Monday, August 11, 2008

DNC Convention Platform - What's Missing? EDITED

So, I was taking a glance at the DNC Platform for 2008, and I noticed something missing. There was VERY little mention of GLBT Rights. It mentioned repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" - a policy loudly decried, so that's not a big surprise. And the Obama camp "opposes" DOMA. Well, I guess that's something, they do NOT specifically say they will work to OVERTURN IT, though. So, okay. What else have you got? Oh, okay - on pp46-47, they say they want to end discrimination based on the usual list, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Well, golly gee - all the rest are already illegal, so why are we lumped into a big group? Oh, and they want to work in a bipartisan way to end employment discrimination. Great! That is the ONLY proactive statement they make for the GLBT community, but even THAT is not specific. Those few mentions are interwoven with a bunch of other groups throughout. There is a subheading on FATHERHOOD (I kid you not - I'm not making this stuff up, people!), but NOT a subheading on obtaining FULL rights for the GLBT community. Nowhere in there is a stated COMMITMENT to obtain FULL Federal benefits for LGBT couples, all the same rights that heterosexual couples currently enjoy, and something Hillary Clinton committed to doing if elected president. So, a few nebulous mentions - you will NOT find the term "GLBT Community" in there, and one stated action on employment. Which includes EVERYONE. Peachy. I reckon we'll have to wait for full citizenship because these are just "words," words without even a COMMITMENT to action. I, for one, am not "grateful" for what little is offered in this Platform. I want my country to acknowledge me as a a FULL HUMAN BEING, not act like I should be thrilled to lap up whatever crumbs are dropped from the table of "real" Americans. No. Hell to the no.

How is it that countries like URUGUAY have national civil rights for THEIR GLBT citizens (as of January 1, 2008), and we do not, a country FOUNDED on democratic principles?

Or how about South Africa? Yes, South Africa, the country recently in the throes of a racist regime included IN ITS CONSTITUTION, rights for their GLBT citizens. In 2006, when the issue of Civil Unions came up, their dominant church, the Anglican Church, was not going to fight it. Rather, Archbishop of Cape Town, which oversees 24 bishops in the country said:
he supports the proposed controversial Civil Unions Bill which will legalise same-sex partnerships.

Speaking on Thursday, he said that there should be two separate types of marriage; the existing law which covers heterosexual couples and a new concept which would allow for same-sex unions.

Ndungane said that "I have said to my friends who are gay and lesbian that using the word marriage is like a red flag to a bull. They will be wise to use the word partnership or union.”

While the Synod has said it will not actually perform (or bless) same-sex unions, but it will be supportive. He went on to say:
"People of homosexual orientation are God's children. We cannot penalise someone for something not of his or her own making", said Ndungane, adding that, "Diversity is a creation by the almighty. We need to embrace all of us in our differences and seek to walk together."

Now, in all fairness, the GLBT community was not thrilled with this compromise, particularly because they feel like it ends up being separatist in terms of the whole marriage concept, and that it is unconstitutional. I imagine they are right, but when you live in a country in which people go crazy over a gay Episcopal priest, Gene Robinson, being elevated to Bishop in 2003, or have a President of the United States, George Bush, claim he wants to make Gay Rights Unconstitutional, well, it looks pretty good to me.

But I'm not done. We all know (right?) that countries like France, England, and those freakin' cold countries in Europe have full rights for their GLBT citizens - what a concept. Yes, they all seem to see us as being fully human. And get this: Holland isn't content with providing their OWN citizens with full rights - they think it should be GLOBAL, and are fighting to make that happen. Yep. How about that? Meanwhile, we are having people literally beaten to death because they are gay. Geez - what would it take to get the Dutch to come over HERE and get to work on this issue??

Oh, but I am still not done. Guess which other country has full rights for their GLBT citizens? Oh, guess. Go ahead. I'll wait. Nope, no, huh uh - that would be CROATIA. Yes, I said CROATIA. I would have more rights in Croatia, the country recently in a major war with the Serbs until 1995. Just 18 years after forming its Constitution, I have more rights THERE than I do in the United States of America. In fact:
Croatia is also one of very few countries in central, eastern and southern Europe to grant same-sex couples the civil partnership rights equal to those granted to heterosexuals.

In fairness, it is not ALL hunky dory there:
However, like the people of many countries in the region, Croatians do not have the same tolerance we've come to expect from the Dutch, the Swedes, and the rest of western Europe. Gays are accepted when they are not obvious, and meet greater tolerance in cities than in rural parts of the country.

But STILL - they have the SAME RIGHTS as heterosexuals do there. Presumably, that means they are not prohibited from inheriting from their partners like they are in a number of states in the USA. Presumably, they can visit their loved ones when they are in the HOSPITAL. And so, so much more.

Yet, the DNC did not see fit to include us ANYWHERE in its platform for the upcoming Convention. And the reason is because they tailored it to OBAMA. If it had been Clinton, I believe, no - I KNOW - it would have been different. She has been a faithful, stalwart friend to our community for years, and she has already said that if elected, she would ensure that we ALL got the same federal benefits, not just some of us (see the YouTube video below).

I have said all along that if Hillary was not our candidate, not our PRESIDENT, that we were going to get kicked to the curb. I would be delighted to be proven wrong, but I'm pretty sure I am right, unfortunately. The lack of inclusion in the Platform for this year was not an oversight. It is what we can expect.

So, SuperD's - if you care about ALL Americans, this is yet another reason why Hillary Clinton should be our nominee. Never mind all of the external crapola about Obama - his flip flopping, where he was born, his utter lack of any real experience, etc., etc., etc. The fact is, and you have three weeks to get this straight, so to speak, Hillary Clinton is the ONLY candidate out there who will serve ALL Americans, not just some. And that matters. That matters a lot.


Connie said...

Excellent post! Think about sending a condensed version to the big newspaper's "Letters to the Editor". Most people do not know these things!

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Thanks, Connie! I appreciate that, and will certainly consider it...Good to hear from you!!

Mary Ellen said...

Hi Amy! Sorry it's been so long since I've commented here...busy family life kept me from spending time on my favorite blogs.

Regarding your excellent post, I can't understand how anyone in the LGBT community could support Obama. Obama's lack of moral character is so obvious with the company he keeps and the company he avoids. He's been avoiding the LGBT community throughout this campaign and has only given interviews with LGBT media when his back was up against the wall. He refused to march in the Chicago Gay Pride Parade because he wanted to spend time at an exclusive spa in Chicago, instead.

What really kills me is the outright bamboozling that has gone on with this guy and how he gets away with it. I know of at least 4 gay friends who plan on voting for Obama because they are convinced that he is the lesser of two evils and one that has been enamored by Obama from the very beginning. The latter is convinced that he will suddenly change his ways after he is elected President because he needs to keep a low profile in order to get the Independent and Christian votes. When I point out that Obama has done NOTHING for the gay community, he refuses to look at that little detail.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, ME!

I figured family stuff was occupying your time. So glad to hear from you!

Yes, I have absolutely NO idea why any GLBT person would support Obama. Not only has he done NOTHING for us, as I said, but his actions and associations are NEGATIVE in terms of the community. It makes no sense to me at all.

And really - why should we accept being the "sacrificial lambs" for him to get elected?? If he is willing to kick us to the curb BEFORE the election, you can BET he is not going to give a damn abt us AFTER he gets elected! He has shown time and time again that he cares nothing for this community, except for wanting our votes. That is why the Human Rights Campaign lost a LONG-time member when they decided to endorse HIM instead of the original HRC. SHE has probably marched in more pride parades than I have, for pete's sake! And I had not heard he chose to go to a spa instead of march in the Chicago one - hor freakin' typical of him.

Honestly, Mary Ellen, this man has done enough all on his own for the RNC to go after him. Truly supporting the GLBT community is NOT what is going to make or break this election for him. IMHO, that is.

Good to hear from you!

Anonymous said...

Who signed DOMA again?