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View Diary: Obama picks yet another homophobe for benediction (277 comments)

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  •  Facts are facts (19+ / 0-)

    He SIGNED the DADT Repeal as well as advocate for repeal from Day 1 in office.

    Whether it was 1 year or 2.5 years he still STOPPED defending DOMA...and declared it unconstitional and advocated in favor of DOMA's repeal.

    And the last sitting president to support marriage equality was who? What's that silence?  I thought so!

    While you're at it...try minimizing the list below:

    What President Obama and his administration has done for LGBTs:

    FEDERAL LEGISLATION SIGNED INTO LAW

    Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act ( which expanded existing United States federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability -- the first positive federal LGBT legislation in the nation's history)

    Signed the Repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell

    Signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act

    POLICIES CHANGED

    Reversed US refusal to sign the UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

    Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees in 2009 and, further, in 2010

    Lifted the HIV Entry Ban

    Issued diplomatic passports, and provided other benefits, to the partners of same-sex foreign service employees

    Committed to ensuring that federal housing programs are open to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity

    Conceived a National Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Elders -- the nation's first ever -- funded by a three-year HHS grant to SAG

    Banned job discrimination based on gender identity throughout the Federal government (the nation's largest employer)

    Eliminated the discriminatory Census Bureau policy that kept our relationships from being counted, encouraging couples who consider themselves married to file that way, even if their state of residence does not yet permit legal marriage

    Instructed HHS to require any hospital receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds (virtually all hospitals) to allow LGBT visitation rights

    Required all grant applicants seeking HUD funding to comply with state and local anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT individuals

    Adopted transgender recommendations on the issuance of gender-appropriate passports that will ease barriers to safe travel and that will provide government-issued ID that avoids involuntary "outing" in situations requiring ID, like hiring, where a gender-appropriate driver's license or birth certificate is not available

    Extended domestic violence protections to LGBT victims

    Extended the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover employees taking unpaid leave to care for the children of same-sex partners

    Issued guidance to assist tenants denied housing on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and banned LGBT discrimination in all HUD-assisting housing and HUD-assisted loans  

    Issued a National HIV/AIDS Strategy praised as "long-overdue" by the Task Force, Lambda and others

    Issued guidance to 15,000 local departments of education and 5,000 colleges to support educators in combating bullying

    Cut back authority to discharge under Don't Ask/Don't Tell from hundreds of generals to just 6 civilian appointees, effectively ending discharges while working toward a permanent end to the policy.

    Led the fight that reversed a 2010 UN vote removing sexual orientation from the list of things people should not be killed for  

    Launched the first-ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the rental and sale of housing

    Determined that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional

    Determined that LGBT discrimination should be subject to a standard of "heightened scrutiny"

    Stopped defending DOMA, leading to "dramatic changes across the country and the federal government in the way that lawyers and judges see legal challenges brought by LGBT people - and, slowly but surely, in the way that LGBT people are able to live their lives"  

    Filed an unprecedented brief detailing the history of discrimination faced by gay, lesbian and bisexual people in America, including by the federal government itself -- the single most persuasive legal argument ever advanced by the United States government in support of equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people

    Vacated a court order that would have deported a gay American's Venezuelan partner  

    Begun recognizing joint bankruptcy petitions filed by same-sex married couples

    Endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act

    Reduced the deportation threat faced by binational LGBT couples

    Authorized military chaplains to perform same-sex weddings on or off military bases

    Upped the nation's commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS at home and abroad

    Launched a muscular, game-changing campaign for global LGBT equality, highlighted by the Secretary of State in a half-hour address to the United Nations

    Extended the gender-based employment discrimination protections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to transgender employees

    Added an LGBT representative to the diversity program at each of the nations 120 federal prisons

    Restored full military severance to discharged LGBT servicemembers

    RESPECT & INCLUSION

    Endorsed the Baldwin-Lieberman bill, The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009, to provide FULL partnership benefits to federal employees
    Released the first Presidential PRIDE proclamations since 2000

    Hosted the first LGBT Pride Month Celebration in White House history

    Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Harvey Milk and Billie Jean King, joining past recipients such as Rosa Parks

    Appointed the first ever transgender DNC member

    Testified in favor of ENDA, the first time any official of any administration has testified in the Senate on ENDA
    Hired more openly LGBT officials (like these) in its first two years -- more than 150, including more than 20 "Senate-confirmables" -- than any previous administration hired in four years or eight

    Sworn in Ambassador David Huebner

    Emphasized LGBT inclusion in everything from the President’s historic NAACP address (“The pain of discrimination is still felt in America.  By African American women paid less for doing the same work as colleagues of a different color and a different gender.  By Latinos made to feel unwelcome in their own country.  By Muslim Americans viewed with suspicion simply because they kneel down to pray to their God.  By our gay brothers and sisters, still taunted, still attacked, still denied their rights.”) . . . to the first paragraph of his Family Day proclamation (“Whether children are raised by two parents, a single parent, grandparents, a same-sex couple, or a guardian, families encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things”) and his Mothers Day proclamation ("Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by two parents, a single mother, two mothers, a step-mom, a grandmother, or a guardian.  Mother's Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate these extraordinary caretakers") . . . to creating the chance for an adorable 10-year-old at the White House Easter Egg roll to tell ABC World News how cool it is to have two mommies . . . to including the chair of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce along with the Secretary of the Treasury and the President of Goldman Sachs in the small audience for the President’s economic address at the New York Stock Exchange . . . to welcoming four gay couples to its first State Dinner
    Recommitted, in a televised address, to passing ENDA . . . repealing Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell  . . . repealing the so-called Defense of Marriage Act

    Spoken out against discrimination at the National Prayer Breakfast ("We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are -- whether it's here in the United States or, as Hillary mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda.")

    Dispatched the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to call on the Senate to repeal Don't Ask / Don't Tell

    Launched a website to gather public comment on first-ever federal LGBT housing discrimination study

    Appointed long-time equality champion Chai Feldblum one of the four Commissioners of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    Produced U.S. Census Bureau PSAs featuring gay, lesbian, and transgender spokespersons

    Appointed Retired Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer, an early public champion of open service in the military, to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services
    Publicly invited the shunned MIssissippi high school prom student to the White House

    Successfully fought for UN accreditation of IGLHRC (the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission) -- against Republican attempts to block it

    Convened the first-ever anti-bullying summit to craft a national strategy to reduce bullying in schools

    Launched stopbullying.gov

    Awarded $13.3 million to the LA Gay & Lesbian Center to create a model program for LGBTQ youth in the foster care system

    Tweeted to 5.7 million BarackObama followers and nearly 2 million WhiteHouse followers the President's "It Gets Better" video

    Embraced that campaign with heartfelt messages from, as well, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Agriculture (aimed particularly at rural youth), the Secretaries of Education and Health & Human Services, the Secretary of Labor (in English and Spanish), the Director of OPM and LGBT members of the White House staff

    Issued a Department of Justice video urging kids to call a Justice Department toll-free number if their school is aware of bullying but taking no action

    Held the first ever White House conference on bullying prevention, led by the President and First Lady
    Hosted first-ever White House transgender policy meeting
    Emphasized the positive value of Gay-straight Student Alliances (GSAs) and advised the nation's school districts of their legal responsibility to allow establishment of GSAs
    Appointed the first openly gay man to serve on the federal bench

    Nominated the first open lesbian US attorney

    Nominated the first openly gay US attorney to serve Texas

    Forced the Tehachipi Unified School District to prevent and respond to gender-based harassment  

    Acknowledged in federal court the U.S. government's "significant and regrettable role" in discrimination in America against gays and lesbians, arguing that DOMA is unconstitutional. ("This is your U.S. Justice Department, folks, forcefully, stunningly taking on the homophobes in Congress and a huge Obama WIN." -- Rex Wockner)  

    Appointed open lesbian activist to West Point advisory board

    Used the President's annual United Nations address to say, "no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere."

    Presented Janice Langbehn with the Presidential Citizens Award for her role in securing hospital visitation rights
    Convened the first-ever White House LGBT Elder Housing summit

    Endorsed the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools improvement Act targeting discrimination and bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity
    Endorsed marriage equality

    Conducted the first same-sex wedding in the West Point chapel

    Selected gay poet to deliver the 2013 Inaugural poem

    •  So the long list (14+ / 0-)

      means its ok to have a bigot? There is NO OTHER person of faith he could ask who is LGBT inclusive or neutral, right?

      This is not hard.

    •  So if Franklin Graham was at Romney inauguration (5+ / 0-)

      You would be okay with that?

    •  Thank goodness you didn't have to suffer until (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scott Wooledge, liberaldemdave

      he finally got on board.

      Whether it was 1 year or 2.5 years he still STOPPED defending DOMA
    •  Propaganda goes viral. (4+ / 0-)

      I've previously had to call out the bullshit on this list when it comes to HIV issues, and I thought I wouldn't have to do it again.  But since you're bringing this crap up, let me give you a little info about Obama and HIV policy.

      Signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act
      No president, Republican or Democratic, has refused to reauthorize Ryan White since it was originally signed by George H.W. Bush.  Clinton signed reauthorization and so did Dubya.  If Obama hadn't signed it, he'd have been the very first president ever to refuse to do so.

      In addition, Ryan White pays for things like HIV meds for the most desperately poor HIV+ people.  If we can't expect a Democratic president to support such a thing as a matter of course, then politics in this country has reached a new low.

      Lifted the HIV Entry Ban
      This one borders on an outright lie.  The legislation rescinding the ban was passed by Congress and signed by George W. Bush.  The only thing the Obama administration did was issue the revised regs reflecting the repeal of the ban.
      Issued a National HIV/AIDS Strategy praised as "long-overdue" by the Task Force, Lambda and others
      Yeah, he did do this, and it was long overdue, considering that the HIV epidemic has been with us since the early 80s.  The problem with the NHAS has been follow-through, and that's been lacking.  I wrote a diary about it when it was issued, and I noted that most activists were cautioning that the real issue would be funding and implementation.  That's still lagging.
      Upped the nation's commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS at home and abroad
      This is so vague that it's impossible even to know what you're talking about.  (I'm pretty sure you have no idea either, since it's clear that you don't know squat about HIV policy and just cut and pasted this list from somewhere.)  But if we're going to talk about the nation's commitment to fighting HIV abroad, we should note that this administration has been less committed to PEPFAR than the prior one.  In fact, many prominent African leaders, Desmond Tutu among them, have been critical of this administration's de-emphasizing of HIV in favor of other diseases.

      If you want to post crap, you can post crap.  But don't try and pull this on those of us who actually know something about this issue and for whom it's a personal concern.  HIV is a serious fucking problem, and it deserves more than this kind of BS treatment.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:30:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  to the contrary (0+ / 0-)

        YES...Congress voted to lift the ban (which Senator Obama voted for) and George W. signed it....but the OFFICIAL lifting of the HIV ban happened under Obama's presidency.  This was a process he could have easily prolonged but he didn't.

        It doesn't matter that other presidents also signed extensions to Ryan White.  He did also so it still counts as as one of his several dozen achievements on LGBT issues.

        There are plenty of experts who will say the Obama Administration is just as committed, even more committed than the last Administration.  That's a matter of opinion.

        •  Um, no. (0+ / 0-)

          These things are measurable.  They are not matters of opinion.  

          When a statute is repealed is documented in the Congressional Record.  That is not a matter of opinion.  That the "official" lifting of the ban occurred while Obama was president is simply a function of how long it takes regulations to be written and approved in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.  And yes, I suppose the Obama administration "could easily have prolonged" the rulemaking process, but are we really supposed to view mere adherence to the law as an "achievement"?

          For similar reasons, I can't see how you can credit Ryan White reauthorization as an "achievement."  Doing something routine isn't an achievement.  It's even less so in the case of a statute like Ryan White, where there's been broad bipartisan agreement since the program's inception.  

          If you had wanted to point to an actual achievement by the Obama administration on this front, you might have cited the emergency money they kicked in for ADAP funding earlier this year.  But again, since it's clear you don't know squat about HIV policy and are only interested in tooting the president's horn, that example didn't occur to you.

          I don't know who the supposed "experts" are that you're talking about, and you conveniently fail to cite their names, but if you can find someone who thinks PEPFAR funding for HIV prevention in developing countries has gone up in this administration, I'd be very interested in seeing that.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:16:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  And it's STILL a dick move, (5+ / 0-)

      to invite a born again, hardcore Christian fundamentalist "pray the gay away" preacher.

      "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."
      —Dan Savage

      by Scott Wooledge on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:48:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Someone learned to copy-paste!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      liberaldemdave

      How happy you must be.

      "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

      by JesseCW on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:37:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But I had ALOT to copy and paste (0+ / 0-)

        A simple Google search yielded me lots of sources for "Obama Gay Rights accomplishments" to copy and paste.

        I guess you kinda missed that point.

        •  Dude. None of that had anything to do with (0+ / 0-)

          whether this homophobic shitbag should be given a national platform.

          "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

          by JesseCW on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:12:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  i didn't like it either (0+ / 0-)

            I wish they hadn't done it in the first place but I'm not gonna allow some tiny meaningless gesture (such as a meaningless benediction prayer from a guy few people know or will be paying attention) distract me from or minimize the fact that LGBTs have made huge strides under this President. Think the phrase is "missing the forest for the trees."  Or in this case "missing the forest for a tiny twig."

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