Thank God I found your blog! I feel like I've been living a real life version of invasion of the body snatchers since Obama was elected! Heterosexual people who I considered to be my friends had the audacity to tell me I should stop complaining about the Rick Warren incident and "trust Obama"....and worse. I have lost lifelong friends over this bullshit, and it has even damaged relationships with family members. Obama did more to degrade, insult, and damage LGBT people on his first day in office than any other president has done in an entire term (at least in my lifetime)...
I'm guessing that beyond Obama choosing Rick Warren to convey God's love to everyone who isn't gay or, well, a woman, was Obama's choice of Tim Kaine as the new DNC Chair. As I have pointed out in previous posts, Kaine is both anti-Choice, and anti-gay. Hell, he even opposes same-sex civil unions. Betcha didn't know that abt the NEW CHAIR of the DNC!!! How could we not possibly take this choice, this hand pick, by Obama personally?
And how we can not take it personally that, as the commenter above noted, our families and friends keep dismissing the numerous slaps at our community by Obama? I don't see how we can't, and I, for one, most definitely DO take it personally. When people like Anne Hathaway think her wearing a damn ribbon is sufficient "protest" to Obama's choices, and others, people who KNOW us, think to do even LESS, well, there's no way not to take that as a slap.
This seems like the perfect time to remind all of those people about the DNC's Platform on gay issues, hammered out this summer. Here is a post I wrote back on August 11, 2008 on the DNC Platform with a couple of edits for the passage of time:
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. UPDATE: But now, Obama has put this on the back-burner until at least 2010. Oh, what a SURPRISE from this man who surrounds himself with homophobes!!! Ahem.
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, some in the GLBT community were 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 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 just more of what we can expect.
Hillary Clinton was the ONLY candidate out there who will serve ALL Americans, not just some. And that matters. That matters a lot. I have no doubt she will do a great job as Secretary of State, but it would have been better for ALL of us had she been president:
So, yeah - it's personal. To try and minimize the impact of Obama's choices on the GLBT community, or expect US to minimize it, is nothing more than piling on.
Welcome to the New DNC.