Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Fierce Advocacy FlipFlop

The SF Chronicle published a story about Obama's "about-face on same sex marriage".
Obama was running for the Illinois state Senate in Chicago in February 1996 when he answered a questionnaire from a gay-oriented newspaper, Outlines, on gay rights issues. One of his answers was, "I favor legalizing same-sex marriage, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages."
So what happened?
The Windy City Times, which later acquired Outlines, said it interviewed Obama in 2004, when he was a state legislator running for the U.S. Senate. In a January 2009 article recapping the interview, the newspaper quoted him as saying he no longer supported same-sex marriage "primarily just as a strategic issue," and not because he had changed his philosophy.

....Instead, he endorsed civil unions, a designation that did not exist in 1996.

Obama takes the same stance today - yes on equal rights and civil unions, no on same-sex marriage - but attributes the distinction to his religious convictions.
Yes, but the problem with that is that his associated denomination, the United Church of Christ, is pro-equality.
In 2005, the United Church of Christ's governing General Synod passed a resolution endorsing "equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender." The church, with 1.1 million members, is the largest U.S. denomination to support same-sex marriage.
Is it entirely political expediency (news flash, I don't think the right wing could hate him any more than they already do)? Or is it truly that he can't abide by me being married?

Here's an example of his discomfort in an event in Florida:
Q: All right, I’m Hector and I’m a student at UT. (Applause.) And my question is, last night you talked about repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and my question is what are you doing now to put in motion so that same-sex couples and homosexuals are treated as equal citizens of the United States, i.e., same-sex marriages and the thousand-plus benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy after marriage? (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Look, as I said last night, my belief is, is that a basic principle in our Constitution is that if you’re obeying the law, if you’re following the rules, that you should be treated the same, regardless of who you are. (Applause.) I think that principle applies to gay and lesbian couples. So at the federal level, one of the things that we’re trying to do is to make sure that partnerships are recognized for purposes of benefits so that hospital visitation, for example, is something that is permitted; that Social Security benefits or pension benefits or others, that same-sex couples are recognized in all those circumstances.

I think that we’ve got to — we actually have an opportunity of passing a law that’s been introduced in Congress right now, and my hope is this year we can get it done, just for federal employees and federal workers. A lot of companies, on their own, some of the best-run companies have adopted these same practices. I think it’s the right thing to do and it makes sense for us to take a leadership role in ensuring that people are treated the same. (Applause.)

Look, if you are — regardless of your personal opinions, the notion that somebody who’s working really hard for 30 years can’t take their death benefits and transfer them to the person that they love the most in the world and who has supported them all their lives, that just doesn’t seem fair. It doesn’t seem right. (Applause.) And I think it’s the right thing to do.
Uh-huh. Not marriage.Not the 1000+ benefits of marriage. Separate. He's awkward about it. Does that mean he really favors marriage, but for expediency feels he can't say anything? Or as an intelligent man, he knows that using religious excuses to deny civil liberties is wrong? Or that he just feels "ick"?

Regardless, it's concerning that the White House now endorses an anti-GLBT democrat for senator in Indiana to replace Bayh next fall.
Ellsworth emerged as the favored candidate of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the White House ....Handsome, telegenic and with the sort of voting record during his two terms in the House that makes him a viable statewide candidate in conservative-minded Indiana
BUT with an abyssmal record on GLBT rights:
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT political organization, ranks Ellsworth as one of the ten worst Democratic Congress members when it comes to LGBT issues; he scored a meager 30 out of 100 possible points.

So, is it better to have a Democrat in congress voting against us, or a Republican? What about in the White House? What's wrong with this picture?

1 comment:

JCF said...


I've heard that Sec. Gates makes a major announcement on DADT tomorrow: no more discharges, per chance?