Bil Browning

Ouch: Understatement of the Year

Filed By Bil Browning | November 01, 2010 8:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: Gay Inc, missed opportunity, understatement of the year

I'll admit that running Bilerico Project has really opened my eyes to the state of the LGBT movement nationwide. We've run afoul of some of the internal politics both in our personal dealings with the national org and in our reporting. Still, when I read understatement.jpgKerry Eleveld's op-ed in the Advocate about Gay Inc's silence after Obama said his attitude on same-sex marriage was "evolving," I couldn't help but think it was a gross understatement.

It was just one more missed opportunity in what has been a long and maddening succession of them ever since this president took office with Democratic majorities in Congress we may never witness again.

I usually refrain from saying much about how the national LGBT groups acquit themselves because I generally find finger-pointing only serves as a counterproductive distraction from the most critical tasks at hand. But quite frankly, watching some of them at the federal level over the past two years has been a lesson in political malpractice that has left me ill and speechless more times than I care to count.

Amen, sister. But two years? I've lived in DC just two months and it's glaringly obvious to me. I'll admit to being a little shocked at how bad it really is.

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Yeah, I've gotta say that there is a severe lack of communication between the president and LGBT Americans when Obama can say shit like this seriously:

“I guess my attitude is that we have been as vocal, as supportive of the LGBT community as any president in history,” he said, pointing to his record number of gay appointments, work at the federal agency level such as hospital visitation, and movement on “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“I’ll be honest with you,” Obama said, “I don’t think that the disillusionment is justified.”

So sorry, President Obama, our kids are dying. Acknowledgement of our existence is a small step. Let's keep the progress going. I'd like to be able to find a job in the state I live in without worrying that my sexual orientation is an issue. I'd like marriage to be a possibility. I'd like the government to stop actively discriminating against its military servicemembers. I'd like to be treated like a fucking equal citizen, regardless of the gender of the person whose hand I hold. I'd like this world to look like it's worth living in for the teenagers and young adults who can't see the silver lining in President Obama's few symbolic actions.

I know Election Day is tomorrow and he's trying to make it look like they've gotten positive things accomplished, but it's impossible to ignore the inaction of this Congress and president. I watched the Jon Stewart interview with him this morning and in both those videos and this article, he really comes off as annoyed with us little people who don't understand the game of politics and why our needs cannot be met. I've been pissed at him since the DOJ document last summer and for everything since, but I think I'm done expecting anything out of him.

Oh, and HRC? Fuck you for ever letting him think an inclusive Easter egg hunt and the hate crimes bill is enough to mollify any LGBT citizen. Sure, no other president has made an "It Gets Better" video, but that's not enough anymore.

In the 41 years since the Stonewall riots, neither party has moved legislatively to end systemic homophobia and bias in our laws. We have had to have these horrendous restrictions in the law removed by shear force of suing the government to have them rendered unconstitutional. The institutional bigotry of American law and American society cannot be changed through the legislative process -- there are simply too many bigots in positions of power who hide behind the flag and the bible. These cowards of freedom do not deserve one ounce of my attention.

What he says is irrelevant. We know what he has, and has not, done. No-one's listening any more.

Time to start planning for 2022, the next time we might have a realistic chance of getting legislative progress. We must make sure that there's no repeat performance of 2009-2010.

It's 1994 all over again. We can't repeat the last 16 years. We need to rethink everything we do and embrace accountability for every tactic, method and strategy.

Paige Listerud | November 1, 2010 12:56 PM

Ummm . . . while we're planning for 2022, is everyone planning for the Christofacist takeover of our government? We've got people running for office who have stated how much they hate us, how much they expect to restore America--at the expense of our liberty--and how much laws against us need to be re-codified to bolster our second-class citizen status. If they could build concentration camps for us, they would. Is no one upset about these developments?

I assume by "christofacist" you are referring to "literalist" Christians? They only represent about one-third of all self-defined "religious people" in America. They're not taking over our government any more than liberals or progressives. In fact, they are the new minority and it is our job to use education to marginalize them.

Promoting "fear" isn't helpful and it just delays the real work we need to do. Our equality is a challenge, not a fight. We need to be focused on creating a majority, not promoting a minority.

I'm scared to death and working my a** off to GOTV. What I keep running up against is a community-wide self-centered temper tantrum.

I am really, really unhappy with the lack of progress we've been afforded also. That does not mean that I think we should let completely insane people take over our government.

Andrew W. is correct. We need new strategies. There is a group in my town that I work with that identifies and cultivates pro-equality candidates for local office. Some of these are now in state-wide office and one is running for a congressional district seat this cycle. These folks not only believe in fairness and equality for lgbt folks, they believe in good governance.

President Obama is correct. He has done as much for LGBT rights as any president in history. And very nearly as little.

It's not much of a measure, Mister President!

While the LGBT community sings the praises of the Democratic Party and warns of Armageddon if the Republicans are running things again -- like two years ago? -- actual Democrats walk all over us.

I am sick of voting for people who do nothing for me. As an American.

I am very frightened of the outcome of this election tomorrow! If it is a return to Republican Politics then we can expect that they will attack us LBGT's in any why they can! We scare them! They are the bullies and they want to sublimate any rights for us!
WE NEED TO ORGANIZE! We need to consolidate all of the national,State,and Local groups. Then we need to figure out methods of working together! Just please do not make HRC the lead or major organization! We can change Opinions and if needed the Laws that discriminate against us!

The funny thing is how liberals like to praise themselves for being so much smarter than conservatives. Stupid is as stupid does, and once you see how these folks do you know which side is the stupid one.

I think it is more a matter of the "conservative" generally being business minded, and the "liberal" tending to be more laid back. This carries over into the political reality. The "conservative" tends to go to the polls and vote as a matter of duty, the "liberal" tends only to show up for issues that effect them personally in some way.

I have not been fighting this fight as far as LGBT rights as long as many have, but one thing is clear, the way things have been done has not been nearly as effective as it should be. The lack of results are proof of that. This said, the only times I recall the political process working in a speedy manner is to go to War, or when Congress got bombarded with phone calls demanding they stop the Telimarketers.