Monday, July 27, 2009

Yeah, right. Jason Bellini reports:

After determining she didn’t have enough votes in support of a temporary suspension of the ban on gays in the military, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tells The Daily Beast she has secured the commitment of Senate Armed Services Committee to hold hearings on “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” this fall. It would be the first formal re-assessment of the policy since Congress passed it into law in 1993.

To translate this: the Democratic Party, with solid majorities in House and Senate and a Democratic president in the White House refuses to end discrimination against gay servicemembers, who are risking their lives for this country at a time of war. The Human Rights Campaign has no ability to translate over 70 percent public support for a measure into votes (ending employment discrimination against gays has over 80 percent support but HRC is so irrelevant it hasn't been able to get that passed for two decades).

It's vital for the gay rights movement to understand that the Republicans are intent on discriminating against gay citizens at every opportunity in order to win votes from bigots. And the Democratic party's only interest in gay equality is getting gay money.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Curious Case of Boies and Olson
by Stephen H. Miller

Posted on July 21, 2009

Celebrated attorney David Boies (he led Gore's Florida recount legal team in 2000) explains in the Wall Street Journal why he and Ted Olson (who led Bush's recount effort) have now come together and brought a lawsuit asking the courts to declare unconstitutional California's Prop. 8, which limits marriage to couples of the opposite sex. Writes Boies:

"We acted together because of our mutual commitment to the importance of this cause, and to emphasize that this is not a Republican or Democratic issue, not a liberal or conservative issue, but an issue of enforcing our Constitution's guarantee of equal protection and due process to all citizens."

Meanwhile, some LGBT groups are upset that a conservative lawyer is part of an effort to strike down laws that treat gays unequally, as Mother Jones reports. Well, maybe the case is mistimed and misdirected. But it also seems clear that these groups are really upset over (1) not calling all the shots here (as this Washington Blade story suggests), and (2) the fact that a conservative (albeit a limited government one) is not playing his assigned role of anti-gay demon. Just how, they must be wondering, could that possibly aid the advancement of the greater progressive agenda under the leadership of the one true party?

Monday, July 20, 2009

So, this is what it has come to...

I have not been posting for awhile. Lots going on in my life (Will fill ya in later today) But I found this interesting..

Life Is A Campaign, Old Chum
by David Link

Posted on July 19, 2009

I just got back from a meeting at a Sacramento church, co-sponsored by Marriage Equality USA, on the subject of whether the community wants to go forward with a Prop. 8 repeal in 2010 or 2012 -- or even later. And I can confidently say this: the politicalization of gay marriage in California is now in full swing. Not many in the gay community wanted it this way, but California's voters decided that the only way we'll get marriage equality here is to persuade the voters we should have it, so we now have to figure out how to do just that.

The pollsters are polling and the consultants are consulting, and if the voters ever heard any of what I just did, a lot of them might want to take back their votes for Prop. 8. Experts galore are slicing and dicing their way through Caifornia's demographics with obsessive fineness. Someone developed a Weekly Workload Estimate of how many voters per week would need to have their minds changed for us to win 51% support in 2010 (7,036 per week) or 2012 (3,171 per week). We were shown some strategies for changing minds, discussed current door-to-door efforts, given tips from Gandhi and MLK on not alienating people, and shown enough statistics to gladden the hearts of the entire graduating class of the Kennedy School of Government.

It was clear, from the early mention of George Lakoff, that the left is still firmly in control of the ride, and that the rest of us should keep our arms and legs inside the conveyance. No surprise there. But the overwhelming feeling in the room wasn't leftist cant, it was raw political calculation. We were informed that we would need to change "hearts and minds" in the tone of a chemistry professor instructing students about combining elements in a beaker.

That, of course, is the way consultants and professionals know how to run campaigns. But it really brought home for me how the science and practice of politics can suck the blood out a humane, enthusiastic and honorable movement for simple fairness. That fairness was built into our state constitution, but a majority of our voters took it out. We now have to live our lives in permanent campaign mode, have to see everything and everyone in terms of political strategy, in order to restore our equality. That will be a big enough job for us, but I even feel a bit sorry for the many heterosexuals who, having had their demographics pored over, will be the "targets" of our missions. That, however, is what the voters have asked of us, and of themselves, by making marriage the subject of constitutional scope. God and

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Obama Administration assembled a group of two hundred or more of America's well-heeled leaders for equality, but like little doggies most were wide-eyed at his feet.

Politicians work for us. If they do their job with good intention, they demand our respect. They deserve fervent applause when they are heroic. Today I expected to hear the explanations of a champion knocked off his path by a country in financial distress, but instead I heard platitudes, cracked promises, and disappointments- still the crowd cheered for more....

In today's speech President Obama said gay America would be happy by the time his administration is over, if he doesn't stop offering excuses and empty promises, they will be.
In a Presidential First, Obama Marks Gay Pride at the White House
By Michael D. Shear
President Obama on Monday became the first Oval Office occupant to officially celebrate gay pride in the White House even as the gay community remains bitterly divided about the pace of Obama's efforts to turn words into action for their agenda.

In recognizing the march of progress since the protests outside New York's Stonewall Inn 40 years ago, Obama achieved a milestone for many gay and lesbian Americans who mark the day as the beginning of their modern rights movement.

But the excitement among the several hundred guests invited by the first couple to the East Wing Monday was tempered by frustration among many who believe that the president has moved too slowly to make good on his campaign promises.

Obama's refusal to take unilateral action to end the "don't-ask, don't tell" policy regarding gays in the military and his administration's support for a legal challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act even sparked a small protest outside a speech to gay activists by Vice
President Biden last week.

"There's been an awful lot of noise and criticism," said Steve Elmendorf, a top Democratic lobbyist who is openly gay. "For him to send a message to the entire country that this is an event worth celebrating is a big deal. But people expect beyond that to see some substance on a whole host of issues."

Obama confronted those expectations directly Monday, renewing his campaign promises to change the military's policy, repeal the marriage act and pass a federal hate crimes bill named for Matthew Shepard, the student murdered in Wyoming in 1998.

"I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by word, but by the promises my administration keeps," Obama said to sustained applause from the crowd. "By the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration."