That’s what 365gay.com 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 365gay.com:
“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.
“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.