Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Today's White House Briefing on LGBT Issues: The President Is "Very Supportive"

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | July 01, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: LGBT media, Melody Barnes, White House, White House Domestic Policy Council

The White House Office of Media Affairs today held a briefing for LGBT media with Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Melody Barnes.melody_barnes.jpg

The subject was the Obama Administration's activities around LGBT issues.

I was there representing The Bilerico Project. It was thrilling to travel to DC and go to the White House. We met in the Secretary of War suites. The walls were intricately carved and there were beautiful old portraits on the walls. The table was a gorgeous antique and our nameplates were set out on the table. I sat with some well known names in LGBT news. And with one of the President's top advisers. She is as beautiful as her picture and as intelligent as her reputation. I felt honored. I felt flattered. But I also remembered that I was there to do a job. Jobs aren't always pleasant.

The highlight of the briefing was finding out that the President is very supportive of ENDA. What is he doing to support it? What will he be doing to drive it? That's after the jump.

The most surprising thing was not getting my question answered. What happened? Well, that's after the jump too. Perhaps you will be as pleased as I was.

Yes, jobs aren't always pleasant. There was a lot of talk there, more than I can give you on the fly as I sit typing this post on my cellphone at the local coffee shop down the street from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I will review my notes and report more fully tomorrow.

Let me tell you what I asked and what she answered. When my turn came, I thanked her for all the executive branch activity in support of LGBT rights, as well as their support of the hate crimes bill. But I handed her the NCTE fact sheet on ENDA and noted that the trans community has 35% unemployment, with 60% of us under $15,000 in income, 26% of us having been fired because of our gender identity, 97% having been harassed on the job, and worse in communities of color. I noted that Congressional leadership seems reluctant to drive ENDA including Rep. Speier's "within 5 years" comment. I pointed up that, as she said, the President has not shied away from the bully pulpit, and pushed the Congressional leadership on DADT in the State of the Union Address, but hasn't mentioned ENDA. I asked how he will push ENDA in the future, or will he leave it up to the reluctant leadership?

She started by noting that predictions of legislative behavior are just that -- predictions, and not reality. She also noted he has mentioned ENDA, and that he believes it should be integrated into the agenda. He has articulated his support and will continue to. "We are not a barrier," she said. But, she continued, "we look to the Senate leadership; they know what we support and if the President were to push issues it would be a long list. It's up to them."

I wanted to ask if this was the "fierce advocacy" he had mentioned, but my turn was up.

I had a chance at a second question later.

I asked if she could make the case for why LGBT people concerned about workplace discrimination should actively focus on the midterm elections to elect Democrats when the Democrats' support of LGBT rights is so passive -- spoken about but not acted upon.

She declined to answer. Her area, she said, isn't politics. It's policy. I was later told that the reason she declined to answer is that Administration officials are not permitted to advocate directly for political parties in elections.

I would have thought the two go together, but perhaps that will be covered in another b riefing.

I enjoyed meeting Melody Barnes. She was genuine, personable, and very, very smart and knowledgeable. I am genuinely thankful for the work she and the other members of the Administration, including the President, have put in on LGBT rights.

But I don't feel like I walked out with any more information than I walked in with. I already knew that the President was letting the legislative branch get away with ignoring LGBT rights.

I'd like to be able to say I was satisfied with these answers. I'm sure you'd like to say nice things too. But it seems we have a fundamental disagreement with the President as to what his job is. Is it to lead -- or to follow?

Oh, he's led on plenty of legislative issues. Health care. Financial reform. And a bunch of others. But not on our issues. On that it's "up to them."

It's not very pleasant top have to report this. But jobs aren't always pleasant.

This is part of a series of posts based on the White House briefing. The next in the series can be found here.


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The Senate.

That remains the problem. The President can't change that reality and HRC's millions wasted on "lobbying" can't deliver even a single changed vote. Senators won't change their minds until polling data forces them to.

Only changing minds will provide any progress. The President just confirmed that.

Only WE can change minds. Someday we'll invest in that instead of politics.

Thank-you Jillian for your tireless efforts and you make a great representative for the LGBT Media and community.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 2, 2010 2:28 AM

Don't be daft.

The problem is not the Senate. It's not Rahm Emanuel. It's not the House and it's definitely not the polls. It's not any of those excuses.

The rot starts at the top.

It's the bigoted leadership of the White House and the DNC in particular and the Democrats in general. Some are bigots and most pander to bigots.

It's the Democrats turn to drive the bigot bus. Clinton had his turn with DADT and DOMA, then Bush2 and about 40 state DOMAs and now Obama's in the drivers seat and as usual we're the target.

Most effective way to change the senate:

Vote in people who give a damn.

Preferably LGBT folks.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 2, 2010 2:33 AM

LGBT folks. Absolutely!

Unless they're Democrats or Republicans.

They're not on our side, and they all, sooner, rather than later, become net liablities like Barney Frank.

Her response is the equivalent of "sorry, not my table".

If she's there to tell us how much Obama thinks of us, that - im my very humble opinion - is stating policy *and* politics. I too would like to know where all the "fierce advicacy" went. Why are ENDA, DoMA, and DADT just sitting there while everyone says how much they really, really, really want them to go through... someday, somehow, somewhere.

I'm suddenly having a Sondheim moment, which seems appropriate, given how much of the nonsense around these issues is the equivalent of musical theatre.

We don't have the votes to pass ENDA, DADT Repeal or DOMA Repeal.

We don't have the votes to pass ENDA, DADT Repeal or DOMA Repeal.

We don't have the votes to pass ENDA, DADT Repeal or DOMA Repeal.

If you read Glenn Greenwald and anyone at Firedoglake, you'd see the arguments and facts, too detailed to bore anyone here, that whatever Obama really wants, most of the time he gets.

Of course we dont. Nor will we ever. But certain politicians will always tell us how much they really wish they did... and fools that we are, we'll believe them.

I think we have a chance to change the Senate in 2012, but only if we change some minds. That will require work - for us, not Gay Inc., or even activists, but ALL of us.

Yeah well, good luck with that, Andrew. Let me know how well it succeeds. As long as we're in this recession/depression/"economic downturn"/whatever the hall they call it this week... *nothing* is going to change. No politician is going to risk his/her neck on us, not in a time when it's a 24/7 re-election cycle.

I mean, let's think about this, shall we? Folks are scrambling for jobs, any kind of job -- and we honestly think Congress is gonna push through something that will make the job market even tighter, that will take away one more edge for Joe Redneck out there to get something? And when there's a helluva lot more Joe Rednecks than there are us, our esteemed friends inside the Beltway are gonna look at which side of the bread has more butter on it.

These are the post-Bush paranoid times we live in. We can dress it up with deep political analysis and a whole lot of economic theory from university class... but that's the bottom line.

So like I say, let me know how well that works for you.

That's fine Sean. You can do nothing. But, simply crying about the current economic circumstances doesn't change anything. Only WE can.

Then let's get everyone we can to call their senators, representatives, Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi every day. You might tell me that won't help. You could be right. But how many people really call? And more than once? Voting for a politician isn't enough. They don't know which of many promises matters most to you. And they all worry about being re-elected.

I'm getting close to taking the risk of putting Dems out of office if they won't move on LGBT rights. That is saying a lot given how much the GOP actually terrifies me. But maybe if we give a few "the pink slip" they'll get the message and realize that people who support equality are constituents with money and power.
P.S. You need more straight people calling too.

While there might be satisfaction in kicking the bums out, which is what will happen to a large degree--midterms kick out the White House party--at the end of the day all you'll have is Republicans and Tea Partiers.

And not voting will have the same effect.

What is more effective is to challenge them for their nominations, though it is probably a bit late for many races.

Making progressive organizations stand up and shout out may be the only tool left to ensure some semblance of a positive government remains.

It not be PC to say it, but if we have to jettison the transgender piece of ENDA now, we should. It is wrong to forego rights for 15 or 20 million gay people because we cannot yet get the same protections enacted for the 300 or 400k transgender folks in the US. We should can continue to fight for rights for everyone. But the trans community has more work to do to gain support of the American public, work that has already been done by gay people.

By all means, let's get an inclusive ENDA but if the choice is, as it looks like, gay-only now or nothing at all now -- with a GOP House looking increasingly likely, would you sacrafice the rights of 20 million people? I wouldn't.

No group has ever rejected a civil rights law because not everyone was covered. Did black people reject the civil rights acts because there wasn't gender equality or an ADA?

Take what can be gotten now AND build on it.

The problems with what you propose Chris, in removing gender identity and expression protections from ENDA are many.

For one, many Gay and Lesbian individuals who do experience issues do not experience it because they are gay or lesbian but because the gender expression normally falls outside the norm.

But beyond that, history has already shown us (As in the SONDA/GENDA issue in New York that 'comming back for the rest' rarely happens. Incrementalism is only incrementalism if we all move forward a bit together.

If civil rights had been passed only for the 'light skinned' african americans, would that have been okay? To me the idea you propose seems the same thing.

When we start splitting this community up and allowing some to move forward while others are held back we are no longer a community and give up the power that that community offers.

Chris I'll agree with you as long as the title is amended to GLENDA so that it is clear that it is the gay and lesbian employment non discrimination act. I believe in "truth in advertising".

Oh, and while we're at it and since there are so few transsexuals can't we at least use some of the unspent stimulus money to cover medical care for transsexuals? Why not at least give them a few boob jobs and genital reconfiguration dollars and perhaps some housing subsidies and extended unemployment? That should cost society a lot less than extra bathrooms and could even be budget neutral if we shortened the war in Afghanistan by a few days.

Now why wouldn't the right wing sign on to such a sensible approach?

I'd rather see done what we did in Minnesota. We have ENDA level protections, but gender identity isn't mentioned. Instead sexual orientation is defined in such a manner that gender identity is covered. The law is here.

"Subd. 44. Sexual orientation. "Sexual orientation" means having or being perceived as
having an emotional, physical, or sexual attachment to another person without regard to the sex of that person or having or being perceived as having an orientation for such attachment, or having or being perceived as having a self-image or identity not traditionally associated with one's biological maleness or femaleness. "Sexual orientation" does not include a physical or sexual attachment to children by an adult."
[emphasis added]

I realize this is redefining words, but I'm interested in getting the protection, not so much about the linguistics of it. People know what is meant by "sexual orientation," they don't know what is meant by "gender identity."

Ah, dude, there are about 3 MILLION trans people in this country. On top of that, dumping "gender identity" would put at risk all but the straight-passing gay, lesbian and bisexual people. By adding that 3 million trans people with the gender non-conforming gay, lesbian and bisexual people, you will have more than the straight-looking L&G people. If you want to bitch about numbers, then you lose.

That's assuming that the gender expression of gender non-conforming gay and lesbian people isn't already covered by sexual orientation--as it is in Canada.

But then, there is probably no similarity between the way law works in Canada and the way it works in America.

Many times I wish our laws worked like they do in Canada.

Jockstraps and Bras are both supportive but if they're not supporting me then I get a new one.

I'm shopping for a new one.

"The President Is "Very Supportive""

Whew! Thank god. For a minute there I thought he didn't give a damn! Unlike Chris, who is happy to come back for us. Maybe. All Trannies to the back of the bus please! Or under, as the case may be.

Who do you think has been pushing for your rights all these years Chris?

When Jill and I talked on the phone after she filed her report, I told her that this article was classic Bilerico. The Dems have invited us to a meeting to tell us how great they are and then when you challenge them by bringing up something they're punting on, they just remind you how great they are and tell you they're "working on it." Bah. With friends like these...

Why do you ignore the reality of the US Senate?

Certainly it is easy to be upset and even frustrated with Obama (and Democrats), but how do you ignore the fact that we don't have enough votes to pass the Congress?

Perhaps you're willing to admit that the President cannot put pressure on US Senators? Now, would be a good time for that acknowledgement.

HRC, armed with $50 million a year can't change a single US Senators mind/vote with all their "lobbying," and neither can the President. He doesn't have any "influence" over "moral issues," either. We do. That's the work that needs to be done, not continuing to believe that politics will set us free. That's our job.

"We are not a barrier"

So much for advocacy, fierce or otherwise.

I suggest that we not be a barrier to democrats getting re-elected. We'll just stay home. Or maybe vote against, but not actually campaign for the opposition.

If Obama really wanted things--like the health insurance reform, the bank bailout, financial regulation--he'd probably get it.

Things that he doesn't really care about, like repeal of DADT he doesn't get, which he then uses to put off consideration of ENDA.

After November the only thing likely to pass are the recommendations of the Debt/Catfood Commission.

Few of the Democratic base will turn out, Republicans will return with control of Congress--and the Contract with America will seem like some Leftist dream

Dr. Weiss -

This is the important point that needs a response:

"I asked if she could make the case for why LGBT people concerned about workplace discrimination should actively focus on the midterm elections to elect Democrats when the Democrats' support of LGBT rights is so passive -- spoken about but not acted upon."

You said it. Some of you were able to make it to this odd little meeting about nothing and the question remains: Why? What was the point of bringing anyone together at short notice?

What do they want from us?

Spell it out.

Thank you for making the point for us. Hopefully it wasn't just wasted on an administration deeply invested in appearing that they give a shit.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 2, 2010 4:06 AM

Democrat politicians can kiss babies and make promises like nobody's business but in essence they're not our friends, they're our enemies.

Obama is the perfect example.

He actively and consistently pushes bigotry and bigoted policies.

He sabotaged same sex marriage in California (with a little help from the mormons, HRC, the roman cult, EQCA, Rick Warrens southern baptists and evangelicals).

He and H. Clinton refuse to offer asylum to GLBT folks threatened by the US armed and controlled jihadists in Iraq and the US led and financed bigots in Uganda and elsewhere.

His DoJ actively and consistently defends Clintons DADT and DOMA, the rawest, most vile and mean-spirited bigoted laws ever passed against us.

He interferes with and stops Congressional efforts to pass our agenda.

He staffs the DNC with bigots.

He surrounds himself with bigots.

In return we get Easter eggs. Lots and lots of pretty, pretty Easter eggs.

I'm pleased to see that some Democrats are aware that they've been blindsided and duped but I wonder of they'll fall for the scam two years from now.

We'll know soon. November will bring a new Congress and provide all 'new' excuses to blame the Democrats bigotry on the Republicans and the 2012 electoral farce gets underway early next year.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 2, 2010 4:08 AM

Democrat politicians can kiss babies and make promises like nobody's business but in essence they're not our friends, they're our enemies.

Obama is the perfect example.

He actively and consistently pushes bigotry and bigoted policies.

He sabotaged same sex marriage in California (with a little help from the mormons, HRC, the roman cult, EQCA and Rick Warrens southern baptists and evangelicals).

He and H. Clinton refuse to offer asylum to GLBT folks threatened by the US armed and controlled jihadists in Iraq and the US led and financed bigots in Uganda and elsewhere.

His DoJ actively and consistently defends Clintons DADT and DOMA, the rawest, most vile and mean-spirited bigoted laws ever passed against us.

He interferes with and stops Congressional efforts to pass our agenda.

He staffs the DNC with bigots.

He surrounds himself with bigots.

In return we get Easter eggs. Lots and lots of pretty, pretty Easter eggs.

I'm pleased to see that some Democrats are aware that they've been blindsided and duped but I wonder of they'll fall for the scam two years from now.

We'll know soon. November will bring a new Congress and provide all 'new' excuses to blame the Democrats bigotry on the Republicans and the 2012 electoral farce gets underway early next year.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 2, 2010 4:15 AM

Sorry. It reported "failure to publish" so I reentered it. Anyway, it bears repeating.

I kinda hope everyone knows the 3 branches of government and their roles. Harry Reid leads the Senate. Pelosi leads the House. Obama leads an entirely different branch. If the Senate is the problem, then it doesn't matter how much Obama pushes.

Thinking the President can control the legislative process is the same error we made when we elected Clinton to end the ban on homosexual behavior in the military. The moment Clinton even opened his mouth, Republicans in Congress immediately codified the ban making it impossible to just simply change the policy by executive order.

The problem with the current legislature is politics and policy aren't going hand in hand. We have an opposition party that isn't the slightest bit interested in making good policy. This is broader than LGBT policy. Republicans really aren't interested in policy. They're only concerned with getting back into power.

And folks might be thinking, well a Democratic majority is useless then...but it's not. It's not useless to hold the line when we can't advance very far. The Republican strategy is to block Democrats until Democratic voters become frustrated with Democrats and jump ship.

Grrrl said:

"Thinking the President can control the legislative process is the same error we made when we elected Clinton to end the ban on homosexual behavior in the military. The moment Clinton even opened his mouth, Republicans in Congress immediately codified the ban making it impossible to just simply change the policy by executive order."

Um, didn't Clinton actually *sign* that law, and praise it as progress, like with DOMA?


Grrrl said:

"The Republican strategy is to block Democrats ..."

Yes, and I agree with all the stuff you said about them not caring about policy (the days of intellectual conservatism are far over), but what frustrates me is that when the Repubs are in power, the fucking Dems just roll over instead of taking a stand on things. And, of course, there are all those conservative Dems, who mostly agree with the Repubs anyhow...

Oh, and welcome back, havent seen you comment in a while! :)

Technically, DADT was progress. It prevented recruiters and COs from asking about soldiers orientation. It sucks, but it was better than an outright ban, which was in place before DADT.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 2, 2010 7:03 PM

Forget 'technically'. Forget Clinton's lame excuses. They're irrelevant white wash on a mountain of merde.

DADT, along with DOMA, are the cornerstones of legalized bigotry.

They don't prevent discrimination, they codify bigotry and they lead inevitably to violence by separating us out as less than human and undeserving of equality.

Um, didn't Clinton actually *sign* that law, and praise it as progress, like with DOMA?

Clinton didn't make the underlying law that bans homosexual behavior. That was passed by Congress. Congress took what had previously been a Defense Department Directive and made it a law by attaching it to the Defense Budget Authorization for that year. This made it impossible for Clinton to lift the ban through executive order (as Truman had done in desegregating the Army).

The only way he could've vetoed it was vetoed the entire Defense budget authorization, and that would've been overridden by Congress.

What Clinton did was add the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy to at least soften the way the law was executed. He did this by executive order. That's all he had the power to do. (See, the Executive branch controls how laws are executed.)


I'm pretty sure DADT is the least understood policy ever.

As an aside, it is kind of impressive that Obama threatens to veto the Defense budget if there's any defense spending he thinks it's a waste. But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a Presidential veto on the Defense budget for LGBT rights.

I consider Clinton signing DOMA a betrayal. But even there he didn't have the power to veto it. Congress would've overridden a veto handily. But what that means is he didn't have to sign it at all. It passed with so many votes in Congress he didn't need to sign it. He signed it for political theater as part of his "more conservative than a conservative" strategy. The man was a triangulation master.

True, he's not a benevolent dictater, but he *could*, as CiC, issue a stop-loss order during the Pentagon's sham of a "poll". That's completely within his job description.

And he hasnt. Know why? He doesnt want to screw up the elections in November by appearing like the Democrats are appeasing the fags. The Republicans would run wild with that... and even though the repeal of DADT has a healthy percentage on our side, the Elephants would still use it as a wedge issue.

Obama isnt completely helpless, but he snt exactly helpful either.

If LBJ could strong-arm the Senate to get the Civil Rights Act passed in the 60s, why can't Obama pressure the Senate to get gay civil rights passed? The answer is, too many "Blue Dogs" which Obama should NOT be supporting. But he is supporting them. I'm beginning to believe he is, himself, a Blue Dog. He is well aware that after the 2010 elections, NO gay legislation will be passed by congress. The votes simply won't be there. To me, it has been a slap in the face that he just sat on his ass and supported Gates and his DADT study until Pelosi and Levin forced him to act. He knows full well that if DADT repeal is NOT signed before January, 2011, it will be years before it is repealed. Let alone ENDA, DOMA, or any other gay legislation. That's why all this talk, talk, talk is so infuriating.

Back in the 60s a President could strong arm some Senators. Not anymore. Plus, LBJ had the very real threat of violence.

US Senators don't need Obama and he doesn't need them. It makes getting anything done even less likely. The only solution is to elect better politicians. That means we're screwed - they don't make "better politicians."

Commentary that assumes there is still a remnant of what the Founders crafted as checks and balances has missed the evolution of American political economy at least since Reagan.

Commentary that assumes Obama, or any president, can do little because the position is weak in comparison with the other branches, has missed the evolution of American political economy at least since Reagan.

We have known, at least since he voted for the FISA Amendments Act in the campaign, after he promised to filibuster it during the nomination, where Obama's politics really are.

And since we must look forward, not backward we are forbidden to understand how and why we got here.

The reality in Washington is that there is one business party with two heads.

The commentary I challenge accepts the kabuki of this single party that passes for politics in Washington, including notions that Obama really is a weak president, or that the presidency is weak compared to the Congress or the Judiciary, that there aren't enough votes to do the things "we" want, like say, ENDA, real financial regulation, actual repeal of DADT, health care reform as opposed to health care insurance reform, ending the WARS.

When it comes to what Obama really wants, it happens:

+ no single-payer, yessir!

+ no government mass purchases of drug; using the market as, for any private entity, it would be used (I'm not in favour of re-importation from Canada because it will raise our prices--when did you ever hear about that drug war?)

+ leaving the bankers to do what they want

+ leaving the oil companies to do what they want

+ continued funding for the WARS

+ no action on Israeli apartheid

There is virtually no end to this list.

Obama is simply, and sadly, a product of the political economic evolution of the United States since Reagan.

Perversely, to some, America and Canada were more productive when not only ultra-wealthy persons were taxed at rates of 60% and higher, but so were corporations.

The national debt and budget deficits left by WWII were not fixed by slashing spending, particularly on social programs, and slashing taxes on wealthy people and on corporations, but by continuing to spend, and in some people's minds, to print money.

Oh yes, did I say taxing wealth? Including estate taxes.

What we see in the generations since the creation of the military-industrial complex has been the reduction of taxes on the wealthy, both living breathing persons and undead, corporate zombie persons.

And hasn't it been these very same persons, living and undead, who have complained bitterly about the collapse of productivity since that "golden age" of DEBT and TAXES?

The failure isn't bigness.

The political economic evolution since Reagan, at least, has called into doubt the efficiency of government and idealized that of corporations.

We see in the gulf the very failure of corporate efficiency, yet, perversely again, its great ability to capture a government and a citizenry infected with the greed is good/corporations are good virus.

We must all apologize to BP.

Does anyone remember the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and America's complicity with it in deposing Mohammad Mossadeq?

We hear calls now, intensified since the G20, for what Paul Krugman has described in today's NYT as the myth of austerity, fuelled by bond vigilantes and the confidence fairy.

This is not economics; this is class war.

This war is now new, it is just reintensified by the new generation of those who, free of the very discipline they propose for the rest of us, declare we must suffer--even as Shirley Engler, the Republican/Tea Party opponent of Harry Reid has declared: unemployment benefits are preferred by people to actually working; it encourages people not to work.

As if suffering is good; the flip side of privilege is good.

Engler is the one who suggested, when you're unemployed, and of course without benefits, you can just take a chicken to your doctor as payment.

This may be a little "off topic," but since most of your comment is... here is something for you to think about:

I know you have made "corporations" or "business" the enemy and you want them to pay their share. Businesses don't actually pay any taxes. They never have and they never will. Any tax on a corporation is passed on to the buyers of its product or service. For instance, if we passed an iPhone tax, we would pay it, not Apple.

Only people can pay taxes - either directly or indirectly. Corporations are simply pass-through entities.

Does that make sense?

Then we tax ultra-wealthy individuals, the high officials of these corporations, at the 1950's rate of 60%, 80%.

Besides, a bank tax, or a financial transaction tax of, what was it, 0.005%, give or take, based on the casino economy would be transfered how?

If there were an appropriate financial regulation system, we wouldn't have had the recent Great Recession nor would have the next.

The ideological reverence for these entities, alive and undead, has only one logical end: the oppression of those actually living persons who whose labour is the basis of the society we all live in.

And GLBT people will be at the head of the line.

Exactly. PEOPLE pay taxes. The whole point of corporations is that, under the law, they are PEOPLE, independent of the group of people that constitutes them. See limited liability, also the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Citizens United. So why should they get to be legal "people" with political rights including free speech protections, without paying their fair share of the taxes?

To Andrew;
My neighborsn, who know and like me, who stop at my home for coffee an whose homes I am welcome at, will vote consistently for teabagger-approved Palin acolytes despite the fact that the lot of those candidates oppose gay rights to the point of advocating for re-criminalisation.

You see, though they like me, there is always Jesus to contend with....


And I am not the only LGBT who can cite such examples.

They like me, you see, just as many a german knew a "good Jew"
But they all went up in smoke anyways, or nearly all...

Two-thirds of religious people will support us. We should ignore the other one-third that Jesus "owns."

Supporting you is a few questions beyond "liking you." Ask them to specifically support your equality and see what kind of response you get.

Two-thirds? Show research.

LGBT rights are not central to most people. And you can't make it central to most people. Everyone likes "x party" or "x candidate" except for that "one issue." Even people who support LGBT Rights are perfectly willing to compromise LGBT Rights. We've already done this. Even with all the support we've earned from progressives, they're still willing to throw us under the bus.