Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Obama Serves Up Piecemeal Equality and Expects Gratitude and Amnesia

In an effort to pacify LGBT critics and not piss off the anti-gays, Pres. Obama will sign an executive order granting some additional workplace benefits to gay and lesbian federal workers.

Details have not been made public yet, but the speculation on the hill is that the bennies will include some health care, pension and travel expense coverage for same-sex partners of federal workers, much like those announced a few weeks ago by at the State Dept.

Yo, Dude! As long as you've got the pen out, how about signing an executive order lifting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and DOMA? We're not so easily distracted by token gestures. You made promises to us and we're not going to let up until you deliver. You must think we're so desperate that we'll scoop up the crumbs you offer, hoist you up on our shoulders and make you the Grand Marshall of the Pride parade. Think again.

Mr. President, you're like the busy corporate exec who tosses his half eaten sandwich to the homeless guy on the corner while closing his latest multi-million dollar deal on his blackberry, then pats himself on the back for his selfless act of charity. We're grateful, but not impressed.

The problem with trying to be all things to all people is that you eventually lose yourself in the process. While the American public may suffer from attention deficit disorder, LGBT Americans do not. We've been at this for too long and our memories are as sharp as ever. We're fed up with being let down by politicians who are all show and no go.

When President Harry Truman signed executive order 9981 on July 26, 1948, ending racial segregation in the armed forces, nobody, except African-Americans, was ready for it. He knew he was going to piss off a lot of people, but he had the backbone to do the right thing. The transition was not easy. Bigotry in the U.S. did not disappear with the stroke of a pen, but we are a stronger nation because one man had the courage of his convictions to take action to end an injustice.

Yes, repealing DOMA and DADT is going to piss off the Religious Right, but they don't support you any way. Grow a spine and let the chips fall where they may.

It's time to put up or shut up, President Pricktease. We'll see you in October.

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