Action: Add your name to our open letter to the Dems on ENDA and repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell!
Dr. Jillian Weiss has written here before about Democrats' excuses for not bringing ENDA up. At this point, it's become political fear. There are any number of Dems considering voting against both ENDA and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The Administration hasn't lifted a finger to help repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell and even actively undermined it. Despite large majorities, the party which always receives the overwhelming majority of gay votes at all levels of government is not delivering on its promises.
So, it's time to re-evaluate this relationship.
OpenLeft, my home blog, is joining with our friends at the Courage Campaign, AMERICABlog and CREDO Action to write an open letter on behalf of the gay community to Dems who are considering throwing us under the bus.
The letter is after the jump, with more on why we're doing this.
Yesterday, you may have just received the following e-mail we sent out to our OpenLeft Action list:
Ever feel like the relationship you once thought you had just isn't working out?
Yeah, I feel that way too.
About the Democratic Party.
In fact, I talked to some friends of mine at AMERICABlog, the Courage Campaign and CREDO Action, and found out that when it comes to the Democrats fighting for LGBT equality, they feel the exact same way. We all felt so strongly about it, we thought it was time to write a letter about it.
Click here to read our open letter. If it says just what you're feeling, sign your name onto it. We will deliver it to Democratic leadership.
Please click here to sign onto the letter. We will deliver your signatures to Democratic Party leadership. This goes for straight allies out there too - we have to support each other.
We wrote this because Democrats know full well the LGBT community is base constituency that put their butts in office. If we don't move on ENDA and DADT this year, they also know full well it will be years until we do. Promises need to be kept, and those have to start with the Democrats. It has to start with Dems like Heath Shuler acting like real Democrats and it has to start with the Democratic leadership in Congress and the White House.
Otherwise, as the title of this post suggests, this relationship isn't working out, and that will be apparent come November, as LGBT individuals all across the country are wondering where our fierce advocate is in the White House and when Congressional Democrats will keep their promises.
And please share with friends after you sign using Facebook, Twitter and MySpace shareable links, as well as e-mail. We will deliver your signatures to Democratic leadership to make it clear that they need to keep their promises... or we need to re-evaluate this relationship come the fall.
We need to talk.
This may be a hard letter to read, but I need to figure out if this relationship is still healthy for me.
For the longest time, I thought we had something special. Remember how much fun we used to have back when we were young, and control of the Congress and the presidency was just a crazy dream? You always used to ask me for help, and you knew I'd never turn you down.
You were so adorable when we were courting. Sure, you never really understood me, but I liked that you seemed to try. The White House cocktail parties were totally fun, and that Easter Egg Roll is something I'll always cherish. Or remember the time you let me march in the Inaugural parade! Other than that whole Rick Warren thing, I really thought we had a connection.
I know you kept telling me that you weren't ready for marriage, but I was willing to wait since you had promised so much else in the meantime.
But now, I've kind of had it. I'm just not getting what I need out of this relationship. You rarely call me anymore, and when you do it's to ask for money. We talked about joining the military together -- but now it seems like you are flaking on that commitment. You promised to protect me from the homophobes at work, but you don't seem to be in a hurry to actually do it. And that Department of Justice brief thing was just cruel. I'll never understand why you did that.
It almost seems like you're embarrassed by me in public. I know not everyone in your family approves of us, but before you got your new job, it seemed like you didn't care what they thought and were always ready to fight for me. Now, it's like you're a different person.
Please don't take this the wrong way. I still think we have a future. I want us to have a future. But I need this relationship to be healthy for both of us. And I just can't get excited anymore by your empty promises and half-gestures.
I need you to take a real step. You know what I'm talking about -- the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell.
I still worry every day that I can be fired in 29 states just because I'm gay. And my friend who is transgender can be fired in 38 states. I know you can do it. You've helped protect people from employment discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, disability and many other characteristics. Each time my friend and I have been left behind. It's our turn. ENDA's time has come.
It's our turn to be welcomed into the military as well. I want to serve my country openly and proudly. I was so excited when you promised you would repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell this year after 17 long years of putting up with it.
Now, I can't even get you to talk about DADT.
You promised to change. I know that you can. But why should I stand by your side when you can't keep your promises to me?
I get that you're scared. But I'm scared too -- scared of losing you. You need to prove to me that you really care. You need to finally give me the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, like you promised.
I have enough disappointments in my life. I need you to not be one of them.
(and all those who love and care about them)
Click here to sign our open letter asking Dems to keep their promises and get it done.