Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Obama Hosts Pride Reception Tonight as Pressure Mounts to Evolve on Marriage Equality

President Barack Obama campaigned three years ago claiming to be a fierce advocate for LGBT equality. Our community helped him raise millions of dollars and turned out in record numbers to put him in office. His record on moving our fight forward has received mixed reviews.

We got Hate Crimes legislation passed and DADT repeal could be certified this summer. But ENDA was allowed to die in congress and there seems to be no sign of resurrection any time soon.

When it comes to Marriage Equality, the president says he is against discriminatory laws that violate the rights of LGBT people, but marriage is in the purview of the states. He famously said that his views are "evolving", but many claim he's trying to have it both ways, giving liberals hope, while not alienating more conservative elements of the Democratic party and independent voters.

With the huge step forward on passage of New York's Marriage Equality Act, which more than doubled the number of gay and lesbian couples eligible to legally marry in the U.S. and the start of the 2012 election cycle, the president can no longer afford to straddle the fence.

The Washington Post's Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote Tuesday:
For months, Mr. Obama, who has in the past opposed same-sex marriage, has said his views are “evolving.” But last week’s vote in Albany has intensified pressure on the president to say where he stands, particularly after remarks he made at a Manhattan fund-raiser disappointed and confused many gay rights advocates, including some of his most ardent supporters.
Some are now comparing Mr. Obama unfavorably with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat who championed the New York bill and helped get it passed in a Republican-controlled Senate.
Some of us have speculated that Obama may be deliberately holding back until after the election and will then give his full support for marriage equality and the rest of the laundry list of promises he made to us. Only time will tell if this is the case. Before you rush to judgement, remember how it all went down with DADT repeal. While the LGBT community railed against his inaction, the president was meeting with activists, military leaders and congressional and senate leaders behind the scenes.

For the sake of argument, let's say that Obama has a plan and doesn't want to tip his hand, but his re-election is by no means a sure thing. With so much at stake, can we afford to gamble on our rights?

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep comments relevant and civil. Comments attacking other people will be deleted.

Subscribe in a reader