Michael Hamar

More Democratic Betrayal of LGBT Americans

Filed By Michael Hamar | June 12, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, broken campaign promises, DADT repeal, ENDA, gays in the military, Glenn Nye, Nancy Pelosi, religious based discrimination

Nancy Pelosi has announced that there will be no movement on bus.jpgefforts to pass ENDA until the Senate acts of the so-called "repeal" of DADT. Which, given the fact that there's no guarantee of when the Senate will take up DADT much less pass it, means that there's no guarantee that ENDA will see movement this year.

Meanwhile, the Uncle Tom-like suck-ups at HRC and other alleged LGBT rights organizations continue to act as if they were paid cheerleaders for the Obama administration. It's a sad state of affairs and - at least for me - extremely demoralizing.

Personally, I am using the November elections as my cut-off mark. Either the Senate has passed DADT repeal - which isn't even really repeal - and ENDA has been enacted, or all bets are off in terms of me voting for Democrats in November. The boyfriend is pretty much of the same mind and equally disgusted.

Glenn Nye, we live in your district, are you listening?

While Joe Solmonese and other self-styled "leaders" of the LGBT community gush that Obama is the best pro-gay president ever, the reality is that it takes almost nothing to win that title given the abysmal track record of Obama's predecessors. And while Obama may have appointed more gays to federal positions than any predecessor, for the vast majority of us in the LGBT community, in most states we still have no employment non-discrimination protections, our relationships are not recognized, we face religious based bigotry, cannot serve openly in the military, and in numerous other ways we are clearly second or third class citizens.

Yes, the passage of federal hate crimes legislation was nice, but actually impacts only a few in the LGBT community. As a result, I'm not sure what there is to gush about if you are not part of the inside the beltway professional gay rights clique like Solmonese. Here are some highlights from the Washington Blade of Nancy Pelosi's disingenuous double speak:

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday said that a vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act wouldn't take place until Congress completes legislative action on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." During her weekly press conference, Pelosi> said in response to a Blade inquiry on ENDA's prospects that lawmakers "still have to finish 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'"

Referencing the successful House vote May 27 to attach repeal to Defense Department budget legislation, she said, "And now, of course, we'll go -- after the bill passes in the Senate -- we'll go to conference. But our work is not finished in that regard, so one thing at a time."

It could take several months for Congress to finish legislative action on repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The full Senate has yet to vote on the defense authorization bill, and differences in the House and Senate versions would have to be hammered out in conference committee before the measure is sent to President Obama's desk.

Still, Pelosi said, "we're very proud" of the House vote to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the House, calling it a "historic" action.

Never mind that gay servicmembers are continuing to be discharged or that the House version of "repeal" leaves the military brass in a position to kill DADTrepeal or that there are serious questions as to the one-sidedness of the Pentagon "study." A study that isn't even needed were the U.S. military to bother looking at how our military allies successfully repealed their bans on gays serving openly in those nations' military. John Aravosis sums up the situation well at America Blog:

70% to 80% of the public, in poll after poll, support the full and immediate repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The President, however, is fighting for piecemeal legislation that won't guarantee repeal ever. And note how the White House has never said, even once, when they plan to actually repeal DADT, to actually lift the ban entirely. It's hardly a profile in courage to play this fearful with something so popular with the American public.

Has Barack Obama really caught up with the times? I don't think so. I think he's still living in 1992. And so is the Democratic party. So he, and they, think that whatever would have placated us in 1992 - OMG he spoke at our dinner! - will make us happy in 2010. It won't, and it shouldn't. When I was a kid all I wanted out of life was a Major Matt Mason doll. Now I'm a bit older and I expect a bit more. We all do.

Democrats need to stop striving to be marginally better than truly awful human beings. We voted for better, they promised better, and we expect better.

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>> "all bets are off in terms of me voting for Democrats in November"

And so what are your options? Not voting at all? Or voting Republican and making a Republican victory that much more assured?

Yes, you're caught between a rock and a hard place, but at the very least, as minimal as it sounds, Pelosi et al are recognizing these issues exist. How'd that work out for you during the Bush era?

dumbledork | June 12, 2010 11:46 PM

It's this type of mentality that facilitates the Democrats taking our votes for granted and keeping our issues on the back-burner.

And once again: WHAT'S YOUR ALTERNATIVE? Yes, it enables them to take us for granted, but you think the Republicans are any better

Seriously, how short-sighted do you want to be? If you have something beyond taking your marbles and going home, do please share what it is.

dumbledork | June 13, 2010 12:28 AM

Gay Republicans do exist, as well as third parties, or you can even sit elections out. We have options, and time is on our side in terms of the newer generations' support for LGBT issues. Or, I suppose, we could continue to prove our fealty to the Democratic Party in hopes of them eventually tossing us a bone.

Gay Republicans? Okay, go for it, if you honestly think that's a viable alternative.

A third party? Name one that has the kind of presence required to put anything on the national agenda.

Sit it out? Do that, and the GOP returns to power. You really want that?

Honestly, think this through. You're not demonstrating any kind of long term vision here.

dumbledork | June 13, 2010 12:42 AM

I guess you're right. Continued fealty it is.

I'm going to add one more alternative to the many that dumbledork and others have already posted below. I'm taking the money I would have spent on the Democrats and contributing it to legal and political groups that have a proven track record. Groups like Lambda Legal and NCLR have made a major difference for gender minorities. To cite one example, they brought us the 2003 Supreme Court decision that overturned discriminatory state sodomy laws, which was an important basis for legal discrimination at the time. I'd be interested in learning about other effective organizations as well.

For me, the purpose of the boycott is to get the Democrats to do the right thing before the election, so that we can support and vote for them after all. This can only work if they know they'll feel it if they don't keep their promises.

Recognizing the issues isn't enough. The Democrats are more than capable of making major changes for LGBT people. They have the majority of both houses, a Democratic president, a majority of voters in support of equal rights, and a proven capacity to pass legislation. It's past time for them to use that power and ability to pass our basic rights.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 13, 2010 12:59 AM

Voting for Democrats is voting for a Republican agneda.

More war. No ENDA. DOMA and DADT intact. Making the world safe for BP and Hailburton from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Arabia. A continued health care crisis. TARP and union busting. Long term, depression level unemployment currently at 17%. Immigrant bashing. Malign neglect of the needs of minority, female and GLBT workers. Etc.

If all that pleases you, Sean, then by all means waste your vote on Democrats. If it doesn't please you then help organize mass movements to fundamentally change things. Elections don't.

A Republican is a rancid right centrist with a theocrat attached at the hip. A Democrat is a Republican in drag.

With Democrats like this who needs Republicans?

The looter rich much prefer working with Democrats like Obama and the Clintons - they're greedier, they fool more people and they're able to get away with a lot more than Republicans.

Okay, Bill, I wont waste it on a Democrat.

So whatcha got instead?

Hey, I'm less than impressed with them myself, but when I look at the only other possibility...

So, as I've asked others on this page, what's your alternative?

Folks, we can play this game from now until November, but unless you got something genuinely viable, you're not gonna get very far. So give me a solid alternative to this, not just some knee-jerk reactionary rhetoric. Right now, you got two options: staying the devil you know or turning to the devil you know you dont want. There is no viable third party; you're stuck with one or the other. So what's it gonna be?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 13, 2010 2:06 AM

Electoralism has been a shell game since the Compromise of 1877.

How many election cycles have you voted in? Which elections, in your living memory, led to real change and which ones made things worse? Answer those questions before you try to frighten us into voting for some cheap hustler who doesn't give a rats ass about you or me.

I did mention an alternative. "If it doesn't please you then help organize mass movements to fundamentally change things. Elections don't."

If you vote for Democrats you vote for more war.
DOMA and DADT intact.
Making the world safe for BP and Hailburton from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Arabia.
A continued health care crisis.
TARP and union busting.
Long term, depression level unemployment currently at almost 17%.
Immigrant bashing.
Malign neglect of the needs of minority, female and GLBT workers. Etc.

And what do we get in return? Slightly better hate crimes reporting and a few Easter eggs.

It makes no difference at all who wins if both parties act the same. All you can say in defense of Democrats is "... as minimal as it sounds, Pelosi et al are recognizing these issues exist..." What they say is immaterial, what they do is all important. What Democrats do, over and over and over, is to pat us on the back before inserting the knife.

I'd never vote for that. But you do. Over and over and over.

And if you vote for a Republican, you wont even get that much, if anything at all.

>> "How many election cycles have you voted in? Which elections, in your living memory, led to real change and which ones made things worse? Answer those questions before you try to frighten us into voting for some cheap hustler who doesn't give a rats ass about you or me."

I'm not trying to frighten anyone into anything. I'm simply pointing out that by saying "I'm withholding my support for the Dems!", you're not accomplishing a whole lot. If anything, you run the major risk of making it all worse.

But that's your choice.

Mass movements? In order for a mass movement to work, you're going to have to depend on more than just the GLBT community because we are too small a percentage of the population for our issues to have any meaning whatsoever, particularly at times when the country is slightly more worried about not falling headfirst into a second major economic depression. As difficult as this is for some of you to accept, right now our problems do not matter to larger society. They could give a rat's tuchus about ENDA or DoMA or DADT, but for some inexplicable reason no one in our advocacy leadership will deal with that fact honestly. Instead, they would have us believe that DADT is a fait accompli — and look what happened, Bill. The Dems caved with this ridiculous compromise because it was the best they could do under the current political climate if they want to retain any kind of power.

Yes, it sucks -- and not in that lovely, warm kind of way. But at the very least it keeps the issue from disappearing altogether, which is exactly what will happen if everyone sits on their hands, refuses support to the one party that at least acknowledges our existence, and allows the learned opposition to come back and take over.

And so what do you have left in your bag of tricks? "Mass resistance." Right.

Sorry, but your activist rhetoric is just as empty and futile as the government leaders you decry. You have no plan, just a lot of convenient words. To be searingly blunt, you are no better than Obama or McCain or Pelosi, because you're making all kinds of promises you know you cannot keep.

Once you come back with something reality-based, let me know. Right now, you got squat.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 13, 2010 1:02 PM

"And if you vote for a Republican, you wont even get that much, if anything at all." True but utterly meaningless. 'Not getting any' is what we've been getting for decades from both parties an you know it.

The alternative to Democrats is not Republicans. They're the same, both owned by militarists, christian bigots and the looter rich. The alternative to Democrats is us, the antiwar movement, unions, the struggles of minorities and immigrants for economic equality and the women's movement.

Of course you're trying to frighten people with the Republican boogieperson, but unfortunately for apologists for the Democrats, the Democrat boogieperson is just as bad as it's Republican counterpart. Maybe worse. The looter rich much prefer working with Democrats like Obama and the Clintons - they're greedier, they fool more people and they're able to get away with a lot more than Republicans.

Solidarity and mass movements are the only real tools we have to defeat the entrenched power of the looting class. They worked in 1776, 1860, for suffrage, in building the unions and in ending the war in Vietnam. It's typical of cynical Republicans and Democrats to deny the existence of solidarity and the power of mass movements and to offer as an alternative dependence on our enemies and begging for crumbs.

"I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." Desmond Tutu
for crumbs.

Bill, believe what you wish, then come back in November and tell me all about all the alternatives you found. I for one will be waiting with baited breath.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 13, 2010 3:44 PM

When you say alternative you mean an alternative that involves a political victory by one of two parties of war, economic collapse, union busing, bigotry, racism, immigrant bashing and etc. You cannot mean an alternative that incudes victory for us because whether Democrats or Republicans win we lose.

'Winning' by supporting that agenda is not acceptable because in reality it's really losing. Voting for Republicans or Democrats is unprincipled and harmful to the struggle for LGBT rights.

Let me repeat my question. How many election cycles have you voted in? Which elections, in your living memory, led to real change and which ones made things worse?

Did Clinton make things better or worse? Did Bush make things better or worse? Do Easter eggs and better hate crime stats excuse McClurkin and Warren, the fake repeal of DADT, the utter refusal to repeal DOMA, the end of ENDA or the defense of DADT and DOMA in the courts using the same vile bigoted language as the vatican and Rick Warren?

It doesn't matter what happens in November - we lose either way.

It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it. Eugene V. Debs

:: sigh ::

Are we turning this into a pissing contest?

I voted the last Presidential election. Prior to that, I was in Canada for almost two decades, and believe it or not, some of the elections up there saw genuine change -- however, bear in mind that there are five major parties, not two, so the opportunities for change are more myriad.

Prior to that, I was down here, and I voted every election cycle. I didnt always base my vote on GLBT issues, because there were times when there were things slightly more important to deal with, and I wanted a representative in DC who would respond accordingly. Sometimes it didnt work.

But sometimes it did.

Now, you're sitting there and saying that an election is a war between two parties, and you're right... but what else ya got, Magee? Who else is gonna repeal DADT? Who else is gonna take down DoMA? Anyone? The Green Party? The Rhinos? Stop me when I get there, okay?

You say I'm fear-mongering, and I happily reply that you're choosing to live a political illusion. You think that somehow, magically, things will change if we just ignore the two behemoths in the middle of the room. Sadly, regardless of your desire to see a whole new governmental paradigm emerge that will attend to our needs.. this is what we have to work with. Like it or not, this is it.

So I suggest you tone down the empty rhetoric and give me something substantive here to work with. You've offered nothing but a few vague ideas, none of which wold even come close to working on a national stage. You're just running as empty as the HRC, because you think a few gestures will somehow force DC to bend to your will.


Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 13, 2010 5:10 PM

Please, answer my question with specifics. Which of the US elections in the last 20 years that you voted in - or observed from afar -resulted in change for the good. And how many in change for the worse? Just answer my question. It's an easy question and a crucial one.

I'm not just saying that an election is between two parties but that it's between two unacceptably right centrist parties who wage genocidal wars for oil, create economic disasters and base their attitude to our communities on their policy of pandering to christian bigots. I'm saying that voting for them is harmful to our communities and unprincipled. The facts bear me out, not you.

You keep asking for an alternative but when they're produced you reject them because they don't involve voting for the lesser bigot, the lesser genocidal killer, the lesser union buster and etc.

The Democrats DADT and DOMA will be repealed and the passage of ENDA etc, ensured not by voting for Democrats or Republicans and then begging but by mass action to compel them. Nixon didn't pull the troops out of Nam because he wanted to but because the Vietnamese patriots wouldn't give up and neither would the US civilian and GI antiwar movements. We forced Nixon to withdraw the troops.

Mass action is the only alternative. Voting for our enemies is not an alternative, it's a disaster.

Laura Bogue | June 14, 2010 8:46 AM

Has everyone lost there collective minds. Granted the current Democraps haven't done anything to usher in any new changes to convince us they are seriously supportive of Equal Rights, DOMA repeal, DADT repeal. But show me the alternative question can be answered like this. First, vote out existing Democrats who have proven they are for appeasement rather than repeal. Then elect Democrats that have a proven tract record for LGBTIQ inclusive policies. As for Obama he has been basically rendered impotent by the Republicans by there constant grandstanding and filibustering. Let them know that the obstructionist agenda they have is defunct and vote them out. Giving the democrats a super-majority and enabling our policies and rights to be restored and for Washington to move again. I say END THE GRID LOCK, END THE REPUBLICANS ABILITY TO BLOCK AND BRAG ABOUT THERE ABILITY TO STOP THE PRESIDENTS POLICIES!

Saying that Pelosi , et al, recognize the issues is like saying Pope Benedict XVI recognizes that the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal is bad for the Church's PR. Just like the Pope, we are getting largely lip service from the Democrats and NOTHING when it comes to any REAL action.

Polls show that major majorities of Americans support DADT repeal and employment non-discrimination protections for LGBT Americans - even in states like Virginia. Yet the Democrats remain afraid of their own shadows and seem more content to contemplate their own navels than DO something.

If the Democrats cannot repeal DADT and pass ENDA, the net difference between them and the Republicans is close to zero. Here in Virginia, barring a reinstatement of the sodomy laws, it would be difficult for gays to be any more screwed than we already are.

In short, if the Democrats cannot deliver, it makes no difference that the "recognize the issues."

Rick Sours | June 12, 2010 7:43 PM

Sadly, harassment which we can not defend ourselves from still occurs. Laws are only the first step in a process of equality, acceptance and equal treatment of all members of the LBGT community.

Yes, yes, I know. But you still havent said what you're prepared to do as an alternative. The decision you and your s/o make have ramifications beyond simply saying "They're not supporting us; we're not supporting them."

So what are you going to do? Let the GOP take power again? Once more, how well did that work out for you during the Bush era? Did anyone in Congress even whisper DADT repeal? Not that I can remember.

So tell me: what's the long range plan here?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 13, 2010 2:15 AM

That's not true.

You just can't see over the wall of party partisanship long enough to look at the alternatives. Get a ladder.

We, on the other hand have seen Obama and know for a fact that McCain is no better and no worse and that voting for eihter is unprincipled and self defeating.

The long range plan? Not sure yet, but it frankly could involve emigrating from the USA once our elderly parents are no longer with us.

We're screwed with the Dems and screwed with the GOP. About the only thing that makes voting Democrat slightly more attractive given all of the unkept promises is protecting who appoints Supreme Court justices - although we still don't know where Obama's first appointment and current nominee will come down on LGBT rights.

Well, see, these are the kinds of things you need to consider before laying a smackdown ultimatum. As much as you loathe what the Dems are doing, you need them on your side right now, as minimal as that support might be, because the alternative is far worse to even contemplate. You dont know how long your parents are going to live, which means you may be stuck here for years — and you might as well dance with devil you do know.

The only reason I'm giving you grief about this is because I see the same thing amoung many of my FaceBook friends: they're not voting Democrat this year, not unless the Dems smarten up. Then I open my yap and say "So... you want the GOP back then?" "Well, no, of course not!" they reply. "But what you're doing pretty much guarantees it, right?" "Well... no..." ± and suddenly that firm resolve is reduced to a quivering mass of fear of the unknown, simply because no one has thought through the results of this decision.

I'm not saying the Dems are paragons of purity and support, but at least with them you stand an ever so slightly better chance than if McConnell were the Speaker of the House. Just remember that.

Sean, yes, there is a certain logic to your argument. On the other hand, lies and betrayal need to carry adverse consequences. Moreover, you approach sends the Dems a loud message that they can continue to lie, take our money and our votes and then basically tell us to go f*ck ourselves because there will be no negative consequences.

I'd also posit that if I am going to suffer either way and continue to be a second (or in Virginia, third) class citizen, then perhaps its better to suffer in a way that sends a loud message that lies and betrayal will NOT be tolerated any longer. It might be better to have a few more years of GOP darkness if it forces the Dems to finally rethink their cynical use of the LGBT community.

Rick Sours | June 12, 2010 9:02 PM

As I read about present political situations and events in the state of Virginia, one can only wonder what life must be like for LBGT youth in rural mountainous areas of Southwestern Virginia or in some of the rural Virginia farming counties
on the North Carolina border.

Thanks for your post, Michael.

The issues you raise here are part of the reason I called for (and am arranging) a Town Hall meeting taking place this week in San Francisco:

Date: Thursday, June 17, 2010
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Unitarian Universalist church
Street: 1187 Franklin Street (at Geary)
City/Town: San Francisco, CA

Here is the Facebook invite: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=126431264058078&ref=mf feel free to add yourself to it and promote it wildly.

Robin McGehee from GetEqual has expressed interest in attending. This event was just a proposal I made in a blog post at SF Weekly and it apparently struck a chord. AndrewW has haggled the living daylights out of me in comments at the post: http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2010/06/getequal_grilled_good_for_the.php

This event was planned without much advance notice - but a Town Hall meeting is overdue for our community in light of ongoing issues locally (the Prop 8 repeal campaign at the very least) and nationally (DADT ENDA etc). Please consider taking a moment to help get the ball rolling on regular Town Halls for the LGBT community by attending and/or encouraging others to attend by spreading the word.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 13, 2010 2:19 AM

Please make sure to let us know how it goes.

Sean I believe a targeted response would work best. As much as I hate war and detest nuclear weapons let's look at Truman ending the war with Japan. He pulled the trigger on a couple of cities and the point was made. We should support the Democrats but specifically and vocally oppose 2 or 3 who have failed us miserably. If the house maintains a majority of Democrats but Pelosi, Frank and Miller were to suffer defeats the point would be made.

No to sound flip, Deena, but good luck with that one. Frankly I dont think the House will keep its Democrat majority. Nor will the Dems really give that much of a whit about GLBT issues, not when they have so much nore and so much larger ones to deal with: the wars, the oil spill, job creation and the economy... face it: we're pretty far down the list, which is how the Dems could give us such a slap on both DADT and ENDA at the same time. Making Pelosi, Frank, and Miller suffer defeat is a nice idea, but post-election analysts wont see us as any major determining factor in those defeats, save in the most incidental of ways. We're simply not that important right now. We're going to have to write off the midterms and look at the next presidential election for anything worth while, and even that will be dependent on how all the other issues cited above have sorted themselves out.

That's not to suggest that our own issues arent important compared to the others -- but it *is* to say that, as far as the everyday voter is concerned, our issues arent that important... or, more likely, the Republicans will *make* us "important" by using us as a wedge issue and playing, however absurdly, on voters' fears and hysteria... which I would be willing to bet is one reason why the DADT repeal was watered down so much. It wasnt just appeasing the Pentagon (although that was certainly a big factor); it was also looking ahead to November. And we're gonna have to figure out how to get around that paranoia-mongering, because our learned GOP friends are determined to use it — and us — far more than the Dems.

Sean what I don't get is why make statements to further seperate the lgbt from the Republicans.The religious right is a slightly larger group then we are and mainstream Republicans are tiring of them.Case in point Terry Branstad winning the primary in Iowa the most moderate of the three Republican candidates.Polls showing that wedge issues like gay marriage aren't as important to Republicans as the right wing portrays them.Instead of attacking either party we should be trying to woo both of them and any other potential independent party.As a group we all support lgbt rights but as individuals we all have different views on other issues therefore we should be seeking to be represented in all political beliefs.Engaging those who disagree with our rights to live as free Americans with well thought out and honest debate will benefit us far more in the long run then to stoop to the types of attacks they put on us.Enda,dadt and most of the other things we want will come faster and easier if we have allies in all corners and votes from all sides.

You may give them a message in November but I am starting to give mine now. I make it clear that in my replies to any Democratic plea for contributions for the fall elections. I tell them simply, NO ENDA = No Money. If everyone who supports LGBT rights gave them the same message of no ENDA no money and no repeal of DADT means no money, you might see them all come to attention. The problem is they assume we are in their pocket and why should they think otherwise? Most of us are not going to vote for the Republican offerings with that party generally suck up the a** of people like The Family Research Counsel or others who are strongly anti anything even remotely that gives LGBT Americans any rights. They would have us beaten, stoned or at least reprogrammed if they had their way. So they feel safe in our support. I might even add they see no reason to move forward on these things because we are like a fish on the hook waiting to be landed as long as they are not passed. Once they are we are no longer tied to them. The only thing these people understand is money. So withhold your dollars and make sure they know why you are doing it. Perhaps then we might see some positive action besides just being played for a bunch of chumps.

rapid butterfly | June 13, 2010 10:02 AM

as a Virginian - and as a lesbian trans woman, essentially making me "fourth class" to Michael's "third class - I share Michael's concerns. Yet as a pragmatist I think Sean's right, at least in the short run, or however long it takes Dems or some other party to 1. field candidates who will actually BE "fierce advocates"; and 2. the GLBT social fabric that is building steadily makes it more likely that real civil rights legislation for GLBT people will pass. Obviously, there is interplay between (1) and (2).

I am very unhappy with how little has been accomplished during this time when we should have seen so much more progress (at least on the Fed level; I didn't really think we were in for a treat here in VA when the current admin was elected). But again, as Sean asks, what is the real alternative? To take one example - can anyone see something like the new State Dept regs on passports for trans persons happening in a republican admin? Yet that simple change, along with, for example, HUD changes in the works which would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people - can and will make a real difference over time.

Rev. Donna Tara Lee | June 13, 2010 1:54 PM

Try Voting socialist. The ISO is the most supportive straight group there is towards LGBTQ full civil rights and that is why I left the Dems and joined the International Socialist Organization. The ISO fully supported and marched in the Natl. Equality March last October 11 and it's platform calls for complete equality now for all LGBTQ Americans. Period!!!!!!

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 13, 2010 6:55 PM

If you all get on the ballot in Nevada I'll be happy to. I'll help you get on the ballot if I can.

But I have one question. Why do you refer to your group as a straight group?

Rick Sours | June 13, 2010 3:46 PM

My first real sense of this betrayal of the LBGT community by the Democrats was when the Administration stated that with this election all barriers had finally been broken. From then on it was official, we were viewed simply as second class citizens and not as a minority group
struggling for full equality.

Not that it makes much difference where I live, but I won't be voting this fall (there is no way on god's green earth I will vote Republican, am just going to vote for any Dems either). Right or wrong, that is my plan.

With a very few exceptions, it seems pretty clear to me that most of the Dems promising things to the GLBT community have no real commitment to getting anything accomplished or any substance, from Obama on down. I am pretty convinced that some degree of homophobia is involved in most cases, most clearly with the 'blue dog Dems' (Repub-lites). They are most open about it relative to trans people, but I feel it is there concerning the cis folks, too.

I agree with the posters above who don't see much difference between those who outright want to deny us rights and those who claim to want to help us, but just never really get around to it, except in one case we kno where we stand.

So the Dems lose the House, Senate, or both.Really, what good have they done anyhow? Oh, and who gave us DADT and national DOMA in the first place? Yes, our demographic isn't large enough to have the same impact as say, unions, but we might be the difference between Dems losing and winning, and if they realize that we will walk away, they might start to pay real attention. Even if they don't, we should still have enough people in Congress who are morally opposed to denying our rights to block further discriminatory legislation.

And really, like other posters, I am counting on the young people, and on our continuing presence out, letting people know us and who we are. I have seen more progress in this country than I expected to see before I died, and I have a long time to live yet, so I am willing to be patient. Just not patient with people who claim to support us, but really just want our money.


No Surprise, We Knew ENDA Would Be Put Back On The Shelf Until The So-Called DADT Repeal Was Worked Out. God Forbid, The Senate's Is Capable Of Multi-Tasking More Than One Bill At A Time. Especially When That Bill Involves GLBT Rights, They Tell Us They Can't Or Maybe They Just Don't Want To Do It Now.

Either Way, This By No Way Means We Should Sit Back Or Go Quietly Into That Good Night. Waiting On Obama Or The Dems To Move These Bills Forward. Now More Than Ever, They Need To Hear From Us. We Must Keep Up The Pressure, Make The Calls, Keep The Faxes and Emails Flowing. They Need To Know We Expect Every Single Promise Made By Obama and Dems To Us Be Kept.

Let Them Know, Our Patients And Support For Them Is Growing Thin. We're Tired With The Constant Delays and/or Compromises When It Comes To Our Rights. They Supposedly Are The Controlling Party, Time To Act While They Are, Because, This All Can Change Very Soon.

I'm Not Saying We Divorce The Dems, The Repug-lician Certainly Are No Friends Of Ours. However, They Need To Know Our Continued Support and GLBT Donations Come With Expectations.

You know, when I read the title I thought, "Oh, now what?"


That alone says a lot. They're supposed to be our bestest friends, after all - at least according to them. They all have a gay friend now to go with that black friend...

Marc Paige | June 13, 2010 9:34 PM

Has anybody LOOKED at the DADT House vote (229 to 186 in favor of repealing DADT - 5 of those were Republicans!!) and the Senate committee vote (16 to 12, only 1 Republican joined the Democrats!). By all means, let's keep the pressure on the Democrats, and let's hope that Republicans gain a soul. But let's also grow up. To abandon the Democrats, helping more Republicans win, is to kiss LBGT rights goodbye. If the Republicans win majorities in either chamber, we will get NOTHING.

(And will somebody PLEASE tell Bill Perdue that that the Dems and Obama got hate crimes passed, and that John McCain voted against repeal of DADT). The big lie of the 2000 election is when Ralph Nader told progressives there was no difference between George Bush and Al Gore. Don't listen to the big lie of 2010 that there is no difference between Obama and the Republicans.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 14, 2010 2:00 AM

1) Clinton's DADT is not repealed. It could go either way. Obama is stalling on repeal and Pelosi is terrified she won't be reelected it is isn't.

2) Electing more Democrats or Republicans does nothing for us. A consistent campaign of mass marches incorporating a militant program with alliance building will compel them to accept parts of our agenda. In any event, we, like most working people in this country, will never be free of bigotry, racism, war, gynophobia and economic crises in a society ruled by the looting class and their paid political prostitutes.

2) The hate crimes bill will lead to a better statistical look at the effects of christer hate mongering but does nothing substantive to stop it Like all laws originated by members of the world's second oldest profession - Congress - the hate crimes bill is not clear and purposely so. " The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. ANATOLE FRANCE. The law, to be effective has to be specifically aimed at christer and cultists hate preachers. Hate speech against us and against immigrants are the only protected forms of hate speech.

Obama and the Democrats ditched the hate crimes bill in 2007 after it passed both houses. Obama, a bigot who opposes SSM didn't lift a finger to stop that because he was planning on reaching out to christer bigots, something his campaign was quite good at. Karl Rove = Josh Dubois and the DNC.

3) The big lies of every election are that elections matter and that the Democrats are on our side. That's nonsense and the history of our movement since Stonewall proves that without question. Friends don't DOMA each other or get in bed with scum like McClurkin and Warren. Friends don't sabotage SSM like Obama did.

Really, with friends like that who needs enemies.

There's something else - why should the GOP care about us, when we're rusted on to the DNC?

If we defect in droves, not voting, then they have a darned good reason to keep us defected, and not to drive us into the DNCs arms again. That means easy on the bigotry - or they give the Dems free votes, and free money.

Converasely, why should the DNC care about us, when they're certain of our votes and our money no matter what they do?

We have to give both parties a reason not to screw us over.

I don't think anyone, not even the most pessimistic, predicted just how badly the Dems would treat us in the first two years. DADT was low-hanging fruit, ENDA only marginally less so. DOMA's a jump, but even an attempt at that should have been in the cards by now.

What reason do we have to believe that anything will change, if we continue voting Dem no matter what? What possible reason would they have to change, if they can get away with this kind of thing?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 14, 2010 6:10 AM

I don't think anyone, not even the most pessimistic, predicted just how badly the Dems would treat us in the first two years.

That's true of Democrats but socialists and radicals accurately predicted what Obama, the DNC and the Democrats would be our enemies based on their history and the right centrist nature of their party. We had plenty of data based on how they focused their campaign at chipping away the bigot vote given its first cohesive direction by Karl Rove.

Two ordained pentecostal bigots and Democrat party operatives, Josh Dubois, head of 'religious outreach' for Obama and Leah Daughtry, head of the DNC and it's 'religious outreach' organized the bigot vote for Obama and others quite successfully. The began with McClurkin and ended with Warren and the sabotage of same sex marriage in California.

It's not pessimism to predict that the Republicans and Democrats will continue to be our enemies. It's simply realistic.

All this space devoted to LGBT rights, but all I read is DADT.

As usual with your government, and your President, you have been given a bait-and-switch. You have been sold something for LGB only, and gotten nothing.

You have been told DADT "repeal" is the only "LGBT legislation" that can be passed before the midterms--after which, of course, this Obama policy of bait-and-switch will come home to roost and there will be no more Democratic majorities.

Even if a trans-inclusive ENDA survived Frank's and Obama's notion of political expediency, there will be no votes--and what a relief for all those who appropriate the **T** when all they really mean is sexual orientation, possibly gender identity, but never--since it is incomprehensible to them--sex identity.

At least be honest, if you want to throw transsexual and probably transgender people under the bus--after all, that will make passage of LGB legislation far more easy--why don't you just admit it

LGB Rights

But, since it is really all about bait-and-switch, you have been sold a bag of goods that is not what you were told it was. You're just going to have to be happy with the same political expediency transsexual and most transgender people have had to be happy with all along.

IMO we have to be willing to lose short term in order to gain long term. I.E. by not voting for bigoted Democrats we'll drive some of them from office only to have them replaced by even more bigoted Republicans. Who may work successfully to pull some of the rights the LGBT population already has.

So be it. If you wish to waken a sleeping giant take away rights already gained.

I wouldn't have seen that Joe interview if you hadn't posted it, Michael. Seriously, OMG, how out of touch.

There is no "political solution" to LGBT Equality.

It's 1994 all over again.