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Posted by on Aug 3, 2009 in Politics | 11 comments

Keep It in the Closet

During the election last year, we were reminded again and again that Barack Obama was in the vanguard on gay rights, while John McCain was incredibly anti-gay. Nevermind that both candidates had basically the same position on gay marriage: they were against it.

When Obama became President, many liberals and not quite a few Republicans believed that he would advance the cause for gay rights. So far, he hasn’t done that much. He has dragged his feet on allowing gays to serve in the military and basically defended gay marriage in terms that make you wonder if we elected the late Jesse Helms to the presidency.

And yet, as James Kirchick writes in Sunday’s Washington Post, many liberals still maintain that the President is “secretly” supports them.

This is nothing new. As Kirchick notes, gay Democrats have long maintained that President Bill Clinton supported gay marriage and was forced into signing the Defense of Marriage Act back in 1996 to keep the Republicans from attacking him. Nevermind he then talked about it in radio ads and even counseled John Kerry to not support gay marriage in Kerry’s 2004 campaign.

Many liberals tout the passage to work for gay marriage as well as serving in the military as the civil rights issue of our time. On that, I agree. But where I disagee is that while many of liberal friends talk about how this is the new civil rights struggle, in reality this is nothing more than partisan politics dressed up in civil rights garb.

As Dave Andesik notes, if a Democrat was spouting racist talk in public no one would say that such a person secretly supports a certain ethnic or racial group. But yet, when a Democrat opposes gay marriage, he is viewed as a secret supporter, while a Republican who has the identical position is not viewed with such kindness.

If this were truly an issue of human rights, then gay Democrats would demand that their Democratic politicians would support their cause of face the consequences. They would not only castigate Republicans, but their own candidates in the cause of the greater good of gay rights.

Which is why I think that the cause of gay rights will be impeded as long as gay leaders confuse party loyalty with human rights. As long as the gay community sucks up to Democrats that won’t support them, we can expect a long hard road towards gay equality.

Crossposted at the Progressive Republican

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  • DLS

    He has diverged progressively (pun earned) from the mainstream on other issues, but for now is neglecting extremism where there is no big payoff, or where special-interest groups are able to be taken for granted as expected to continue to vote Democratic in the future. As I’ve said before — welcome now, yourselves, to the “back of the bus” that Mike Huckabee correctly said about the Religious Right’s treatment by the GOP.

  • “If this were truly an issue of human rights, then gay Democrats would demand that their Democratic politicians would support their cause of face the consequences”

    I don’t think I agree with this statement. First: I’ve seen nothing but criticism toward Obama from those within the gay community, not because he’s worse than any other president, but because he does talk such a good talk on the issue without actually *doing* anything. Also, the community expects more from Obama than they ever did from any other president; this is exactly what they should expect, in my estimation. I guess head-to-head, Obama has actually been better than any other president on this issue, but it’s still a disappointing showing from the point of view of a group that worked extremely hard to help elect him.

    Second: where else are gay people going to put their loyalties? Unfortunately, we’re stuck with putting our hopes and campaign dollars either with a party that vehemently hates gay people or with a party that does nothing but at least doesn’t openly spit upon the idea of gay rights.

    Lastly, while it’s become something of a game to the Dems to pretend to support gay rights and then slap them in the face (I’m sure you also remember the bitter disappointments following the Clinton inaguration), this fact does not mean that it’s not a matter of civil rights, just that, like every other cause, it’s become a pawn of the political establishment.

  • bill3421

    It is simple.

    Heterosexuals actually BELIEVE their own rhetoric & home-taught bigotry that they are superior to Homosexuals.

    This is because most Heterosexuals program this into the heads of their young children from a very young age. Actually TEACHING young children that Gays & Lesbians are less than dirt, that they are evil and will hurt them are are out to destroy the family and the world. And Heterosexuals are doing so in the name of God, no less. It is always interesting to watch Heterosexuals deny this, as 99% of Gay children are RAISED in Heterosexual households. So we know quite well and good the vile and disgusting things you ‘teach’ about gay people. And most of you are disgustingly wrong in your teachings. And most of you don’t care that you are wrong. And that is WAY more disgusting than anything you attribute to YOUR VERY OWN GAY OFFSPRING.

    In fact, if you look around, it is Heterosexuals who are destroying their own families. While trying to destroy gay families, as well via Governmental law. Abusing their children, and all of the OTHER things that they blame Gay people for but are actually responsible for doing all by themselves. Cool trick, huh? See how they did that? Blaming 3% to 5% of the population for the sins of the Heterosexual 97%. What a wonderful biological scapegoat you have used your Gay & Lesbian children to perpetuate.

    All the while most of you are screaming your heads off about morality and protecting the children. Yet you will not adopt morailty for yourselves. I for one have not seen Heterosexuals doing ANYTHING to protect the children – FROM THEMSELVES. Are they out passing laws to make schools better, or even SAFER so that your kids can sit and learn without the fear of being shot? Nope, let’s just pass more laws against F A G S, that’ll keep our children safe! Are you passing laws that demand that every Heterosexual American lives up to the biblical demands placed on Heterosexuals? Nope, God says that doesn’t apply to Heteros anymore, so we’ll have 3, 4, 5 and 6 marraiges apiece, thank you very much! Because it is SO sanctimonious to us! But we’ll thank you F A G S to stand aside while we DESTROY your families! God says that’s A-OK!

    You see, from MY view, the Heterosexual sins of abuse, murder, rape, torture, dehumaniziation and degradation of THEIR VERY OWN GAY OFFSPRING seems MUCH MUCH more immoral than MY sin of LOVE for a person with the same genetic components.

    See what’s happenning here? Heterosexuals are trying to take some sort of moral high-ground to justify abusing THEIR VERY OWN GAY OFFSPRING for their crime of LOVE, while Heterosexuals continue to act in the most IMMORAL of ways (abuse, murder, rape, torture, dehumaniziation and degradation) against the very Gay people that Heterosexuals themselves created and put on this planet.

    Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

    Morality indeed, Heterosexuals. Morality indeed.

    “People pay for what they do, a further, for what they have allowd themselves to become. And they pay simply; by the lives they lead.” (James Baldwin)

  • StockBoySF

    Yes, it would have been nice if Obama had taken more action towards civil rights when he first came into office, but I’m sure there are other supporters out there who would have preferred for Obama to do something else first. There are some pretty big problems in this country, all of which affect everyone, including gays and lesbians.

    Quite frankly society must change their attitudes towards gays and lesbians. Having laws might be nice and do go a long way in protecting rights, but laws do not mean anything if no one believes in those laws and does not follow them. Even though murder is illegal, the KKK (and other racists) still murdered blacks. As society became more accepting of blacks the KKK and other racists found (and are still finding themselves to be) on the “wrong” side. Changing people’s “social” beliefs is a lot more effective than changing laws in situations like this. Obama is doing a good job in raising people’s awareness of gays and lesbians in this country, which help change attitudes and beliefs. Even today people feel that they are “forced” to accept homos and people resent being “forced” to do anything. Passing laws without society’s backing only reinforces the belief that gays (or blacks, or Jews, etc.) have an agenda that is being forced on everyone else. How many comments are on TMV where the commenter feels “forced” to acknowledge gay marriages?

    Equal rights and protection for everyone is too important to rush in impulsively and get it wrong.

  • Silhouette

    I’ll say it again, a sexual behavioral fetish does not a minority group make. Which fetish are included in the “gay rights’ movement? Lesbians [woman on woman] Gays [man on man] Bisexuals [obvious] Transsexuals [loathers of self’s gender]. Why are other fetishes disincluded? As to marriage, why aren’t polygamists included under the umbrella? And if “gays” are measured by same gender sexual encounters then shouldn’t bisexuals be disincluded if their sexual encounters sometimes occur heterosexually?

    I’m confused. And those identical twin girls I know of one who grew up hetero and the other lesbian are telling us that you folks aren’t a minority group.

    • StockBoySF

      Sil:

      So if a group isn’t a minority…. does that mean it’s a majority?

      Yeah! We’ve won! We’ve finally converted enough people to be gays and lesbians!

      Now about those marriage rights for those pesky minority heteros…. 🙂

    • brookguy1

      Silhouette,

      You are indeed “confused.” but I mean in the Larry Craig way. I learned long ago, (and clinical research has backed me up…) that those who spout homophobic rhetoric are almost always covering up their own sexual confusion. You may think you are throwing people off the trail, but I and many others know the truth: homophobes are closet homosexuals. Period.

  • rcdcr

    Silhouette, you aren’t ‘confused’ you’re just a clueless a s s h o l e, that’s all.

  • “I’m confused.”
    (@Sil)

    Yes, it’s true dear. Please go back to sleep.

  • adesnik

    Comment policy reminder: No profanity here.

  • alphonsegaston

    Gay marriage and other gay rights issues are important civil rights IMO. But another gay issue, military service, is both a civil rights issue and an issue of national security. The shortage of translators for our troops in the Middle East is critical. Polls show that most Americans support opening the military to gays without the silly “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Obama is showing here not only a lack of commitment to civil rights expected of him, but also a needless disregard of national security.

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