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  •  Great diary! Thx! Too bad this President doesn't (16+ / 0-)

    get it! I still can't wrap my mind around the bigotry of supporting separate but equal in this day and age. Get with the program Mr. President. We are all entitled to have our relationships recognized as equal under federal law, and every other law of the land. You and Michelle are no more special than this couple are.

    What do we want??? Equal rights! When do we want them??? Now!

    by tnichlsn on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:12:21 PM PDT

    •  Amen... (16+ / 0-)

      I support this President and God knows I love seeing him lead our nation and pass landmark legislation. I differ with my hard-core activist friends on many issues, but not this one. Health care bill was great. Fin-Reg bill was great. I love Elizabeth Warren. But this President needs immense, never-ending pressure from the GLBT community and from the progressive community. This is an issue where I will not take a "state's rights" compromise approach.

        So yes, this President needs to begin the dismantling of DOMA. Now.

      "Don't compare me with the Almighty, compare me with the alternative!" --VP Biden

      by Socratic Method on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:18:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  from a legal perspective, a state's rights (13+ / 0-)

        approach is utter nonsense, and he, being a Harvard Law degree recipient, knows this. The only full equality is federal recognition of marriage equality. Shame on him for not showing the political courage to say so.

        What do we want??? Equal rights! When do we want them??? Now!

        by tnichlsn on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:21:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, that is what does not sit well with me - (9+ / 0-)

          that it seems to come down to political courage.

          I too support this president wholeheartedly but cannot fathom for the life of me how his support of only civil unions fits with the rest of his being.  It is incongruous with his intellect and background.

          so,all that is left, is to assume that he will not support marriage for strictly political reasons - which also doesn't fit well with his character and history!

          Can anybody suggest how his stand is in line with the rest of his views/character/history?  I just don't get it.

          "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

          by MRA NY on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:32:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He's not BEING rational on this issue (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tnichlsn

            I guess to him "teh Ghey" is "teh Ick" and he doesn't even want to have to think about it.

            There's a lot of people like that, unfortunately. Some of them change when one of their children gets up the nerve to "come out". But sadly some never change.

            If it's
            Not your body
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            AND it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 02:49:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tnichlsn

              I will pressure the President and I will advocate for gay and lesbian and transgender candidates and principles, but I'm not going to lower myself to believe that my President is a bigot. That, to me, is an offensive concept. No, "teh gay" is not offensive to him. That comment lowers the level of the dialogue that I wanted to start with this diary. No, the President is not a bigot. He may lack the political courage to lead on this issue, but I know of Presidents bolder even than he that have waffled on civil rights. Truman Eisenhower and FDR come to mind.

              "Don't compare me with the Almighty, compare me with the alternative!" --VP Biden

              by Socratic Method on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 10:35:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There's a difference between "Ick" and bigotry (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rei

                The bigots know what they hate and are willing to use any and all means at their disposal to see that it doesn't happen (or worse). The "Ick"ers just want to shove their heads in the sand to make the creepy thing go away.

                If it's
                Not your body
                Then it's
                Not your choice
                AND it's
                None of your damn business!

                by TheOtherMaven on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 09:50:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  tnich, why the personal attack on the President (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass

      and his marriage?

      Why are you using someone's pain as a license to personally attack Obama and his marriage? Did the president ever say or imply that he and his wife are "more special" than any other couple - heterosexual or gay? What about the last 43 presidents and their wives? Anti-gay bigotry was not invented by Barack or Michelle Obama. Bigotry was a built into the constitution when this country was founded - and we've been through 43 presidents, and NONE of them have accomplished equality for gays. So why single out this president? Martin Luther king never singled out and personally attacked any US president for the predicaments of Blacks. He attacked a system of prejudice and institutions that enabled this system.

      I am sick and tired of folks who disguise their personal dislike and resentment of this President & his family under "policy issues."  

      •  Seriously? (15+ / 0-)

        Did the president ever say or imply that he and his wife are "more special" than any other couple - heterosexual or gay?

        Yes - by saying that he's opposed to marriage equality, he is saying that he and his wife's relationship is "more special."

        What about the last 43 presidents and their wives? Anti-gay bigotry was not invented by Barack or Michelle Obama.

        Nobody said it was.  The last 43 Presidents are just that - the last 43 Presidents.  We're talking about the President currently in office.

        So why single out this president?

        Because he's the sitting President.

        I am sick and tired of folks who disguise their personal dislike and resentment of this President & his family under "policy issues."

        This is just bullshit.  I love President Obama - I campaigned for him, I enthusiastically voted for him, I still root for him.  I, like tnichlsn, think he's wrong - dead wrong - on this issue.  That's not a personal attack, that's pointing out a contradiction in President Obama's own philosophy.

        Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I've been busy destroying the sanctity of marriage and eroding the moral fabric of society.

        by Chrislove on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:48:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you. I have had plenty of (9+ / 0-)

          policy debates in Tnichlsn's kitchen and I'll tell you, at least from these many, in-person discussions, that what Tnich is angry with is POLICY, not the President.

          Perfect ticket for GOP '12: Palin/O'Donnell.

          by commonmass on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 12:52:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well apparently you cannot and should not (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass

            speak for Tnich, who just admitted that his issue IS PERSONAL with President Obama.

            •  I'm not speaking for him, and sorry if I (4+ / 0-)

              gave that impression. All I can say is that in many conversations I have had with him I never got the impression that he hated the PERSON of the President, rather is angry with some of his policies and positions, most especially on the issue of Marriage Equality.

              Perfect ticket for GOP '12: Palin/O'Donnell.

              by commonmass on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:15:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The impression that I'm under is that (0+ / 0-)

                tnich thinks that Obama is personally invested in keeping gays from having equal rights under the law. Obama has NEVER said that his marriage was more equal than anyone else. All Obama said was that he did not believe in gay marriage. Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton also said the same thing.

                The president never said his belief system was superior, or better or the gold standard. He also never implied that his personal beliefs about gay marriage would inform his policies or decisions about DADT, which he promised to work legislatively with congress to repeal - and which he is doing.

                •  As someone who knows tnich personally (5+ / 0-)

                  and has spent nights at his home which he graciously opened up to us while visiting Boston, I can assure you that he does not think that the President is personally invested in keeping gays from having equal rights.  What he has expressed is his disappointment and anger at Obama's lack of political courage on some issues relating to the LGBT communities.

                  Cause we find ourselves in the same old mess singin' drunken lullabies--Flogging Molly

                  by dalfireplug on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:57:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dalfireplug

                    I will admit that I don't know tnich personally, but saying that the President believes his relationship with his wife is superior to that of gays, is very different from saying he lacks political courage on issues related to LGBT communities. While I find the latter a very plausible and reasonable comment, I'm having difficulty with the former because I've seen no evidence of it.

            •  Actually, I don't see that he did admit that. eom (4+ / 0-)

              What's your agenda here?

        •  Not Bull shit (0+ / 0-)

          I love President Obama - I campaigned for him, I enthusiastically voted for him, I still root for him.

          That is irrelevant and you know it. The DADT law is not about President Obama. Obama is just one individual in a huge institution of laws, policies and legislative processes. He has promised to work with congress to repeal DADT during his presidency, and I will judge him based on whether/not he follows up with that promise, not on his personal beliefs about gay marriage. And so far it appears that he is working with congress legislatively to move towards a repeal.

          His sharing of his personal beliefs about gay marriage is meaningless to the issue of DADT. Obama reports that he is a Christian and not a Muslim..thus he does not believe in the Muslim religion. That is his personal religious belief. Does that mean that Muslims should not be seen as equals to non-Muslims, or not have a right to legal, federal and social equality under the law?????

          President Obama has stated numerous times that the law is discriminatory and gays have a right to the same legal, federal and social benefits and freedoms under the law (which they currently DO NOT HAVE) as heterosexuals. To hell with Obama's personal beliefs about gay marriage. It's irrelevant.

          •  Huh? (9+ / 0-)

            What does DADT have to do with this?  I don't get your Muslim-Christian analogy either.

            I'm a gay man.  I believe that I should have the right to marry.  I find President Obama's position on marriage equality to be offensive.  What do you want me to do?  Overlook the fact that President Obama doesn't support my full equality?

            Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I've been busy destroying the sanctity of marriage and eroding the moral fabric of society.

            by Chrislove on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:29:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The topic was DOMA, not DADT. (4+ / 0-)

            Obama's position on DOMA, as I understand it, is he supports its repeal.

            This is NOT the same as supporting federal marriage equality!

            It is a position that would incorporate individual state definitions of marriage, the vast majority of which are based on inequality.  It does not create a federal version of marriage equality.  It is a states' rights position.

            He has made clear that his personal view, on what a state's policy should be, is same-sex couples should not get marriage rights, only civil unions.

            •  So you're saying (0+ / 0-)

              that the President does not support the same federal rights, privileges and benefits for gay partnerships. In other words Obama believes that gay partnerships should have fewer/inferior federal rights, privileges and benefits than heterosexuals? Please clarify.

              •  State and federal. (6+ / 0-)

                Through his support DOMA's repeal (which, frankly, we never really heard much of during his campaign and hear virtually nothing about now), without affirmative federal marriage rights to take its place, I believe he is in essence saying that the federal definition of marriage should be whatever your state definition is.  If you are a MA gay couple, check off the married box on your federal tax forms; if you are a WY gay couple, you have to file as two single people.

                On the state level, and personally, he favors civil unions but not marriage equality.  (To continue the above example, he would rather there be more folks in the WY couple's situation than in the MA couple's situation.)  The federal significance of this position is that since there would be no state "marriage," there is still no federal "marriage" even if DOMA is repealed.

                So, I would characterize his position as one of marriage inequality at both the federal and state level.  It's quite unfortunate.

                •  So he wants the rights/privileges conferred (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tnichlsn, IPLawyer, Socratic Method

                  in the same-sex partnership to be determined by the individual states, not by a federal provision that guarantees equality of same-sex partnerships regardless of state or province? Because the discrimination will be practiced at the state level if there is no provison that overrides the states' decsions.

                  So yes I agree, that is definitely discriminatory.

                  •  Yes, I think that's right. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tnichlsn, Hopefruit2, Socratic Method

                    To be clear, the civil unions he supports would confer some of the benefits of marriage.  But even if they were to include all of the same tax breaks, immigration rights, hospital visitation rights, etc., there would still be the whole "separate but equal" issue at both the federal and state level.  It is still discrimination to say "sure, you can have all of the same benefits, but you shouldn't get to call your relationship a 'marriage' like I do."

                    •  And if the states (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      tnichlsn

                      decide that what you call your relationship determines things like how you file your taxes, then it is discrimination.

                      My original thoughts were that the term "marriage" did not carry gravitas beyond the biblical/church/religious connotations of what marriage meant. But it sounds like "marriage" has a very specific meaning that assumes certain benefits that other terms like "civil unions" do not.

          •  What the hell is your problem? (10+ / 0-)

            You come into this thread with fire in your belly and then you veer off into topics that aren't even being discussed. Then you completely fly off into lala land trying to bring up religion in a context that has absolutely nothing to do with what we're talking about.

            Perfect example of a threadjack if I've ever seen one. What the hell is your problem?

      •  yes, it IS personal, when he states, publiclly, (14+ / 0-)

        on numerous occasions, that he and his relationship to Michelle are more equal than I and mine is, or that I should have to fight for my rights to be recognized in each of 50 states plus the district of DC, to gain full equality in this country, you bet it's god damned personal. On this one issue, he has his Harvard educated head up his ass!

        What do we want??? Equal rights! When do we want them??? Now!

        by tnichlsn on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:01:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You have it backwards. (15+ / 0-)

        No one is attacking the President and his marriage.  It is the President who has chosen to designate himself (and heterosexuals generally) as "special."  Obama does not believe that two people of the same sex should be entitled to the same marriage rights as he and Michelle have.  I do not know why Obama believes that heterosexuals are inherently superior and thus entitled to greater rights, and to my knowledge, he has never articulated a coherent reason.

        In any event, no one here, tnichlsn included, has suggested that the Obamas are not entitled to be married or that there is anything wrong with their marriage.  It is President Obama who has told gays and lesbians across the country that they are not equal to him in legal status.

        Maladie d'Amour, Où l'on meurt d'Aimer, Seul et sans Amour, Sid'abandonné

        by FogCityJohn on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 01:14:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is your interpretation (0+ / 0-)

          However, I have never heard the president say or imply that heterosexuals are inherently superior and thus entitled to greater rights than gays.

          He said he does not believe in gay marriage.  Why he, Clinton and Biden even felt the need to respond to a foolish question like this is beyond me, because it's largely irrelevant to the issues of equality in domestic partnerships, whether you are heterosexual or homosexual.

          It sounds more like Obama is allowing himself to get caught up in the semantics of "marriage" as a religiously backed institution..which dictates that "marriage" has to between a man and a woman. While a same-sex partnership is different from a heterosexual one, there is no implication of inherent superiority or inferiority, or differential rights/benefits under the law, even if a term different from "marriage" is used.

          •  It's a necessary implication (8+ / 0-)

            If same-sex couples were viewed as the equals of heterosexuals, then they would necessarily be entitled to the same rights.  The president does not believe that we are so entitled, however, and this necessarily means that he believes that there is something special or superior about heterosexuals that entitles them to a more privileged status under the law.  

            I am sorry to see you trivialize questions about marriage equality for gays and lesbians as "foolish."  One might have hoped that people who call themselves progressives would view the civil rights of America's LGBT citizens as a serious issue.  Your comment only shows how far we have to go.

            Finally, if, as you say, "there is no implication of inherent superiority or inferiority" between heterosexual and homosexual relationships, then one seriously has to wonder why anyone would support different legal regimes for the two groups.  Marriage is not fundamentally a religious institution.  It is a civil contract to which numerous legal rights and obligations are attached.  If neither group is superior to the other, then why does the president advocate differential treatment under the law?

            Maladie d'Amour, Où l'on meurt d'Aimer, Seul et sans Amour, Sid'abandonné

            by FogCityJohn on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 02:04:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tnichlsn

              The president does not believe that we are so entitled, however, and this necessarily means that he believes that there is something special or superior about heterosexuals that entitles them to a more privileged status under the law.

              I have no evidence of this, which is why I raised the objections in my comments. But if that is true, then he is practicing discimination.

              I am sorry to see you trivialize questions about marriage equality for gays and lesbians as "foolish."  

              I said that questions about personal beliefs about gay marriage are misdirected and foolish. In my schema, the issue of gay marriage and the issue of partnership equality across different sexual orientations are two very different things with very different meanings. I'm not trivializing equality for gays and lesbians.

              Which brings me to your final point:

              then one seriously has to wonder why anyone would support different legal regimes for the two groups.

              That's the same question I want to have answered. Because the core issue here is equality of partnership. Regardless of the name it's given, what are the benefits, legal, social and otherwise, and how do they match up to heterosexual partnerships.

      •  Yes, yes he did. (10+ / 0-)

        Every time he says that gays and lesbians should only be given civil unions, while he is allowed to marry, he is saying that "because religion in the mix" what he has is more special.

        If you can't figure out the logic there, you just aren't paying attention.

        •  Well show me (0+ / 0-)

          the ways in which "civil unions" would have differential and inferior rights, or social and legal benefits than "marriage." If that is the case, then I agree with you 100% that the president believes that gays are inferior.

          It sounds like YOU and not the president, think that civil unions are inferior, because you used the words "only" but I have never heard Obama use the word "only" to precede civil unions.

          •  Sure thing (8+ / 0-)

            (Now, everyone else, I know this guy's probably a troll and may not be asking the question in good faith, but I'll answer it anyway.)

            First, there is the bullshit that civil unions and such generally do provide equal letter of the law rights. You here this in California, all the time.  But:
             http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            ...puts the lie to it.

            But more importantly, there's the pernicious social stigma effects. Singling out gays and lesbians as second-class (and make no mistake, if the president gets to pick his label, but the poster's son doesn't, the poster doesn't have the same rights right there) has a demonstrated, documented by actual science cost in terms of the psychological and physical health of LGBT folk, e.g., Francis and Mialon's work.

            For further exploration of these topics, I turn you to the Perry transcript.

            •  apologies for here/hear typo, etc. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tnichlsn, cloudbustingkid

              (I know the difference, but my fingers don't always.  ;-) )

            •  Thanks for the link (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhilJD

              And no, I'm neither a troll nor a "guy." But we can disagreements on policy issues without the personal attacks.

              •  I'm sorry, but.. (0+ / 0-)

                The actual content of your posts makes it very difficult to take your opinions as one of "policy" rather than human rights, and read as quite bigoted. I found them offensive, but I'm willing to accept that that offense might have been due to ignorance rather than malice. I apologize for the mischaracterization.

                To make this point, "we shouldn't let African-Americans use the word marriage for their own relationships" out in a separate post here and see how many hide rates you attract.  (or substitute "Catholics", if you prefer.)

                General Rule: Whenever you ask someone to defend why they need their basic human rights respected, you are, in part, insulting them.

          •  Since you asked ... (7+ / 0-)

            There is a wealth of information out there about the differences between civil unions and marriage, but here's one example.

            Another way to look at it is that all of the many state and federal statutes that apply to marriage don't apply to civil unions, absent express legislation to that effect.  

            Yet another way to look at it is by the simple fact that civil unions are called that, i.e., civil unions, and not marriage.  Inherent in the use of different words is that there are different meanings attached to the same.    

            So, yes, it's generally perceived that civil unions provide some lesser status than marriage.

          •  'separate but equal' is what George Wallace (4+ / 0-)

            recommended for black schools and colleges in Alabama 50+ years ago. Was he not a bigot for suggesting such was equitable? or do gay's and lesbian's home/private/personal lives and pursuit of happiness mean less to you than black student's education? they are both bigot's. just because one relates to race and the other to sexual orientation does not make one less offensive and unjust.

            What do we want??? Equal rights! When do we want them??? Now!

            by tnichlsn on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 02:41:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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