Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Hoping for a little more Audacity" on Gay Marriage

After a few swipes at the gay community in recent weeks, national organizations and individual advocates are not pulling their support from the President and his Administration.

During the Campaign, Obama promised to remove "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Since he got into office, he is still implementing DADT and has advocated on behalf of DOMA. The only real domestic progress we have seen from anyone is Hillary Clinton allows domestic partnerships for State Department employees.

Well the LGBT community is fighting back. Today, the HRC President wrote Obama about his disappointment in defending DOMA:

Last week, when your administration filed a brief defending the constitutionality of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act,”[1] I realized that although I and other LGBT leaders have introduced ourselves to you as policy makers, we clearly have not been heard, and seen, as what we also are: human beings whose lives, loves, and families are equal to yours. I know this because this brief would not have seen the light of day if someone in your administration who truly recognized our humanity and equality had weighed in with you.

Reading the brief, one is told again and again that same-sex couples are so unlike different-sex couples that unequal treatment makes sense. But the government doesn’t say what makes us different, or unequal, only that our marriages are “new.” The fact that same-sex couples were denied equal rights until recently does not justify denying them now.

Now, prominent gay activists are boycotting fundraisers:

Two prominent gay figures, activist David Mixner and widely-read blogger Andy Towle, have pulled out of a Democratic National Committee fundraiser later this month amid growing calls to confront the administration at what was supposed to be its first large scale opportunity to bring in gay cash.

"I will not attend a fundraiser for the National Democratic Party in Washington next week when the current administration is responsible for these kind of actions," Mixner wrote of a motion to dismiss a challenge to the Defense of Marriage act that drew a parallel between same-sex marriage to incestuous marriage. "How will they ever take us seriously if we keep forking out money while they harm us. For now on, my money is going to battles within the community such as the fight in Maine or the March on Washington! I am so tired of being told by Democratic operatives to 'suck it up' because so many other profound issues are at stake," Mixner wrote.

Now is the time to Stand Up and be heard. Bill Maher said it best this weekend: “I’m glad that Obama is president, but the ‘Audacity of Hope’ part is over. Right now, I’m hoping for a little more audacity.”