When some in the LGBT community declared Obama a failure on LGBT issues before he had even been sworn into office, we ignore what we and Barack Obama are really up against.
"I can assure you that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will understand that Katon Dawson will become their worst nightmare."
Dawson is one of the leading contenders to head the RNC and he's made clear that even as the country faces enormous challenges that will require swift and bold action he is committed to the same partisan warfare practiced by Bush, Cheney and Rove. He promises more of the slash and burn tactics that the Republican Party has used against the Democratic Party for three decades and you can bet your Madonna CD collection that a key part of the Republican strategy of obstruction and distraction will be attacks against LGBT people and our families.
Like Joan Garry, I believe the LGBT community and our allies should engage in a "constructive impatience" that shows political savvy, doesn't look for anti-gay slights behind every action or mishap and helps to achieve concrete gains that provide real world benefit for LGBT people and our families.
We should continue to press the Democratic Party to makes its words reality and pass legislation providing equal rights for LGBT people and we should hold Obama to the promises he made on the campaign trail, but we should not forget that it is the Republican Party that has repeatedly used LGBT people as a political wedge issue to divide us from other Americans and win elections.
In 2008 their appeals to prejudice and ignorance failed, but don't think that will stop their political gay-bashing.
Having Barack Obama in the White House and strong Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate, gives us the best chance ever to pass pro-LGBT legislation including an inclusive ENDA, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act and repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. We can't afford to blow this enormous opportunity by giving in to despair over issues that while important are more symbol than substance.
Our challenge is to fuse the hope that has ignited a nationwide commitment to progressive change with our passion for justice and equality. If we do that, we can make unimaginable progress over the next four years that will make past achievements pale in comparison.