You may recall that in January I was hopeful and heartened that our new President, within hours of taking the oath of office, had the White House website's Civil Rights page reflect a commitment to ending discrimination and persecution of the LGBT community. He would work on Hate Crimes legislation; he was going to end the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in the military. And DOMA would become a thing of the past.
Well, that weird marking of the first 100 days has passed... and we're getting closer to the first 180 days in office. We've had action on the Matthew Shepherd Act on hate crimes. And Obama has declared June LGBT Pride Month.
But Lt. Dan Choi, a top graduate of West Point and an Arabic translator, is one of the many still being shown the Army's door... just because he is gay. And while six states now have advanced rights for same-sex couples to get married... the Obama administration has been quiet.
Until late last week, when the Obama Justice Department issued its response to a lawsuit filed in California challenging the Defense of Marriage Act. Reading AMERICABLOG's dissection of this document is quite troubling.
Now, a lot of Obama supporters are going to tell me that it takes time, give it time, we have to wait for the right time. But honestly, those excuses are sounding as tired as being told by a church that I must wait "for a season" to be treated as a full-fledged member of our human community!
I was not an Obama fan during the primary. I leaned more toward Hilary because I liked her practical wonkiness, and I thought he was the same kind of empty suit I'd seen before with lots of people tailoring that suit to fit what they believed in, and insisting he believed in the same things. I never heard him speak much about the gay community, and really what finally sold me was the more I listened to Sarah Palin, the more I cringed. And the more I heard the rhetoric of John McCain, the more I thought, "Well, Obama at least seems like he wants something different!"
I thought that difference would include me. But the rhetoric coming out of his Justice Department on DOMA is so nasty that I am once again sending out the cry of "How long?".
There is no time like the present to do the right thing, Mr. President. Our community backed you in great numbers during the election. And I can always go to the polls, and refuse to cast a vote in the presidential race.
The suit is disappearing and I am seeing that the emperor has no clothes, and his back is turned to me.