Thursday, May 21, 2009

There's Obama And His Promises; On The Other Hand, There's Hillary Clinton...

Who is a woman of her word. I know, that is a bit unusual in the political realm, at least given the example set by the president whom she serves (eeww, yuck, still have a hard time saying that). My good friend, Ani, at No Quarter tipped me off to this story. The magazine that broke this story is "On Top Magazine" (don't ask me - I've never heard of it before), so don't beat yourself up if you haven't seen this. Maybe if you are a regular subscriber to USA Today, or travel a lot, you might have seen this article. I tell you what, though, a lot of the news sources reporting this are not in this country. Gee, I wonder why?

Maybe it is because we have been having people like Lt. Dan Choi speaking out, asking President Obama not to fire him under the policy, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" recently. Likewise for Lt. Col.Victor Ferenbach, and Major Witt, all calling for a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, so these highly trained, highly decorated people can continue the work they do best on our behalf (I have written about these folks just recently, and SusanUnPC posted an incredible video of Lt. Col. Fehrenbach. They want to continue to serve their country even though their country is treating them like second class citizens.

Except in the State Department. Yes, that Hillary Clinton has made a move that should warm the hearts of everyone who cares about equality and social justice. Check out this article, Gay US Diplomats To Get Equal Benefits:
SECRETARY of State Hillary Clinton has promised to provide equal benefits to partners of homosexual US diplomats stationed overseas, a congressman said.

Howard Berman, head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, had sought to require the State Department to offer benefits such as medical care, transport between postings and security training to partners regardless of sexual orientation.

Mr Berman, in a hearing on funding for the Foreign Service, said he would drop his legislative bid as "it is my expectation, based on very recent conversations, that the Secretary of State will move forward with implementing all of the benefits provided in that provision in the very near future".

The congressman invited to the hearing Michael Guest, the former US ambassador to Romania who in 2007 left the Foreign Service, citing unfair treatment of his partner.

"For 26 years he served our country with distinction and was sadly forced to leave the Foreign Service when he could no longer accept the second-class status accorded his lifetime partner,'' said Mr Berman, a Democrat from California.

"But I am heartened that soon no more of our best and brightest will be forced to choose between family and country,'' he said.

The ranking Republican member on the committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, has supported the effort.

Ms Ros-Lehtinen signed a letter to Mrs Clinton sent in February by Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin who is openly lesbian, warning the State Department risked losing qualified diplomats unless it provided equality to gay partners.

But another Republican lawmaker criticized a separate part of the bill aimed at promoting gay rights.

The funding bill calls on US diplomats to encourage other countries to revise laws that restrict consensual homosexual relations or limit the freedoms of gay people and groups.

Wow. That is HUGE. Really huge. And that pretty much says it all about the difference between Clinton, and Obama. One walks the walk, and one talks and talks.

You may recall that she said on the Ellen Degeneres Show that if elected president (and she would have been had she not been thrown overboard by the DNC), she would grant federal benefits to GLBT people. Here's the video, just in case you want a refresher (and want to see Hillary again - don't you miss her? I do...):

As a bonus, watch the second part - Secretary Clinton is hilarious!

Since Hillary wasn't able to provide rights for all LGBT US citizens, she is doing it for the ones she can in the Diplomatic Corp. Good on her, and good for them. It is a start. And a glimpse of what we all could have had...


Mary Ellen said...

I'm always flabbergasted by one particular blogger who is gay and supported Obama. Well, he did more than "support" Obama, he ripped Hillary to shreds (and still continues to do so) on a regular basis. He's too blind with hatred for Hillary to notice that the guy he supports has thrown him and the rest of the LGBT community under the bus and backed up over them multiple times. I don't understand why he, and others like him, are so willing to watch their rights be ignored and tear apart the only candidate that was willing to fight for them. It's a strange world, I tell ya.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

It truly is, Mary Ellen. All I can think of is that men like that are so consumed with their crush on Obama, they cannot shake the blinders they have on. It is really shocking, but that seems to be how the HRC endorsed HIM over Hillary in the first place. After ALL she has done, and continues to do, and they picked Obama. Kinda makes you wonder where their heads where at when they made that decision (if you get my meaning).

Btw, HRC called me the other night, and I could not get off the phone fast enough. I have already told them that I have canceled my membership of over 20 yrs with them and why.

And this blogger sounds exactly like Bush's die-hard supporters. Truly, they are cute from the same cloth...