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Obama today announced the extension of some, mostly minor, employment benefits for same-sex partners of federal (non-military) employees. The president's full remarks are below the fold. But I'll highlight the key part here:

In consultation with Secretary of State Clinton, as well as OPM Director John Berry, my administration has completed a long and thorough review to identify a number of areas where we can extend federal benefits to the same-sex partners of Foreign Service and executive branch government employees.

I'm requesting that Secretary Clinton and Director Berry do so where possible under existing law -- and that the heads of all executive departments and agencies conduct reviews to determine where they may do the same.

Hundreds of Fortune 500 companies already offer such benefits not only because it's the right thing to do, but because they recognize that it helps them compete for and retain the best possible talent -- and we need top talent serving their country right now more than ever.

Now, under current law, we cannot provide same-sex couples with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.

That's why I'm proud to announce my support for the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, crucial legislation that will guarantee these rights for all federal employees [...]

It's a day that marks a historic step towards the changes we seek, but I think we all have to acknowledge this is only one step.  Among the steps we have not yet taken is to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.  I believe it's discriminatory, I think it interferes with states' rights, and we will work with Congress to overturn it.

We've got more work to do to ensure that government treats all its citizens equally; to fight injustice and intolerance in all its forms; and to bring about that more perfect union.  I'm committed to these efforts, and I pledge to work tirelessly on behalf of these issues in the months and years to come.

Remember, these new benefits for gay federal employees do not include the two biggest ones -- retirement and health care, so this is mostly a symbolic effort, not insignificant, but not as "historic" as Obama would like to claim. What would be historic is full equality. But repealing DOMA would help move the country more substantively in that direction.

One more note -- this could've been announced via press release and buried from view. Instead, Obama announced the move in a public ceremony. It's clear the White House is feeling the pressure, as the substance of this executive order probably didn't warrant the attention it got. Rather, it was clearly an excuse for Obama to very visibly reaffirm support for repealing DOMA. And despite Obama's checkered record on gay rights, this is not an insignificant signal on his part.

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT THE SIGNING OF A
PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM
REGARDING FEDERAL BENEFITS AND NON-DISCRIMINATION

Oval Office

6:04 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, today I'm proud to issue a presidential memorandum that paves the way for long-overdue progress in our nation's pursuit of equality.

Many of our government's hard-working, dedicated, and patriotic public servants have long been denied basic rights that their colleagues enjoy for one simple reason -- the people that they love are of the same sex.

Currently, for example, LGBT federal employees can't always use sick leave to care for their domestic partners or their partners' children.  Their partners aren't covered under long-term care insurance.  Partners of American Foreign Service officers abroad aren't treated the same way when it comes to the use of medical facilities or visitation rights in case of an emergency.

These are just some of the wrongs that we intend to right today.

In consultation with Secretary of State Clinton, as well as OPM Director John Berry, my administration has completed a long and thorough review to identify a number of areas where we can extend federal benefits to the same-sex partners of Foreign Service and executive branch government employees.

I'm requesting that Secretary Clinton and Director Berry do so where possible under existing law -- and that the heads of all executive departments and agencies conduct reviews to determine where they may do the same.

Hundreds of Fortune 500 companies already offer such benefits not only because it's the right thing to do, but because they recognize that it helps them compete for and retain the best possible talent -- and we need top talent serving their country right now more than ever.

Now, under current law, we cannot provide same-sex couples with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.

That's why I'm proud to announce my support for the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, crucial legislation that will guarantee these rights for all federal employees.

I want to thank Representative Tammy Baldwin, who is behind me somewhere -- there she is, right there -- for her tireless leadership on this bill and in the broader struggle for equality.  I want to thank Senator Joe Lieberman -- Joe is here -- as well as Susan Collins for championing this bill in the Senate; and Representative Barney Frank for his leadership on this and so many other issues -- in fact, this is his second trip to the White House today.  (Laughter.)

It's a day that marks a historic step towards the changes we seek, but I think we all have to acknowledge this is only one step.  Among the steps we have not yet taken is to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.  I believe it's discriminatory, I think it interferes with states' rights, and we will work with Congress to overturn it.

We've got more work to do to ensure that government treats all its citizens equally; to fight injustice and intolerance in all its forms; and to bring about that more perfect union.  I'm committed to these efforts, and I pledge to work tirelessly on behalf of these issues in the months and years to come.

Thank you very much everybody, and with that I am going to sign this executive order.

(The memorandum is signed.)  (Applause.)

                  END                6:08 P.M. EDT

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:25 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I agree (18+ / 0-)

    But I wish he would have somehow addressed what appears to be an inconsistency between his reiterated position on repealing DOMA and the method by which his DOJ argued in favor of DOMA in briefing.

    I also wish he would have spoken about DADT. I just don't get that one at all.

    But you are right that this is good.

    •  This is not from the Administration (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, tomjones, lgmcp

      But I think it nevertheless adequately addresses your concern: Link

      And please note that I am not using the word "concern" in the snarky sense.

      (-5.88, -6.46) Democracy is what happens between elections.

      by autoegocrat on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:34:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wanted an apology for the vile brief (10+ / 0-)

      How can Obama say he wants to repeal DOMA and yet not address the arguments that were made in the brief that compared my relationship to incest and pedophilia? And today Gibbs supported the brief in a direct question from Jake Tapper.

      So no. Sorry. I don't believe Obama anymore. That brief and this pathetic photo op were the last straws.

      I will be flying to DC to protest that fundraiser next week. No more money until you take clear and decisive action and show real leadership.

      •  Randi Rhodes had a theory today.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tomjones

        it was interesting.  I wrote about it in a post above.

      •  Please hear me out (10+ / 0-)

        If your attorney cites Plessy vs. Ferguson in your case, does that mean he's equating you or one of the litigants with segregationists?

        The same applies here. I'm going to assume that you are capable of understanding the difference between saying "homosexuality is equivalent to incest" and pointing out in court that if one state allows cousins to marry that doesn't mean every state has to honor those marriages. The precedents dealing with marriage laws among the states were established in a case dealing with first cousins who married in one state and moved to another where it was outlawed.

        Like it or not, some states accepting gay marriage and some states accepting the marriage of first cousins are analogous situations when it comes to the legal question of whether or not another state has to honor those marriages. It's a question of federalism, not OMG GAYS ARE PERVERTS!!!!!!

        (-5.88, -6.46) Democracy is what happens between elections.

        by autoegocrat on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:42:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  what did you do with my OUTRAGE?! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          autoegocrat, tomjones, allep10

          stop it!!!

          ;0)

          the greatest threat to america is its sense of exceptionalism.

          by SeanF on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:46:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If he is using it to justify discrimination (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KateG, corvo, lgmcp, DKinUT, rf7777, chrome327

          then yes it would be bad.

          •  But he is not (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            evilstorm, LordMike, ETF, cherish0708

            First of all, Obama himself is not doing any of this. If you take the time to read the brief, it clearly states that the president opposes DOMA. I haven't seen anyone talking about that little fact.

            He (meaning the Executive Branch) is using it to justify the rule of law as ordained by Congress and upheld in previous precedent by the Supreme Court.

            Discrimination is bad, but there is a process which the President must undertake if he wishes to make a permanent change to the law. Think about it this way: if it were not so, then Obama's support for gay rights, as codified into law, could be just as easily undone by the next president.

            I would like to point out that the first Civil Rights Act was passed in 1875. It was ruled unconstitutional a mere eight years later.

            There is a right way to do this and a wrong way. He's going about this the right way.

            (-5.88, -6.46) Democracy is what happens between elections.

            by autoegocrat on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:04:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, the 'hatefulness' of the brief (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burrow owl, autoegocrat, ETF

          is in reality only in the fact that the noxious law is actively defended.  Citing other controversial intra-state marriage disagreements, in the course of that defense, is only to be expected.

          I wasn't sure about this at first, but I've mulled it over and gotten there.  You have to think like a lawyer, when analyzing the behavior of lawyers.

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:04:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bingo (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lgmcp

            If you're unfamiliar with how lawyers are trained to think, and how they go about serving their clients, you'll be prone to reading far more, far worse stuff, into their actions and arguments than is there, and missing the actual substance.

            I am not a lawyer, but I've been reading law in the course of my work for more than three decades, and it's eerie, at times, how a fact situation can produce such divergent analyses from me depending on whether I think about it like an everyday lay person or from a lawyerly perspective.

            Dude, your statistical average, which was already in the toilet, just took a plunge into the Earth's mantle. ~ iampunha

            by ETF on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 08:31:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's Not Just about the Incest Comparison (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cowboyneok, Gym N Jim, DKinUT, chrome327

          Or the child marriage comparison (but, to be clear, there are rational reasons for a state to be concerned about both those relationships - there is no rational reason for a government to be concerned about two unrelated adults marrying). The problem is that the brief used every obnoxious argument that King George II would have used - up to and including the insult that we have the right to marry - someone of the opposite gender.

          This brief effectively undermines ANY legal argument the federal government can make in defense of the inherent equality of LGBT human beings. Their very defense of this bigotry ties their hands today in "granting" benefits that LGBT federal employees ALREADY HAD ACCESS to - they couldn't go further because of the law they defended.

          Let me put it another way. The very same government we look to in order to ensure and protect our rights has now said that it is perfectly legitimate to discriminate against us, because we lack the inherent value of our fellow citizens. Not exactly a lot of comfort, you know?

          A government that denies gay men the right to bridal registry is a facist state - Margaret Cho

          by CPT Doom on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:33:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If anyone should be outraged, it's those (0+ / 0-)

          involved in the legal low-age and close-relative marriages in the states that allow them.  They should be outraged at the LEFT, because the LEFT has equated those unions with pedophilia and incest.  "Comparing same sex marriage to the low-age and close-marriages in Alabama is the same as equating same sex marriage to pedophilia and incest, because that's what those Alabama marriages are!"

          (I only use Alabama as an example; I don't know if Alabama allows those marriages or not; I read that southern states are more likely to allow them.)

      •  Take your big wallet or pocketbook and go home (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tomjones, rf7777

        oh wise bahwanna

    •  Randi Rhodes had an interesting take on this (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, bobnbob, tomjones, TheUnknown285

      today.

      To sum it up (as best I can)
      She thinks DOMA was left in tact language and all because when challenged at the State level it was outrageous enough to be defeated.
      It has never been challenged at the Federal Level, so her theory is left with its outrageous language it is easier to defeat.
      Is this just another chess board?  Let us hope so.

    •  Yes, you would think he would move (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      taylormattd

      immediately to demand Congress repeal DADT, especially after saying this:

      -- and we need top talent serving their country right now more than ever.

      They tortured people to get a false confession of a link between Saddam and 9-11. Investigate. Prosecute. Incarcerate.

      by Rumarhazzit on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:58:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This IS progress, but I know not coming as (19+ / 0-)

    quickly and as heavily as many on Kos would want it.
    I still say however tardy Obama will deliver in the end.

  •  (The memorandum is signed.) (Applause.) (5+ / 0-)

    Enter Laughing

    but Obama is not carefully scripted.

    Dear GOP&Conservatives If all you have to offer are Cliches and Hyperbole then STFU. Thanks XOXOXO

    by JML9999 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:28:45 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for your support and regular (17+ / 0-)

    commenting on this.

    The comments are full of "STFU"s and "Just be patient"s.

  •  Clear proof (29+ / 0-)

    of two things:

    1. The agitating and pressure works. Keep it up.
    1. Obama is not anywhere near as hypocritical on GLBT rights as some here have alleged.

    (-5.88, -6.46) Democracy is what happens between elections.

    by autoegocrat on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:29:02 PM PDT

  •  It's a start. I think the pressure being put on (19+ / 0-)

    the Obama Administration in this area, is forcing them to act. So, if the pressure continues, the administration will have to do more. This action means that they at the very least, here the complaints.

    "And, and God knows number one, I, I wanna help Rod. Number two, I also wanna, you know hope I get a consideration to get that appointment."~Roland Burris

    by WeBetterWinThisTime on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:29:24 PM PDT

  •  Obama is an incrementalist... (31+ / 0-)

    I think he is handling a number of difficult public issues like this. I predict he will meet most of his campaign promises but his way of doing it will be like this - one step at a time. This may be a wise route as he is less likely to get a tsunami of opposition and receive a storm of Republican talking points and the normal slanders of Hate Radio. I think things will look very different 7.5 years from now...

  •  once again (8+ / 0-)

    he is firm in his consistent position towards GLBT rights

    What have you done in the last 100 days that has changed the world for the better?

    by in2mixin on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:29:40 PM PDT

  •  It's not 1993 anymore; (10+ / 0-)

    Obama can do the right thing without worrying about the same backlash that Clinton received when he started DADT.

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office. There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:29:43 PM PDT

  •  Response (18+ / 0-)

    "And despite Obama's checkered record on gay rights, this is not an insignificant signal on his part."

    It is also not a cue for us to let up on him until we see actions that are substantive. Right now, Frank is about to reintroduce ENDA next week. If he wants to show his support, he needs to support that bill.

    •  do you think this is timed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tomjones, craigkg, TheUnknown285

      for Frank's legislation next week? I sure hope so, although part of me wonders why everything has to be choreographed.

      -7.38, -5.23 I survived the Purple Tunnel of Doom, no thanks to DiFi. I will remember this, though. Ugh!

      by CocoaLove on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:39:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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

        Frank had this planned to come up soon.

        I think they were all caught unware. The problem here is that Obama, and indeed, Frank are behind where the public is. Frank maybe good on gay rights, but even he was out of touch when he first tried to get the non-trans inclusive version through.

        However, I do think we can use this to push for ENDA. But, that's just my opinion as the lay person lookinag at this.

      •  By the way (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DMiller, corvo, Notus

        I believe we need to get one of these bills- DADT, ENDA or DOMA passed. It will help with arguments over federal equality.

        •  I think DADT and ENDA (0+ / 0-)

          are totally doable in the near term.  DOMA will take more work.

          "A guarantee of equality that is subject to exceptions made by a majority is no guarantee at all." San Francisco Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese Stewart

          by DMiller on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:46:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  choreography (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        steve04, CaliSista

        is, imo, the means of wielding power. You control the media messaging and keep your opposition reacting to you, not you to them. If it's too noticeable, it may be unelegant. But I think it's a prerequisite these days.

        the greatest threat to america is its sense of exceptionalism.

        by SeanF on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:58:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Spot on. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bruh1

          Obama reacted to this shit storm, not the other way around.  The DOMA brief was filed Friday, shit hit the fan Friday night and Saturday, then Obama's highest ranking gay reached out to the Advocate to offer an exclusive interview on a Sunday to hint that the administration was going to do something.  

          I attribute all of that to 100% reactionary "oh shit, look at our record, we haven't bothered to do anything but let Hillary Clinton codify certain benefits for State Department officials.  We'd better throw the gays a bone!"

          No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

          by steve04 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:56:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think that this dog and pony show (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bruh1, DMiller, Gym N Jim, poxonyou, chrome327

        was entirely precipitated by the furor over the DOMA brief.

        •  I see. (0+ / 0-)

          When he pulls 'repealing DOMA' from the issues page of the White House, it is the gravest insult EVAH!

          When he publicly restates his support for repealing DOMA, it's a dog and pony show.

          /sigh

          •  When he makes a big production (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bruh1, Gym N Jim, chrome327

            of things that don't amount to much it is indeed a dog and pony show. If you choose to be insulted by that, you can just go right on ahead.

            •  No, not insulting. Befuddling. eom (0+ / 0-)
              •  Why befuddling? (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bruh1, Richard Lyon, chrome327, dharmadyke

                The web site edits were done with no announcement, they just happened.  People reacted, and some of the things removed were restored.

                In this case, the DOMA brief was filed, people reacted extremely negatively, and starting Sunday with Obama's highest level gay giving an interview to the Advocate, the administration started responding and thinking of what it could do to placate teh gays.

                What did we get?  A memorandum to look into what rights could be given to employees that aren't already expressly prohibited by law.  The reason this is a dog and pony show?  Benefits like sick days to care for a sick partner are already in unofficial effect.  This memo falls short of an executive order, and it doesn't change anything meaningful.  It's a dog and pony show, because a meaningless memo should not deserve a press conference, but this one got one.

                No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

                by steve04 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:59:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  I suspect that this site (12+ / 0-)

    and the passionate advocates herein, had a big part in this.  

    "Another good story ruined by an eyewitness."

    by klnb1019 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:30:14 PM PDT

  •  It's something, even if a little something. (10+ / 0-)

    I wish there would be more talk about tossing DADT.  Even if getting DOMA is harder, and it will be, DADT is a sure bet in the public's eyes.  It wouldn't hurt to push it.

    "I won" -- President Obama in response to why he's not including more Republican ideas in his economic stimulus plan.

    by AUBoy2007 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:30:16 PM PDT

  •  To all the people that complained, bitched, and (13+ / 0-)

    whined about Obama's lack of support for gay rights:

    Well Done!

    The ekpyrotic theory hypothesizes that the origin of the observable universe occurred when two parallel branes collided.

    by rubine on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:30:17 PM PDT

    •  Quién no llora no mama :-) - n.t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timoteo, rubine, Dems 2008

      "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

      by cadejo4 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:43:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes indeed... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tomjones, corvo, cadejo4

        it is the squeaky wheel...

        The ekpyrotic theory hypothesizes that the origin of the observable universe occurred when two parallel branes collided.

        by rubine on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:47:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No entiendo. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cadejo4

        What's no mama mean?  He who doesn't cry doesn't get mama?

        No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

        by steve04 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:00:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In English it translates as (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rubine

          "the squeaky wheel gets the grease."

          The literal translation would be: "whoever doesn't cry doesn't suckle," as in a baby crying to be breastfed. It's an adage in Spanish that means and is used exactly as we would use the squeaky wheel adage. In other words, it just makes good sense to complain, as rubine said.

          (The verb mamar means to suckle, or to suck. Mama (no accent) is the conjugated verb, third person singular. Mamá, with the accent, is mother.)

          "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

          by cadejo4 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:12:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The crying child gets to suck. n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cadejo4

            The ekpyrotic theory hypothesizes that the origin of the observable universe occurred when two parallel branes collided.

            by rubine on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:14:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Got it all. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cadejo4

            Just never encountered the verb mamar.  Chupar would be a different type of sucking?

            No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

            by steve04 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:17:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Chupar has more a connotation (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              steve04

              of sucking, as in "chupar los dedos" (equivalent to licking one's fingers in English, but meaning literally to suck one's fingers), whereas mamar is more suckling or breastfeeding. I think I know where this conversation is heading, and yes, both verbs could be used in a cruder context.

              "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

              by cadejo4 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:31:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Um...yeah, thanks. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cadejo4

                In other words, I was asking if chupar is acceptable as "to suck" in polite conversation or if mamar is the right verb to use.  Your guess as to where I learned chupar is correct ;)

                Babelfish translates chupar as to absorb.

                No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

                by steve04 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:48:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I can see that use . . . (0+ / 0-)

                  very, very idiomatically. A sponge could chupar agua. But, most people would say absorber.

                  Chupar is fine in polite conversation, as in chupar los dedos, chupar a lollipop and you would never say mamar your fingers or a lollipop, without attracting some strange looks. In a sexual sense, chupar is probably used more frequently, but you hear both and it may depend somewhat on the country.

                  "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

                  by cadejo4 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 07:00:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  So who's going to get the ball rolling? (8+ / 0-)

    Do we need a Senator or Congressperson to start things up re:  getting rid of DOMA?

    Seems to me it would be a good bill for Feingold or Baldwin to present.  Lord knows Madison has a huge percentage of gays and Russ is up for re-election.  

    I'll make a call tomorrow.  

    Silence is the enemy - Green Day 4310+ dead - Bring them home

    by Miss Blue on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:30:18 PM PDT

    •  Just tactically speaking... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      barath, Miss Blue

      I think we should tackle DADT before DOMA. I can see repealing DOMA encountering very, very stiff opposition, since it will amount to de facto nationalization of gay marriage (if a gay marriage in VT must be recognized everywhere, that's national gay marriage).

      Repealing DADT, on the other hand, has the support of the public, the support of prominent congress folks, and the support (I believe) of the new Secretary of the Army.

      And then there's the bonus of the boost to acceptance of gays and lesbians as "normal" by the public that will come from openly and proudly serving in the armed forces.

  •  Well however small, it's a welcomed change (8+ / 0-)

    from the divisive policies of the previous administration.  Seeing gay members of Congress and leaders of the gay community in the oval office for the signing an order for these benefits is progress.

  •  I hate DOMA and DADT ! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, tomjones, marketgeek
    Please try to remember teh separation of powers though !
  •  And Aravosis is reporting, btw, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, davidkc, Hannibal, Druggy Bear

    that he could have actually offered full benefits.

    •  IMO, Aravosis (15+ / 0-)

      is full of shit, as usual. He says this:

      Here's why: DOMA prohibits granting benefits based on marriage, it does not prohibit granting benefits overall. Thus, you define a standard that isn't marriage, such as domestic partnerships as defined by, say, the amount of time spent dating, living together, comingling funds, etc. Had Obama simply said we will give health benefits to the domestic partners, straight and gay, of all federal employees, and given a definition of domestic partner that does not include marriage of civil unions, he could have done it.

      He is a lawyer, so I don't know why the fuck he is calling someone for a comment. His argument is ridiculous. All of the statutes out there give health benefits to the "spouses" of federal employees. For god's sake, if those statutes used the term "domestic partner" we wouldn't need to have the discussion. But they don't. I mean really, which federal statutes grant, for example, health care benefits to "domestic partners"? Which ones? Shouldn't Aravosis be figuring out whether or not that is true instead of calling someone to comment on a hypothetical?

      Or is Aravosis saying Obama can just magically order up and appropriate new money, without any legislation, for new benefits for health insurance for domestic partners?

      I don't get it. What am I missing?

      •  I agree (7+ / 0-)

        Aravosis is a self centered bigot who very publically jettisoned transgendered Americans over the non inclusive ENDA bill when Bush was president, (you know, the one that had zero chance of being signed). He even went so far as to drop the "T" from LGBT and then tried to pretend that he had never used it.
        Don't quote Aravosis, he has no credibility.

      •  Interestingly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        taylormattd, Nova Land

        The bill he advocated for during the remarks would grant health benefits based on domestic partner status, a definition not based on any state law recognition.

      •  Here's the source for that argument (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        taylormattd, Gym N Jim

        http://www.opm.gov/...

        Entitlement

        Most Federal employees may use a total of up to 12 administrative workweeks of sick leave each leave year to care for a family member with a serious health condition. If an employee previously has used any portion of the 13 days of sick leave for general family care or bereavement purposes in a leave year, that amount must be subtracted from the 12-week entitlement. If an employee has already used 12 weeks of sick leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition, he or she cannot use an additional 13 days in the same leave year for general family care purposes. An employee is entitled to a total of 12 weeks of sick leave each year for all family care purposes.

        Definition of Family Member

        "Family member" is defined as--

           *spouse, and parents thereof;
           *children, including adopted children, and spouses thereof;
           *parents;
           *brothers and sisters, and spouses thereof; and
           *any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

        From what I read earlier today in a thread at Pam's House Blend, someone who is gay and has worked for the federal gov't for decades said that last bullet point was added an administration or two ago to give some benefits to people who are essentially domestic partners.

        So...long story short, Obama's press conference about his memo to direct department heads to see what they can do for the gays amounts to a whole lot of talk and not much action.  But I'm so much happier with this level of attention than the level of attention given last week or at any other point to date.

        No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

        by steve04 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:11:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

          for providing that. I really appreciate when people actually provide backup for what they write.

          That looks like it is talking about family and sick leave. I would like Aravosis to cite to and perhaps quote the federal statutes and regulations granting health care to federal employees, given he is claiming Obama can, without Congress or agency promulgation of a new regulation, simply "give" to domestic partners.

          •  Yeah, not sure if I buy the health care stuff (0+ / 0-)

            Maybe with a lot of splitting of hairs, Obama could grant health care in one way or another, but it would have to be such a vague definition as to invite abuse, which would rightfully reduce support for such an action among people who believe government should be efficient and avoid waste.

            I appreciate Aravosis' enthusiasm, and he has been helpful in galvanizing activists to call about the LGBT DNC fundraiser, but he's not always thorough, to say the least.

            To me, I'm not sure why we should hold ourselves to an accuracy standard that is an order of magnitude more strict than the one the Republicans use.  A little bit of exaggeration and obfuscation can go a long way toward furthering our cause ;-)

            No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

            by steve04 on Sat Jun 20, 2009 at 09:59:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Well, fuck me then, for making the mistake of (0+ / 0-)

        having the same interpretation as Aravosis.

        dKos will always be full of die-hard obamabots.

    •  Wow (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, barath

      I just read the comment thread over there, and it looks like you dislike Obama so much, that you even started hating on Hillary for the sin of accepting a cabinet position with his administration. Jeez.

  •  Rawr (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tomjones, MBNYC, marketgeek

    h/t me, yo.

    "ENOUGH!" - President Barack Hussein Obama

    by indiemcemopants on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:30:51 PM PDT

  •  Life is a highway. (7+ / 0-)

    This ride is just starting.

    We are going to move down this road, dammit.

    We want him to drive faster.

    But it's not insignificant that we've started down the road.

    "Yao from 20 ... yes!!!!!! Rockets by six. Great stuff. I haven't been this excited by a Chinese person since General Tso." -- Bill Simmons

    by malharden on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:31:00 PM PDT

  •  Nice. (9+ / 0-)

    Thanks, Mr. President. Now please repeal DOMA amd DADT instead of throwing mere crumbs to your most loyal supporters.

    Can't find my drink oh man Where are my keys, I lost my phone (phone ohoo) - Lady Gaga

    by MBNYC on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:31:12 PM PDT

  •  Obama's MO (24+ / 0-)
    It was important, Parsi said, for any non-Iranian organization wishing to show solidarity with the opposition to ensure that "anything they do is two steps behind the opposition and not two steps ahead." I just wanted to point out that this has always been Obama's MO. He's always a step or two behind where his supporters want him to be, getting pulled along by their enthusiasm, rather than out ahead of them where he might get cut off. It's a community organizer's MO. You never get out ahead of your constituency. Instead you shape the playing field so that your constituency's desires flow towards where you think they should go, and allow them to carry you along behind them.
    http://mattsteinglass.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/obama-always-stays-two-steps-behind-them/

    Why isn't that lying, thieving, overbaked fraud Anthony Mozilo in jail?

    by marabout40 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:31:22 PM PDT

    •  I loved that piece today by Andrew (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tomjones, marabout40, pinkbunny

      pointing out Obama's MO!

    •  That explains a lot (8+ / 0-)

      It especially explains why people here would be so upset with Obama. If his Modus Operandi is lead from the middle then I can see why those accustomed to being lead by the nose are suddenly alarmed.

      A lot of people are used to strong leaders who tell us "Here's the deal, if you don't like you can go ound sand (George Bush) or else you can negotiate at the edges (Clinton).

      Obama does neither. No wonder people are confused.

    •  that's really nicely said. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      steve04, tomjones, marabout40

      the greatest threat to america is its sense of exceptionalism.

      by SeanF on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:59:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It makes sense... (0+ / 0-)

        But as someone who has used that tactic, I can usually tell when I'm dealing with a leader who is using it, and will quietly go along or do what I can to encourage fellow low-level people to move in the right direction.

        My problem with Obama so far has been there haven't been any tea leaves to read suggesting that was the case.

        My problem in this specific instance is the timeline suggests ass-covering.

        The DOMA brief went out last Friday.
        Online shit storms and news coverage started Friday night and gained momentum Saturday.
        Obama's highest ranking gay staffer gave an exclusive interview to the Advocate on Sunday to hint at good things to come this week for gays.
        That brings us to Wednesday, today's press conference, and a non-binding memo asking department heads to see what they can do.

        In many cases, the federal government is already doing all it can without repealing DOMA, such as with sick days being usable to care for a sick family member defined as "any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship."

        http://www.opm.gov/...

        No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

        by steve04 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:16:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that's a great question (0+ / 0-)

          And I like the way you structure that line of reasoning. I do give him the benefit of the doubt, mainly cuz I have a huge crush on him, er um I mean he has so many big things going on right now. I could imagine myself not wanting to initiate an issue like gay rights until you can set it up properly. So I think he may be delaying, but I kinda see why. If he really was lying about his support for gay rights, i'd be really surprised and really pissed off. Which is what I'll be if that happens, but right now I read it differently.

          the greatest threat to america is its sense of exceptionalism.

          by SeanF on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 08:42:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone NOT looking at this cynically? (11+ / 0-)

    I'm glad he made his words public, and I'm glad he took the step of making his intentions clear.  We can hold him to this, because I believe he's actually sincere about his intentions.

    The Obama/Biden Inaugural -- the exact moment when the world went from gray to colorful.

    by alkatt on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:32:03 PM PDT

  •  Step by step (6+ / 0-)
    We will get there. I am convinced of that.

    Hope.

  •  I am pleased to report Fox is not freaking out (6+ / 0-)

    They did not cover the signing, but did a brief (about 15 second) news piece on it, without a single negative comment.

    Thus far, the world as we know it has not imploded as a result of this action.

    "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

    by cadejo4 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:32:25 PM PDT

    •  Update: O'Reilly won't be covering it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tomjones, Notus

      He's doing radical feminists tonight.

      Will continue to monitor. It appears national Democrats will emerge unscathed from their daring support of gay rights.

      Meanwhile, the U.S. Conference of Mayors enthusiastically endorsed every gay rights proposal yesterday, including marriage equality, without negative fallout. Go figure.

      "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

      by cadejo4 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:06:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We need more done. (6+ / 0-)

    It seems like Obama is just throwing the LGBT community a bone to keep them on his side.  He needs to be doing more.

    When you see the SEIU ad, do a shot!

    by djtyg on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:33:03 PM PDT

  •  It's not even a bone (9+ / 0-)

    Not when you consider what we are denied. Hell, in this state, I don't even have the "right" to work and support myself.

  •  If only there were not a fundraiser (7+ / 0-)

    scheduled so close to this, and if only the DOJ had not just gotten done being so amazingly insulting, this would not look quite, quite so much like "Hey, wouldja lay off, please? I'm trying, here! Now, about that dinner ... "

    "Homeless veteran" should be an oxymoron.
    "Please know that I accept you and yours with no need for explanation of [any] kind." -Translator

    by iampunha on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:34:18 PM PDT

    •  stop it with the stupid "fundraiser" meme (8+ / 0-)

      Do you know how much Obama raised in his campaign?  Do you know that most of it was not from donors at luncheons?  He still has a mailing list of millions at his disposal to raise millions of dollars from people donating $25 or $50 at a time, like never seen before.  He is not beholden to any particular people threatening to not attend a fundraiser.

      •  Not about the money. It was about the press (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mimikatz, mbc, Timoteo, Hannibal

        And the press was uniformly bad.

        And while he has been better than anyone at raising the small dollar donations, it's wrong to say he hasn't done very well (and cared a good deal) about big dollar donations as well.  This is not a "stupid meme".  It's a fact, and the FEC has the stats to prove it.

        "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

        by mbayrob on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:40:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And I'm sure it would be great for him (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        and look great for the party if a gay Democratic fundraising dinner in New York were canceled because LGBT Democrats and straight allies were tired of getting zero from Obama.

        Because the Republicans NEVER look bad when something goes wrong at their fundraisers (like, say, a vocal member of their party saying she might not show up).

        Now we just need to get a dinner set up every six months to give the Obama DOJ time to write ridiculous defenses of bad laws and Obama a reason to support the community through six months of studying something.

        (Hey, why didn't he need six months to study the Guantanamo situation to know something needed to be done there?)

        "Homeless veteran" should be an oxymoron.
        "Please know that I accept you and yours with no need for explanation of [any] kind." -Translator

        by iampunha on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:55:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Please stop with the reality talk (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tomjones, redstatedemocrat, tbounnak

        a bunch of people are in the process of taking credit for President Obama's consistent stance on GLBT issues; please do not interrupt that! /snark

        "My favorite is Greta Van Susteren"--Kirsten Gillibrand, FoxNews Progressive

        by GN1927 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:57:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, but I agree with Kos; just cancel that (0+ / 0-)

        fundraiser.  Hold it at another time when more progress had been made.

    •  If only there wasn't a fundraiser (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timoteo, craigkg, Hannibal, RainyDay, davewill, 1BQ

      I don't think he'd be making a statement today either.

      I give the LGBT community major points for playing this beautifully.  They refused to get played.  Good on them.

      "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

      by mbayrob on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:37:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now Obama needs to deliver (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hannibal, Clarknt67

    If the law requires Obama to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples, the law is a travesty.  He's at least said he intends to get the law changed.  Great. Now he has to deliver.

    But he only gets points for delivering on his promise.  Up until now, the administration's been doing a great job talking about what it will do in this area.  Enough with the damn words.  Let's see if he's willing to have Rahm whip Congress on this one the way he was willing to have Rahm whip Congress on the IMF business yesterday.

    "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

    by mbayrob on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:36:07 PM PDT

  •  Make me! That's what O said. So... let's do it! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mimikatz, tomjones, Hannibal, marketgeek

    Kos is right about this:

    It's clear the White House is feeling the pressure, as the substance of this executive order probably didn't warrant the attention it got. Rather, it was clearly an excuse for Obama to very visibly reaffirm support for repealing DOMA. And despite Obama's checkered record on gay rights, this is not an insignificant signal on his part.

    Now, this isn't going to mean this happens tomorrow, so don't expect that.  But it WILL mean it heads upward on his "to do" list.

    IMHO, DADT is simple.  Ask him for that.  He CANNOT change DOMA.  He can only sign.

    Can we start with DADT?  ENDA?

    Whose marriage do we get to vote on next?

    by cany on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:37:05 PM PDT

  •  Words, words, words (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, sam2300, Dems 2008

    When will he start twisting arms to make things happen?

  •  I'm not mollified (6+ / 0-)

    I believe that this is designed to undermine support among progressives for LGBT people. I supported Obama but if he thinks this makes up for months of silence and some indefensible remarks in a legal brief, he's mistaken.

  •  I said this once before... (9+ / 0-)

    ...and I still believe that that deplorable DOMA brief was not authored and filed because of Obama, but rather because too much is going on for Obama to micromanage everything.  Unfortunately, the DOJ seems to have some folks (perhaps hired preferentially under Bush?) who really need micromanaging.

    I think he'll put this right.

  •  I thought it was a good announcement (12+ / 0-)

    I do not share the more cynical view that he never intended this nor do I think that his motives are less than sincere.

    Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

    by valadon on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:38:58 PM PDT

  •  Obama doesn't need to walk the plank (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tomjones, GlowNZ, cany

    with actions that do not meet the approval of 51% of the voters.  If GLBT issues do not meet that test supporters have to go out and do more work until the support is there. If any group can't muster the support of voters at this time, then this is not the time to expect it.

    •  I'm glad our founding fathers disagreed with you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, dharmafarmer, poxonyou

      Same with the suffrage movement, the civil rights movement, the labor movement, and the list goes on.

      Where's my god damn socialism?

      by Hannibal on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:49:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I see, so if 51% of the voters thought that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, craigkg, dharmafarmer, poxonyou

      civil rights for blacks should be rolled back to the 1950's that would be fine with you?

      Civil rights should never be up to the majority...the Founding Fathers understood this well.  It is why we have a Bill of Rights that is hard as hell to change and why Supreme Court justices serve for life.

      If Obama truly believes in the civil rights of the LGBT community, it really should not matter what percentage of the voters agree with him.

      •  Precisely! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.--Justice Robert H Jackson in West Virginia Board of Education vs. Barnette

        CASC: All animals Californians are equal, but some animals Californians are more equal than others.

        by craigkg on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:57:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You could get 51% of people to vote today (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        to roll back much of the civil rights legislation of the past five decades.

        "Some people pay for what others pay to avoid." -- Howard Devoto

        by droopyd on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:59:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Black civil rights didn't happen overnight either (0+ / 0-)

        It happened when the majority of the country supported it. The rest of the country overpowered the Southern rednecks who still haven't gotten over it.

        •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, dharmafarmer

          In 1968 the year after Loving v Virginia legalized interracial marriage everywhere in the U.S., care to guess what percentage of Americans approved of interracial marriage?
          .
          .
          .
          .
          .
          20%

          It was not until 1994 that more people approved of interracial marriage than disapproved...48% to 42%

          It was not until 1997 that a majority approved of interracial marriage.

          CASC: All animals Californians are equal, but some animals Californians are more equal than others.

          by craigkg on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:31:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Over 50% support repeal of DADT (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, craigkg

      Even Republicans support it, IIRC.

      The only real opposition is the Christianists in the military.  Many of them are pretty high up, so it is a problem.

      DOMA is admittedly harder, but we are getting there.

      Democracy needs accountability. Investigate and prosecute the Torture Thirteen.

      by Mimikatz on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:11:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I see (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, valadon
    that this has not shut up the hysterics  on daily kos but i don't think anything will.

    http://politicz.wordpress.com/

    by GlowNZ on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:40:00 PM PDT

  •  When the market is ahead of policy (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, craigkg, Hannibal, sfbob, Notus

    and the market is run by conservative business owners who nevertheless award benefits on perceived value rather than prejudice, one wonders why this is taking so long.

    The guys who run the Fortune 500 may not give a crap about equality, but they care about the bottom line, and to them the bottom line says that discrimination is a loser.  Which is too f***ing right. Can our government follow soon, please?

    Yes we did, yes we will. President Obama

    by marketgeek on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:40:14 PM PDT

    •  This is an angle they need to be pounding (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, corvo, marketgeek

      into people's heads. If we want the best and the brightest to be serving in government, you are going to have to treat them with respect and dignity and equally to their fellow federal employees. Gays and Lesbians can get much, much better benefits in the private sector at most any Fortune 500 company without breaking a sweat. This is also a big driving force in many colleges and universities. Several schools in the Big 10 lost a lot of their best and brightest professors after states like Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, etc passed anti-marriage, anti-any same sex relationship amendments that rescinded the domestic partnerships of GLBT faculty and staff.

      CASC: All animals Californians are equal, but some animals Californians are more equal than others.

      by craigkg on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:01:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  yippy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Gym N Jim, leonard145b, Dems 2008

    at least he has the months and years to come to maybe, oh I don't know, actually do something more than a mere gesture...

  •  But the Big Question Remains - Is the Fundraiser (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, corvo, Hannibal, Dems 2008

    saved or not?  Cynically, I'm sure that's what got his staff's attention.

    The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free.

    by BentLiberal on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:43:56 PM PDT

  •  Obama's claim is in dispute (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mimikatz, DMiller, corvo, craigkg, dharmafarmer

    Obama claims that current federal law prohibits him from offering health benefits to same-sex couples, but many legal experts disagree with that claim.  From Lambda Legal:

    "Lambda Legal is representing Karen Golinskii, a federal employee who works for the judicial branch and who is seeking health insurance coverage for her same-sex spouse. A federal judge has already issued an administrative decision in that matter, concluding that, within the existing rules, the federal government can choose to provide health insurance for same-sex partners. We think they should, and we'll keep fighting for Karen and her spouse -- and for all federal employees.

  •  most important points from his statement: (6+ / 0-)
    1.  "I'm proud to announce my support for the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, crucial legislation that will guarantee these rights for all federal employees." - He's throwing his weight behind the legislation that will actually give full benefits to domestic partners of federal employees.
    1. "Among the steps we have not yet taken is to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.  I believe it's discriminatory, I think it interferes with states' rights, and we will work with Congress to overturn it." - There can be no lack of certainty about his stance on DOMA and now, with this statement, he is beholden to whip up enough votes in Congress to repeal it.
  •  I think you're wrong about obama on this issue (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pucknomad, corvo, kerplunk, Gym N Jim, poxonyou

    when push comes to shove on this issue he will fold like wet cardboard.

    obama shows little desire to fight for the things for which he campaigned.

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:45:40 PM PDT

    •  He Spends More Times Trying To Please The Right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      wing of the Republican Party.

      •  That is complete bullshit (6+ / 0-)

        and you know it.
        Right wingers are killing him on healthcare,Iran,the stimulus,his budget, leddbetter,GM bailout,ect.

        Please list all the stuff that he has done that has pleased the right wingers?

        •  True. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, Gym N Jim

          Which is why he should abandon all hope of bipartisanship and put some real muscle behind pushing Congress to craft the legislation he really wants to put through, damn the repubs.

          Hard to tell what he may or may not be doing to please the wingers - they're throwing hissy fits at Grey Poupon on hamburgers for crying out loud. /snark

          One issue: The Constitution Uphold it or piss off. No excuses.

          by mentaldebris on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:25:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Let's hope he's learned from this. :-) n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  Not prosecuting Cheney? (0+ / 0-)

          Um, what else?  I can't think of anything.
          And Obama didn't run on the idea that he'd prosecute anyone anyway, so even not prosecuting Cheney's not much of a "win" for the right wingers.

          Fox News, Morning Joke, Rush Limbo, Cheney, Gingrich, Steele, Bachman, Palin, Cantor, Beonher, McDonell, McCain, et al, trash Obama all the time, yet Kossacks think Obama's carrying the right wingers' water.  LOL

        •  I could not agree more. (0+ / 0-)

          what has he done for the right? The right never would have extended those benefits for gays....the right never would have proposed healthcare reform, the right never would have started the wheels in motion to close Guantanamo, the right never would have gone to Cairo to address the Muslim world (and you see the subsequent result of that speech.....the reform movement waking up once again since it was squashed in 2005 after Bush invaded Iraq)....as a bi-sexual i am becoming a little frightened of this rising militancy of the LBGT community because their needs aren't being put front and center. Do you not remember when Bill Clinton was elected??? He came into office with so much promise. What was the first issue he took on? Gays in the military. What was the result of that? Repubs swiftly took back control and health care reform was easily defeated.

      •  yet he will never get a single vote from them (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, corvo

        Hopefully, sooner than later he'll wake the hell up and realize that that his political opponents don't give a flying fuck about bipartisanship. They are out for blood.

        "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

        by kuvasz on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:59:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm tired of this BS line... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tomjones, ChristopherM

        After they stiffed him on the stimulus, the republicans have been dead to him.  Sure, he puts them in ambassadorships, but that only weakens them further.

        He's got republican wanna be's in his own party he has to deal with... they are the bigger problem.

        DARTH SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
        LANDO REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

        by LordMike on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:08:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So happy we got a "signal"!!!! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mimikatz, tomephil, corvo, Gym N Jim

    Is that better or worse than empty promises? I can't decide... They both leave the same bad taste in my mouth. And they both still leave me without the same rights as every other American citizen.

    Think about it, the worst serial killer in US history has more rights than many Americans. Just because he's heterosexual.

    Think about it, pathological philanderers like Newt and Rudy and Rush have the right to marry 3, 7, 100 times just because they're heterosexual.

    Think about it, the rights of your fellow Americans are being trampled on and denied every day. Just because they're not heterosexual.

    If you still feel no urgency or outrage or shame or empathy, I feel pity for you. And I won't shut up to make you feel better about your own laziness or repressed homophobia.

    (Gay) money stops and Obama jumps!

    by Dems 2008 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:46:48 PM PDT

    •  The worst serial killier in US history.... (0+ / 0-)

      ...also has better health care than you or I do as well... 'cos he has public health care...

      There's more than one way to be a second class citizen...  being chronically ill certainly is a good one!

      DARTH SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
      LANDO REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

      by LordMike on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:10:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a difficult issue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tomjones, v2aggie2

    The Defense of Marriage Act must be repealed and gay federal employees and their partners deserve the same benefits as everyone else.  But the problem is timing.  As long as we're in an economic depression we need to keep the focus on the economy and legislation (health care, energy, regulation) that can bring the economy back to life.  This is very important but it isn't issue No. 1 - putting people back to work and jump-starting the economy.

    I am proud to admit that I come from one of the districts that had the least votes for George W. Bush in the entire country.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:46:58 PM PDT

    •  It's not like Obama (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pender

      has to personally touch each of these issues every day.

      His plate is full, sure.  But working to repeal the DOMA doesn't have to take hours out of his day.  He tells someone in the WH to draft the bill, or has someone in Congress do it.

      He pushes and prods and sells.  He barters and begs.  It's how it's done.

      And what do you know, allowing gays to marry puts people to work!  There are weddings, and parties, clothes and presents to buy, halls to rent and caterers to hire.  Oh, and bands, lots of bands.

      Repealing DOMA does not have to distract from the other crucial issues we're facing.  It could even be a small part of the solution.

      "Balance" does not mean giving the same weight to a lie as you do to the truth.

      by delphine on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:54:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is not that difficult an issue. Why is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      delphine, leonard145b, Pender

      repealing DADT difficult?  It is overwhelming supported by the public and even many Republicans think it needs to be changed.

      There will always be difficult times.  In fact, there are many who think the best times to get changes done are during difficult times.

      I think it is very disingenuous of those not in the LGBT community to ask it to shut-up and wait for their equality in due time, when it is more convenient.

      •  Repealing DADT is difficult 'cos of Bush... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DMiller

        Bush and Cheney basically poisoned the armed forces with evangelical missionaries... It is my understanding that that they are trying to root them out, but it is difficult...

        DARTH SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
        LANDO REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

        by LordMike on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:11:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fortunately, the military (0+ / 0-)

          really is a top - down organization.  Once the policy is decided, they follow orders or they leave.  Kinda like the current policy.

          "A guarantee of equality that is subject to exceptions made by a majority is no guarantee at all." San Francisco Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese Stewart

          by DMiller on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:59:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  OK, well please let us know when we are allowed (0+ / 0-)

      to have equal rights. Because this sort of thing always seems to come up, and we've been waiting a very long time.

  •  Here's the thing: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gym N Jim, leonard145b

    He won't say that DOMA is unconstitutional.  If he thinks that the law is consitutional -- that at a whim of Republican fancy, our rights can be given and taken away, I don't think that he is offering us anything.

    "I'm just sayin... don't bring that horse in here!" -- Cassandra

    by tc59 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:47:09 PM PDT

    •  Unfortunately, it has been upheld by several... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tomjones, Escamillo

      ....courts... The executive branch does not have the power to declare constitutionality of a law, unless you are George Bush...

      DARTH SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
      LANDO REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

      by LordMike on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:12:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am not asking that he declare it anything. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pender

        He has a right to say what he thinks about it and has not.

        "I'm just sayin... don't bring that horse in here!" -- Cassandra

        by tc59 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:23:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He certainly has a right to take a position on (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pd, Gym N Jim

        the constitutionality of a federal statute.

        •  I assume he thinks it's constitutional, or (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LordMike

          at least it's arguably so.  What of it?  That has no bearing at all on whether he thinks it should be repealed.  Why keep throwing in these stupid litmus tests.  It's not enough to say you want to repeal DOMA, you have to proclaim that it's unconstitutional, despite the fact that it's been upheld over and over and over?

          The issue isn't whether Obama thinks DOMA is constitutional, the issue is whether he thinks it's wrong, which he does since he wants it repealed.

  •  I've been arguing (?) on the side of (8+ / 0-)

    "it's okay to criticize and push Obama" and I still believe that to be true.

    But it took MAJOR cojones to come out and say "I want to repeal the DOMA. It's discriminatory."

    He just announced to a wide swath of the nation that he doesn't buy their homophobic paranoia - and won't cater to their narrow-minded bigotry.

    He's saying to congresscritters:

    "Hey, all you sanctimonious hypocrites, how 'bout taking a break from adultery, serial divorce, text-based pedophilia, diaper fetish and wide-stances, and give millions of people whose lives pose no threat to you the opportunity to commit their lives to one another like loving responsible adults."

    I understand the doing is better than the saying.  I'm the one who said it!

    But I'm really moved by the fact he said this.  Out loud, as President, unafraid of the backlash we all know is coming from the right.

    Billo's head just exploded.  Ha!

    "Balance" does not mean giving the same weight to a lie as you do to the truth.

    by delphine on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:49:01 PM PDT

    •  totally agree (4+ / 0-)

      I'm fine with criticizing him for not being aggressive enough, not being combative enough, not moving fast enough on the things we want to get done.  What I don't have patience for is completely trashing him as someone who has no spine at all, doesn't give a shit about progressives, hates gays, etc.  Don't jump to assign ill will and bad motives.  Let's take the emotionalism out of our criticism and let's recognize the good along with the bad and the positives along with the shortcomings.

  •  Among The Steps We Have Not Yet Taken (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Dems 2008

    is the elimination of the DADT policy.  He could do that all by himself.  Maybe he forgot.  We've got lots more work to do.

    •  No he can't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      osterizer

      DADT is federal law.  Congress has to eliminate it.  Obama can, however, put in a stop loss order prohibiting additional people being booted out of the service by the policy until Congress gets its act together and eliminates the law.

      "A guarantee of equality that is subject to exceptions made by a majority is no guarantee at all." San Francisco Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese Stewart

      by DMiller on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:01:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Words are cheap (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Pender

    Let's see concrete action on DOMA repeal, DADT repeal, and ENDA and UAFA passed.

  •  Obama may not have the legal power to give (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    osterizer, tomephil, DMiller

    anymore benefits to federal gay employees. However, he does have the legal power to do some other things that would have immediate practical benefit to gay and lesbian citizens. He could lift the ban on HIV+ travel and he could suspend the implementation of DADT.

    •  I was under the impression that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tomjones

      Obama actually cannot suspend DADT all by himself - that it needs to be done legislatively through Congress.

      •  To eliminate the policy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DMiller

        entirely legislation is required. However as commander in chief he has the power to order the military to stop processing discharges under DADT on a stop loss basis. With two wars to fight that would certainly be justified.

        •  You mean, act like Bush? Nah, I'd rather (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LordMike, tomjones

          see the act repealed. Doing an end-around the law via executive orders and signing statements is so Bushian. So is failing to enforce existing law.

          Remember how outraged we were waaaay back, when Dr. George Tiller was murdered, over how the Bush admin neglected to enforce the laws they didn't like? I wouldn't like to see the Obama admin go there.

          As much as I want to see our LGBT brothers and sisters achieve full and true equality under the law, I would scream bloody murder if it were done Bush-style. Obama promised that the law would prevail. He needs to stick to that even when it comes to the most glaring civil rights violation facing us today.

          The Tyranny of the Minority - WHY did 60 become the new 51?

          by 1BQ on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:09:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A policy is neither bad or good (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DMiller, corvo

            because you attach "Like Bush too it." It's especially insulting when you use it under the context of a President who is willing to sue executive order to not release the torture fotos. Now, I hve no dog in that race because I don't know where I stand. but please don't try to act above the fray when it suits you, and then ignore it when it does not. It's not convincing anyone.

            •  Selectively enforcing laws (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              1BQ

              is bad. If you don't see that, you probably need to study a little more history.

              •  Happens all the time. (0+ / 0-)

                It is called prosecutorial discretion.

              •  I am not sure how to respond (0+ / 0-)

                to someone like you. You assume because I disagree with your hyperbole that means I don't know the real world? That's funny coming from someone as delusional as you sound. The reality is not only is their discretion it's a good thing because of checks and balances. The check being that the executive may question the constitutionalityof the law,but the judiciary still decides whether a law is constitutional. Only someone devoid of any concept of reality would consider that to be a usurption of power.

                •  If a law mandates some action by the Pres. (0+ / 0-)

                  then he doesn't have discretion to not do it, or to take some other action.

                  For instance, our anti-torture statute says Bush could not torture.

                  He did it anyway.

                  This is not a difficult concept.

          •  No that is not acting like Bush. (0+ / 0-)

            As commander in chief all presidents set policy and strategy for the military. Bush was trying to extend the powers of commander in chief beyond the military.

          •  they're still doing stop loss (0+ / 0-)

            orders right now extending military tours, aren't they?  Has that changed?

            "A guarantee of equality that is subject to exceptions made by a majority is no guarantee at all." San Francisco Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese Stewart

            by DMiller on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 06:02:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Regulations on lifting travel ban in works (0+ / 0-)

      Although I will grant you it is taking way too long to get those published.

  •  We should demand Obama withdraw his brief (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, craigkg, Dems 2008

    We should demand Obama withdraw his brief in support of this odious "Defense of marriage act." Public relations gestures are not enough.

    •  He didn't write the brief. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, tomjones

      It goes too far.  But check out this article from the WashingtonBlade:

      http://www.washblade.com/...

      According to the article:

      The DOJ has little leeway in what it has to defend.

      It went too far, was overargued, and some of what it said was really disgusting.

      But there was wording in there, really respectful wording like "enjoying the right to marry" - thus acknowledging that such a right exists.

      Good article.

      "Balance" does not mean giving the same weight to a lie as you do to the truth.

      by delphine on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:59:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, Obama should order the DOJ wrt ongoing legal (0+ / 0-)

      proceedings.  He should micromanage the arguments made by DOJ lawyers, too.  Sounds like Alice in Wonderland stuff.  No law, just executive fiat.

      You can go ahead and demand whatever you want, of course.  But when that demand is rebuffed, will you declare that Obama hates gays?  That IS what's going on right?  Issue a bunch of litmus tests (like demanding politicization of the DOJ according to the wishes of GLBT), and if Obama doesn't do them, it proves he hates gays, right?

      •  broken promises (0+ / 0-)

        No, what is going on is that we are holding him and the DNC accountable for 40 years of taking our money, and then making promises they never keep.  Forty years since Stonewall, not one piece of legislation.

        And should he micromanage the DOJ?  Of course not.  Should he tell Eric Holder to get a hold on the effing hate speech being put into briefs for the benefit of fucking Focus on the Family?  Damn right.

  •  Because he said this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    -- and we need top talent serving their country right now more than ever.

    I will anticipate the speech he is going to give tomorrow demanding Congress move on repealing DADT. However, I won't hold my breath. What's a few more gay Arabic linguists worth anyway?

    They tortured people to get a false confession of a link between Saddam and 9-11. Investigate. Prosecute. Incarcerate.

    by Rumarhazzit on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:55:34 PM PDT

    •  Well, what is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      healthcare for 200 million americans worth anyway?
      Healthcare reform is 80 years in the making...and yet it is not important enough that we cannot focus all our activisim on it for one more month?

      Repealing DOMA and DADT can and will happen after healthcare gets done. We get one shot at getting healthcare right or we live with a shitty system for hundreds of millions of americans for another 80 years...

      CAN we please give the president enough slack to concentrate his lobbying efforts on our crappy congress to get this landmark reform done?

      Obama can multi-task,but with the right wing media screaming about gay rights, the american public cannot multi-task and will get lost to us.

      •  Oh give me an effing break. You think gay (7+ / 0-)

        people don't care about health care, or any one of a hundred other important issues. If President Obama's DOJ has enough time to defend the odious DOMA, then it follows they would have enough time to prepare a speech to put some pressure on Congress. I don't buy this argument any longer that he has too much on his plate. It is offensive to me at this point.

        They tortured people to get a false confession of a link between Saddam and 9-11. Investigate. Prosecute. Incarcerate.

        by Rumarhazzit on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:11:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I did not say he does not have the time (0+ / 0-)

          ...he does not have the capital with americans to take on the public opinion on a divisive issue( if you think even in Iowa gay rights are a slam dunk,you are wrong) while also trying to get landmark healthcare reform passed..

          His approval ratings are dropping on the economy with the public as we speak...if he overreaches for too much, nothing will get done. Taken one at a time, he has a chance.

      •  another way to look at it might be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clarknt67

        that the coming knock-down drag-out fight over health care might be the PERFECT time to take down DOMA and DADT and pass ENDA.  The GOP will be so busy demonizing Obama over health care that the whole "culture war" thing will seem incongruent and insignifigant in comparison.  The talking heads will be all about "the evils of socialized medicine" - not enough time and energy to get the people worked up about the scary gays.

  •  DPBAOA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tomjones

    Anybody know where I can see a draft of this "Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act"? Or a rough outline?

  •  Not so fast... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Pender

    According to John Aravosis over at AmericaBlog, Obama lied during his little speech, when he said

    Now, under current law, we cannot provide same-sex couples with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.

    John continues:

    I've talked to several gay lawyers, including Richard Socarides who worked in the White House, and they say that it is patently untrue that DOMA prevents gay federal employees, or anyone else, from getting health benefits. President Obama could have granted full health benefits to domestic partners - not to spouses, not based on civil unions, but to "domestic partners" - and DOMA would not have prevented it, according to the lawyers I've spoken with. Here's why: DOMA prohibits granting benefits based on marriage, it does not prohibit granting benefits overall. Thus, you define a standard that isn't marriage, such as domestic partnerships as defined by, say, the amount of time spent dating, living together, comingling funds, etc. Had Obama simply said we will give health benefits to the domestic partners, straight and gay, of all federal employees, and given a definition of domestic partner that does not include marriage of civil unions, he could have done it.

    •  That would be true (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, tomjones, lgmcp

      IF the law read "domestic partners" when referencing those who could receive benefits, but that is not the case. Obama cannot simply start "defining" standards that are not written in the law. That would contradict existing language where it indicates "spouses" receive benefits, not "domestic partners".

      Not how it works and quoting John Aravosis, over at AmericaBlog, doesn't make it so.

      The people of the world can live together in peace.

      by cocomas on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:10:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh well, if several laywers say it... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tomjones

      ...then it must be true!

      There's a lawyer on TV that says I can sure for a million dollars... he must be right!

      DARTH SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
      LANDO REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

      by LordMike on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:14:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't believe that analysis, it's wishful (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      thinking.  DOMA was clearly crafted to restrict ALL federal benefits to ALL gay partnerships.  If they left a loophole or two, they were slim ones, and will not be that easy to contravene.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:36:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So he is supposed (0+ / 0-)

    to give benefits to all fed employees live-in lovers? That is ridiculous. I lived with 3 different lovers over a period of 4 years when I was young...they were all supposed to get full healthcare benefits?

    •  It's not exactly hassle-free (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, fou, Clarknt67, Pender

      to sign up as registered domestic partners. To get benefits from my employer,  I had to provide 3 different kinds of documentation (mortgages, utility bills, powers of attorney, or other evidence of financial and legal mingling) as well as a notarized affidavit.  

      If you went to all that trouble for your current live-in, I think your employer ought to accept him/her as your family.  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:34:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did you live with them at the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, Clarknt67

      same time, or did you triple book them?

      Blagojevich/Palin '12.

      by fou on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:55:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Damage Control that doesn't fix the damage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Clarknt67

    It's all about the fundraiser coming up.

  •  Obama invited us to keep the pressure on him, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, dharmafarmer, rf7777, BrighidG

    so let's keep at it!  Thanks Kos.

  •  We got a crumb from the President's table (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    osterizer, corvo, rf7777, Muzikal203

    because there is a DNC fundraiser that gay outrage was about to torpedo.  Without that fundraiser to jeopardize, we wouldn't have gotten anything.

    •  How about you (0+ / 0-)

      and every gay man, lesbian, or trans-gendered person in this country just stop giving money to Obama, period.

      You will get the rights that you deserve, and soon, I hope.  

      Don't give him money after that, either.  I have a better idea for you.  Donate your money to Barney Frank or someone else who could care less about anything but themselves.

      You get crumbs?  Give me a break.  I'm not going to allow anyone to take us back to the days of Bush.  Take your money and do something else with it, please.  

  •  No effort is good (0+ / 0-)

    enough.  Can't you see the issue of giving healthcare benefits and retirement benefits to couples who are not married?

    I do support gay marriage, and that would solve many issues, but as long as you are fighting for same-sex, unmarried couples, working for the federal government, healthcare benefits, then fight for those straight men and women who have boyfriends and girlfriends get the same benefits that gay men and women want.

    Do you want equality?

  •  But the problem delphine is that... (0+ / 0-)

    repealing DOMA will be made to distract from the other crucial issues.  Republicans and Fox will hype the issue and talk about it incessantly even when bigger things are going on.  Republicans will filibuster while Blue Dogs and DLCers will quake in fear.  It will be very hard to repeal DOMA quietly.  I say wait for some of the bigger issues like health care, Sotomayor's confirmation, and possibly even energy to conclude.  Then press Obama on repealing DOMA.

    I am proud to admit that I come from one of the districts that had the least votes for George W. Bush in the entire country.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:10:23 PM PDT

  •  Just a word of thanks to Kos for your longtime (11+ / 0-)

    and outspoken and unwavering support of equal rights re: GLBT issues.  I remember some of your front page posts on this during the 2004 election.  The GLBT population does not have the political power to do this alone, we need straight allies standing and speaking right beside us.  So to Kos, thank you for your part in doing so, for many years now!  

  •  Question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp

    So would passage of the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act essentially repeal the 2nd piece of DOMA? That seems to be what the 2nd part of DOMA is about - denial of benefits.

    Whereas the 1st piece - the states issue - is something that would apparently be addressed with an outright repeal of DOMA.

    Am I reading this right?

    He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. - Nietzsche

    by Anima on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:13:30 PM PDT

  •  The President said... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nova Land, lgmcp

    Among the steps we have not yet taken is to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.  I believe it's discriminatory, I think it interferes with states' rights, and we will work with Congress to overturn it.

    I believe him. But I also intend to keep pushing him and congress to actually do it. And keep working to educate the public about the issue so that they can be advocates, too (or at least not opponants).

    "The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time." - Terry Tempest Williams

    by your neighbor on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:14:59 PM PDT

  •  Empty gestures (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, lgmcp

    well at least if they are making empty gestures you know they are paying attention.  I guess I should say "almost empty."

    Ultimately, getting a decent health care bill will probably do more for most GLBT's than even repealing DOMA.  Lots of us are not partnered and need some kind of insurance.

    I think this makes me feel a little better, altho I must say I sort of enjoyed our howls of outrage.  NOthing like working up the fervor of umbrage.

    There are so many people enduring so much that is outrageous now that I try to keep some perspective.  Do folks who were lied to and are now out of their homes have more right to be angry than me, a lesbian without civil rights?  Hard to say.  My real estate career may never come back, and the guys who stole all that prosperity are some where celebrating.

    I am now reading a book on the Hemmingses of Monticello. It is so painful  to read of the injustices they endured I can't imagine how the author was able to write it.

    On a different topic,Terry Gross's show last night was all about DADT and how it seriously is compromsing the unity, cohension and talents of our military.  Check out her web site to hear it.

  •  Keep up the pressure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dharmafarmer

    I won't judge whether today meant much in real terms, but the pressure is clearly working.

    Keep up the pressure.

    I don't think a republican could do better... just that Obama should do better.

    by rf7777 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:38:07 PM PDT

  •  THANK GOD (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks O!  I feel much better now, because I was really not happy.

    Blagojevich/Palin '12.

    by fou on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:54:26 PM PDT

  •  How shocking ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alkatt, Tx LIberal

    .. that half of this comment thread is still shitting on the President already assuming that his words mean nothing and that he has sold them down the drain.

    Truly embarrassing.

    •  you don't get it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      osterizer, Pender, Druggy Bear

      Let him allow his DOJ to compare your family to incestuous relationships without an apology other than to grant some lame benefits, and see how enthusiastic you are.

      •  Ahh yes that little pearl of insight .. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ironist, redstatedemocrat, Tx LIberal

        .. into the true depravity of our current President .. what a horrible, horrible man.  Never mind that he didn't write the brief .. that the person most principally responsible for the brief was a holdover from the Bush administration .. that our president has had any number of issues of far greater importance to deal with, on a much tighter schedule .. he's a bad, bad man!!!

        Give me a freaking break.  I don't have ANY problems with the anger over the DOMA brief and it's questionable invocation of incest or pedophilia ( though if you read the brief it is clear that this is simply legal precedent relating to inter-state commerce .. blah blah blah ).  I don't have any problems with the seeking of redress from gay rights leaders.  What I have a problem with is the shrill, insane, insipid and juvenile demonization of a President who is currently faced with the single greatest confluence of historically epic problems .. and an opposition party, that though marginalized, like a cornered animal will do anything it can to stop the multiple items of progressive legislation that not only this country but the world at large is in dire need of.

        I know prominent leaders in the gay rights movement .. hell I live 6 fucking blocks from the center of the movement ... and no one I know has devolved to the level of shrill stupidity that I've seen here at dKos in recent days.  THEY understand that their years of activity have paid off, that the war for their rights is effectively over .. and THEY understand that though they disagree with some of our Presidents current policies the day is fast approaching when those policies will fall closer in line with their ambitions, and that in the meantime there are a host of other, significantly larger problems for which our President needs our support.  I respect them immeasurably for their sophistication in this frayed moment in their fight ... dKos activists .. not so much.

        •  Ahhhh (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          osterizer

          You must be talking about the leaders of Gay Inc., such as Joe Solomonese, one of the most useless lumps around.  He ranks somewhere around Barney Frank, who just defended the hate speech in that brief after previously barely repudiating it.  His excuse?  He didn't read it previously.  Because obviously you would criticize the president about something you've never read.  The well-paid "leaders" whose sole purpose seems to be to throw black tie events for rich white gays don't represent most of us, I assure you.

          I am well aware he didn't write the memo.  I'm also aware that he needed to repudiate the language of it.  Read it again, or rather, don't because you'll be seeing if for the rest of his administration in the fundraising letters of National Organization for Marriage and Focus on the Family.  All he had to do was say that the brief was wrong.  He didn't.  

          But my apologies.  Of course there are issues of far greater importance than civil rights.  That is, as long as you have all yours.

          •  Your marginalized politics .. (0+ / 0-)

            are of no interest to me and the greater things I aspire to.  Your attacks against Barney Frank of all people highlight just how marginal your political beliefs are .. assuming you consider yourself a Democrat.

            And yes, there are more important issues right now than gay rights (the civil rights movement ended 40 years ago).  That you can't see that is astonishing and demonstrates the kind of single-issue myopia that I frankly have no patience for.  I understand that many gays in this country are still facing serious discrimination and that is not acceptable.  But I also understand that the majority of gay friends .. and couples, including one married .. that I know live happy, normal lives with  six figure incomes and masters degrees, a couple PhDs .. a handful of kids and generally really good lives.  

            The fulfillment of their fight .. THEY understand .. can wait a year or two so that other, larger and far more critical problems can be addressed.  They can be pissed off at DOMA without acting like little children cursing out the President for not taking THEM seriously enough, quick enough.  Apparently you aren't in a place where you're capable of doing that .. my apologies, sincerely.  And now I'm done, this no longer promises any rewarding conversation.

            •  I'm sad for you (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              osterizer

              Sad that the greater things to which you aspire don't seem to include understanding that most gay people don't live in some fantasy land where everyone is rich, happy, and have great lives.  Some of us live in a place where we struggle to pay our bills because we can't get health insurance on our partners, or because we have to pay taxes on providing our partners insurance.  Some of us live in a place where every day we're reminded that we are second class.

              Don't tell me how I can be pissed off about DOMA.  It doesn't affect you.  It directly impacts my family every day, and I will be pissed however I damn well please.

              •  Give it a rest already .. you just don't know .. (0+ / 0-)

                It is for you that feel sad if you think what I speak of is necessarily some "fantasy land".  We all have problems, we just don't all bray like lunatics when faced with those problems.  I pay multiple thousands of dollars for healthcare every year including yearly battles with my insurance company because of "pre-existing" conditions.  I pay all that because I gave up my 6 figure high-tech job to do effectively pro-bono work for a local NGO that works with disadvantaged kids around the world.  So ... as an aside ... you can go fuck yourself when it comes to your attacks against my person.

                On a more cordial note, my life and the lives of my friends are enjoyable (you would apparently call them "fantastical") because that is the way we choose to live them, my engagement with the society in which I live unassailable ... don't feel sad for me, my capacity for empathy has been tested in ways I have no desire to share with you.  You know nothing about me, and judging by the depth of your anger and resentment at constantly being reminded of your "second class" citizenship .. I imagine you've yet to fully come to grips with who you are, perhaps then you might be able to more rationally cope with the ignorance that constantly confronts you.

                I lament the continuing discrimination that ALL minority groups continue to suffer .. but I'll be damned if I recognize your right to be an insufferable, self-righteous jackass because of that discrimination.  All I ever objected to was the crass and sometimes obscene reaction of so many "gay rights" advocates here regarding President Obama .. and from that you feel the need to slam my very being.  That, my angry little friend who can't apparently see the forest through the trees, says a lot more about you than it does me.

                All the best to you and your family .. it sounds like you can use the good wishes.  And by all means, don't feel sad for me ... I have my own litany of issues I am passionate about, troubles I am forced to contend with .. but somehow I find the peace in my life not to rant and rail against every injustice that crosses my path.  Mine is not the set of circumstances or the emergent personality for which you need to feel sadness.

                •  done (0+ / 0-)

                  Didn't you say you were done about six times?

                  Sometimes you need to act a bit of a fool to get things done.  Getting polite with people who continually break promises typically accomplishes nothing.  So you can politely lament.  I'm going to rage on and try to actually push the administration into doing the right thing.

                  •   .... (0+ / 0-)

                    I'll sacrifice your self-righteous anger .. and even your actual civil rights over the next couple years for health-reform ANY DAY.  This is not a game and some of the problems facing us .. face ALL of us.

                    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com...

                    •  and again (0+ / 0-)

                      You never explain why both can't be done, to say nothing why every time this topic has been brought up, there is always something more important to do than give the gays their full equality in American society.  When is it our turn?  More importantly, what happened to the guy who could walk and chew gum at the same time?  That's who I voted for.  If I had wanted to be led on and lied to, I would have voted for a Clinton.

                      Indeed it is not a game, but if you don't think inequality affects all of society, you are blind.  

        •  YOU (0+ / 0-)

          don't understand.

        •  Obama is focusing on economy, not gays (0+ / 0-)

          Obama does face more important issues and he might indeed be playing a long game on civil rights for gays, but his inaction is not the issue.  The issue is his actions last week--and the buck stops in the Oval Office, not a junior DOJ lawyer--and his actions previously when he called himself a "fierce advocate" for civil rights for gays.  And the Warren and McClurkin incidents.  Obama's gone out of his way to insult the gays and lesbians who donated their time and money to get him nominated and elected.  It wouldn't cost him much time at all to manage this relationship--we're patient people--but he's totally failed, which really makes me question his competence.

          Now, on the other hand, he's done a spectacular job managing the relationship with Wall Street.  And I think the economy and banking reform is the most important issue of his first term.  He and his staff have done an impeccable job making sure Wall Street gets all the billions they need to maintain their criminal enterprises and lifestyles.  Yes, he ran as a change candidate, I think, but, you know, that was last year.  And he's introduced a "sweeping" new proposal for reforming Wall Street, but we all know it's really just broadbased tinkering.  Too Big to Fail still intact?  Check. Custom derivatives sold off exchange?  Check.  More power to the secret, private bank-owned Fed which helped get us into this mess?  Check.  No change to rating agencies?  Check.  33-to-1 leverage?  Check.  Investment bank casinos still backed by federally insured deposits?  Check.

          The gays might be the canary in the coal mine for Obama's massive FAIL on progressive issues.  Their (our) concerns should not be dismissed.

    •  how so not shocking (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pam Bennett, Clarknt67, ChristopherM

      that you are here to tell us silly queers to happy with our table scraps and just keep opening our wallets to the DNC

      no thanks.

      •  People get pretty pissed off when they realize (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clarknt67, ChristopherM, Druggy Bear

        that gays aren't willing to be their useful idiots forever.

        •  I'll tell you what is shocking (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          osterizer, Druggy Bear

          It is shocking when people get all pissy when THEIR rights aren't the ones someone is playing political games with.

          •  Children, children .. enough already (0+ / 0-)

            I've got enough gay friends .. and enough empathy .. to have a more than significant stake in the gay rights battle.  I'm just not willing to lose my freaking mind over what will WITHOUT A DOUBT end up being very minor obstacles.  The war is over you nitwits .. it's just a matter of finishing off the final battles.  That might take several more years but the writing is on the wall.

            You can keep wringing your hands and shrieking your anti-Obama insanity .. I'm going to start ignoring your inanity and focus on health care reform and climate change and the current re-shaping of the middle-east and the Iranian power structure.  But by all means you go ahead and bitch and moan about the pace of your foregone victory for gay rights.  Unbelievable.

            •  I hate to tell you this: (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pender, antimony, Druggy Bear

              Your gays friends hate you

              H/t: Jon Stewart

            •  Oh no you did not (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Druggy Bear

              You did not just pull out the "I've got gay friends" line.  Jeez.

              •  My experiences aren't relevant ... (0+ / 0-)

                Where do you live .. I live half a mile from the number one mecca for gay rights in this country and probably the world.  A large number of my closest friends live in that community .. that isn't relevant in trying to point out the absurdity of some of the anger contained in these multiple threads.

                Geez, so sorry my experiences are apparently so dispensable.  As I noted in my other reply to you ... I'm done now, I don't see any point in continuing this conversation .. you clearly aren't in a position to hear what I have to say or to appreciate the significance of events outside of your own personal issues.

                •  I live in Louisville, Kentucky (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  letsbepragmatic, Pender, Druggy Bear

                  Apparently you live in some sort of utopia where the gays sing spirituals as they work out in the fields.  What is absurd is that you are so clueless that you really don't get the anger.  But then again, you didn't just have your family shit on by their fierce advocate.

                  •  I live in San Francisco .. (0+ / 0-)

                    .. you know that place with more gay citizens than anywhere else in the world.  As for being clueless .. I understand full well that much of this country is not so enlightened .. but how the fact that you're stuck in shitville, redneck Kentucky is Obama's problem ... and how you get off acting like Obama's vocal denunciation of DOMA is going to suddenly change the hearts and minds of your ignorant, hate-filled hayseed neighbors is beyond me.

                    That you lived somewhere in the South was pretty obvious given your shock that not all gay people might be so angry and disappointed as yourself .. and I truly do sympathize with the fact that you are residing in the hinterland of American society .. but the reality is that for much/most of the gay community in this country things are not going so badly, and very soon, within a year or two most likey, certainly within the next 8, there will be even stronger protections for gay rights.  All my objections have ever contended was that the anger given voice here is neither useful or particularly informed.  I'm sorry you live somewhere as clearly painful to you as it is, and I'm sorry that the delay of further gay rights legislation is going to somehow effect your quality of life for another couple years ... but I'm not going to back down from the fact that the anger expressed here is absurdly disproportionate to the realities out there in the world.

                    Look, I really have grown weary of this .. yes, I imagine Northern Californi probably is some kind of utopia compared to Kentucky .. does that make me condescending or honest .. and I do empathize with your circumstance, but I will not back off my fundamental contention that your anger .. and that of far too many here at dKos is rooted much more in regional difficulties than it is in national policy .. policy by the way which is coming along right down the road.  Perhaps my initial comments should have given greater consideration to regional backwardness, but then I was trying to point out the absurdity of what was being said given the national stage .. and so your regional anachronisms were not immediately relevant.  My apologies at least for that.

                    •  you are an elitist (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ChristopherM

                      and a real pain in the ass! you think you are so superior and enlightened, well you are far from it.  you stereotype people and get all huffy with them if they have the audacity not to agree with you!  well we are not here to bow to you, princess, or do things at the speed you'd like.  we are here to fight for our rights and shove aside whoever is blocking our path, and that includes you!

                      •  not superior .. certainly enlightened (0+ / 0-)

                        and apparently most definitely smarter.  Do you read the fucking newspaper, other liberal blogs, do you understand how precarious healthcare reform is ... and yes, I'll sacrifice the shit out of your civil rights for another couple years in order to push through substantive healthcare reform that could transform the lives of a 100 million Americans.

                        Now run along, this adult has work to do today.

                        •  enlightened? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Druggy Bear

                          Yes, because enlightened people make blanket assumptions about others based on a region where they live.  Your statements above were elitist, and if you don't see them as such, it is only because you are also delusional.  

                          And FYI, what happened to the guy who can walk and chew gum at the same time?  Why do the civil rights of millions end up being the thing that has to get sacrificed?  It is not 1993, and it is time the chickenshit faux progressives figure that out.  

                        •  "certainly enlightened and smarter" (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          ChristopherM

                          never have more elitist words ever been spoken.  you can go fuck yourself, as far as I'm concerned you are as big an obstacle in our path as Fred Phelps!

                    •  Wow (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      antimony, Druggy Bear

                      Just wow.  I don't really have the words to react to your particular brand of elitist bullshit.  This is the sort of thing one hears about on horrible right wing talk radio, but you think it is a parody because such foolishness could not possibly exist.  

            •  Dr. King (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              letsbepragmatic, Druggy Bear

              Dr. King had words for well-meaning people who find the pushing for full rights to be too much and too soon:

              "Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."

            •  Its a struggle (0+ / 0-)

              I don't share your optimism, though I wish I did.  It is imperative that people of good will not assume that everything that needs to be done for equality will magically happen over the next few years.  It won't.  If you truly care about your gay friends, you will stay involved and active, because it is going to be a battle every step of the way.  Our enemies are engaged and active, and one election is not going to be a panacea.  Please re-think your strategy.  

        •  Fucking offensive ... (0+ / 0-)

          and insightful into the sophistication of your current anger.  Yours is apparently not a voice I need to give any further thought to.

      •  You again .. yay. (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:
        Pender

        Bye now, I think I've written more than enough in response to your tersely argued irrelevance.

    •  I can't believe it either. (0+ / 0-)

      Seriously, even if he had the magical power to reverse DOMA instantly, people would still complain.

      The Obama/Biden Inaugural -- the exact moment when the world went from gray to colorful.

      by alkatt on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 08:09:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, we're just horrible people (0+ / 0-)

        How dare we complain when he gave some benefits to some federal employees that most of them have already been able to get for years?  It totally should have made up for his DOJ comparing our families to incest.  

        Given his behavior over the last few months, I'm not convinced that if he had the magical power to reverse DOMA that he would actually use it.  I believed in him.  I knew the Clintons would do this sort of thing to us as they have before.  I really thought he wouldn't.  He's going to have to do better than this to win back my trust, my hours of volunteer time, my money, and my vote.

  •  Thanks for not much (3+ / 0-)

    Today's press conference seemed nice, and the fact that he actually spoke in public, unlike his complete silence and avoidance for the past several months was good. Here's what it didn't include:

    1. An apology for comparing our families to the regulation of incestuous relationships by states.
    1. Health care benefits that some leading legal experts say could have been granted in spite of DOMA so long as they are granted on a non-marriage basis.
    1. A stop-loss order to stop the firing of LGBT soldiers serving their country with honor.
    1. Any indication that he's going to push for DOMA to be repealed.  Rather, it was just a statement that in the years to come he's for its repeal.
    1. Any indication that he's pushing the Uniting Families Act that will prevent the deportation of married LGBT people when one of them is a foreign citizen.
    1. Any indication that the Dept. of Health and Human Services will start enforcing the bill that lifted the HIV Travel Ban.

    But hey, the 2% of people who are federal employees get to use sick leave for their still uninsured partners! You know, like most of them could already do by directive of their federal agency. That makes up for everything!

  •  I would say something (0+ / 0-)

    but I'm tired of going in circles.

  •  ALL righttty (0+ / 0-)

    I'll wait.  Don't call anymore

    "go fuck yourself"

  •  Withhold Money & Votes from DNC: No More Gay ATM (3+ / 0-)

    For 6 months we've been treated like an abused stepchild, locked in a closet, and now we're tossed a few pathetic crumbs... and some cheer this as such great news.  

    I hope all self-respecting gays and their supporters will immediately withhold their money and votes from the DNC.  That is the only way we will ever see real action from our so-called allies.  

    Shame on Obama, his DOJ, and his apologists.

    •  There are only certain things he can legally do (0+ / 0-)

      While I believe that Obama should and will do more  there is only so much he can do legally regarding benefits.  To do more requires legislative action to be effective or actually mean something, hence the lack of real reform.  The heat really needs to be turned up on Pelosi, Reid and democrats in both the House and the Senate to pass the legislation already in Congress .

      Now, under current law, we cannot provide same-sex couples with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.
      That's why I'm proud to announce my support for the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, crucial legislation that will guarantee these rights for all federal employees.

      Then your words could actually get something done.  If the bill passes he will sign it and fix this one problem for real.
      That said, I am not happy about all of the policies of this administration. And by all means do with your money as you feel is right as that's the American way.
      BOTOH, taking all support away will only help those who never intended to do anything about health care, gay rights, clean energy, etc. in the first place. That one you can take to the bank.

  •  PRESIDENT MCCAIN WOULD'VE DONE IT BETTER (0+ / 0-)

    One more note -- this could've been announced via press release and buried from view. Instead, Obama announced the move in a public ceremony.

    He would've had President Palin standing by his side.

    To hell with Democrats.

  •  Obama doesn't want to fail (0+ / 0-)

    I think Obama is taking his time on DOMA and DADT for one simple reason: he doesn't want to fail. Clinton tried to wave a magic wand as soon as he entered the Oval Office and allow gays in the military, and it backfired on him rather spectacularly. So Obama is doing the opposite of what Clinton did. He's being very careful.

    The President does not have a magic wand. He can't just decide on his own that he is going to repeal DOMA and DADT. He has to convince members of Congress. And those members are faced with one simple fact: there are a lot of people in this country who are opposed to gay rights, particularly gay marriage. Eventually we will win. But right now, it is a cold hard fact that gay marriage in particular is extremely controversial in this country, extremely unpopular in many states, including those with Democrats Reps and Senators (Missouri), and all that means that repealing DOMA and DADT may not be politically possible right now. You can put all the pressure on Obama that you want, but if people like Claire McCaskill think that voting for the repeal of DOMA will cost them their next election, it is going to be almost impossible to get it done.

    I'm a strong proponent of gay rights. I think progressives should continue to make noise on this and pressure Obama. But I'm also a big fan of not being depressed you can't reach unrealistic goals.

    •  unrealistic? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, letsbepragmatic, DKinUT

      He may not have a magic wand, but apparently he does have a time machine that has transported him back to 1993.  But it isn't 1993 anymore.  It is 2009.  This is a time when:

      69% of the public including the majority of Republicans approve of the revocation of DADT.

      Most Americans believe gay people should be added to hate crimes bills.

      Most Americans have for YEARS believed gay people have a right to not be fired from their job for being gay.

      So, let's not even discuss DOMA, although coming up on half believe that should be gone too.  There is no political capital involved in these decisions except from people who would never vote for him no matter what.

      This is not 1993.  It is 2009, and it is time for him to man up and be the leader we voted for.

    •  if you exchange any other minority for "gay" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DKinUT

      Would it be acceptable......it sounds like the argument is "well, if we give the gays the rights, then we might lose next time"....

      Thank God we didn't have these people or people like you in power during the civil rights era, would they have said "well if we give blacks these rights we might lose next time?"

      I'm sorry, that's a joke for an argument at this time, after we had a "mandate"..well, i don't mind staying home next time if i don't get what i need.....and it doesn't even cost a Trillion Dollars to give it to me!  I'm sure the Hispanics who want immigration reform feel the same....

  •  _Congress_ makes laws (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    am4

    While getting a response from Obama is certainly a step in the right direction, I can't fathom why people are essentially ignoring Congress in all of this. DOMA and DADT are both laws. They are not going away until they are either (a) struck down as unconstitutional by the Judiciary, or (b) overturned through the action of Congress. In fact, one could make the argument that pressuring the Executive branch is the least useful path to take in all of this, because they have the fewest tools at their disposal. Yes, Obama has huge tracks of influence, but he is already stretched pretty thin on that front.

    We need to put pressure on Congress more than anything now. Call and write your critters. Ask them why they have not introduced legislation to overturn DOMA and DADT. Ask them if they are cosponsors of the new legislation Obama talked about today.

    My biggest frustration with progressives right now is the fact that we seem to have accepted that Congress is totally useless to us, and anything progress we make will be because Obama brings it about. We were instrumental in electing a President; it is time to aim some of that firepower at Congress.

    "Mom, baseball, apple pie, and a unified Democratic juggernaut.

    by Purplepeople on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 09:23:42 PM PDT

  •  pppppsttttttttt he doesn't really care...... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    srsjones, DKinUT, Caniche

    This wasn't even an executive order, on cnn they said it expires when Obama is no longer President.   It is obvious if Obama cares about something he gives a big speech, not a signing ceremony trumped up to appease the gay rights supporters with a couple of sentences carefully crafted to show he's on their side....don't think he mentioned "don't ask dont tell"........I also didn't see Barney Frank there, he may have been but he definitely wasn't on any of the news shows tonight, just Tammy Baldwin, who was apologetic, basically she needs to educate the President on the need to do this right away.....

    Well, i hate to tell people "i told you so", but, as a gay man in Chicago I will tell you i was called names I wouldn't even repeat here for saying during the campaign that Obama hadn't done anything previously for Gay rights and that he was fairly conspicuously the only statewide Democratic candidate in Illinois that had managed to avoid appearing in the Gay Rights Parade during their campaign year or for him, ever...............

    I'm still holding out hope that I will be proven wrong, but i'm not holding my breath.....

    •  He's cleverly hostile to us (0+ / 0-)

      Clever, because it appeals to voters he wants to woo, especially working class people.  Clever, because while he seems to do something supportive he drives the stake in further and further.  So he cannot extend health benefits because they would violate DOMA.  Then must Oregon's gay state employees lose their DP benefits because we have a constitutional amendment banning marriage?  his interpretation is as conservative as it could possibly be.

      Add this to his overly solicitious approach to bankers--despite their fake protests--read Nocera in today's NYT.  And his revolting approach to the CIA.  He's not corrupt or stupid, like the Republicans, but otherwise on the issues most critical to me, he's indistinguishable from them.   And it doesn't surprise me that he was not a real advocate for us in Illinois.  You're right.  He doesn't give a crap about us (or is even a bit biased against us).  I wish he'd spare us the fake concern and just be honest, like his republican friends.

    •  It's the Democratic party, not the gay rights... (0+ / 0-)

      Not the gay rights party. There are a lot of things on Obama's plate. Firstly, GM and Chrysler offer a lot of good jobs and still form a backbone of the American union system. Those bailouts are integral. To move forward with saving union jobs (and therefore the middle class) Obama needs political capital.

      I don't see why Obama should make himself so politically vulnerable on GLBT issues. He has even now stepped out and clearly taken a position against DOM. That doesn't strengthen him politically, and to really move an agenda forward you need political strength. Clearly, Obama is personally in favor of gay marriage and GLBT issues. Anyway, it's not like the GLBT community would be better off voting Republican!

      You don't make people less extreme by refusing to talk with them...

      by The Progressive Majority on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 01:33:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  better off (0+ / 0-)

        No, we'll be better off not giving the DNC any more money or votes until they address the issues they have ignored for 40 years.  Newsflash:  it is not 1993 anymore.  Things have changed, and Obama needs to catch up.

      •  It's the Democratic party, not the union rights.. (0+ / 0-)

        Get your facts straight.  Obama is NOT in favor of gay marriage.  He's said that repeatedly.  And the issue for at least some of us is NOT his inaction, but his actions--the uncle/niece marriage garbage last week, his calling himself a "fierce advocate." Maybe he is playing a long game, but don't insult your current supporters in the meantime.

        In addition, you're not going to save the middle class by putting GM bondholders--the banks and bondholding class--ahead of the workers' pensions the way Obama's "car czar" investment banker Steve Rattner has.  And you're not going to save the middle class transferring hundreds of billions of dollars to Wall Street and letting Wall Street write their own regulations, the way Obama/Geithner/Summers/JPMorgan/Goldman Sachs have with this "sweeping" FAKE regulation of Wall Street.  Obama is killing a once-in-a-century opportunity to DO THE RIGHT THING because he's owned by Wall Street or a moral coward or ignorant.

    •  Let me concur (0+ / 0-)

      As my former State Senator in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, he failed to deliver on a single promise to his gay and lesbian constituents, at a time and in a district in which gays and lesbian civil rights had near universal support.

      Far from being a "fierce advocate" for gay and lesbian civil rights he was, at best, a fierce chicken-shit, which is being charitable.

      Barack Obama is no supporter or friend of lesbians and gay men, far from it. He was hostile to us then, he is hostile to us now. He never will be and "advocate" until he is afraid of losing an election.

      It is time to stop shovelling money into the Democratic Party and start standing up for ourselves.

  •  Interesting editorial in Jun. 15 Navy Times (0+ / 0-)

    on DADT: Don’t rush ‘don’t ask’:

    Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, says he has discussed "don’t ask, don’t tell" with Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his fellow chiefs. And while he’s customarily guarded about the nature of those talks, he is to be applauded for pursuing a thoughtful approach.

    In a May 27 interview with Military Times, Mullen said he has urged "a measured and deliberate" pace to avoid an emotional, partisan fight with service members caught in the middle.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 05:07:29 AM PDT

  •  Not Much here to be Excited About (0+ / 0-)

    I think the points by kos are well taken, but there is a huge caveat to this issue.  Obama had the legal authority to extend DP health and insurance benefits because DOMA does not prevent that as he claims.  There is nothing in DOMA that addresses DP benefits.  DOMA addresses only state recognized same-sex marriages.  Only the most Draconian reading of DOMA results in the conclusion that it prohibits DP benefits.  As an attorney, I assure you that the Obama team is hiding behind DOMA as an excuse not to extend the benefits.  By dropping the ball squarely on Congress, he is divesting himself of a politically sensitive issue and handing it to the very people who are LEAST LIKELY to run with it.  These people cannot even pass hate crimes legislation.  The thought that they will actually pass a DP beneifts bill is wishful thinking.  The concept that they will repeal DOMA is even more laughable.  Unfortunately, until I see something actually happen, I have to be among the most skeptical who predicts that this fig-leaf is likely  the ONLY pro-gay thing Obama will ever do for us in his first term.  If he gets a second term, it will be with a Republican Senate, and the chance to pass anything remotely favorable for gay people will be gone for good.  Its now or never, and never is looking much more likely right now.

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