Still a long road ahead for LGBT rights

It’s down to work for LGBT rights

That’s what is reporting. LGBTQ Americans have been hopeful ever since Obama began running in the primaries: he is bringing us change. Keyword being bring. And while Obama might be the best ally we’ve had in the White House, his inauguration hasn’t, and will not, bring about wide sweeping change for LGBTQ people; we still have to work for it. 

According to

“The [White House’s] Web site says that the President supports the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

A pride flag flies alongside an American flag at the University of Vermont.

A pride flag flies alongside an American flag at the University of Vermont.

“It also says that Obama would fight for civil unions and federal rights for same-sex couples and guarantee adoption rights. And it pledges to fight any attempt to pass an amendment to the Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage.

“In addition, the site said the President is pledged to support for AIDS relief, both nationally and abroad.”

And while Obama is in favor of all of these issues, it is still up to Congress to make them a reality; Obama just signs his name on the legislation. They must work together. And in order for any of this to happen, it must be make clear to Congress that their constituents want all of these things to happen. We must let them know. We must enact the change. We cannot sit on Obama’s inauguration, believing it to be the panacea for all that ails Americans, especially LGBTQ Americans.

Obama is also against gay marriage. Almost no one believed me on this one, but it is true. See the above quotation where it says “Federal Defense of Marriage Act.” Read the verb before; it is “supports.” This comes as a shock to most people. Personally, I find the idea that Obama supports the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but is also against gay marriage to be hypocritical as well as counter intuitive. 

While Obama’s support for these issues is still the best we have ever had in America for a president, the fact still remains that it is not good enough. Part of me says that he only supports DOMA to appease conservatives and get their vote, but when it actually came down to it, he would be okay with gay marriage becoming legal; however, the other part of me says that would be very dishonest of the president; and while, if he did sign a bill legalizing gay marriage into law after being vehemently against it, it would still benefit me, but I would still be wondering about what else he was equivocating. 

If everyone changed their negative views about gay marriage that would be a great thing; however, I do not want a president that is easily prayed upon by special interests and the whims of a fickle people. A radical change in view by Obama on the gay marriage issue would make me suspect that some sort of special interest, that he answers to or has ties to, tacked something onto the bill legalizing gay marriage. Thus, we would have gay marriage, but at what price? What political wheeling and dealing was he doing to change his mind so swiftly?

I mean, if Obama does see the times are changing and edits his views to reflect that, then I wouldn’t have an issue. All I am saying is that he is still a politician and it is up to the people to be his watchdogs. 

Either way, we still have a long road ahead of us. And while Obama coupled with a House of democrats is a step in the right direction, there will still be extensive battles along the way. We must hold all of our lawmakers accountable, as well as the president, by making our voices heard. Stand up. Speak out. Do it proudly. Do it often.

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3 thoughts on “Still a long road ahead for LGBT rights

  1. Jamie,

    First off, wonderful blog. Its exciting to finally see some coverage and exposure to all the events going on in cincy.

    I think its definitely in our best interest to keep an eye on our new president and to never start thinking “oh great our problems are over”, but something that irked me was that Obama supporting a LGBT initiative would be suspect.

    Here are a couple links to people much more informed and well written than I am:
    concerning our unfavorite pastor-
    The end of this article clearly states Obama’s opinion on gay marriage-

    From what I understand he is trying to satisfy both the rights for the LGBT public as well as allow the church to preserve its idea of marriage. I’m not about to get into a biblical debate, but “marriage” is traditionally heavily involved with religous institutions and for the government to redefine that word for them would be disasterous. Its the state’s entanglement with religion that makes this issue so icky.

  2. You are misreading the sentence. Obama supports the repeal of DOMA. He made this abundantly clear in his February 28 open letter to the LGBT community. His campaign website clearly stated “Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions.”

    You are correct that he does not support marriage equality, but he is also in favor of repealing DOMA to make way for civil unions.

  3. Question: does DOMA make the passage of civil unions impossible as well?

    something else: the second website Jenn posted has this quote from Obama “I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

    This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard and it reminds me how dumb most people in the world are, because they don’t get that gay marriage has nothing to do with religion.
    if gay marriage were legal it would not mean that gay people could walk into a church and the priest/pastor/minister would have to marry them. the government cant tell churches what they can and cannot do. the legalization of gay marriage, would allow a gay couple to go into the courthouse and have a judge marry them, completely separate from religion.

    Jamie, you’ve pointed out before that people forget that when they get married in a church its only because that minister has gotten authorization from the state to legally marry people, if they dont have this authorization then they are married under law.

    And you also know that I dont think anyone should be able to get married. since the word marriage is so tied up with religion anyway why dont then completely take it away from the state, and you get a legal union from the government (whether your gay, straight or whatever) and that will give you all your rights (although i think a lot of those rights should be taken into question, why should people that choose a specific lifestyle get all these rights above ppl that dont) and then if you want to get married go to a church and let “god” do his business.

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