6.12.2009

Obama is Failing the Gays

“Doc, I sure hope you know what you’re doing.”

I don’t know if Marty McFly said those exact words to Doc Brown in Back To The Future, but the idea of the hero trusting the eccentric inventor/doctor/risk taker when no one else does is a staple of dramas far and wide. In that vein, I say this to the Obama administration when it comes to gay rights:

“Barack, I sure hope you know what you’re doing.”

The gay community ranges from concerned but hopeful (Andrew Sullivan) to ready to go to the mattresses (Dan Savage) over the actions and inactions of the Obama administration. Since Obama has been in office he has allowed members of the armed forces to be court-martialed under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell statute. His administration has filed a brief in California in support of the Defense of Marriage Act; a law that decrees the Federal Government may not treat same-sex relationships as marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states. This is in sharp contrast to promises made on the campaign trail to the gay community.

Until today, I was fully confident that Team Obama was working behind the scenes, making sure when policies and laws were changed; they were changed for good and not subject to crippling opposition. For example, he had to learn from President Clinton’s failure of fulfilling his campaign pledge of allowing gay to serve openly which lead to DADT in the first place.

Now, I’m only partially confident. You can make the argument Obama has made more positive overtures to Iran than gay Americans; he surely has made more public overtures. If you want to be really cynical, you could say Obama is treating gay Americans like the Democratic party has been accused of treating African-Americans; giving them noting but lip service with the knowledge they have no where else to go politically.

I still believe there can be a happy ending to this. It isn’t as hard as the Middle East peace processes and the Americans who would rally against DADT and DOMA were probably not voting for Obama in the first place. I just hope the happy ending happens soon, before I have to join the proverbial group that gives up on the Doctor.

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