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20 comments | Wednesday, June 17, 2009




There's no denying it. President Obama promised the LGBT community that he would be a "fierce advocate" for civil rights for LGBT Americans and to date none of those promises have come into fruition. The Obama Adminstration has no plan to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" is still being enforced, supported by an insensitive and highly offensive brief issued late last week by the Department of Justice that compared same-sex relationships to pedophilia and incest, and The Employment Non-Discrimination Act(ENDA) is still in limbo.


Many in the gay community are outraged, and rightly so. But are African-American LGBT's willing to give Obama a pass on his poor leadership on gay rights simply because he's the first African-American President?


Don't hold back. Discuss.

20 Comments:

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I think that black LBGT's as well as LBGT's of other races are giving obama a pass on this issue. I am an African American and i did not vote for obama. I knew from the beginning that his promises wouldn't be kept as everybody else in the community was jumping on his bandwagon. Our community has to realize that neither the republican OR democrat parties are going to support gay marriage. We have to unite on our own if it will happen.

June 17, 2009 12:27 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Admittedly, I had given him a pass thus far because I gave him the benefit of the doubt concerning his priority list. I knew that the economy would take priority during the early months of his term and believed (or wanted to believe) that he would soon get to the campaign promises and agenda items (that disappeared a little while ago from the White House website).

Sadly, when his administration's attention did finally turn to an LGBT issue (aside from his ignoring pleas to end dismissals under DADT) the actions were destructive and completely opposite from what a "fierce advocate" would do.

I think it is time to take him to task on his promises (and the DNC as a whole) and force them to act on our behalf. The ONLY reason he throwing the LGBT community a bone with these limited benefits for federal employees is because of the promise by some to withhold support at next week's fundraiser. Money talks and Obama's bullshit should make all of us walk! (pardon my language, it got a little intense - but I am better now).

The black LGBT community needs to realize that even if Obama is black first, we still have nothing to say "oh look, he's done something for us." We really can't point to any initiatives that have been aimed to benefit the black community either. Let's stop making excuses for him because he's black and hold him up to the promises he made for the year and a half that he campaigned. It is completely fair to hold him to his word. We aren't expecting any more from him than what he promised to do.

June 17, 2009 1:43 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I am not giving Obama anymore of a pass than I did any other President. But I am patient. He has 3.5 years left in the current term. I like our chances better with him in Office than the alternative, which was McCain and Palin. I'll give him longer than 6 months before I wonder what is happening. I don't expect him to remedy problems and issues in the gay and African American community that are decades old in 6 months. Personally, I would rather he focus on the economy, Iran, North Korea and healthcare than on gay marriage or whatever else that OTHERS deem should be the top priority for gays.

One more observation. Black gays have essentially given all administrations a pass when it comes to LGBT issues. When have we had a collective voice speak to power?

June 17, 2009 3:35 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Of course he shouldn't be given a pass just because he's black.

Obama's gay policies have been disappointing experience thus far.
It's the height of hypocrisy that today he would release a memo giving benefits to the partners of federal employees (which denies them health benefits) at the same time he is trying to expand health care for all Americans.

As far as having power, we still don't. It's the same players, white males, at the forefront. But that's okay because they get shit done. You can put black constituents off until tomorrow and tell them to wait. Not so much with white gays, with their donations, connections and clout. They don't wait.

June 17, 2009 4:11 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

i mean but, what u gon do?

i can't name ONE politician who wasn't a liar...

i certainly didn't think our lord & savior Obama was any exception to the rule

i wasn't counting on him fulfilling a damn thing...not even that universal healthcare bull

June 17, 2009 4:39 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I agree with a previous commenter that black gays/lesbians have essentially given every administration a pass on gay rights.

Black gays are missing in action on gay rights, period. Too bad for us.

Black gays sit in our closets and/or on the "down-low" and complain about white gays and how they shut us out while the LGBT movement is passing us by. We black gays are truly a pitiful group of people and it's more our fault than anyone else's.

So many black gays say that "same-sex marriage is not my issue" So what IS our issue, as far as gay rights is concerned?

June 17, 2009 5:24 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Although I think Obama has dropped the ball when it has came to LGBT issues lately I really think that there is way too much pressure on him to fix every prblem both social and economical in an extremely short period. Is only been about 7 months and the economy is down the tank. I think that is stil priority number 1 because I want to be able to function financially before being able to marry. Maybe by the end the year we can start really holding him accountable on social issues, until then we should let the focus be on the economy and National Security (N. Korea).

June 17, 2009 6:57 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I guess I never expected all of the problems (or really ANY) to be "fixed" in the first 6 months of Obama's term. I really understood nothing really happening because of other "more pressing" issues, i.e. the wars, economy, health care, etc. It wasn't until his administration seemed to be working against LGBT rights that raised a bit of ire within me. It's sad that the first devotion of time to an LGBT cause came in the form of a negative response. 5 significant marriage equality rulings have happened during his Presidency and he's been silent. Even Bush would have acknowledged their occurence, probably negatively, but he would have said something.

Having said that, yes, he is still probably better than any Republican candidate, however at this point, not a whole lot better. The offering of "cheap" benefits to federal employees does not amount to much - and I AM a federal employee. We need to expect better. We need to demand better. We (African American LGBT community) cannot be absent in the fight any longer; whether gay marriage or health care coverage, we must stand up and be counted. Otherwise, we have people like Bishop Harry Jackson and Marion Barry speaking for the black community as if LGBT blacks don't exist.

June 17, 2009 7:10 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

As a proud black gay man, I am severely disappointed with the "negro" pass that has been afford Brother Barack. But I am far from surprised, since we have given this pass to a myriad of great black hopes over the years who have screwed us without lubricant. Jesse? Al? Bill?

I voted for him and demand he deliver on the points he outlined that drew my vote. I refuse to allow my color override my culture by giving him cart blanche to ignore my issues. I am married to the man of my dreams, but shiver in fear over the nightmare he will endure with if I pass away before him.

As much as I disliked Bush, I was absolutely sure that he was never going to do anything for the gays.

June 17, 2009 10:46 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I feel other matters needs more attention. Why worry about the rigth to marry if the economy fails, inflation take a rise, schools fall down and states shut down government services because no income is flowing? I mean, the man is only one person fighting against a lot of issues, let him worry about things that are more important and that affects us all. I rather for him to worry about the war, the economy, credit crisis, and other things than to deal with our little issue of "civil liberties"! Life won't be any good if other things are not dealt with. Obama is right...let him do his job.

June 17, 2009 11:38 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I tend to agree with those who said that we can not expect every problem to be fixed right away. Every group thinks that their issue should be at the top of the list. If all americans get healthcare thats all of us black white gay straight. If the economy gets fixed again we all benefit. The President cant fix all the socail, ecomomic and cututal issue at once. This doesn't mean we give a pass. We can let him know with our letters, emails that we still expect him to fix the LGBT issues as well. I don't recall Obama saying " Look, I'll have all the LGBT issue fix ib my first 100 days" We live in such a mircowave society that we want it now now now, like a "tweet" or a bag of popcorn, but it takes time negotiation and political savy to get some issue passsed. If he doesn't deliver then he doesn't get the vote gain. I still say we have a better change with Obama than we would have with Mccain

June 18, 2009 11:09 AM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

ELG's comment resonated with hme.

Black gays have been trying to find their place within the larger LGBT communities for a long time.

So many of us deal with internalized shame that we're incapable of articulating or agitating for our issues.

We strike a bargain with the devil that we'll rationalize or justify homophobia in the black community as a price of being accepted in the "family." Suffering in silence is not cool!

From my experience, most gay politics is open to whoever is bold enough to step out there and organize. We can't be mad at white folks controlling everything if we are not willing to make our voices heard.

June 18, 2009 1:06 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I don't think we are giving the President a "pass" as Black LGBT people, but as Black people I think we identify with him more than the rest of the LGBT community so are more understanding that he hasn't "lived up to his pre-election hype" (yet) on gay rights issues.

What I find disturbing is the lack of COMMUNICATION on these issues, not necessarily the substance.

Did you realize that everytime Barack has been out of the country another state has legalized gay marriage? That happened with IOWA, VERMONT and NEW HAMPSHIRE. Not a *peep* from the White House. That's simply not okay.

It's not okay to call yourself a "fierce advocate" for gay rights and then not have any comment on gay and lesbian Arabic linguists being kicked out of the military ON YOUR WATCH.

But it is early days yet, so we ll need to be vigilant about pressuring the President AND the Democratic majority in Congress to pass much-needed legislation like Mathew Shepard Hate Crimes Act. ENDA, UAFA, DADT repeal and DOMA repeal.

June 18, 2009 2:43 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Honestly, I don't find DADT to be a particularly significant issue, at all. This is not because I am an Obama supporter either. I fault the the LGBT people who willingly enlist in the armed services inspite of it being clear that they are not wanted. Sorry to sound callous but DADT does not make my priority list as far as civil rights goes. I am more concerned about things such as: Hate crimes legislation, job discrimination, and in some cases marital rights...

On that note...
He has been in office a grand total of four months. If he doesn't do anything for the gay community in the next 3.5 years then I will NOT cast my vote for him.
Civil rights is an uphill battle. Changes are occurring. I personally hate this all or nothing stance the gay community is taking. Yes, the squeaky wheel does get the grease; however, don't alienate the first ally that we've ever had in the white house.

June 18, 2009 5:09 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

One of the problems I think we are having is that we are separating gay issues as if they are independent of the other (broader) issues that seem to take precidence over LGBT issues.

Yes, health care reform is vitally important. Why aren't gays a part of that reform? This new bill that if floating through Congress sponsored by Rep. Baldwin and Sen. Lieberman should be a part of health care reform rather than being pushed as a "gay rights issue." We have an equal right to health care reform and need to be included in the larger argument.

Similarly, the economic reform should include measures that would also benefit gays who are struggling. Gay couples being taxed at significantly larger rates because we cannot file joint tax returns or claim our partners as dependents, etc., should be included in this economic reform. Long time gay and lesbian couples that are taxed out the @$$ because their benefits are being treated as income place undue hardship on gay couples. Repealing DOMA would essentially be an economic boost to couples who are still being treated unfairly. Allowing couples to marry works to stabilize the economy.

Our advocates need to include gays in the larger picture rather than having to find the time to deal with our issues. We need to demand to be included!

June 18, 2009 6:48 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Sometimes I don't know what's worse, being gay or being black. Both tend to loud complainers who are never satisfied. Always 'woe is me.' So Obama is not keeping his promises? Or is he just not acting fast enough for we, the selfish impatient gays? While I am proud to be black, gay and an Obama supporter..I find that we are no better than the Republicans or the animal activists or any other special interest group when it comes to putting our needs first and only. We are very ME ME ME and NOW NOW NOW! I applaud the fact that the President acts like a leader and does not cower to every crybaby group that thinks he's abandoned them. He is the President. Not Jesus Christ. He has to work with Congress, not to mention fickle constituents...he can't just magically turn everything on the collective Queens' timetable. While LGBT issues are of huge importance, I'm much more concerned about North Korea launching a missile on San Francisco (that would sure reduce a lot of gay whining) or the collapsing economy (what would we do without Barneys) than I am about whether or not I can jump the broom with some Negro who would probably pull the plug on me if given the chance and take the coins anyhow. Not to sound cynical. LOL. So while Obama does not get a 'pass' he certainly does retain my respect. So instead of crying foul, keep fighting! Before deflecting our collective shortcomins on a Presidential scapegoat, why don't we first come together as a community with an agenda? We cry we want gay rights, yet complain that our Caucasian counterparts perpetuate the same social ills of their hetero counterparts. We insist on the right to marry, yet can't get off the internet long enough to even follow up on a first date. Come now people, Obama has no more abandoned us than we have abandoned ourselves. Continue to the hold the man accountable....but be sure you are doing more than bitching about it. Be the change you want to see! God dealt us this hand cuz he knew we could handle it! Step up and lets be part of the solution! Amen, chile.

June 19, 2009 2:16 AM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

@Lonnell
Yeah, Lonnell -- spoken like a true self-hating homosexual.

Why do we have to listen to the likes of you? Is it OK for any American citizen to have their civil rights denied them for ANY length of time for ANY reason (including North Korean nukes, the economy, whatever)?

Your appraisal of gay need and how we should be satisfied with second class citizenship until Obama decides otherwise smacks of the oppressed becoming the oppressor. Snap out it, man. You're a little too smug, too arrogant and too free in telling me when my rights are appropriate and when they aren't.

I should not have to "deserve" my basic human rights. I should have ALREADY had all of my basic human rights just because I was born an American citizen and for NO OTHER reason.

June 20, 2009 3:32 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Hi there!

I think that the black GLBT community knew all along that Obama would not be a crusader for gay rights... he made that QUITE CLEAR when Rick Warren asked him to define marriage and he said "a union between a man and a woman" and he did not say "a union between two adults".

I am not sure why the GLBT community expects Obama to be an ally... he was a polite ally in order to get elected and that's as far as his commitment goes...

Obama hasn't come out publicly mentioning ANY friendships with any GLBT leaders.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

June 22, 2009 2:21 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Did we really expect him to come into office and the next day make everything right? He's only been in office for less than a year... we live in this microwave society where we expect everything quick. fast. and in a hurry. And to be totally honest, we bigger fish to fry than getting married... people are losing jobs and homes all across the country. Not to mention Obama is expected to fix whats going on in the middle east as well health care reform. What about the large numbers of people who are AGAINST same sex marriage? Do their voices not count? They are in fact a part of Obama's constituents. On the list of "things to do"... I wouldn't expect same sex marriage to be up there with keeping our country from going completely under financially.

June 22, 2009 7:42 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Obama said explicitly, during the campaign, that he disagreed with the military's "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy and promised to work to get it repealed if he was elected. DADT is a law and Congress has to vote to get rid of the law permanently but the President could issue an executive order to suspend the law NOW. Why hasn't he?

And what about the Matthew Shepard Act (hate crimes) and Employment Non-Discrimiation Act (ENDA) bills, both lanquishing in Congress?

Obama said, during the campaign, that he disagreed with the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that was signed into law by Pres. Bill Clinton. Obama said then that he would work to repeal it. But his justice department ends up defending DOMA using what many consider to be hateful language. By the way, repealing DOMA would NOT legalize same-sex marriage. If you don't know what DOMA does, look it up! I am not going to explain it here.

Obama stated, during the campaign, that he was a "fierce advocate" for gay rights. What happened to that fierce advocate? Some of us want to know.

Don't let the media's obsession with marriage equality (which it erroneously calls same-sex marriage) convince you that it is the only gay rights issue. Marriage equality is the most controversial gay rights issue but it is not the only one.

@UrSoVain
Gays/lesbians are a small, unpopular minority group. Why should a minority group's rights be subject to a vote? If black people had waited for southern whites to change their minds about segregation we would still be waiting. Nobody's rights should be subject to popular vote.

June 23, 2009 8:01 AM

 

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