Friday, May 08, 2009

Can He Do More?

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of our new president.
Love him.
Love everything about him.
Thinking of being him next Halloween.

But where is Obama on the gay issues he spoke of during his campaign? Are we being shoved aside? Were we pandered to just to get him elected?
I don't think so. i just think we've got a lot of crap on our plate that needs to be cleaned up, and he is tackling the issues that affect us all.

We need to fix the economy. The environment is a critical issue. I don't like seeing people losing their homes and their jobs; I don't like seeing families going hungry. But still, where is he on the "gay" issues?

I haven't heard him say a word about Maine. Or Vermont. Or even Iowa for that matter, though a statement was released saying that he "respects the decision." These are important milestones in a civil rights battle and they deserve at least a personal mention from our President, a man who has described himself as a "fierce advocate of equality."

There are rumors that two of his potential Supreme Court nominees are openly gay. That's good. And he supports a legislative repeal of the defense of Marriage Act; that's good, too. He urged Congress to pass a Hate crimes Bill; very good. And he
has chosen a number of openly gay people for prominent jobs, including Fred P. Hochberg as chairman of the Export-Import Bank and John Berry to run the Office of Personnel Management.
But many AIDS activists say his new global health initiative is not financing AIDS programs generously enough. And he has delayed action on one of his key campaign promises, repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell."

He's made steps, small steps, and he has a lot to do, but I'd like to see more. I'd like to see him tackle issues head-on that directly affect Carlos and me, our lives, our family.

Tobias Wolff, Obama’s top campaign adviser on gay rights, says, “I think he has a genuine sense that in order to move these issues forward you need broader buy-in than you are going to get if you poke a stick in too many people’s eyes.”

I understand Mr. Wolff's point of view, but when you've been promised things and have been waiting for things, and you don't get them, you don't get a mention of them, you begin to wonder if you were being used to help get a man elected. I think sometimes you have to poke people with a stick.

article at the New York Times


Dan said...

Yes he can do more and he needs to do more for the GLBT community.

Mark in DE said...

I think what Wolff was saying is that strategically it is smarter for Obama to keep quiet right now on the marriage equality issue and let the movement itself continue to build momentum. After a rew more states sign marriage equality into law (and after some measure of success with the economy) Obama will basically say 'the country is speaking and telling us the time is right for ALL Americans to have equality'. Then he'll tell Congress to draft Federal legislation.

Wonder Man said...

He will come through