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In the press release for the picket outside last weekend's HRC dinner, the following was said which does a good job of summing up the views of queers who are frustrated and fed up with the inaction of DC Democrats on lgbt issues.

“The time for talking is over,” said Andy Thayer of the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network (www.GayLiberation.net), one of the two organizations sponsoring the picket. “This President promised to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), he promised to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, he promised to pass the pro-LGBT Employment Non-Discrimination Act and a whole host of other things. Instead, he’s delivered on nothing while embracing anti-gay bigots Rick Warren and Donnie McClurkin. The last thing we need is more flowery rhetoric in front of rich, self-effacing gays and lesbians dressed up like penguins.”

Hillary Rosen is a fairly conservative lesbian who used to run RIAA, who is notorious for her campaign contribution to ultra homophobic Sen. Orrin Hatch, and who is on the Human Rights Campaign's Board. She summed up the views of people who support Obama and trust him in an article on the Advocate website.
“Every minute the President devotes to restating his goals for progress is a moment he is grabbing and focusing the nation’s attention on our issues,” said Rosen, who was not at the dinner. “The more he talks about LGBT equality, the more empowered Congress will feel to act. And the more will get done.”

I strongly agree with Thayer's analysis. However, I recognize the value of the queer community having people in both camps and in between.

If everyone was completely disgusted with Obama and the Democrats, they would be able to write us off as hopeless. On the other hand, if everyone was rah rah about the Democrats, they could take us for granted. The current complexity means that no one really knows how many queers will support the Democrats nor do they know how strongly. The only thing that is clear is that the Democrats will get a lot more support from queers if we get meaningful policy changes instead of lip service in return.

Otherwise, some queers will vote Green and many more will stay home in 2010 and 2012. If you are a partisan Democrat, that may upset you. But, taking out your frustrations on queers who are fed up won't help you build more support for Democrats in our community. Talking about how bad the Republicans are will pretty much be ignored if things don't get substantially better under the Democrats. The problem is the Democratic politicians in Washington, not the queer community. The only effective strategy you have to obtain what you want is to push Obama and the Democrats in Congress very hard for important, tangible progress on queer issues.

Because queers who are even partially out are a fairly small minority of the population, divisions among us can seem scary. However, politics often demands that constituencies be at play.


1 Responses to Divisions on Obama and the Democrats in the Queer Community May Actually Help Us

  1. Lew Scannon Says:
  2. The problem is the Democratic politicians in Washington, not the queer community.




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