Give Obama time to act

Most times it is counterproductive to bite the hand that feeds you. So why are so many LGBT leaders and people acting too impatiently with the Obama administration?

For heavens sake, they have only been in office six months. Most of what they are objecting to is counter to our own self-interest in the long run.

Let the president do this in his way, because I, for one, know they are working on every issue that he said he would work on.

In the case of "don’t ask, don’t tell," it would be ludicrous to make some sort of executive order and let Congress off the hook of overturning the current law and instituting a new law that requires the military to accept all LGBT people. An executive order nullifying a law is not only un-American, it could be overturned by the next president.

DOMA will be completely overturned and that takes lots of work for Congress todo it right. In the case of hate crimes, legislation has already been proposed and asked for but more is needed.

You may not like the options but that is what was promised, and if you are not willing to give them time, you will be at fault for causing them to lose the 2012 election — and then you will get nothing.

I am completely disappointed in my LGBT friends and their impatience. I say watch, keep the pressure on for what we want and marvel how it all finally happens under the Obama administration.

Don Dureau

Obama’s had enough time

I don’t like to be wrong, but in this case I wish I were. I hate to say it, but "I told you so!"

After the election of Barak Obama I wrote an article entitled "What did we really change?" I highlighted the fact that minority groups, that overwhelmingly supported Obama for president, in the same ballot voted against the rights of gays and lesbians.

I was called a racist and got plenty of hate mail for comparing the plight of gays and lesbians with the civil rights movement of African-Americans.

One Dallas lawyer said that Obama "unapologetically referenced his gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in a speech," as if anyone should give a damn. And now, not even six months into his term, not only has Obama failed to keep a single promise to the gay community, he is actively working against us.

So not only will gays and lesbians help fit the bill of Obama’s massive socialism, but we get to do it without any of the new rights we were promised.

Obama defends the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as a legitimate exercise of Congress’ power. I have to wonder, would Obama have felt the same way 50 years ago when over two dozen states still forbade interracial marriages?

If Mississippi passed a law which forbids Malia and Sasha from marrying anyone but a black man, would Mr. Obama consider that due process and equal protection?

Besides 50 years, what’s the difference?

And what about "don’t ask, don’t tell"? Obama hasn’t done anything to turn that tide. In fact, he solidified its existence in his recent token memo allowing domestic partner benefits for federal employees.

While some federal employees can get some token benefits for their partners, they still can’t share healthcare benefits, and the memo explicitly excludes the largest portion of federal employees — military personnel!

At least 50 years ago we knew who the bigots were. Strom Thurmond was open about it. So was George Wallace, and a host of others. They never stood on a podium and "unapologetically" and promised equal rights for minorities, suckered their vote, and then once in office sent their lawyers to fight against them.

No, the bigots of times past were open and honest about their ideas, and America rejected them.

Now, Mr. Obama put on some shiny lip gloss and whispered sweet nothings in the ears of gays and lesbians, then turned around and stabbed us in the back "unapologetically."

Why are we so easily pacified? Why do we get warm, fuzzy feelings just because someone says the word "gay" in a speech? And why do we grovel when someone is willing to meet with us?

You can pet a dog all you want, but eventually, it’ll want to eat. We are hungry, and it’s time to stop letting silver tongues delay our equality.

As smooth as Obama is, the reality is that all the time and money that gays and lesbians spent getting him elected eventually help put someone in office who, in turn, hired attorneys using our tax dollars to work against us.

I’d call it sort of elective date rape: Get us drunk on rhetoric, and when we’re so loopy we can’t see the forest for the trees, take our money and have your way with us.

And, when we wake up, we won’t know what happened and will be damaged for decades because of it. Thanks, Obama.

Justin P. Nichols

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 10, 2009.
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