Karen Ocamb

Watch: Obama at HRC Gala & Some Political Impressions

Filed By Karen Ocamb | October 02, 2011 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: HRC, HRC National Dinner, Human Rights Campaign, President Obama

President Obama spoke for about 20 minutes at the 15th annual Human Rights Campaign dinner Saturday night, Oct. 1. He was well received by an enthusiastic crowd of around 3,000, according to an estimate by HRC. Though peaking as President of the United States - the POTUS seal was on the podium, unlike during his reelection campaign swing at the House of Blues in West Hollywood last week - he was trying to energize his base for what is expected to be a rough 2012 election.

I watched Obama's speech via live streaming from the HRC website. But unlike the black tie and gowned gala crowd eagerly awaiting the President, I was home having just read a piece on Bill Clinton celebrating the 20th anniversary of his announcement to run for President (Oct. 3, 1991) and after watching a documentary on Showtime about Ralph Nader. That's relevant because Nader is apparently considering a campaign challenge to Obama in some way. Many in the Democratic Party believe Nader "stole" votes from Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential Election and handed George W. Bush the election before the US Supreme Court did.

A pool report of the HRC dinner said Tipper Gore was in the audience tonight. She's a longtime fan of the organization - having played drums during HRC's Equality Rock concert at the 2000 March on Washington. I wondered if she wondered how history might have been different if Al Gore had become POTUS. Some of those disappointed with Obama are even wondering now if or how things would have been different if Hillary Clinton had been elected instead of Obama. She was always been a centrist - but she "gets" the LGBT community and has had close gay friends for a long time.

I couldn't help but think of all the different attacks Obama is enduring from so many different angles. I bet he was happy to get in front of the enthusiastic HRC crowd, something like a refreshing sun shower on a scorching day. But frankly, I couldn't tell. He seemed to have the same calm demeanor as he had in WeHo - that casual political fellowship leading up to the crescendo of campaign-style rhetoric for which he has become known.

Video, transcript, and much more after the jump.

Obama sounded many of the right notes, as was expected - ticking off the things he and his administration have accomplished to the refrain: "We got it done!" He didn’t “evolve” any more on marriage equality, however.

Obama noted that HRC is an organization committed

"to a simple idea: Every single American — gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender — every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of our society. It's a pretty simple proposition." (Applause.)

Now, I don't have to tell you that we have a ways to go in that struggle. I don't have to tell you how many are still denied their basic rights — Americans who are still made to feel like second-class citizens, who have to live a lie to keep their jobs, or who are afraid to walk the street, or down the hall at school. Many of you have devoted your lives to the cause of equality. So you know what we have to do; we've got more work ahead of us."

Right. But here's where it gets weird. Obama's saying the right things but he apparently needs someone like Judy Shepard or Janice Langbehn to make the issues actually real. For instance - Obama was cheered for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (the real history of this effort has yet to be told) - which has become a signature achievement getting applause from all his audiences.

Indeed, DADT has oddly become a positive campaign point for the President and Democrats after all nine of the Republican presidential candidates failed to push back against a debate audience that booed a gay soldier asking a question about DADT via video from Iraq. AND none of the candidates thanked Stephen Hill for his service, either. Obama reference the incident in his speech - to much applause:

We don't believe in a small America. We don't believe in the kind of smallness that says it's okay for a stage full of political leaders — one of whom could end up being the President of the United States — being silent when an American soldier is booed. (Applause.) We don't believe in that. We don't believe in standing silent when that happens. (Applause.) We don't believe in them being silent since. (Applause.) You want to be Commander-in-Chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it's not politically convenient. (Applause.)

We don't believe in a small America. We believe in a big America — a tolerant America, a just America, an equal America — that values the service of every patriot. (Applause.)

Of course, not mentioned was how his administration continued to fight the Log Cabin Republican's lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of DADT. Obama's smug DOJ just won a victory in the 9th Circuit - where they argued that DADT was constitutional - which rendered the LRC lawsuit moot. He also said nothing about the pleas for him to issue an Executive Order banning discrimination in the military based on sexual orientation and gender identity - protections that had to be taken out of the DADT Repeal Act to get it passed.

Obama also said:

All around the world, you've got gays and lesbians who are serving, and the only difference is now they can put up a family photo. (Laughter.) No one has to live a lie to serve the country they love.

I vowed to keep up the fight against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. There's a bill to repeal this discriminatory law in Congress, and I want to see that passed. But until we reach that day, my administration is no longer defending DOMA in the courts. I believe the law runs counter to the Constitution, and it's time for it to end once and for all. It should join "don't ask, don't tell" in the history books. (Applause.)

Except - because of DOMA, even if those servicemembers can now display a photo of their families - it doesn't mean the military recognizes those families. They do not - and couples and families are being torn apart because of it. It's the military's version of what the Obama administration is continuing to do with bi-national couples. So just as we had to parse words with Bill Clinton ("It depends on what the definition of 'is' is") so, too, do we have to do some of that when Obama says the DOJ is no longer defending DOMA in federal court.

But Obama struck the right chords with the HRC audience, an audience of political pragmatists.

So, yes, we have more work to do. And after so many years — even decades — of inaction you've got every right to push against the slow pace of change. But make no mistake — I want people to feel encouraged here — we are making change. We're making real and lasting change. We can be proud of the progress we've already made.

And I'm going to continue to fight alongside you. And I don't just mean in your role, by the way, as advocates for equality. You're also moms and dads who care about the schools your children go to. (Applause.) You're also students figuring out how to pay for college. You're also folks who are worried about the economy and whether or not your partner or husband or wife will be able to find a job. And you're Americans who want this country to succeed and prosper, and who are tired of the gridlock and the vicious partisanship, and are sick of the Washington games. Those are your fights, too, HRC. (Applause.)

So I'm going to need your help. I need your help to fight for equality, to pass a repeal of DOMA, to pass an inclusive employment non-discrimination bill so that being gay is never again a fireable offense in America. (Applause.) And I don't have to tell you, there are those who don’t want to just stand in our way but want to turn the clock back; who want to return to the days when gay people couldn't serve their country openly; who reject the progress that we've made; who, as we speak, are looking to enshrine discrimination into state laws and constitutions — efforts that we've got to work hard to oppose, because that's not what America should be about.

We're not about restricting rights and restricting opportunity. We're about opening up rights and opening up opportunity — (applause) — and treating each other generously and with love and respect. (Applause.)

Obama then segued into asking for help in getting Congress to pass the American Jobs Act. But here's what I don't understand: Obama talks about jobs, and an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act and working hard to oppose discriminatory state initiatives - but he didn't connect any of these issues to the Jobs bill. And yet, it seems to me, "jobs, jobs, jobs" is the nexus for everything.

Most Americans probably agree that not hiring someone or firing someone because they're gay is just plain unfair - especially in this economy. Currently, only 15 states and Washington DC have employment discrimination protections for LGBTs; elsewhere many LGBTs are "living a lie to keep their jobs." Without ENDA, we have a civilian version of DADT - and economic apartheid. And for those concerned about the Republican Right's efforts to smash the unions - LGBTs know that the unions are often the ONLY place where we get job protection and healthcare, where being LGBT itself isn't a pre-existing condition. And considering the popularity of "Modern Family" - a TV show apparently Michelle Obama and the kids love - why couldn't he have said something like: why should voters in Minnesota and South Carolina care about taking away rights from the gay Modern Family couple living on their street instead of working their hearts out electing people who will give them jobs? What's the real priority here?

Then you get LGBTs fighting along side straights with everyone keeping their eye on the prize: jobs and turning around the economy.

It's not as if most LGBTs are going to vote for a Republican presidential candidate over Obama, given the current crop of GOP nominees. But it's important for the Obama campaign to remember that not all LGBTs are Democrats or as enthusiastic as the HRC crowd - and they're just waiting for Obama to be a "fierce advocate" for the LGBTs who can't speak for themselves, lest they lose or can't get that precious job.

Here's the transcript of President Obama's speech to HRC:

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release October 1, 2011

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

AT THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN'S 15TH ANNUAL NATIONAL DINNER

Washington Convention Center

Washington, D.C.

7:26 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. It is great to be back. (Applause.) I see a lot of friends in the house. I appreciate the chance to join you tonight. I also took a trip out to California last week, where I held some productive bilateral talks with your leader, Lady Gaga. (Laughter.) She was wearing 16-inch heels. (Laughter.) She was eight feet tall. (Laughter.) It was a little intimidating.

Now, I don't want to give a long speech. Cyndi Lauper is in the house. I can't compete with that. (Applause.) But I wanted to come here tonight, first of all, to personally thank Joe for his outstanding years of leadership at HRC. (Applause.) What he has accomplished at the helm of this organization has been remarkable, and I want to thank all of you for the support that you've shown this organization and for your commitment to a simple idea: Every single American — gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender — every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of our society. It's a pretty simple proposition. (Applause.)

Now, I don't have to tell you that we have a ways to go in that struggle. I don't have to tell you how many are still denied their basic rights — Americans who are still made to feel like second-class citizens, who have to live a lie to keep their jobs, or who are afraid to walk the street, or down the hall at school. Many of you have devoted your lives to the cause of equality. So you know what we have to do; we've got more work ahead of us.

But we can also be proud of the progress we've made these past two and a half years. Think about it. (Applause.) Two years ago, I stood at this podium, in this room, before many of you, and I made a pledge. I said I would never counsel patience; that it wasn't right to tell you to be patient any more than it was right for others to tell African Americans to be patient in the fight for equal rights a half century ago. (Applause.) But what I also said, that while it might take time -- more time than anyone would like -- we are going to make progress; we are going to succeed; we are going to build a more perfect union.

And so, let's see what happened. I met with Judy Shepard. I promised her we would pass a hate crimes bill named for her son, Matthew. And with the help of my dear friend Ted Kennedy we got it done. Because it should never be dangerous — (applause) — you should never have to look over your shoulder — to be gay in the United States of America. That's why we got it done. (Applause.)

I met with Janice Langbehn, who was barred from the bedside of the woman she loved as she lay dying. And I told her that we were going to put a stop to this discrimination. And you know what? We got it done. I issued an order so that any hospital in America that accepts Medicare or Medicaid -- and that means just about every hospital -- has to treat gay partners just as they do straight partners. Because nobody should have to produce a legal contract to hold the hand of the person that they love. We got that done. (Applause.)

I said that we would lift that HIV travel ban — we got that done. (Applause.) We put in place the first comprehensive national strategy to fight HIV/AIDS. (Applause.)

Many questioned whether we'd succeed in repealing "don't ask, don't tell." And, yes, it took two years to get the repeal through Congress. (Applause.) We had to hold a coalition together. We had to keep up the pressure. We took some flak along the way. (Applause.) But with the help of HRC, we got it done. And "don't ask, don't tell" is history. (Applause.) And all over the world, there are men and women serving this country just as they always have — with honor and courage and discipline and valor. We got it done. (Applause.) We got that done. All around the world, you've got gays and lesbians who are serving, and the only difference is now they can put up a family photo. (Laughter.) No one has to live a lie to serve the country they love.

I vowed to keep up the fight against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. There's a bill to repeal this discriminatory law in Congress, and I want to see that passed. But until we reach that day, my administration is no longer defending DOMA in the courts. I believe the law runs counter to the Constitution, and it's time for it to end once and for all. It should join "don't ask, don't tell" in the history books. (Applause.)

So, yes, we have more work to do. And after so many years — even decades — of inaction you've got every right to push against the slow pace of change. But make no mistake — I want people to feel encouraged here — we are making change. We're making real and lasting change. We can be proud of the progress we've already made.

And I'm going to continue to fight alongside you. And I don't just mean in your role, by the way, as advocates for equality. You're also moms and dads who care about the schools your children go to. (Applause.) You're also students figuring out how to pay for college. You're also folks who are worried about the economy and whether or not your partner or husband or wife will be able to find a job. And you're Americans who want this country to succeed and prosper, and who are tired of the gridlock and the vicious partisanship, and are sick of the Washington games. Those are your fights, too, HRC. (Applause.)

So I'm going to need your help. I need your help to fight for equality, to pass a repeal of DOMA, to pass an inclusive employment non-discrimination bill so that being gay is never again a fireable offense in America. (Applause.) And I don't have to tell you, there are those who don’t want to just stand in our way but want to turn the clock back; who want to return to the days when gay people couldn't serve their country openly; who reject the progress that we've made; who, as we speak, are looking to enshrine discrimination into state laws and constitutions — efforts that we've got to work hard to oppose, because that's not what America should be about.

We're not about restricting rights and restricting opportunity. We're about opening up rights and opening up opportunity — (applause) — and treating each other generously and with love and respect. (Applause.)

And together, we also have to keep sending a message to every young person in this country who might feel alone or afraid because they're gay or transgender — who may be getting picked on or pushed around because they're different. We've got to make sure they know that there are adults they can talk to; that they are never alone; that there is a whole world waiting for them filled with possibility. That's why we held a summit at the White House on bullying. That's why we're going to continue to focus on this issue. (Applause.) This isn't just "kids being kids." It's wrong. It's destructive. It's never acceptable. And I want all those kids to know that the President and the First Lady is standing right by them every inch of the way. (Applause.) I want them to know that we love them and care about them, and they're not by themselves. That's what I want them to know. (Applause.)

Now, I also need your help in the broader fight to get this economy back on track. You may have heard, I introduced a bill called the American Jobs Act. (Applause.) It's been almost three weeks since I sent it up to Congress. That's three weeks longer than it should have taken to pass this common-sense bill. (Applause.) This is a bill filled with ideas that both parties have supported — tax breaks for companies that hire veterans; road projects; school renovations; putting construction crews back to work rebuilding America; tax cuts for middle-class families so they can make ends meet and spend a little more at local stores and restaurants that need the business.

Now, you may have heard me say this a few times before — I'll say it again: Pass the bill. (Applause.) Enough gridlock. Enough delay. Enough politics. Pass this bill. Put this country back to work. (Applause.) HRC, you know how Congress works. I'm counting on you to have my back. Go out there and get them to pass this bill. (Applause.) Let's put America back to work.

Now, ultimately, these debates we're having are about more than just politics; they're more about — they're about more than the polls and the pundits, and who's up and who's down. This is a contest of values. That's what's at stake here. This is a fundamental debate about who we are as a nation.

I don't believe — we don't believe — in a small America, where we let our roads crumble, we let our schools fall apart, where we stand by while teachers are laid off and science labs are shut down, and kids are dropping out.

We believe in a big America, an America that invests in the future — that invests in schools and highways and research and technology — the things that have helped make our economy the envy of the world.

We don't believe in a small America, where we meet our fiscal responsibilities by abdicating every other responsibility we have, and where we just divvy up the government as tax breaks for those who need them the least, where we abandon the commitment we've made to seniors though Medicare and Social Security, and we say to somebody looking for work, or a student who needs a college loan, or a middle-class family with a child who's disabled, that "You're on your own." That's not who we are.

We believe in a big America, an America where everybody has got a fair shot, and everyone pays their fair share. An America where we value success and the idea that anyone can make it in this country. But also an America that does — in which everyone does their part — including the wealthiest Americans, including the biggest corporations — to deal with the deficits that threaten our future. (Applause.)

We don't believe in a small America. We don't believe in the kind of smallness that says it's okay for a stage full of political leaders — one of whom could end up being the President of the United States — being silent when an American soldier is booed. (Applause.) We don't believe in that. We don't believe in standing silent when that happens. (Applause.) We don't believe in them being silent since. (Applause.) You want to be Commander-in-Chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it's not politically convenient. (Applause.)

We don't believe in a small America. We believe in a big America — a tolerant America, a just America, an equal America — that values the service of every patriot. (Applause.) We believe in an America where we're all in it together, and we see the good in one another, and we live up to a creed that is as old as our founding: E pluribus unum. Out of many, one. And that includes everybody. That's what we believe. That's what we're going to be fighting for. (Applause.)

I am confident that's what the American people believe in. (Applause.) I'm confident because of the changes we've achieved these past two and a half years -- the progress that some folks said was impossible. (Applause.) And I'm hopeful — I am hopeful –

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Fired up!

THE PRESIDENT: I'm fired up, too. (Laughter.) I am hopeful — (applause) — I am hopeful — I am still hopeful, because of a deeper shift that we're seeing; a transformation not only written into our laws, but woven into the fabric of our society.

It's progress led not by Washington but by ordinary citizens, who are propelled not just by politics but by love and friendship and a sense of mutual regard. (Applause.) It's playing out in legislatures like New York, and courtrooms and in the ballot box. But it's also happening around water coolers and at the Thanksgiving table, and on Facebook and Twitter, and at PTA meetings and potluck dinners, and church socials and VFW Halls.

It happens when a father realizes he doesn't just love his daughter, but also her wife. (Applause.) It happens when a soldier tells his unit that he's gay, and they tell him they knew it all along and they didn't care, because he was the toughest guy in the unit. (Applause.) It happens when a video sparks a movement to let every single young person know they're not alone, and things will get better. It happens when people look past their ultimately minor differences to see themselves in the hopes and struggles of their fellow human beings. That's where change is happening. (Applause.)

And that's not just the story of the gay rights movement. That's the story of America — (applause) — the slow, inexorable march towards a more perfect union. (Applause.) You are contributing to that story, and I'm confident we can continue to write another chapter together.

Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. (Applause.)

END 7:45 P.M. EDT

(Crossposted at LGBT POV)


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What was most interesting to me was how Obama managed to be just trans-inclusive enough to avoid charges that he's forgotten about trans people entirely, but at the same time avoided including us by name in anything of real substance.

"No one has to live a lie to serve the country they love."? If you're a transgender American, you know this is a flat-out lie. Trans people are still excluded from military service for no other reason than their trans status makes them unfit to serve according to military regs. As Commander-In-Chief, Obama could solve this problem with the stroke of a pen...but he won't, and that will be remembered.

How about this one? "So I'm going to need your help. I need your help to fight for equality, to pass a repeal of DOMA, to pass an inclusive employment non-discrimination bill so that being gay is never again a fireable offense in America.". He can't even bring himself to mention ENDA or transpeople by name in context with workplace rights. DOMA? What does that have to do with a jobs agenda? Nothing really, but it's what the super-wealthy and connected liberals in the audience wanted to hear.

Once again, it's the same old story, the same tired argument: Vote for Democrats because the alternative would be so much worse. Is that really a good enough reason anymore? This speech was just yet more evidence of how disconnected Obama is from the real issues of the lower and middle classes. He touts a jobs bill that doesn't include LGBT workers, but the audience he was speaking to isn't one that's concerned with the 29 states that offer no workplace or housing rights to gays or the 35 that offer none to trans people.

Obama continues to pander to the wealthiest segments of our community while the Democratic Party as a whole continues to operate on the presumption that they've got our votes and support locked up so they don't have to make any real political effort to fight for us.

I believe that the Democratic Party's key mistake here is still believing that as goes HRC so goes the entire LGBT community. I suspect they are either going to figure out that that hasn't been true for a long time now, or they are going to learn this lesson the hard way next November.

"Vote for Democrats because the alternative would be so much worse. Is that really a good enough reason anymore?"

The obvious answer to that question is that the day there is a better alternative to Democrats that you can vote for that will serve your interests better, or the day that you're willing to exempt yourself from voting and feel comfortable living with the decisions that others make for your life, it will no longer be a good enough reason to vote Democrat.

It's important to remember that far more actual damage was done to the cause of LGBT rights in the 90's under the Clinton Administration with the passage of DADT and DOMA than in 8 years of GWB. Not only that, but in '96 Clinton himself stumped for votes in the south using the passage of those laws. During the GWB Administration there was plenty of anti-gay rhetoric, but not much in the way of real damage done at the federal level. Virtually all the damage done to the cause of LGBT rights during that time happened at the state and local levels.

The reality we see is the same one we've seen for decades with the Democratic Party: They don't believe that our votes need to be earned and so they make as little effort as humanly possible to protect our civil rights. They take it as a given that LGBT voters will support them no matter how badly they treat us and our issues. It's past time we made a real effort to disabuse them of that notion or it's highly unlikely anything will change anytime soon.

In a nutshell: We live in a country where you can be fired, refused a job, and denied housing in 29 states just because you're gay and in 35 just because you're trans. Yet the Democratic Party is still running away full speed from protecting our right to live and work free of discrimination in the private sector because it's politically inconvenient for them to keep those promises they always make to us during speeches like last night's.

How long will it be before we take the President's advice and hold him and the rest of the Democratic Party accountable? Shouldn't there be consequences for failing to keep promises? If there aren't, if we keep supporting them every time no matter how they treat us once the election's over, how can we reasonably expect that things will ever change?

"It's important to remember that far more actual damage was done to the cause of LGBT rights in the 90's under the Clinton Administration with the passage of DADT and DOMA than in 8 years of GWB....We live in a country where you can be fired, refused a job, and denied housing in 29 states just because you're gay and in 35 just because you're trans."

You do realize that Clinton's involvement with DADT was to include the provision that attempted to bar the pursuit/investigation of soldiers' sexual orientation in the legislation, right? Previous to DADT, soldiers could be questioned and discharged upon evidence of homosexual conduct. The "DADT" language was an attempt to place safeguards in a terrible piece of legislation that would keep superiors and fellow soldiers from being allowed to pursue and question with no basis, and thereby lessen the military's ability to root out LGB soldiers.

Yes, it was situated within an inherently discriminatory policy, but how many more soldiers would have been discharged if officials were free to investigate any soldier without reason?

However, I agree with you that the system is destructive. But the problem is that we play within the context of a losing situation. The answer is NOT to vote for the other party if the one closer to our interests doesn't keep its promises. It can't be that because the other party is one that absolutely refuses to make any promises for us; in fact, they are definitively against our issues. So the "consequences" recourse is flawed and will not teach them a lesson nor will it help us.

The only recourse is work outside the paradigm and create a party that is the better alternative to a party that will let us down. That is the only time we would be able to teach Dems a lesson without shooting ourselves in the face (and that doesn't even broach the issue of how we will harm ourselves in general by supporting a party that is even more pro-corporation, anti-health care reform, and anti-working class).

The obvious problem , as exhibited by the Green party for decades, is that it take significant money, paradigm shifting of the populace, and effort to create a successful alternative party in what has become a 2 party system.

On the third party question the issue I have is that it splits the vote and the conservatives win. Witness Canada. Jack Layton and the NDP did an excellent job of running a progressive third party campaign, they did better than they ever had done before, but was it worth it? The end result was that they split the vote with the Liberals and because of the split Canad has 5 more years of arch conservative government under Stephen Harper. Be careful what you wish for. A credible progressive third party could mean President Rick Perry.

The Tea Party is smart, they didn't form a third party, they took over the Republican Party. I suggest we do the same thing, fight like hell to take over the Democratic Party.

Exactly.

And that's a brilliant idea. I fully agree!

Becky mentioned that trans people are still being discriminated in the military, but as long as gay and lesbian service members are taken care of, then for him, the fight is over. Besides not giving a shit about trans service members in amongst a group that also doesn't care about trans people in general, he didn't even mention that bisexuals are now allowed to serve openly. The speech was written to play to the rich, white gay men that mostly populated the room, because they will give tons of money for his re-election. I guess I'll have to run for delegate for the DNC convention again to rattle as many cages I can find.

Kate @ TUNE Kate @ TUNE | October 3, 2011 12:03 AM

Is it just me or during the pause after "No one has to live a lie to serve the country they love" did somebody yell out "What about Transgender?"

No one has to live a lie to serve the country they love.
Unless they're Trans. Or Intersex. But they don't count, do they? That's been made patently obvious by those words, by their exclusion even as human beings.

Invisibility. Silence.

And together, we also have to keep sending a message to every young person in this country who might feel alone or afraid because they're gay or transgender — who may be getting picked on or pushed around because they're different.
That's better. Unless you're a child who's Intersex, then you look at those words, hear those words, and realise once again that "everybody", "every human being", "all Americans" doesn't include you.

All we can do is point that out, no matter how irritating that might be. It's irritating to us, it's tedious and boring and every single farnarckling time we get excluded in speeches and legislation and basic human rights, every time "everybody" is included - except us - it gets old. It got old decades ago.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | October 3, 2011 6:43 PM

All of the sentiments above are reasonable except.....but the hard fact remains that a failure to vote for a Democrat for POTUS, and almost to the same degree to fail to vote for a Democratic senator where an election is held in 2012, will mean a Republican who would nominate someone far, far less inclined to rule in favor of LGBT causes than would a Democrat. And Supreme Court nominees, once confirmed, stay on for a looooooooongggggggg time. If you can rationalize around that, be my guest here.