government in general. The cults are part of the entertainment industry and should be taxed as such, and then there’s the question of back taxes...

then there’s the question of back taxes...

You left out reparations.

I wish you knew how much I hated what FORGE said about baby steps. Not FORGE hirself, but the notion of waiting longer.

How long do we have to wait? I do not want the choices in front of me now to be the only choices.

I hate it that I can see the goal and that I'm too stupid or weak to get from here to there,

I perhaps wasn't clear. One of the rules of war (and they have declared war upon love and equality), is to know one's adversary. I am willing to give Mr.Obama a chance, once he is in office, to change his way, except opposite the way Mr. Clinton did.

There is much at stake here, and when the path is unclear, patience is key. If and only if Mr. Obama is elected will we see his true intentions. If he is helping us through subterfuge, that will become immediately apparent. If he was pandering for votes, that will also be apparent.

Because we believe in courtesy, we will ask once, politely, for Mr. Obama to support full equality for GLBT people, including the right to civil marriage. If he equivocates, make no mistake:

I pity the man who follows the lessons of the past, taking our votes and casting us aside. I sigh for him, because he is looking for trouble. The time for discussion will have ended, and the time for action will begin.

Not violent action; however. It will be the job of us leaders to join together in common interest, embolden those who are still afraid, and march, as one voice, to the gates of the White House. From California to the New York Island. Those who cannot walk, we will carry, if they are willing. It is our job to lead; not complain. I will stand for up for us, and I will bring every person I know to do the same. That is the power of WE.

We will bring with us our supporters. We will join with any group who will join with us. We will advocate for all causes that face oppression. And we will be heard. So, please avoid hate, avoid judgment. Have patience until the path is clear; then act, swiftly decisively, and with all groups who will join us.

We are not alone. We cannot blame a government for withholding our rights when we elect these people. They answer to us. And we will be heard as one voice.

There is no negotiating love; it is not only a fundamental human right, but it is the essence of our existence.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 19, 2008 9:47 PM

Damn, I always forget reparatons.

Especailly for all those altar boys with torn asses and shattered egos.

Rev. Bob:

There is a time to make a stand, and a time to take baby steps. As much as I hate Obama's: Change we can Believe in: Continued Oppression of Gays. He is our most viable option towards moving towards equality at the moment.

I have told his people: I donated, I listened. Barack Obama has my vote. I will give him no more than that because he is smart enough, as is Senator Biden, to comprehend the difference between civil and religious marriage.

One is ordained by the state; the other, by the church. There is no reason we can't have both. If churches decide they wish to marry gays and it fits their creed, fine and when they force their values on the rest of us in the name of their religion, that is not fine.

If Mr. Obama becomes president (I hate the word "win" for it's not a race; it's a question of leadership. I will be sending letters, getting support, and showing up on his doorstep requesting what is rightfully ours. This is not referendum on civil rights or marriage. It is a referendum on love. This is an unalienable right, in my opinion, which supercedes all. Even the the Christian's Jesus Christ said "I give you a new commandment, love one another; love yourself, and your neighbor as yourself, there are no commandments greater than these." And yet, these false believers continue to impose their views in the name of religion.

My version of God as I know it is called "WE" we are God and that is all of us. The "good", the "bad", the "right", the "wrong." None of that is relevant.

Relationships are, for without knowing the "WE," our lives are empty, suspicious of the constructed other that is simply us reflected differently. We all share a reality and pain, and fear and we all experience it differently; that is our weakness and strength.

When we get past the other and see the WE in us, we learn to focus more on relationships instead of concepts. Let us build a bridge instead of putting up walls to make a statement that will only hurt us all.

I really like that answer: civil rights of partners and partnerships are inherent and it's the business of the government to guarantee those rights against those who would try to take them away. And marriage is the business of churches.

What's left is that somebody, religious or civil, needs to be designated as competent to certify that the partners are alive and did show up with the intention of being married or committed to a permanent relationship , and said so in public.

It comes close to what Biden said too.

Now all we have to do is get it on the table and work to get it passed.