Sherman, Turn On The Wayback Machine For The Obama Administration’s LGBT Legislative Agenda

Thumbnail Link: Sherman, Mr. Peabody, And The Wayback MachineFor those of you old enough to remember Sherman and Mister Peabody, those two were in a “middle” cartoon for the Rocky And Bullwinkle Show. They used the Wayback Machine to go an look back at improbable history.

Here’s some improbable history for you: The Office Of Personal Management’s (OPM’s) John Berry, with the echo of the Family Research Council’s (FRC’s) Tony Perkins, predicting the path of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community history’s future path, in the video OPM Director John Berry Outlines Obama Administration’s Gay Agenda:

Many of us are noting how the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has seemed to have fallen off the national discourse of LGBT issues, and in the 111th Congress, with strong Democratic Party majorities, we’re didn’t see any vote on ENDA — and it’s unlikely we’ll see a vote on ENDA in the 111th Congress’s lame duck session.

The Wayback Machine is a strange device, giving us a view into the past, with its impact on the present — and the future.

I’m believing more and more what Representative Jackie Speier stated last June regarding ENDA might even be an optimistic assessment at this point, and her take on DADT being passed into law by the end of this year appears to me to be a very unlikely outcome to come out of our 111th Congress.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier put a damper on hopes for swift House passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, telling the Bay Area Reporter over the weekend that she doesn’t see the LGBT workplace protections becoming law anytime soon.

Addressing the crowd of gay and straight political and community leaders at Sunday’s Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club Pride breakfast, Speier said, “Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi is doing all she can to ensure a majority for next year so we can pass ENDA.”

Asked later in a brief interview if that meant the House would not vote on ENDA this year, Speier told the B.A.R., “The rest of the year is in question.”

“There’s no question ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will be history this year,” she said. “ENDA, we will have that law for sure within the next five years.”

Who knew that John Berry and Tony Perkins would be on the same page on expectations for the Obama Administration. That said, it appears to me that we’re not on the page to actually make the goals of that LGBT legislative agenda turn into actual laws.

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Related:

* HRC Backstory (September 17, 2009): OPM Head Berry Says Prioritize ENDA; Take Action at passENDAnow.org
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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A politically-connected reader calls the administration’s failure on gay rights ‘morally offensive’ and ‘politically stupid’

From a reader active in gay politics:

I said back in 2009 that I could not believe we were several months into this administration, with likely the most liberal (or “liberal”) president I’ll see in my lifetime, with the largest majorities in Congress we are likely to see in our lifetimes, and we, the gay community, were utterly dead in the water. Because even in the first few weeks it became clear that doing anything on our issues was the lowest possible priority. It was hypothetically possible at some future point, but that point woud never arrive, because it was premised on an imaginary day on which it would not cost the administration anything politically (in their view). And the situation is the same or worse, almost two years into this.

I guess they think there is some other base of Obama voters who would be offended by actually doing anything about gay rights, and that other base is more important than their base among gay voters. They are wrong. I understand there are times when priorities have to be ranked; I wasn’t born yesterday. But Barack Obama was very clear on gay issues in 2008, and the voters who didn’t like that have already discounted him for that, but voted for him anyhow. They supported him in full awareness that he had promised to repeal DADT and DOMA, and pass ENDA, etc. Why would they be surprised or disappointed now, if he actually did these things? They wouldn’t. So he is losing the gay community by inaction, and he’s not even gaining anything in exchange for it. The administration’s failure on this is not only morally offensive (even by Obama’s own rhetoric, given his many statements about how the current state of gay rights is an injustice), but politically stupid.




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—  John Wright