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The other day in a speech, Valerie Jarrett referred to being gay as a "lifestyle choice." This understandably angered a lot of LGBT people because it's neither a lifestyle nor a choice. That framing is one that bigots use against us and Jarrett should not have said it even if she meant well. I don't think she's a homophobe. I do think that the White House is uncomfortable discussing gay issues and they don't talk to enough gay groups to find out the best way to communicate their message to us.

To her credit though, Politico is reporting that she has apologized for her misguided statement:

Jarrett, in an e-mail to Capehart, said that she "misspoke" when she described Aaberg’s sexual identity as a lifestyle choice.

"I meant no disrespect to the LGBT community, and I apologize to any who have taken offense at my poor choice of words," Jarrett said. "Sexual orientation and gender identity are not a choice, and anyone who knows me and my work over the years knows that I am a firm believer and supporter in the rights of LGBT Americans."

That's a pretty strong statement. Now the White House is on record saying orientation and gender identity are not a choice. That's better than Bush who said "I don't know" when he was asked if homosexuality is a choice in a debate during the 2004 campaign.

Her original comment was:

"These are good people. They were aware that their son was gay; they embraced him, they loved him, they supported his lifestyle choice," Jarrett told Capehart. "But when he left the home and went to school, he was tortured by his classmates."

Originally posted to indiemcemopants on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:18 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It would be ridiculous... (23+ / 0-)

    ...to believe that she would knowingly make that kind of gaffe in that setting.  But as you rightly intuit, it does suggest that the White House staff is not really interested in improving its relationship with LGBT people.  I do not foresee that changing; at best they regard the gay constituency as a nuisance, at worst they are actively hostile for unknown personal and political reasons.

    That being the case, I am inclined to believe it is time for LGBT groups to begin exploring strategically sound relationships outside of the Democratic Party.  The Democrats would benefit from some actual competition on this issue.

    "All along the watchtower, princes kept the view..."

    by Alec82 on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:23:55 AM PDT

    •  Where would it be (15+ / 0-)

      "strategically sound"?  Or have you forgotten Republcian rule, gay baiting and all?

      Deoliver47, quoting Bernice Johnson Reagon: "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

      by TomP on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:28:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Supporting pro-gay *politicians* period.. (12+ / 0-)

        ...in the same way that other interest groups support candidates who support them.  

        Sometimes Republicans will get the support of LGBT groups, most of the time they will not.  But by cultivating Republican support where it is possible, they will help to build a bipartisan consensus on the question.  Immigrant rights advocates, labor unions and ethnic lobbies do this all the time.  Why do you oppose it in the case of LGBT voters?

        "All along the watchtower, princes kept the view..."

        by Alec82 on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:31:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? (6+ / 0-)

          You can get out there and support those gay loving tea partiers.  

          Nice little insinuation at the end, Alec.  Pretty low.

          I'm not stopping you from joining the Log Party Republicans.  Have a nice life with the facists in the R Party.  

          I'm an anti-fascist who believes in equality.

          Many Democrats ahve payed a price at the polls for supporting equality, but go run off and support the party that gay baited as offical policy in 2004, that helped pass all those constitutional amendments in states prehoibiting eqaulit in marriage.

          By the way, do you really think most Rs want GLBT support.  Paladino is no minority view. Palin is no minority view.

          Deoliver47, quoting Bernice Johnson Reagon: "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

          by TomP on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:45:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable" (9+ / 0-)

            you know it's not a broad enough coalition."  I guess we cannot heed that advice?

            Polling of the Democrat base reveals that Democrats are not all that supportive of LGBT equality, either.  Anti-gay amendments have passed in states that supported President Obama, who himself opposes equality.  

            What Democrat has paid the price at the polls for supporting gay rights? Please point to one and make your case.  What Democrat would pay the price for supporting the repeal of a policy opposed by over seventy percent of the population?

            And there are pro-gay Republicans, whether you want to believe it or not.  For example, Rick Snyder does not differ substantially from Virg Bernero.  Although Snyder claims he opposes marriage equality, his spokesman stated he supported civil unions, and in any event neither of them are in a position to do anything about it; it will either come about as a result of a federal constitutional decision, voter repeal or a constitutional convention.  And then beyond that they appear to have the same views.  

            I'm sure I can come up with a list of others.  The point is, we need to build a bipartisan consensus.  How does giving unqualified support to a party that regularly stabs gays in the back conducive to that end?  

            "All along the watchtower, princes kept the view..."

            by Alec82 on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:56:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't really care (5+ / 0-)

              whether you give "unqualified support to a party," but if you support Republicans who fuck working people I will oppose you.

              As for your quote about coalitions, huh?  Your comment makes no sense.

              So polling shows that many Dems don't support equality, and many Dems are hurt by their support, so you want to fuck them over by supporting Rs.

              41 Republican senators voted to keep a filibuster and keep DADT.  All Rs prevented a vote that would have ended it.

              I don't care you do, Alex. If you support Rs, you are my enemy.  Really.

              Deoliver47, quoting Bernice Johnson Reagon: "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

              by TomP on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:05:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I think this is where you two are tripping up (12+ / 0-)

            your first reference was "Republican" and then you segued to:

            gay loving tea partiers.  

            Tea party & Republican are not necessarily synonymous. Alec didn't suggest supporting the resurgence of the John Birch Society.

            The cases are rare, but a GOP pol lead on marriage equality in DC and a handful voted yes on DADT repeal in the House.

            The decoupling of LGBT civil rights from party is ultimately a winning strategy for the gay community, imo.

            I will grant, it's a pipe dream, mostly. But we're seeing cracks in the GOP's lockstep opposition in all things gay. I think it might be smart for some gays in some markets to consider rewarding them for that.

            As long as the Dems remain hapless friends of progress.

            Trickle down Equality isn't working

            by Scott Wooledge on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:37:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm so sorry, Tom (8+ / 0-)

            I cannot tell you how much it pains me to learn of the price Democrats have paid at the polls for suggesting that I am an American citizen deserving of equal rights.  Until I read your comment, I had been insufficiently appreciative of the incredible magnanimity displayed by the Democratic Party.

            Thank you for reminding us how politically toxic our very existence remains.  Your comment is a welcome and much needed reality check for all the LGBTs who have expressed dismay and disappointment at the continued existence of a system of de jure discrimination against them.  In the future, we will all endeavor to be mindful of the advice of our heterosexual superiors such as yourself.

            /S

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

            by FogCityJohn on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:40:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Alec, which elected politicians (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          taylormattd, Bonsai66, MaikeH

          outside of the Democratic party are pro-gay?

          Please, I'd like to know.

          •  The governor of California.. (6+ / 0-)

            ....for starters.  The Maine senators.  All of the elected members of the Vermont Progressive Party. Bloomberg and Pataki (the latter with the exception of marriage; no different than Obama).  I am sure I could come up with plenty of other examples.  

             

            "All along the watchtower, princes kept the view..."

            by Alec82 on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:00:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Maine Senators (7+ / 0-)

              both voted AGAINST the defense authorization bill to join their party in a fillibuster to prevent the DADT repeal, DREAM act provision in the bill from coming to the floor for discussion.

              And you promote these as "examples" of pro-gay politicians? Seems to me that they put party over LGBT and other civil rights any day.

              The truth is that none of the politicians you name have done anything concrete to advance the rights of the LGBT community. They give lip service because they have to - after all they would never get elected in liberal states like Maine, New York or California, but otherwise when it comes to actually doing something, it's party first.

              •  Democrats were playing politics (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                emsprater, shaharazade, Clarknt67, Alec82

                If the DADT bill came up in the Senate as a standalone bill, Collins and Snowe would for vote for it. There are some "D"'s on the other hand whom I suspect wouldn't. The reason it was attached to the NDAA was to hold the Democratic caucus together on the bill and put the republicans in a bad position. The DADT provision wasn't added to improve its chances unless you are willing to admit that numerous "Democrats" would have voted no on it otherwise.

                "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

                by craigkg on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:13:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh so now you're defending the Republicans (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  taylormattd, Lawnguylander

                  and putting them in good light where DADT is concerned while condemning the Democrats?

                  Yet just a few months ago, when there was a possibility that the DADT bill would not be attached to the defense authorization bill, there were diaries and comments blasting and attacking the Democrats for being cowards...

                  Listen, you cannot have it both ways. The Democrats attached DADT & DREAM and the Republicans 100% voted against cloture. Had the Democrats decided not to attach either of these provisions, the same people here would be criticizing them for being cowards.

                  When people here are defending Republicans who do not need defending, I have no choice but to question their motives.

                  •  Good grief, no (7+ / 0-)

                    On the whole, the Republican Party is fucking evil.

                    There are however, on certain issues, Republicans who can be quite good to the extent they are better than some Democrats on those issues.

                    I am not a partisan. I am not "Democrats Uber Alles." I am not a Democrat...I am to the left of the Democratic Party on most things ands refuse to support, as a party, a party that plays politics with my life to further their fundraising by dragging out the fight for my basic civil rights and equality.  Democrats are playing a game with LGBT rights. So are Republicans. Most Democrats are better than most Republicans on LGBT rights, but there are cases where I'd rather vote for a Republican over a Democrat when it comes to LGBT issues. Gee, who would I rather have in the Senate: Lincoln Chaffee or Blanch Lincoln? Michael Bloomberg or the recently departed arch-homophobe Robert Byrd? Ileana Ros-Lehtinen or Chris Carney? Meghan McCain or Bobby Bright?

                    The Democratic Party has more than its fair share of homophobic bastard politicians.

                    "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

                    by craigkg on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:54:06 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Those choices are not available to you (0+ / 0-)

                      Lincoln Chafee (who, BTW voted for DADT in 1993) and Blanche Lincoln have never and will never run against each other.  You don't get elections where a Republican is more liberal than a Democrat.  When has there been an election where the Republican candidate was more LGBT friendly than the Democrat?

                      •  Is last year too recent for you? (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Clarknt67, Alec82, FogCityJohn

                        New York 23rd: Scozzafava was for marriage equality. Owens didn't go on record for civil unions until he had to because of her even more progressive position.

                        It is not as uncommon as you might expect, especially at the state and local level.

                        "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

                        by craigkg on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:39:03 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  She ended her campaign (0+ / 0-)

                          after being hounded out of the race for, among other issues, her support for marriage equality.  So while her name was still on the ballot the choice was between Owens and Hoffman if you lived there and were trying to influence the outcome of the race with your vote.  Had there been a primary to select the Republican candidate she would not have been on the ballot in the first place.

                  •  No. I think he's just rejecting (12+ / 0-)

                    your simplistic frame of

                    Dem = 100% good on gay
                    GOP = 100% bad on gay

                    As being both false in the present tense, and as the basis for building a long term legislative strategy.

                    In reality, the GOP will be able to hold 40 seats for probably the remainder of our lives. So an LGBT strategy that completely writes off building allies in the GOP is a legislative strategy that is destined to fail for all of our life times.

                    Sorry. We're gonna have to make friends across the aisle if we want to get ENDA, UAFA and DOMA repeal. Your simplistic characterization is not helpful to equality.

                    Trickle down Equality isn't working

                    by Scott Wooledge on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:02:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Susan Collins enabled it (9+ / 0-)

                while Dem Jim Webb threatened to derail it in community.

                I understand the fear the Democrats feel in no longer taking LGBT votes for granted. But suggest a better strategy for locking in our continued support might be to actually deliver some bills and not excuses.

                Trickle down Equality isn't working

                by Scott Wooledge on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:39:31 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  worse than that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shaharazade, Lawnguylander

                they both cast their votes for a raving anti-gay christian fanatic for Senate Majority leader.

                Show me on the doll where Rahm touched you.

                by taylormattd on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:14:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  um, yeah, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Renee, TomP, Lawnguylander

              and with friends like that...

          •  Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of FL is generally pro-LGBT (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clarknt67, Alec82, FogCityJohn

            Snowe and Collins of Maine usually are too as long as Democrats aren't using their support to manipulate the process.

            "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

            by craigkg on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:03:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Mike Bloomberg in NYC (4+ / 0-)

            Trickle down Equality isn't working

            by Scott Wooledge on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:38:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  that's not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawnguylander

          "strategically sound".

          In fact, that is strategically unsound.

          Failing to support the person running against a republican leads to republicans being elected. And guess who the republican votes for for Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader.

          Show me on the doll where Rahm touched you.

          by taylormattd on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:13:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That they lifted Dan Savage's words (14+ / 0-)

      rather than craft their own, shows the admin isn't really very invested in doing their own homework on our issues.

      Trickle down Equality isn't working

      by Scott Wooledge on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:38:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree. (12+ / 0-)

      We've got an entire new generation of GLBT who are seeing this administration delay, de-prioritize and actively oppose civil rights for GLBT Americans.  Just this week we have Obama's White House oppose rulings striking down DOMA and DADT.  

      This could have serious repercussions for the traditional Democratic coalition.  After all it's been the Log Cabin Republicans fighting against DADT while the Obama adminstration fights tooth and nail to hold on to it; additionally there's a fair chance that Republicans will not be ball-and-chained forever to the Christian fundamentalists.  

      About time the Democrats got a wake-up call.  

      •  We need a new Rainbow Coalition... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i like bbq, CajunBoyLgb

        ...that unites social justice for working people, GLBT people, and other disenfranchised groups.

        Hyperpartisanship is a concerted strategy by political parties' leaders to distract us from addressing social justice, and coerces us into the belief that we have to settle for crumbs because we have no other choice.

    •  Only on the local level (6+ / 0-)

      are there gay friendly Republicans. In urban areas, Republicans have faced the facts on the grounds and concluded they can't win by being anti-gay. But this sort of Republicanism tends to end at the city limit. In Chicago, LA, NYC, SF etc, we can sometimes support a Republican for city council. For anything higher than that, no we can't.

    •  ha (0+ / 0-)

      "strategically sound relationships outside of the Democratic Party"

      Like what? There literally is no such thing at all. None.

      Show me on the doll where Rahm touched you.

      by taylormattd on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:11:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When one has the choices of ... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        decca, craigkg, Alec82, Willa Rogers

        supporting the occasional LGBT supportive candidate of any party versus supporting by default the candidate because they have a 'D' by their name without any indication that candidate is willing to actually act on our behalf, it's time to 'turn the page'.

        If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

        by emsprater on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:11:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no, what it means (0+ / 0-)

          is that you are incapable of setting aside your anger toward a few elected democrats, and are refusing to look at the very simple, clear, and obvious consequences of your actions.

          If you vote for the "occasional LGBT supportive" republican for Congress, you did far more damage to the LGBT cause than any anti-gay blue dog democrat. You just cast your vote for somebody who one the one hand will pay lipservice to LGBT rights, perhaps even say he will cast a vote to repeal DOMA, but will then gleefully cast his vote for John Boehnor for Speaker of the House. Nice work!

          Show me on the doll where Rahm touched you.

          by taylormattd on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:45:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You just don't get it, do you? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            decca, Nightprowlkitty, Alec82

            The Democrats have too long held the viewpoint that you have, that they somehow are entitled to the hostage votes of the LGBT community, because they are the only party that trots us out at election time feigning support for our civil rights.

            DADT, DOMA were both passed by Democrats.

            While I actually loathe the republican's record on LGBT issues and their open animus towards us, what I (and many many others) have come to loathe even more vehemently is the Democrats ideology that they somehow 'own' our support and our votes without having to ante up any action for them, even now working actively against adjudicated victories that our community has obtained through the long process of the courts.

            If my support for a gay friendly local politician leads to a Speaker Bohener, then the main reason for that is not my local vote, but the ineffectiveness of Speaker Reid to produce results that inspire voters like me to remain loyal to the Democrats.

            You don't get loyalty for decades for nothing.

            This weeks WH decision to effectively 'blacklist' a gay AA veteran from attending a fundraiser as a paying attendee (they declined to give him clearance) was the final action on their part that has cemented my complete and total toning them out.  This was inexcusable, and sends the very clear message that LGBT Americans don't count, not even when they are veterans, are members of another minority and are willing to pay for their seat at the table, they still are not welcome.

            If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

            by emsprater on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 01:02:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you can write this over and over and over (0+ / 0-)

              You don't get loyalty for decades for nothing.

              And it is nothing more than a meaningless slogan, because literally the only alternatives are worse. Have fun storming the castle.

              It's amusing how you note that DADT and DOMA were passed by democrats, yet you fail to mention that House democrats actually just passed repeal of DADT. So when you abandon the long and excruciating process of reforming a political party to be more progressive, you really should ask yourself this: for what am I abandoning this process? If the answer is: to vote for republicans, or to do nothing, or to vote for a third party that has zero chance of controlling congress, perhaps you should look in the mirror and see if you are acting out of a rage so misplaced that it is making you do things that will harm the LGBT cause more than it helps.

              Show me on the doll where Rahm touched you.

              by taylormattd on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 01:12:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I for one am getting pretty .. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Alec82

                tired of being told to support the status quo because it's all I've got.

                If that's all I've got, give me nothing, because so far, nothing is what I have gotten.  House Democrats passed a bill that Senate Democrats couldn't pass and the POTUS largely ignored the effort.  He speaks out still not in support of our equality even when court cases are won for our civil rights.  He telegraphs that it's 'ok' to continue inequality.  Followers continue to so the same by supporting him rather than insisting on positive action.

                You really should read history.  Sometimes 'storming the castle' worked, and the largesse oblige that were enshrined within lost.

                No, the alternatives aren't always automatically worse.  Politically the Democrats have come to the point that they have no choice but to put up or shut up, and if they shut up, they loose a portion of their base , most of whom will simply disconnect from politics because apparently it's a lost cause anyway, no matter which party you think is 'for you', both of them are simply for 'number 1'.  

                If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

                by emsprater on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 01:29:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Why don't you work on Democrat politicians? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Nightprowlkitty, emsprater

                I mean, that is where the animus is emanating from, no? The Democrats themselves are the problem.  As you concede, DOMA and DADT was a bipartisan effort.  If a substantial percentage of LGBT voters abandon the Democrat brand over this issue, it will be because the Democrats have failed to deliver, and their promise was to deliver by repealing two massive anti-gay legislative blunders that they had a hand in.  It seems interesting to me that you would attribute irrationality to this decision, while we know that, should Hispanics make the same move, there will be a call for Democrats to do more to reach out to Hispanics.  Not the case here, huh?

                I say let the Democrats learn to grovel and deliver within the range of possible policy options.  At this point, that means that Obama will need to end discharges to fulfill his promise by the end of the year; no other option will be acceptable, and his failure to do so will be an invitation for LGBT voters to decide if he and his party have insulted them enough to merit a rebuke.  

                The more partisan hacks defend these actions on the part of the Obama administration, the more they will drive parts of the base away.  But I learned right here on Daily Kos that many "true" Democrats and leftists are advocates of intersectionality anyway.  They are embarassed by the privileged focus of the modern gay civil rights movmement, and they'll probably only lose rich white gays that they don't need anyway. That won't make any difference at all.  

                "All along the watchtower, princes kept the view..."

                by Alec82 on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 01:33:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  the more you speak in generalities (0+ / 0-)

                  the easier it is to just rant and rave, and then say "I'm doing something else" (and of course it goes without saying, that "something else" is always unspecified, and the consequences of that "something else" are never analyzed).

                  So let's be specific.

                  Who sucks among democrats right now on gay issues? Answer:

                  (1) Obama;
                  (2) blue dog democrats

                  What problems are these people causing?  Answer:

                  (1) Obama's ability to create change here stem only from being able to do the following: (a) issue an executive order ending DADT; (b) refusing to appeal in lawsuits relating to DADT and DOMA; (c) proposing pro-LGBT laws and regulations; and (d) pushing and advocating for such laws and regulations.  His administration has done quite a bit in category C, has done little to nothing in category D, and has been a miserable failure in categories A and B.

                  (2) blue dog democrats. They suck, but haven't been that terrible of a problem in the House. Again, House democrats actually passed a DADT repeal (no thanks to blue dogs). It is the Senate where these blue dogs, or conservative dems, or whatever you want to call them, are having a terrible impact. I suppose it is also Harry Reid's fault for something. I suppose he could try and end the filibuster? I don't know how convinced I am that such an effort would ever succeed.  So how many of these blue dog democrat senators are there? I'm not really sure, but it's maybe somewhere around 10?  

                  So really, what we have here is a democratic president who has been a failure on his executive orders, his running of the DOJ, and on his bully pulpit leadership, plus about 10 democrats in the Senate.  And that is what is going to cause you people to vote for republicans or greens or whatever? That's pretty fucking dumb if you ask me.

                  What needs to happen regarding politicians is in a democratic primary, we need to push for the most progressive, "general election electable" politician. This means different things in different areas. The gun toting ass in West Virginia, for example, may be unlike to vote for any pro-gay legislation. He will, however, vote for Harry Reid as majority leader. And you tell me who is more likely to bring pro-gay legislation up for a vote: harry reid or the wingnut republican? By contrast, places like Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts have no business having republican senators. Those type of states should be the most important targets in the coming years: seats where a progressive democrat has an actual shot of winning a general election.

                  Show me on the doll where Rahm touched you.

                  by taylormattd on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 02:03:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Damaging the cause -- hypothetical (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emsprater, Alec82

            Allow me to pose a question to you.  Let us assume that this DADT litgation continues (as appears likely).  The DOJ appeals to the Ninth Circuit and ultimately to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Their position, necessarily, is that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation does not offend the U.S. Constitution, and that it is therefore perfectly permissible for the government to create and maintain a system of de jure discrimination against LGBTs.

            Let us further assume that the administration prevails in the Supreme Court.  The Court renders a 5-4 decision that anti-LGBT discrimination is consistent with the Constitution.  In effect, it renders a rough equivalent of Plessy v. Ferguson in the LGBT context.  

            At that point, would it be appropriate, in your view, for LGBTs to abandon their support of the Democratic Party?  Have you considered just how much damage to the cause the administration might do by pursuing this litigation?

            I await your responses.

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

            by FogCityJohn on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 05:41:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The real problem is that for Valerie Jarrett and (21+ / 0-)

    too many other so-called "allies", there remains an inherent suspicion that being gay is a choice.  It's what they've been taught, and even though intellectually they may know better, the lessons are hard to assimilate, particularly when they don't directly affect their lives.

    It isn't enough to apologize to Capehart.  She should be publicly apologizing to the entire GLBT community.

    "Bring back pre-existing conditions. Vote Republican."

    by rontun on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:24:37 AM PDT

    •  I agree. It (10+ / 0-)

      was a really offensive thing to say. I'm just happy that she said something about it though. This White House doesn't like to address gay people.

      Just call me firepants.

      by indiemcemopants on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:30:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm shocked they didn't yesterday (9+ / 0-)

        This would have been an easy thing to get ahead of as soon at it hit several of the big LGBT blogs. I do think the calls on several to have her fired were wayyyy out of line, but they need to learn to respond faster, but thoughtfully (so as to avoid another Shirley Sherrod situation), but this apology really doesn't do that for me. It is too non-apology apology.

        If the White House wants better "press" from the LGBT community, they are going to have to engage use and this exceedingly poor choice of words or Freudian slip on the part of Ms. Jarrett would be a good opportunity to open a dialogue...but I don't see them willing to do that.

        "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

        by craigkg on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:38:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  An apology isn't ... (5+ / 0-)

      meaningful when it's phrased

      I apologize to any who have taken offense

      Why can't folks simply say, 'I was wrong and I apologize for my offense'?

      That's an apology.

      saying

      I apologize to any who have taken offense

      places a portion of the blame for being 'offended' on those who took offense.  A subtle way to denigrate the victim of the offensive words, so that those who didn't really understand the offense will dismiss it as 'nothing'.

      I for one would have thought a person in such a position of political power would have learned this basic concept by now.  Or maybe she has, and the reason for the specific choice of wording was to be able to dismiss the critics as 'too sensitive'.

      If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

      by emsprater on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:17:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is good. (12+ / 0-)

    I'm glad she apologized and made it clear that sexual preference is not a "choice."

    Deoliver47, quoting Bernice Johnson Reagon: "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

    by TomP on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:27:32 AM PDT

    •  It's more than (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius, lgmcp, TomP, KelleyRN2

      I expected to hear so I'm pretty pleased.

      Just call me firepants.

      by indiemcemopants on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:30:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is this supposed to be snark? (10+ / 0-)

      "sexual preference"? Really?

      "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

      by craigkg on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:33:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wondered the same thing! (12+ / 0-)

        "Sexual preference" is as insulting as "lifestyle choice" IMHO. I have a "sexual orientation" and I have a "life." Period. End of discussion.

        Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

        by Ian S on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:40:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Do you want me to be an ally (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        taylormattd, Predictor

        or to say things exactly as you wish.

        I guess you have so many allies you can attack those who support equality.  

        Deoliver47, quoting Bernice Johnson Reagon: "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

        by TomP on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:32:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tom, don't get defensive. (6+ / 0-)

          Just learn from it and move on.

          The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

          by KroneckerD on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:36:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I'm tired of the fucking (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            taylormattd, Predictor, effervescent

            games.  Too many jerks in this diary.  

            There was nothing to learn.  I know it is not a "choice."  I supported equality years ago before it was "cool."

            I used a politically wrong verbal description.  Well, too fucking bad.  

             

            Deoliver47, quoting Bernice Johnson Reagon: "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

            by TomP on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:40:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The word "preference" implies choice. (5+ / 0-)

              It's the exact same mistake that Jarrett made.  She apologized and admitted that that she made a mistake.

              No one is questioning your support of equality.  No one is calling you a homophobe.  People are just asking you not to use the term "preference" anymore.

              The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

              by KroneckerD on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:46:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Duh. I got that. (4+ / 0-)

                But do you really think I meant a self contradiction?  Instead, a few just wanted to jump on it.

                I'm fine with not using the word.  But what I am not fine with is the attacks.  

                This could have been asked:

                People are just asking you not to use the term "preference" anymore.

                I would have said fine.  I would have even understood.  But the gotcha games piss me off.  

                I don't like jerks GLBT or hetero.

                Deoliver47, quoting Bernice Johnson Reagon: "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

                by TomP on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:51:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Then just say (9+ / 0-)

                  "Oh shit, I used the wrong term there - I meant orientation."

                  Bam.  Defused.

                  The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

                  by KroneckerD on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:01:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But I said that. (4+ / 0-)

                    But orientation might be worng also.  Could someone choose to be oriented?

                    It's the game and it's only a few people.  Just tired of folling with it.

                    I still support equality and will continue to work for it.  But I may avoid commenting in some diaires here I think because I don't like the games.  It's gotcha games.  

                    I'm leaving this conversation.  I'm not angry with you.  We're fine. But the other folks have lost me.  

                    Deoliver47, quoting Bernice Johnson Reagon: "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

                    by TomP on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:07:42 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sorry, no. (4+ / 0-)

                      Spare me the intellectual relativism. The essential fact you are missing is that "sexual orientation" is an accepted term that is well-established. You undermine your own argument that you are so wowza-supportive when you turn around and play 'winger word games like "orientation might be wrong also".  

                      Coming soon--GaylyKos, a new community diary series for LGBT Kossacks.

                      by homogenius on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:33:03 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  No you didn't say that (3+ / 0-)

                      You said:

                      Oh give me a fucking break.

                      That's not an apology.  You did choose your words poorly and you have since tacitly admitted as much.  Why not simply say "sorry, you're right, that was a bad choice of words" and end it there without getting belligerent about it?

                      I really don't understand your hostility.  This diary is about an Obama administration official doing almost exactly the same thing that you just did so you should understand why some commenters here would be offended by you making the same insinuation here that Jarrett made, however innocent your intentions.

                      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                      by democracy inaction on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:38:57 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Use this experience as a reminder of just (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      CajunBoyLgb, FogCityJohn

                      how effective the decades-long framing of homosexuality as a choice has been.  Allies of equality like you and me can sometimes fall into that trap without realizing it.

                      Try not to take it personally, because it's not personal.  I know how much you've done for the cause of equality, and I know that you'll continue to work for it.

                      Take care.

                      The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

                      by KroneckerD on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:46:47 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Hey, I'm calmer now. (7+ / 0-)

                    I just got frustrated.

                    Thanks for your explanation.  You've been very good.

                    Of course, I'm still an ally for equality. I do it because it is right; not because a GLBTer is nice or not to me.

                    Take care.

                    Deoliver47, quoting Bernice Johnson Reagon: "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

                    by TomP on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:34:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  It's not "politically wrong." (8+ / 0-)

              It's just "wrong."  It's not a preference.  You could have ended this with a simple, "I used the wrong word, and I'm sorry."  But no, instead you'd rather get angry that GLBT are sick and tired of having people either imply or directly state that our sexuality is a choice, and "preference" most definitely implies that it's a choice.

              As for jerks in this diary, you are being one right now.

              •  Whatever. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                taylormattd, dclawyer06

                Have fun attacking me.

                It is amusing sincee my statement said it was not a choice.  You just want to attack because one word was said. Of course I could not mean it was a choice. But attacking an ally is so much easier than fighting to change minds.

                Hey, you have convicned me.  You don't want my support; you don't want me as an ally.

                I support equality, but I won't play your stupid blog games.

                Deoliver47, quoting Bernice Johnson Reagon: "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

                by TomP on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:58:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am fighting to change minds. (5+ / 0-)

                  I'm trying to change a mind that thinks that being gay is a "preference."

                  And I am absolutely sick and tired of people claiming they're an ally, but announcing a withdrawl of their support for equality because they get pissed off over something someone posts on a blog.  You aren't an ally.  An ally doesn't flip out when an inaccuracy in something they say is pointed out to them, especially if it is an inaccuracy that directly causes people pain and suffering.  An ally would simply apologize and move on.  But for some reason, you've gotten angry that people have a problem with an offensive term.

                  •  He did no such thing. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TomP, susanala

                    And I am absolutely sick and tired of people claiming they're an ally, but announcing a withdrawl of their support for equality because they get pissed off over something someone posts on a blog.

                    Stop provoking him.
                    And stop twisting his words when his meaning is crystal fucking clear.

                    They call him Machete...

                    by dclawyer06 on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:24:16 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Dude--you're not getting it. (3+ / 0-)

                  You made exactly the same kind of mistake that Jarrett made.

                  Take your irony meter in for recalibration.

                  Coming soon--GaylyKos, a new community diary series for LGBT Kossacks.

                  by homogenius on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:34:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  I want you to recognize... (4+ / 0-)

          ...that what you said is offensive. Yes I want you as an ally, but I also want you to be sensitive to the language you use. You can express support without being offensive to minorities.

          Your approach on this stands in stark contrast to Ms. Jarrett's. Whether hers was merely misspeaking or a Freudian slip, we don't know, but she at least recognized that her words were offense and apologized relatively quickly for them because they did not convey the message she wanted to send. You OTOH are getting huffy believing you did nothing wrong because your heart is in the right place.

          "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

          by craigkg on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:43:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You know what, (4+ / 0-)

            You created an entire issue over a statement that clearly did not mean anything offensive.  How could it?  

            You could have nicely pointed out the contradiction, and I would have said, of course it's not a preference.  That is just old language.

            But you attacked.  I willl not play your game.

            Deoliver47, quoting Bernice Johnson Reagon: "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

            by TomP on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:55:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Attcked? (5+ / 0-)

              I asked if it was snark, which people here are known to do from time to time. I know you were trying to say something positive and supportive, that I freely acknowledge. But I could not tell whether you were using "sexual preference" in your statement as a joke or out of ignorance. Hence my asking "is this snark?"

              "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

              by craigkg on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:07:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  How could "sexual preference" be offensive? (4+ / 0-)

              Because, as it has been pointed out to you multiple times already, it implies one chooses to be gay.

              Multiple times, you've used the word "game," but we couldn't play a game if we wanted to, by your overblown reaction to having an offensive term pointed out to you, you've totally kicked the table over.

            •  you're fine Tom (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TomP

              please don't take this hyperventilating by people who should know more about you as being representative of the gay community at large.

              Show me on the doll where Rahm touched you.

              by taylormattd on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:17:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you taylor. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                taylormattd, Predictor

                I won't.  That's the error of discrimination, extrapolating from the actions of a few and attaching a view to a group.

                On a personal note, I really appreciate your comment.  It means a lot to me.  You and I have had so many wars in the past, that for your to stand up for me here says a lot.

                Thank you.

                Deoliver47, quoting Bernice Johnson Reagon: "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

                by TomP on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:30:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Stop. Digging. (4+ / 0-)

          Did you learn nothing from the diary?

          Jarrett was confronted with her mistake, she apologizd, people are moving on.

          What she didn't do was dig in her heels and blame the victims.

          Coming soon--GaylyKos, a new community diary series for LGBT Kossacks.

          by homogenius on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:29:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  So far I prefer females. (0+ / 0-)

      But I'll keep you posted.

      "Don't do vibrato. It'll come naturally when you're old and shakey." - Miles Davis (from his music teacher)

      by dov12348 on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:06:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reform comes from below, not above (0+ / 0-)

      Study the 20th century civil rights movement. Go back further and study the 19th century civil rights movements against slavery and for women's rights. Reform only comes about when there is a tipping point in the community, when coalitions work together to win over the general public opinion.

      Amy Goodman on WBAI radio earlier this week featured a very moving documentary which really opens the eyes of religious people about homosexuality. I apologize that I have to go and can't find the link but maybe somebody knows. Bottom line was that Leviticus lists ritual abominations... rituals rather than daily life.

      Reform

      The amelioration of the world cannot be achieved by sacrifices in moments of crisis; it depends on the efforts made and constantly repeated during the humdrum, uninspiring periods, which separate one crisis from another, and of which normal lives mainly consist.

      Aldous Huxley (1894–1963), British author. Grey Eminence, ch. 10 (1941).

      Reform

      Unless the reformer can invent something which substitutes attractive virtues for attractive vices, he will fail.

      Walter Lippmann (1889–1974), U.S. journalist. A Preface to Politics, ch. 2 (1913).

      The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations is licensed from Columbia University Press. Copyright © 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998 by Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

      Media Reform Action Link http://stopbigmedia.com/

      by LNK on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:24:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, sexual preference is not a choice; (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP

      whether or not or how you act on it is a choice.  It is, after all, for a person who has a preference for sexual relations with another person, to restrict herself to self-gratification.  It also possible for a person, regardless of gender or preference, for forgo all sexual gratification.  Those are life-style choices.
      Of course, people, who aren't able to practice self-restraint or self-direction and merely respond to instinctual prompts, aren't capable of making choices.

      Choice is a positive process for people who are capable of using it.  People who aren't able to reflect on their own behavior objectively find the idea that they have a choice very confusing.  Think of it as similar to a color blind person not being able to define what green is.  Or a tone-deaf person not being able to carry a tune.  We all have disabilities.  But, even that perception is upsetting to people who perceive themselves as entirely normal and complete.

      The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

      by hannah on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:32:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  WHAT? (8+ / 0-)

        Of course, people, who aren't able to practice self-restraint or self-direction and merely respond to instinctual prompts, aren't capable of making choices.

        - BLINK -

        Just call me firepants.

        by indiemcemopants on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:58:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Seriously? (8+ / 0-)

        You're liking being gay to "we all have disabilities"?

        That "perception" should be upsetting to everyone.  There is nothing about being gay that's abnormal.  I lived most of my life believing I was abnormal, that something was wrong with me, that I was malfunctioning.  I almost killed myself because of it.  But there was never something wrong with me for being gay, there was something wrong with all the people who told me that there was something wrong with being gay.

        And again, there is no such thing as "sexual preference."

        •  Now that's just stupid. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emsprater

          indie and I are two of the biggest gay gimps around here and we take no prisoners.

          Hey Scottie--I think you have the irony setting up too high on this diary--I think she's gonna blow!!!

          Coming soon--GaylyKos, a new community diary series for LGBT Kossacks.

          by homogenius on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:37:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think what I'd say is that there is no (0+ / 0-)

          normal.  Everybody's different and in being different, they are the same.

          Anyway, to observe that some people are or prefer or prefer not is not to say they should be or prefer anything.  It's not normative.  

          The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

          by hannah on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 04:36:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You know .... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, i like bbq

        I think you must have not allowed your entire thought process to complete before you engaged your fingers.

        There's no other explanation for what you've written, no one could be that obtuse.

        If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

        by emsprater on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:24:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This comment is disgusting (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, i like bbq

        It is essentially a repetition of the Roman Catholic Church's position on homosexuality.  Gay people should simply deny who they are and simply be celibate.  They should deny themselves love, physical and emotional intimacy, and the kinds of relationships that heterosexual people enjoy all the time.  And we should do this because we have a "choice" in the matter.  

        In other words, you don't think of LGBTs as fully human and deserving of a fulfilling life.  I haven't seen this kind of rancid homophobia around here in a very long time.

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

        by FogCityJohn on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:54:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You missed out on angeleyes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FogCityJohn

          Little Miss Foursquare Christian who is committed to a religion that calls us an abomination, and who opposes any equality for LGBT people. But oh no, she's not homophobic, and would never say anything mean to a gay person! She even has gay friends to prove it! /snark

          And hannah, that was one of the stupidest things I've ever read on DKos. Being gay is like being disabled? And if those dirty gay people just would choose to be celibate there wouldn't be any problems? Fuck you very much, too.

          When are you going to understand that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage. - Practical Magic

          by Keori on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 03:52:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The point is/was that it is very difficult (0+ / 0-)

            for people to understand what they haven't experienced.  I was trying to make a comparison to clarify that point.  

            As far as disabilities go, everyone has some.  Nobody is able to do everything of which humans are capable.  Some people are lacking in some physical abilities, others are lacking in mental abilities and some are unemotional, etc.  Nobody's perfect.

            About choice.  I didn't choose to be a female.  For that matter, I didn't choose to be.  I have chosen to continue to be what I am and I've chosen to continue being, until I choose not to.

            I chose to respond, whether or not I'm understood.  I can't control whether or not someone else understands.  I understand the desire to make people understand; I just don't think it's achievable.  

            The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

            by hannah on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 05:07:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Being understood (0+ / 0-)

              To be understood, you have to make a reasonable effort at writing something intelligible.  You haven't done so.

              Your effort to evade the implications of your prior comment by retreating to a level of meaningless abstraction is hardly persuasive.

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

              by FogCityJohn on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 05:45:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, it is not the responsibility of the (0+ / 0-)

                thing or person or idea being observed or considered whether or not he/she/it is understood by the observer.  The object does not determine how it is perceived.  

                To give a more specific example: the physical attributes or characteristics of a person do not determine what an observer sees, nor how he/she reacts.  However, that's not universally the case.  Some people do think that what they see is what the object of their perception is and that their reaction to the object (negative or positive) is the object's fault.  They are convinced that "you made me do it."

                It is not possible to "evade an implication."  I can't get out of what you have perceived.  And, if you've got preconceived notions into which new perceptions have to be stuffed, I can't change that.  All I can do is point out that there might be preconceived notions and they might be in error.

                Now, it is comforting for a person who's been irrationally targeted for abuse and the deprivation of his/her rights to think that there is something he/she can do to stop the abuse.  The reason it's a minimal comfort is because to accept that one is unable to affect the abuse leaves one feeling impotent and that's very painful.  Better to think there must be something one can do than accept one's impotence.  That does not change the fact that it's the abusive person or persons that have to be stopped; nor that this requires help from outside.  

                Fact is that, despite the verbal commitment to respecting human rights, this nation has, from the very started, violated the rights of some persons under cover of law -- i.s. legally.  All kinds of personal attributes were used to justify classifying a person to be less than others, in the law.  That's what made American slavery so pernicious.  It was a legal status.  Women and native Americans were also classified as less.  The classification of LGBT as less is a remnant.  DADT is a resurrection, as is DOMA.  So is "stop loss."  "Stop loss" is slightly different in that it relies on the principle of consent as an irrevocable commitment.  In other words, because individuals volunteer of their own free will to serve, they are ever after liable to being restrained from leaving.  The troops are, in effect, considered to have sold themselves into servitude.  

                DADT is not just about LGBT persons.  It's part of a much larger problem.  Which is not to argue it shouldn't be addressed.  It should be revoked because it shouldn't have been passed in the first place.  As long as it isn't repealed, it can be perceived as legitimate.  Congress needs to confront its error.  It's unjust to rule people out, to deprive individuals of their human rights, unless, by their own unlawful acts they have deserved some punishment.  The deprivation of rights is supposed to be used to punish misbehavior.  Declaring all kinds of natural behavior criminal and then punishing people on that basis is wrong and immoral.

                There is, in fact, a large portion of the populations that not only continues to be deprived of human rights, but whose deprivation is justified, under the law, by them being owned by other persons.  I'm referring to children.  Children are considered the property of their parents until they are "emancipated."  See, there's something really pernicious about an ownership society.  Persons that are owned are less important.  Things that are owned are more important.
                Anyway, that children are considered the property of their parents no doubt accounts for the fact that the U.S., along with Somalia, is the only nation that has refused to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

                The abuse being heaped on LGBT is part of a much bigger problem.  I don't expect that to be a consolation.  Just as I don't expect it to be welcome information that there's a whole lot of change by a whole lot of people involved and that LGBT persons can do almost nothing to bring about change.  The law, unfortunately, is not just.  The law is impersonal and impervious to moral suasion.  The rule of law can be more tyrannical than any flesh and blood tyrant whose mortality provides a certain end.  The injustice of the law can persist for centuries, and has.  Individual choice is impotent in the face of legal deprivation.

                The idea that a person is in control of his/her own fate is a grand illusion.  It lets abusive persons escape responsibility for their abusive behavior.

                Have I been understood?  Perhaps yes, perhaps no.  I do know some people do not appreciate being disabused of their illusions or even being told the truth.  I learned that when, at the age of 21, I told my college roommate how babies are made.  I thought I should tell her because she'd just started dating and obviously didn't have any idea about relations between men and women.  When I described the process in very practical terms, she flew into a rage and told me I was wrong.  She did not want to know.  Perhaps that's why they call them "facts of life."  Some people are really resistant to facts.  They prefer their beliefs and illusions.

                Whether I am wrong or right, I can't help being understood.  That's somebody else's problem.

                The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

                by hannah on Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 01:34:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Again, to observe that people are one way (0+ / 0-)

          or another or prefer one thing or another is not to make a value judgment or even a suggestion that they should be other than they are.

          I do think that some people are averse to making choices and are more comfortable going with the flow.  Making choices is risky because there's always the possibility of choosing wrong.  It's not possible to know the outcome for certain ahead of time.

          People who prefer to be obedient and do what they are told, can feel secure in knowing that obedience is considered good and so, even if the outcome is negative, they did good and can blame whoever directed them for being wrong.

          The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

          by hannah on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 04:48:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's no "choice" involved here. (0+ / 0-)

            Apparently you are incapable of getting that through your head.  People do not "choose" to be LGBT.  

            The rest of what you have written is so general as to be meaningless.

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

            by FogCityJohn on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 05:46:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  True. People do not choose what they are. (0+ / 0-)

              The can choose what they do.  What one is does not automatically determine what one does.  What is done to one, does not determine what one does in response.
              When a person is self-directed, that person's actions are not directed by someone else, unless the person chooses to be so directed.  Some people, I contend, are incapable of making choices.  They also don't know that they are being driven by forces that are not under their control.  The instinct-driven do not know.  They are not aware of the difference between knowing and feeling.  It's like the color blind not seeing the color green and not knowing what green looks like.

              Socrates said "know thyself."  Some people simply don't.

              The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

              by hannah on Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 12:33:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I can only guess (0+ / 0-)

                that you want props for sounding terribly intellectual.  So given.  As to what your gibberish has to do with LGBTs, sexual orientation, or anything related to the topic at hand remains an utter mystery.

                As does the meaning of this tautology:

                What one is does not automatically determine what one does.

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

                by FogCityJohn on Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 03:29:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  This really was an instance of mis-speaking (6+ / 0-)

    unlike 99% of the people who are simply trying to backtrack or cover up when they say they mis-spoke.

    •  I wouldn't say misspeaking (13+ / 0-)

      per se but tone deafness. As in, I think she was possibly in over her head on gay issues, as is the whole WH, and she probably shouldn't have weighed in at all.

      Just call me firepants.

      by indiemcemopants on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:39:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My hypothesis... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        craigkg, CajunBoyLgb

        ... is the admin. talks to lot's of religious groups regularly and it is through these conversations that she probably picked up the "lifestyle choice" insult (unknowingly). If that's the case it shows they are more interested in courting the religious right than meeting with some of their biggest supporters - could also be why so little has been done by them to move our issues forward. Just a hypothesis.

        •  Interesting Theory... (0+ / 0-)

          And consistent with that whole "God's in the mix" bullshit blowing of smoke and kisses up religious leaders' collective asses.

          How about respecting the Constitution's guarantees of not establishing a state religion AND treating ALL citizens equally under the law?!

          When I have the same right to have MY marriage respected on the Federal level as Richard "Night Stalker" Ramirez's, or Susan "Crazy Sadie" Atkins', then I'll be satisfied. Mostly.

          Until then, I'm gonna howl and yell and demand my equality. Right. Fucking. Now.

          We are one couple of the CA 18,000. We are delighted to be able to welcome MORE into our family. FULL EQUALITY FOR LGBTQ CITIZENS. NOW.

          by CajunBoyLgb on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 01:01:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not so sure. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emsprater, coffejoe

        Jarrett is one smart person. Have you heard the story of how she met the Obamas? From Wikipedia:

        In 1991 Ms. Jarrett, as Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Richard Daley, interviewed Michelle Robinson for an opening in the mayor’s office, and offered her the job immediately.[15] Ms. Robinson asked for time to think and also asked Jarrett to meet her fiancé, Barack Obama.

        She became their mentor in Chicago politics and society. She's hella smart and has a B.A. in Psych from Stanford and a law degree. Her liberal/progressive credentials are very strong. I don't believe she's ignorant or unsupportive of LGBT issues. However, if she's more supportive of marriage equality than the President, you'll never hear it publicly.

        I take her at her word. She's definitely someone I want to keep as an ally, even if it's on the gang who can't shoot straight!

        Coming soon--GaylyKos, a new community diary series for LGBT Kossacks.

        by homogenius on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:02:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have to disagree to an extent (14+ / 0-)

    There are degrees of homophobia and Jarrett is no where near the level of homophobia of a Fred Phelps or Tony Perkins, but I can't help but believe this was either another example of even the most liberal of liberals being brainwashed into using right wing terminology for LGBT's or, worse, a Freudian slip revealing what she actually believes. I also take issue with it being the non-apology apology: "I apologize to any who have taken offense at my poor choice of words." Just apologize. Don't include this "if you were offended" crap that so many politicians nowadays put into their "apologies." It weakens the statement and makes it seem the problem is more with those that were offended rather than with the words or act of the person apologizing.

    This event also adds yet another data point in the mountain of evidence that this administration is truly inept when it comes to dealing with LGBT issues and I agree completely the lack of communication with the LGBT community lies at the root of the problem. There are no senior advisors who are LGBT. The LGBT liaison seems to only liaise with HRC and doesn't appear to have any actual influence within the administration. Obama hasn't given an interview to the LGBT press while in office, 633 days. In fact the last one I could find was an interview with Kerry Eleveld in April 2008. That's a long time to not have that kind of communication. Obama's only LGBT related speeches have been to HRC, which is not representative of the community as a whole, and to a selected guest list at the White House. This lack of communication is part of what is fueling the furor over their actions and inactions on LGBT issues. A lot of the consternation on these issues could have been brunted a long time ago if they would be more engaging with the community, but they have steadfastly declined and then have the audacity to complain about the community's frustration with them.

    In short, Ms. Jarrett, President Obama and this administration still don't get it.

    "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

    by craigkg on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:32:43 AM PDT

    •  Well, she's clearly ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CajunBoyLgb

      ... less than "fierce" on the homophobe scale.

      So's her boss.

    •  I mostly agree with you (7+ / 0-)

      actually and this is a great comment. I guess I just think it was more of an ignorant, tone deaf statement than a homophobic one. But still, it shouldn't have been made at all - especially when as you pointed out the WH doesn't talk to gay groups.

      If they're that uncomfortable with the whole thing that they'd make an obviously ignorant statement then they either need to talk to gay groups, have a gay person at the WH vet their speeches to take out comments like that, or just don't address our community at all.

      Building bridges between the party and LGBT voters takes a lot of work and understanding and I feel like they've only bothered doing a small part of the work. And that leads to SNAFUs like this.

      Just call me firepants.

      by indiemcemopants on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:45:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We certainly agree (4+ / 0-)

        Before I consider someone a "homophobe," which is a severe label, akin to "racist," and one this straight guy's not entirely comfortable tossing around at all, I need a little more than "seems to be uncomfortable talking about these issues."

        So, no, I wasn't about to go there over this.

        As I said in my comment below, though, a picture is beginning to emerge from the White House and it's not so cool and a little disturbing.

      •  I'd hate to be in a public position where (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp

        every sentence was analyzed for gaffes.  This is why politicians are so stilted and cautious, and why ignorant wingnuts like Paladino are welcomed not just for their entertainment value but as a breath of fresh air for their shoot from the hip style.

        Jarret's offensive words obviously don't reflect her views.

      •  "or just don't address our community at all" (4+ / 0-)

        Or as Dan Savage put it, "...you could at least have the simple human decency to shut the fuck up."

      •  Oh, and I don't think the White House... (5+ / 0-)

        ...feels a need to build any bridges with gay voters.  I think they think we're so desperate that we'll just go along with anything they throw at us.  Lots of not just the politician class but regular Democratic voters counter with statements of "where else are you going to go" and "who else are you going to vote for" whenever someone complains about only receiving crumbs from Democrats.  And that back-burner perspective reveals a serious lack of recognition that we are talking about civil rights and discrimination.  It's not just about there being homophobic fucks in society, it's about the fact that the government actively discriminates against a group of people, and there aren't enough representatives of the people in the halls of power willing to change it.  They're ok with the change if it happens on its own, but they're not willing to fight to end it.  And if the end occurs, even without their help or with them having to be dragged kicking and screaming the whole way, they'll in the end pat themselves on the back and pretend that they did it.

  •  Reports say that Aaberg came out (6+ / 0-)

    at the age of 13 (http://wcco.com/health/glbt.teen.suicide.2.1910636.html ).  Being gay may not be a choice, but being Out IS a choice, and a courageous one too.  

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

    by lgmcp on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:35:26 AM PDT

    •  Being out isn't always a choice either (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel, vacantlook, craigkg, skrekk, lgmcp, T100R

      Tyler Clementi is the most recent name that comes to mind.

      I know what you meant, though, and basically agree. Just saying...

      "Yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security." -Obama

      by heart of a quince on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:40:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't come out by choice. (5+ / 0-)

        Against my will, my brother saw a book in my bedroom about coming out.  My brother, sister, and mom apparently spent a week talking about it behind my back, which included my mom going into my room and hunting for and finding that book and others.

        I wasn't ready to come out, which was why I was reading a book about coming out in the first place: to educate myself about the process.

        But my brother then used my desire to see a movie to entrap me in his car for 3 hours and confronted me about the book.  I had no means of escape, and I had to defend myself and accusations that I was going agaisnt God and that I needed ex-gay therapy for those 3 hours.

    •  I agree and disagree. (8+ / 0-)

      I think that being closeted is survival and I also think at a certain point, people come out because it tears at them relentlessly for years and they just can't take the lying anymore. At least that's what happened to me. I couldn't function or live a normal life when I was closeted and I was scared every day.

      So I agree that coming out is kind of a choice, because one can stay closeted, but I guess I don't think it's always a choice. Like I said, I HAD to come out or god only knows what I might have done to myself. That doesn't lead me to the idea that I had much of a choice in the matter.

      Just call me firepants.

      by indiemcemopants on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:49:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, it the freedom of leaving the closet (12+ / 0-)

        The humorist Bruce Villanch had a great quote a few years ago:

        No one chooses to be gay, but gays do, often, choose to be straight. They can be comfortable enough in their lives if not in their skins. They choose not to jeopardize their lives and careers, their positions in their communities.

        Eventually the gnawing within becomes too painful, and they can't stand it. They no longer have a choice. And that, the right wing will tell us, is when we choose to be gay.  But, we know different. It's when we choose to be free.

        "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

        by craigkg on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:53:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But choosing to be free is a choice (0+ / 0-)

          as we see from others who do not -- Larry Craig and Ted Haggard come to mind.

          I always thought I could have compromised and lived as a straight lady without TOO much suffering and compromise.  But being hard-headed, I chose not to have ANY, and I've never been sorry.

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

          by lgmcp on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:09:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And by having DADT... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          decca, craigkg, emsprater, Willa Rogers

          ...our government and we as a country force that gnawing and pain on people.

          Since straight people are the majority, if DADT targetted straight people instead of gay people, DADT would be gone instantly.  If straight soldiers had to endure what we demand gay soldiers to endure, DADT would be gone.  No study.  No constipated Senate.  There would be actual action.

          •  Could . Not . Agree . More (4+ / 0-)

            Did you watch Rachel Maddow last night? It was wrenching watching her interviews with those two service members. It is one thing to know about the level of pain and agony this policy creates, but it is much more powerful when you hear them talk about it and specifics of how it affects them. That's also why the letter campaign SLDN did in the ramp up to the DADT debate in Congress was so power, powerful enough that the WH had to do something and engineering the weaselly "compromise" that was added to the NDAA.

            "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

            by craigkg on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:31:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I prefer to frame it this way... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ebohlman

      The choice is whether you want to lie about who you really are and pretend to be straight.

      •  On the other hand ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp

        some of us who are not 'all out' don't pretend to be straight, either.

        We simply don't share our personal lives with coworkers, and don't make up alternate stories either.

        It's a DADT  type of existence for some of us in public safety positions, just to be able to survive.

        If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

        by emsprater on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:36:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It is not, however a (0+ / 0-)

      "lifestyle" choice.

      The schools will probably teach kindergartners to play nice with everyone. — Will Phillips, on how marriage equality would affect education

      by ebohlman on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:52:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a life choice (0+ / 0-)

        but yes, "-style" is trivializing and demeaning.

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

        by lgmcp on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 01:27:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Disagree (0+ / 0-)

          I did not choose my orientation.  I was born with it.  There was no weighing of alternatives, no decisionmaking, no "choosing" at all.  I simply am.

          One can frame coming out as a choice, but even there the word is extremely misleading.  Choice implies freedom to decide between two or more alternatives.  One can "choose" to remain closeted, but one must accept the psychological damage that comes from that kind of deception.  And the person making that "choice" is doing so under intense pressure from outside forces that are largely beyond his control.  In such circumstances, it is inappropriate to speak of choice.  A mugger may approach me, put a gun to my head, and demand my money.  When I hand over my wallet, no one would seriously contend that I have made a "choice" worthy of the name.  Where coercion and duress are present, it is inaccurate to speak of choice.

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

          by FogCityJohn on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 05:56:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm glad to hear that she's abandoned (6+ / 0-)

    this RW frame, and recognized it was inappropriate. Good on her.

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:38:20 AM PDT

    •  Exactly! I'm very (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      craigkg, shaharazade

      pleased. Well maybe not "very" but almost. She could have just let it go, especially during election season. I'm not sure the WH wants to be seen as pandering to the gays. But she apologized anyway and even said it's not a choice.

      And to be honest? I'm happiest about the fact that she included gender identity in her apology. That's HUGE to me. I'm not transgender but I have trans friends and it's freakin' cool that the WH would recognize that gender identity isn't a choice and implicitly that you don't "turn yourself into the opposite sex" through surgery, that you just ARE who you are.

      Just call me firepants.

      by indiemcemopants on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:52:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I just wish ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      craigkg, Willa Rogers

      her apology had been a real apology and not designed to dismiss the issue by the old canard 'those who were offended' as if it's their fault they took offense.

      Why can't people in positions of power simply say 'I was wrong, I'm sorry', without the addition of the implied 'what I did was acceptable to the majority' qualifier?

      If it's served to us and it's unpalatable but we smack our lips like it is the best thing we ever ate, how will the chef know to change the dish?

      by emsprater on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:39:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think she is homophobic (19+ / 0-)

    But there is still a problem when so many members of Obama's administrations simply don't know what they are talking about when it comes to LGBT issues.

    It's sort of like an all-white administration during the civil-rights era that tries to be supportive, but nevertheless wonders on occasion why people have to be so uppity.

    John McCain is deeply disappointed that Barack Obama has failed to follow through on John McCain's campaign promises.

    by tiponeill on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:42:06 AM PDT

  •  I'm glad she apologized (13+ / 0-)

    but the repeated tone deafness of this administration to quite a few of their constituencies is getting really, really old.

    "Yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security." -Obama

    by heart of a quince on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:42:49 AM PDT

  •  I can believe she misspoke (8+ / 0-)

    She was clearly trying to say something positive, talking about how Aaberg's parents supported him, and used a really bad choice of words. But I dont think she had a malicious intent.  She previously spoke at the HRC dinner and met Justin Aaberg's mother there, I believe.

  •  Start with ... (8+ / 0-)

    ... Rick Warren and do a little compilation of this kind of crap from this administration.

    It may flicker a little and remain a bit hazy around the edges, but a picture is appearing, one many at dkos may not care to acknowledge.

  •  I'm quite sure that homosexuality is not a choice (8+ / 0-)

    but even if it were, that wouldn't make a difference to me. People should be free to choose what they do and with whom they do it.

    I want to live forever. So far, so good.

    by NMDad on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:50:20 AM PDT

    •  That's how I feel (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      craigkg, lgmcp, NMDad, PhilJD

      about it. If it were a choice, then so what? Why does the government think they can regulate our relationship choices?

      Just call me firepants.

      by indiemcemopants on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:58:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I support those who CHOOSE to be gay (0+ / 0-)

        as well as those who were born gay. But a choice is much more thoughtful!

        •  Please let me know... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emsprater

          ...when you find someone who can actually choose to have their eyes dilate, their heartbeat and respiration rate change, the capilaries of their skin flush with blood, and release specific brain chemicals all at demand.  Then you will have found someone for whom sexuality is a choice.

          •  yup, that's right (0+ / 0-)

            But I think it's important to stand up and say I CHOOSE to be gay as a political statement. The argument about it not being a choice is like, well, OK, I guess if they're BORN that way then, well, OK, cause geez whiz, if anyone were to, like, um WANT to be that well, well, um, who'd ever WANT that...eeewwww!

            By making the CHOICE statement you leapfrog over the is it innate or not argument... go right past it.

  •  As a straight man, I've caught myself saying (12+ / 0-)

    "lifestyle" or "choice" before as well.  I know that sexual orientation isn't a choice.  I know that "the gay lifestyle" is really a slur intended to further the lie of "homosexual by choice".

    But that phrasing has been around so long and used so much that you sometimes fall into it without realizing it.  It's a part of straight privilege.  I don't think that she thought about implications of the phrase before she said it.

    Now that she's been called on it and apologized, she'll think more carefully about what she says and the true meanings of certain phrases.  I'm willing to bet that others in the administration will do the same.  This is good news.  It's how we break down the barriers of privilege.

    The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

    by KroneckerD on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:50:28 AM PDT

    •  Privilege, I agree. (5+ / 0-)

      They don't HAVE to worry about if they're saying the right thing to gays or not.

      Just call me firepants.

      by indiemcemopants on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:59:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  By apologizing, though, she's admitting that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Phoenix Woman, TiaRachel, vacantlook

        she does care.  I've seen a lot of people (including myself) get called out for comments that display white/straight/male privilege.  The response of most is to get defensive and say that they "didn't do anything wrong" and they "didn't mean it that way" and "how dare you accuse me of racism/homophobia/sexism etc."  Thus begins an ugly argument which angers everyone involved.  Those who don't get defensive usually stop, apologize, and learn from it.  They're also more likely to avoid mistakes like that in the future by taking the time to think about the implications of their words.

        Jarrett's isn't a non-apology apology.  It's an "I was wrong and here's why" apology.  To me, that means a lot.

        (I realize that I'm projecting a bit here, so you don't need to point it out)

        The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

        by KroneckerD on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:25:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Internalizing RW framing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CajunBoyLgb, KroneckerD

      It is perhaps inevitable that people will use this language when they don't think things through.  The right wing pushes its framing hard, and it becomes a sort of lingua franca in discussing an issue.

      To take an unrelated example, look at how many people now say "death tax" instead of "estate tax."

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

      by FogCityJohn on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 01:01:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  (bangs head against wall) (0+ / 0-)
  •  Easier to apologize than to clarify/defend. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, lgmcp

    But I will clarify/defend:

    Being out v. closeted is a lifestyle choice.

    Being monogamous v. polyamorous is a lifestyle choice.

    Being public v. private is a lifestyle choice.

    Jarrett was making the point that being "out" is easier when you're in a supportive community.  And sometimes, when you transition to an unsupportive community, your way of life becomes harder.

    Hard to be Amish in Beverly Hills.

    Hard to be black in rural Alabama.

    Hard to be a woman in sports journalism.

    Etc.

    Jarrett has a lifetime of understanding how lifestyle, career, and personal identity intertwine.

    19 days to Election Day. Sign up at OFA today.

    by Benintn on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:54:20 AM PDT

    •  I've heard this framing from Republicans (19+ / 0-)

      Being out v. closeted is a lifestyle choice.

      And I don't buy it. This is really, "If you keep your 'icky' behavior hidden we don't care. But of course we'll constantly make it difficult for you. You can't say why you're not married. You can't ever be seen holding hands in public. And we'll 'accidently' out you and persecute you for it"

      That's not a choice, that's living in fear.

      Those who forget the lessons of history are probably watching Glenn Beck.

      by ontheleftcoast on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:00:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  By no means is that what I meant. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, lgmcp

        And this is why, as I said above, it's easier to apologize than to clarify/defend.

        Many members of the LGBT community choose not to be "out" in certain settings.  I'm not saying it's healthy, ideal, good, etc.  This is not a judgment on whether or not a closeted person is better or worse than a non-closeted person.

        I've got a therapy client who for months did not disclose his heterosexual relationship with an older woman.  He felt fearful that disclosing this relationship would lead to disapproval and consternation from his religious community, family, and colleagues.

        Eventually, he decided to "come out".  A big part of that choice was based on the fact that his girlfriend basically said, "I'm tired of being your dirty little secret.  It's like you're ashamed of your relationship with me, and that's hurtful to me."

        We all have a personal right to privacy.  That is a lifestyle choice.

        That's what I meant.  And it's what I believe Jarrett meant, especially taken in the context of her remarks about Aaberg and his family's support.

        19 days to Election Day. Sign up at OFA today.

        by Benintn on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:17:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry but I don't (18+ / 0-)

      think you're being fair. Being out v. closeted isn't necessarily just a choice. For me it definitely wasn't. I came out because I couldn't live like that any longer. It was either come out or commit suicide. That's no choice.

      Just call me firepants.

      by indiemcemopants on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:01:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ah, so... (9+ / 0-)

      ...failing to lie about yourself is a lifestyle choice, eh?

      So, you're out there telling blacks that failing to bleach their skin and straighten their hair is a lifestyle choice -- correct?  

      •  Well if they can "pass" he might (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        justmy2, Alec82

        But of course he's also willing to tell them not to live in rural Alabama. Nevermind the fact they might have generations of family living there, it's "their choice" to stay.

        Those who forget the lessons of history are probably watching Glenn Beck.

        by ontheleftcoast on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:11:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think it's a mistake to cede all our personal (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soccergrandmom

        autonomy to a bunch of right-wing shibboleths.  Of COURSE we have the right and the ability to make choices and of course we all make different ones.  I doubt you feel any need to condemn a black person with straightened hair over one with dreads over one with a natural do.  Just because the right wing has attempted to co-opt this frame doesn't mean we should allow them to.  Choice is NOT a dirty word.

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

        by lgmcp on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:15:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In the context of sexual orientation... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TiaRachel, craigkg, lgmcp, PhilJD

          ..."choice" is inaccurate and hurtful.

          Implying or directly stating that it's a choice causes desperate people to go down a road of deep harm to themselves, both psychologically and physically, because they're left to think that if it's a choice, then all they have to do is find the magical method, and they'll cease finding the same sex attractive.

          •  I acknowledge the potential for harm you describe (0+ / 0-)

            but at the same time I've thought about this long and hardand I am forced to the unpopular conclusion that "NOT a choice, never, no-how, no way" is an unwise and inaccurate stance.

            The concept of the Kinsey scale is a fairly well-accepted model, right?  A few folks purely Het, a few folks purely Homo, quite a few folks possibly right on the nail 50/50, but most of us somewhere else on the spectrum.   Obviously if one is  98% gay it would be cruel to lead one to expect to "overcome" that.  And if one is maybe 5% gay, chances are strong that one would tned succumb to the lure of heterosexual privilege and never fully express that part of oneself.  But what about if one is, well, gay enough to be more gay than not, but not so gay as to make a het lifestyle unbearable? In that case, choice MUST and DOES enter into it.  

            As individuals, yes, each of us has a fixed and innate tendency.  But as a GROUP, we have many varied degrees of just-how-gay-or-bi are we.  And in a world that demands from each individual a binary allegiance, are you or aren't you, that imples choice.

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

            by lgmcp on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:52:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, and (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lgmcp

              we need to get to the point in social evolution to acknowledge and respect people for who they are however they got there. Embrace our differences, point them out & celebrate them.

            •  Kinsey's study revealed... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              craigkg

              ...that most people are in one degree or another bisexual.  Bisexuals can no more control to whom they are attracted than straight or gay people can.  One does not choose attraction.

              •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

                And if one's innate attractions are mixed, one is presented with very real alternatives on what to do about that in a world not overly accepting of nuance or indeterminacy.  And it is entirely logical that just as many gay people are mostly-gay as are purely-gay.  

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

                by lgmcp on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:30:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  turn it around (0+ / 0-)

            "I choose to gay because I want to to be gay... I love being gay... Being gay is a great thing". We need to reclaim the language and the arguments (such as your notion, which is commonly held that gay needs a fixin').

            It's similar to African Americans that could pass as white and did so in the past - now I think, because of the change that has occurred, this is a lot less likely, more likely that they would choose to point out their African American heritage, and proudly. Another example, A friend's father anglicized his last name for the business he ran under his name to avoid being identified as Jewish, in NYC in the 60s (!). My friend, conversely, running her own business under her name feels no need to do the same - it is a CHOICE to point out identity to help make it a NON-ISSUE at some point in our history.

    •  Tell that to the young man who jumped off (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, craigkg, ontheleftcoast

      a bridge...

      Being out v. closeted is a lifestyle choice.

      "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

      by justmy2 on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:44:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'll try once (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      decca, rserven, CajunBoyLgb, Keori

      Whether you understand it or not, your comment is going to dismay and enrage most LGBTs.  We've spent so much of our lives fighting one of the primary instruments of heterosexual oppression -- the closet -- and then you show up to tell us that being closeted vs. being out is a "lifestyle choice."

      Implicit in the concept of choice is freedom.  Freedom from coercion, freedom from duress.  Choice necessarily implies that I can do one thing or the other.  The entire purpose of the closet is to deny LGBTs that choice.  By attaching negative consequences to an LGBT's decision to live openly and honestly, it denies us choice.  The consequence is particularly severe in the case of transfolk, for whom "choosing" to remain in the closet means of life endless suffering, trapped in a body that does not match their gender identity.  For more on this particular point, I urge you to read rserven's excellent diary, Death on the Halfshell.

      That you airily dismiss this as some kind of choice shows that you have a great deal to learn about LGBT issues.  I would strongly suggest that you refrain from commenting further on matters such as this until you have educated yourself enough to discuss them intelligently.

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

      by FogCityJohn on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 01:11:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I fail to see how "lifestyle" isn't bashing (5+ / 0-)

    in general any more. I rarely see it used for anything other than gay-bashing.

    On Sara Palin: "That woman...is an Idiot." -- Keith Olbermann

    by allergywoman on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:07:08 AM PDT

  •  This is very good Valerie... (6+ / 0-)

    When I came out of denial regarding my son, I used to say lifestyle choice as well.  I raised him and saw first hand that he was born gay.  I think it just the conditioning we recieve about the "other". It took a while before I understood what I was saying and why.  Good for her!

  •  I think she meant OPEN lifestyle choice (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, fhcec, lgmcp, coffejoe

    The original statement sounds to me like Valerie Jarrett meant not that being gay is a lifestyle choice but that coming out and living openly as a gay person is a lifestyle choice.

    Choice being out vs. in the closet.

    From what I've heard from the older generation of GLBT people is that sometimes the choice is to listen to the inner voice trying to tell you that you are not what the dominant heterosexual group wants or imagines you to be. One gay friend told me he was in his late 20s before he realized he was gay and the choice for him was to stop trying to conform, to start finding where he would fit in.

    Media Reform Action Link http://stopbigmedia.com/

    by LNK on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:09:17 AM PDT

  •  The apology seemed sincere - although (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, ebohlman

    one can argue "lifestyle" is the problem word more than choice is ... but yes the Administration has been poor at communicating on these issues.  

  •  If the WH is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CajunBoyLgb, heart of a quince

    tone deaf and not homophobic why are they appealing the DADT court ruling and injunction? A lot of what they say in all areas of equal rights and civil human rights is not just tone deaf it's a reflection of what they do. I see an administration that fights like hell via the DoJ to suppress rights and protect abusers and then proclaims it supports equality.    

    'But elections are not enough. In a true democracy, it is what happens between elections that is the true measure of how a government treats its people.' Barack Obama

       

    •  I don't think defending (6+ / 0-)

      the laws is homophobia, but when they use comparisons to incest and pedophilia, it definitely is.

      But re: defending the laws, that's just tone deafness and privilege. They don't HAVE to think about the effects it has on LGBT people.

      Just call me firepants.

      by indiemcemopants on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:22:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He's the freaking president. (4+ / 0-)

        His administration is the one in power.
        Their job -- arguably their #1 job -- is to understand the effect that laws have on American citizens.

        If a bloody constitutional lawyer doesn't understand that, it's because he chooses not to.  

        •  Not just that (5+ / 0-)

          It's the WAY they handle things which is the issue. Take the fact that Gates feels the need to appeal the recent DADT overturn. He couldn't wait 3 weeks until making this announcement so as not to further depress the base? it's not like people are kicked off the battle field instantly, there is a whole process. So enforcement could have been slowed to virtually nill until the election - but no, the GLBT base wasn't owed even that.

          As for Jarret, I always get the feeling she rolls her eyes when she does this and wishes the gays would just shut up and hand over the checks. She has never seemed passionate about this issue, more like, "fine, I have to comment on this, so here you are, damn it.."

          Change takes time, so do donations. Nada until DADT is really, fully repealed.

          by gladkov on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:48:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Remind me again (5+ / 0-)

            He couldn't wait 3 weeks until making this announcement so as not to further depress the base?

            Gates was in which party? I doubt Gates gives a rat's ass about anyone in the democratic base. File that under reason #937 why he shouldn't have been picked as SoD by Obama in the first place. However, the administration sure as hell should give at LEAST a rat's ass...

            "Yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security." -Obama

            by heart of a quince on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:22:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I have found it very interesting how, now (4+ / 0-)

    that the general public if forced to talk about these things that were previously never talked about, religion, politics, race and gender, many people are struggling how to phrase their comments.

    In recent days on progressive radio I have noticed both Ed Schultz and Thom Hartmann having the same problem of how make reference in the born gay, made gay, unmade gay, nature/nurture debate.

    Both of them have basically compromised on
    we don't choose out parents' themes, as though is safe to either blame or praise our parents for bestowing a
    gay' gene in the offspring.

    It is really painful to listen to nut very healthy I think. Forcing us to live in the real world and not a world constructed from society's conventions.

  •  Good... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, craigkg, lgmcp, PhilJD

    ... when I first heard about this I was disappointed but still wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. I think the diarist nailed the issue on the head with this: "I do think that the White House is uncomfortable discussing gay issues and they don't talk to enough gay groups to find out the best way to communicate their message to us."

  •  I guess (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    craigkg, CajunBoyLgb

    Call me a cynic but I have little faith in anything this admin does on GLBT issues anymore. Allegedly the big changes are just around the corner. I again can't even fathom why Obama, in his inaugural address, reached out to Muslims abroad (which I applaud) but not to tax-paying GLBT citizens in this country who supported him overwhelmingly. It would have taken 2 seconds, cost nothing, required no approval for congress - it really kind of set the tone for what is to come.
    If the election in 3 weeks were for president, I would leave the president slot empty. He has not yet earned my vote for 2012.

    Change takes time, so do donations. Nada until DADT is really, fully repealed.

    by gladkov on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:43:33 AM PDT

  •  A 'strong statement'? (5+ / 0-)

    "I meant no disrespect to the LGBT community, and I apologize to any who have taken offense at my poor choice of words," Jarrett said. "Sexual orientation and gender identity are not a choice, and anyone who knows me and my work over the years knows that I am a firm believer and supporter in the rights of LGBT Americans."

    Replace highlighted words with "to all for" and you've got a real apology.  Anything that includes "who may have been" or "who have taken" isn't an apology.  It's putting the offense on the one offended, not on the offender.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:45:04 AM PDT

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