Obama has made more LGBT advances than accredited for
Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 18:10
A Yahoo! News from June had a headline that read "Progressives disappointed in Obama's gay marriage omission." And at first, I had to agree.
I believe that it is a travesty when two people who love each other are told they can't solidify that love in a way that makes them happy as well as meeting the legal definition for marriage.
Of the gay couples I know, many of them have been with their partners well over 15 years, most making it into the 30 year range. How many straight people can say that? So why should I care if LGBT people are allowed to marry? Let them do it--that's my stance.
This article says that many people at the LGBT Leadership Council Gala were unhappy with Obama and his LGBT stance. I followed the conversation to YouTube and read the comments throwing Obama under the bus on various LGBT issues.
While I understand that there is a long way to go in the LGBT civil rights battle, there has been significant progress. I know we all want everything now, but that just isn't possible, and we should celebrate every victory. So, lets talk about those victories.
In June of 2009 Obama signed a memorandum that gave federal benefits to same-sex partners that qualified. He signed a defense appropriations bill that gave money to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Bill.
That bill helped create federal protections for people who have been bullied, harassed or physically injured based on sexual orientation or identification. He ordered hospitals and medical facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare funds to extend the same rights of visitation to same-sex couples as they would to heterosexual couples.
That's something I know many of my gay friends were outraged by in the past. To not be allowed to see the person you love in what might be their last moments is a tragedy I hope no one ever needs to experience because they lack a marriage certificate.
The President made a "It Gets Better" video. This is a line of videos that is meant to bring hope to anyone struggling with a bully, identity crisis, or suicidal tendencies.
In July, Obama came out in favor of the "Respect for Marriage Act" that seeks to repeal the "Defense of Marriage Act" and make a marriage valid if the state it was entered into said it was valid. For example, a marriage entered into in New York would be valid in any other state.
On Sept. 20 the ban on gays serving openly in the military was officially repealed, ending three decades of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. On Sept. 21 he stood in front of the United Nations and said, "No country should deny people their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere."
More recently on Oct. 1, after remarking that he met with the LGBT leader Lady Gaga, the President delivered remarks that shows he is fighting as hard as he can during these "Congress of No" days.
"I want all those kids to know the president and the first lady is standing right by them every inch of the way. I want them to know we love them and care about them, and they're not by themselves," he said of LGBT youths who are struggling.
He has made the most progress of any president before him on LGBT rights. Is there more to do, yes. Does he know this, yes. Will he continue to do everything in his power to make sure that LGBT people get the same rights as other couples? I honestly think so.
But he won't be able to do it if he's not re-elected. Nor can he do it if people cast their votes in fear instead using their brains.
The scariest thought to me is a Congress filled with people who harbor hate in their hearts for any group they don't understand. I hear about candidates who don't stand up for gay soldiers who are being booed.
They don't stand up for undocumented immigrant children brought here by their parents.
They aren't standing up for the elderly or the poor or you or me. They vote for the purse strings and the corporations or they are cast out and labeled as failures or unproductive.
I hope you don't judge President Obama by what ever pet project you have been waiting for him to get passed through the legislature. We all have one or two, but you should look at everything that he has accomplished. I believe that, if given more time, he could make significant progress on a federal level to allow same-sex marriages, but we just have to give him the opportunity to be successful.
Vote people into office that can help him get bills introduced to the floor and placed on the docket. Remember, we are all in this together, and it will get better.