Friday, June 19, 2009

Obama Administration Agrees to LGBT Leadership Meeting

Somebody got the message! The Obama administration is having a major sit down with LGBT leaders next week to hash out DOMA and try to find a solution. That is a start. Pity it took such a fuss to get their attention.

I am reminded of my grandfather. He was a crusty old guy, a blacksmith by trade. He once told me how to train a mule. He said, "you roll up a newspaper and tap the mule on the nose but first you hit the mule over the head with a 2X4 to get his attention!"

Now where is that rolled up paper?

DNC Fundraiser A Bust! Gays Pull Out.

What is the Democrats threw a party and nobody came? Well that is the situation for the DNC fundraiser targeted at the LGBT community. The event which was to honor Vice President Joe Biden boasted a list of attendees that was a Who's Who of the LGBT political front. And then there was that brief. You know the on where the Obama Justice Department compaired homosexuality to incest and ...well it's been discussed ad nauseum.

Now the list of luminaries has shrunk to almost nobody. One after another the big names are pulling out including the HRC, GLAAD, Stonewall Democrats, David Mixner, blogger Andy Towle, Lambda Legal, and more. Additionally, the fundraiser looses one of its biggest donors, Bruce Bastian who has dropped mega-bucks on the party before.

All this because Obama is defending the Defense of Marriage Act, or rather his Justice Department is. LGBT activists and politicos want action from Obama, not tokenism as expressed in his lame executive memo this week. He needs to push through some legislation overturning DOMA, DADT and hate crimes and he needs to do it now. Otherwise he and Congress will face a landscape that is noticablly lacking in LGBT funds and some very visible demonstrations.

Enough is enough, and we won't be taken for granted. Time to see some action Mr. President.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stonewall Democrats Pull Out of DNC Gay Fundraiser In Protest!

Well the Stonewall Democrats certainly have shown they have a pair! They have pulled out of the DNC fundraiser next week along with a host of other gay luminaries and groups. All this is in response to the DOJ brief that the Obama administration filed in defense of DOMA.

Here is a clip of the Stonewall response from Ben Smith's blog:
The members of the Board and our membership put our hopes, our dollars and our time into ensuring the election of Barack Obama because we believed that he supported us. To now have his Administration refer to our relationships in the same terms used by our long time enemies such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson hurts on so many levels. To have our committed and loving relationships referred to as the moral equivalent of incest and pedophilia is not something that any of us ever expected from this Administration considering how hard we worked to be seen and respected. For that reason alone, advocating for attendance at a fundraiser to support the Administration and the DNC, while they have not condemned this hurtful language, is not something our membership will receive positively.

Solomonese on Olbermann - "Obama Went Way Over the Line"

Schwarzenegger Declines To Defend Prop 8!

Talk about strange bedfellows! I am 100% behind Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and that is pretty strange. The GOP Governor of California is doing what the Democratic President of th US should be doing and that is declining to defend the constitutionality of a bill that denies marriage rights to gays and lesbians.

The Governator has said he will not defend the constitutionality of Proposition 8 in future legal challenges. This decision to remain neutral in a federal challenge to the initiative means no statewide official will be defending the measure in federal court.

My question to President Obama is why couldn't he have done the same with DOMA? Instead the Department of Justice issued a hateful brief that not only defended the law but effectively comnpaired gay marriage to incest and pedophelia. Fir that kind of abuse we could have gone to the Neocons!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Another GOP Politician Caught In Affair

From high in his glass house Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, tossed stones at Bill Clinton for his infidelities and stumped for the Defense of Marriage Act. He would seem to be a poster child for moral decency, at least in the straight white male Republican variety. Not so fast!

Ensign admitted this week that he had an ongoing affair with a campaign staffer for over nine months while he was running against Harry Reid. I guess he figured "what happens in Nevada stays in Nevada."

Another example of duplicity that is rife within the GOP. But to be fair, even though the Republicans rarely are, the Democrats have their share of scandals as well. It is just that the GOP likes to campaign on some imagined ideal of moral decency that they regularly ignore in their own lives.

Monday, June 15, 2009

GOP Continues To Lie About Health Care

Once again the GOP is telling Americans the Big Lie. This "Big Lie" is that we have the best health care system in the world.

Not only is it a lie, but it's just about 180 degrees from the truth. We have one of the most inefficient and poor health care systems of any industrialized country. In a recent study of 6 large democracies, US, Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, we came in dead last for efficiency, safety, access and equity of service.

To hear the GOP talk, as they are today in their attack on President Obama's health care speech to the AMA, you'd think we were number 1.

Even if you have lots of money you'd get a better return on your cash in any of the other countries and if you are broke, well we all know how that works here. No health care. You end up using county emergency rooms as your physician and only then when you have no other choice.

Still the Republicans rail against the threat of "socialized medicine". The problem is for many Americans, that would be more medicine than they get now. The "for profit" model is broken and needs fixing.

The Spirit of Stonewall - Time to March in the Streets Again!

As the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots approaches I wonder if LGBT Americans really understand what second class citizens we really are?

The marriage issue is nice, but it's just one part of a larger picture. Without full rights as citizens, marriage won't really do the trick. I sometimes wonder why some gay activists decided to draw a line in the sand with marriage and not just go for Civil Rights. Gay marriage would be a no brainer if we were assured full rights and protections of the Constitution. Instead we have some rights but not all.

In most states a gay or lesbian employee can be fired just because of their sexual orientation. No protection, no recourse. That would qualify as second class citizenship to me.

An LGBT American can't serve openly in the military simply because of his or her sexual orientations. Sounds pretty second class to me.

An LGBT American can be harassed or even killed because of their sexual orientation with no protection under federal Hate Crimes laws. Why? Because we are second class Americans.

You see we have become complacent because many LGBT people are affluent. Having money does not give you more rights, it just lulls you into a false sense of equality. Just because a gay man is upper middle class in income doesn't buy him any more rights than other Americans.
It just means he can buffer the discrimination with a little more cash.

The cynic in me could go on for hours about the illusion that wealth brings privilege. It does until you run into the legal loopholes that say LGBT Americans are less valuable than their straight counterparts. Don't believe me, just see how money can't buy you access to a loved one who is hospitalized. If you are not "related" in the eyes of the law, you are out of luck.

So my point is that LGBT Americans need to wake up and realize that until we demand full rights we will never get them. Nobody is going to give them to us, we have to demand them and work to educate others to our plight.

We have an administration in Washington who is at least more sympathetic than the previous one, and it's time we made our voices heard loud and clear. On this 40th anniversary of Stonewall, we need to be back in the streets. It was marching and protesting that broughts full civil rights to other minorities in our country and the same will be true for us.