As with his Pride Month Proclamation a few weeks ago, President Obama yesterday lauded the minor incremental baby steps his administration has taken to protect a relative handful of LGBT Americans while relegating the workplace rights of the vast majority of our community who do not work for the federal government in some capacity to the Democratic Party's back burner. In concert with his Pride Month Proclamation, Obama chose not to mention the Employment Non-Discrimination Act by name in his speech to LGBT activists and media celebrities at the White House yesterday, instead saying only that "We are pushing hard to pass an inclusive employee non-discrimination bill. No one in America should be fired because they're gay. It's not right, it's not who we are as Americans, and we are going to put a stop to it."
Since the President had no trouble mentioning the other pro-LGBT initiatives his administration supports by name and with the actual steps the Administration is taking to see them enacted, it's clear that he's decided to gloss over the fact that despite all of their promises to the contrary the other 99.999% of the LGBT American workforce are being thrown under the bus yet again by a Democratic Party which continues to refuse to show real leadership on the issues that matter most in the lives of LGBT Americans when it presents even the slightest difficulty or inconvenience to the Party or its members, regardless of whether or not it's an election year.
In other words, what we heard yesterday is nothing more than just another promise of still more nibbling by the Nibbler Party at the issues that most significantly impact the lives of LGBT Americans, this time coming directly from the Nibbler-In-Chief.
It's important to remember that the vast majority of the apology crumbs the Nibbler Party and the Nibbler-in-Chief have been tossing our way these last few months will almost certainly not survive the election of the next anti-LGBT administration. Just as the LGBT-protective regulations and executive orders instituted by Bill Clinton were wiped out or simply ignored once the Bush Administration took office, so too can we expect these protections now being instituted by the Obama Administration to simply disappear like vapor, as if they never were, once a future President who is hostile to LGBT equality takes office.
Clearly, the Democrats from Obama on down are still trying to convince us that they're making real and lasting progress on LGBT rights and equality when in reality nothing could be further from the truth. What we're seeing here isn't real leadership or progress but simply the application of palliative, temporary band-aids designed to present the illusion of actual progress on equality for LGBT Americans in an election year, but without the relative permanence of legislated law to prevent a future administration from simply eliminating these protections at their whim in the same way as the Bush Administration did.
It's easy to tell when Obama and the Democrats are serious about making progress on LGBT rights or on any important issue facing our nation. Look at the courage they showed on health care reform. Consider Obama's refusal to issue an executive order repealing DADT and instead insisting on a legislative solution to ensure its continuance past his Presidency. Now, aside from the easily-passable bipartisan "gimme" that was the hate crimes bill, compare that to how the Obama Administration has dealt with every other "advance" they've made in terms of LGBT equality.
Let's not forget how, unlike when he was still running for office, the President now only speaks of protecting the bulk of the American LGBT workforce in abstract terms, as something he'd like to do in the future, rather than something he and his Party are taking real, definable, concrete steps to accomplish. The difference between the rhetoric employed by Candidate Obama and President Obama sends a clear message to the vast majority of civilian LGBT American workers who are not federal government employees, that he and his cowardly Democratic Party cohorts have already decided to cut their losses on ENDA for this Congressional session, throw the bulk of our community under the bus yet again, and instead will try to ensure LGBT community support for their candidates at election time by handing us yet another well-polished turd and offering it up as evidence of real progress.
In a nutshell, just as with every other major issue that is or has been on the table since the beginning of this Administration, if President Obama and the Democratic Party were finally truly getting serious about workplace equality for LGBT Americans they'd be advocating our issues in a way that implies it, as they've done and are doing with other issues. Instead, they're doing the precisely the opposite, building elegant-looking sand castles that will likely only survive until the next homo-transphobic political wave crashes upon our shores and washes it all away.
Don't be fooled by all the pretty words, the politically-convenient half-measures, and the vague, unsubstantiated promises. This is nothing more than the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party putting on yet another election year pro-LGBT extravaganza for us to attract the attention of the media and the accolades of the activists, while still being unwilling to do the hard work and expend the necessary political capital to honor their promises to make true equality for all American citizens a priority for the Democratic Party and a reality in this country.