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Governor Mike Huckabee felt compelled to shoot his mouth off on Twitter this week.

The response was swift and unvarnished from @justincoit:
  If the number of retweets (people who re-sent the message to their own followers) is any indicator, Justin succinctly spoke for many. It was one of the most retweeted messages of the day. A similar response to Donald Trump's declaration got me thinking about the increasing passion felt on this issue and where the evolving messaging is going.

I, myself, was more inclined to rub the Governor's nose in the fact that he will never be more than an also ran in the race for the Presidency that he so craves. He failed in 2008 and I have full confidence he will fail in 2012.

Note the #NOH8 hashtag. Gay rights activist have moved pretty effectively toward branding homophobia as equal to hate. In part, Adam Bouska has created a nifty catchphrase, enticing visuals and roped some pretty big names into his campaign.

Envisioned originally to fight Proposition 8, NOH8 has expanded to serve as short hand for opposing LGBT discrimination and endorsing marriage equality. And the overall branding of LGBT discrimination as hateful has been pretty darn effective speaking purely from a PR/change-the-tone-of-the-conversation view.

In part because it rings so true. The things our opponent say are pretty darn hateful as this marriage equality opponent said in the course of State hearings in New Hampshire:

"We're talking about taking the penis of one man and putting it in the rectum of another man and wriggling it around in excrement. " Rep. Elliott said.

And this sign proudly carried by a marriage equality opponent at at National Organization for Marriage rally this summer:
 

If winning messaging is homophobia=hatred and discrimination=homophobia, what to do when our opponents sound the same as our allies? Compare these statements:

Marriage = one man + one woman
"I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman."

The second quote is from Barack Obama at the Saddleback Church, August 17, 2008.

What to do about the President? If we feel free to so aggressively challenge Governor Huckabee and Donald Trump, what does it say about us if we excuse Barack Obama for holding essentially the same view?

My friend David Badash who runs the New Civil Rights Movement blog recently asked his readers: "Do you consider someone who does not support marriage equality, or "gay marriage," to be anti-gay?"

 

I know, internet polls, preaching to the choir all that. This isn't about empirical data so much as a comment on swiftly changing moods. Aggressively re-framing the debate that anti-marriage = anti-gay frames the argument into a simple binary choice.

Perhaps it's a outgrowth of Prop 8 tearing the marriage right out from our hands that has many in the LGBT community feeling a little more confrontational. Maybe the perspective has transitioned from "May we please?" to "Well, why the Hell not?" If this is becoming an ingrained attitude, what do we do about the President?

The right has never laid down arms in the culture war. And the gay community is increasingly ready to take the fight directly to them aggressively. Courage Campaign as taken to stalking them right back, as mercilessly as they've stalked the gays over the years. The picture above is one of the iconic achievements of this strategy. They have effectively shone a light on the depths of hatred that fuel groups like Family Research Council, American Family Association and NOM.

The aggressive pursuit for equality has also centered on Chick-Fil-A corporation, with Equality Matters reporting that corporation's anti-marriage equality activities have made them targets for several viral videos and movements to oust their outlets from college campus food courts nationwide.

But the White House is still waffling around in the middle, searching for the triangulated sweet spot between full equality and bigotry. In a one-two punch, too closely timed to be coincidental, Biden called marriage equality "inevitable" and Obama's talked about "evolving."

If Biden and Obama's statements were intended as trial balloons, it's possible, perhaps likely, the intended focus group was not in fact the gay community, but rather the far right. Was a test to see how loud the right would squawk if they felt they were losing ground in the White House?

Within the gay community, these statements seem to have stirred the pot more than tamp down the tension. Human Rights Campaign, of all LGBT organizations long the most deferential to the White House kicked off a campaign to lobby Obama to endorse marriage equality (again).

These declarations may also have spurred Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade. He's pressed Robert Gibbs to clarify how Obama has evolved from supporting marriage equality in 1996 to opposing it now.

 
The first time he tried to cut the presser short. The initial exchange was rather embarrassing. Johnson presses him to answer the 1996 question, but Gibbs won't.

Blade: But do you dispute the accuracy of this questionnaire response?

Gibbs: Again, I’m happy to send you the several thousand clips of which went around during the course of 2008 on a whole host of those issues.

I'm confused. Those clips aren't going to verify or dispute the authenticity of the questionnaire? Johnson circled back within the week, again asking if there was a "political motivation" for changing his position. Gates still hasn't answered the question. Johnson observed days later:

Gibbs didn't call on me today. Hmm...

Similar standstills have occurred when people have tried to press the administration to opine on the Constitutionality of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and Defense of Marriage Act. Though the admin was not shy about declaring Arizona's immigration law unconstitutional, they claim it would be out of their purvey to do the same on DADT and DOMA. Chris Geidner summed up the simplicity of the DOMA Constitutionality issue with a three word challenge in the Huffington Post: Answer the Question. (The administration never did.)

They can try, but they can't duck these questions forever.

Obama sent a message on leadership to our Arab allies. From today's New York Times:

“...if you are governing these countries, you’ve got to get out ahead of change. You can’t be behind the curve.”
Well said, sir. I agree.

Change is coming here too, as well as abroad, and fast.

There's an axiom, "Lead, follow or get out of the way." Unfortunately for Obama, as one of the most influential leaders in the country, the last option really isn't available to him when the fight gets heated.

And his current opposition to marriage is standing firmly in the way.

Because rather than making it better, Obama has helped to add to the public's confusion on this issue. Continuing on at the Saddleback Church he also said:

"Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix."

Of course, this is what National Organization for Marriage, the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church are all saying, the State has to respect that "God's in the mix." But this isn't a Church issue. No Church is being asked to perform any rituals that violate their tenets, any more than the Civil Rights Act compelled Catholic Churches to marry Jews.

Carly Fiorina, playing to an electorate rather evenly divided on the issue, mitigated her opposition to marriage equality by using Obama for political cover saying:

"And actually, the position I’ve consistently espoused is consistent with that of our President."

I frankly don't envy the White House as they head into election 2012. I know they don't want to present a marriage equality candidate to ask for the Electoral Votes of North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Indiana. I don't think anyone can reasonably say that the right wouldn't relish making him a punching bag on that issue.

But, if Barack Obama is re-elected in 2012, he will be President until January 2016. It would behoove his team to give some thought to the reality that the battle for not only marriage equality, but affirmation of LGBT Americans full equality under the law in all walks is very, very likely to come to a heated head under his Presidency. Standing silently on the sidelines or triangulating for his full tenure seems an unworkable strategy. It's an unpleasant reality, but sometimes in life, you really do have to choose a side. The aggressive pursuit of equality is not likely to inconvenience only some players, while giving others a pass.

Increasingly it may be as hard for the White House to duck the left as it would be to duck the right. These are not merely "issues" to many folks, but firmly held beliefs, and the pursuit of tangible benefits. Some feel their lives are being toyed with because it's politically expedient. Many have already experienced a lifetime of political expediency.

We all know the GOP is good at getting what they want by setting up stark binary choices: "Do you want the warrantless wiretapping, or do you want the terrorists to get you?"

Many gay rights activist have set up their own binary choice framing. They're asking America, "Who do you stand with? Do you stand with hate and discrimination? Or do you stand with us?"

What to do about those who won't answer the question?

Update: This just in. From marriage equality repeal hearing in New Hamphsire Jeremy Hooper reports:

 

CPR Action would be, Cornerstone-Action,  the conservative group angling to repeal NH's marriage equality. Kevin Smith was testifying in support of repealing gay people's right to marry.

Of course, he's lying. But the fact that Obama did not actively engage in stopping the repeal of gay marriage in California and Maine rather muddles this issue to the casual observer. Obama, if pressed might say he's against repealing marriage equality in New Hampshire. But he has not, to my knowledge weighed in publicly on the issue. So Kevin Smith can represent Obama's position as he sees fit. Smith is picking the "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman," part of Obama's messaging to support his goal. Perhaps the White House will clarify?

Originally posted to Milk Men And Women on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:14 PM PST.

Also republished by Angry Gays.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't know (18+ / 0-)

    What do you do depends on what you mean by "do".

    I don't think you can force him to do much of anything.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:17:49 PM PST

  •  Do nothing about the president. (41+ / 0-)

    The path to equality doesn't go through the White House or capital. It goes through the states and it goes through the courts. Even when they "supported" the repeal of DADT, look at the drama it became.

    I'm gay and I'm pissed. I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in, I'm not backing down, and I'm not going away. I'm one of the Angry Gays. Deal with it.

    by psychodrew on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:19:09 PM PST

  •  Obama will not change and (12+ / 0-)

    I don't think he can

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:19:18 PM PST

  •  i thought his position in 2008 was (14+ / 0-)

    he didn't support gay marriage but did support civil unions.

    am i wrong about that?

  •  Obama's retreat is poll driven, not principled (32+ / 0-)

    Obama's retreated from supporting marriage equality because his political managers calculated he would win votes by retreating.

    He will support equality if the polls are favorable.

    No principles are involved.

    He's counting votes.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:21:36 PM PST

  •  I agree with Justin. (16+ / 0-)

    Fuck Mike Huckabee.

    I'm gay and I'm pissed. I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in, I'm not backing down, and I'm not going away. I'm one of the Angry Gays. Deal with it.

    by psychodrew on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:23:55 PM PST

  •  I could be parsing words, but (11+ / 0-)

    "I believe" seems to be a statement of just that.  for instance, that can be his personal belief, but he could also believe that legally and Constitutionally, the government should recognize marriage equality, in terms of both the name and rights conferred.

    I hope that made sense instead of sounding like gobbledygook.  

    It's also an "easy out" if someone asks directly "Should the State legalize gay marriage"?

    Just state a personal belief instead of answering the question.

    But that's what everyone does, because they don't want to piss off more people.

    I do believe this, however:  

    This President will NOT veto any legislation which overturns DOMA or legalizes same sex marriage.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:28:26 PM PST

    •  No you make sense (12+ / 0-)
      he could also believe that legally and Constitutionally, the government should recognize marriage equality,

      Although I'd parse the word "could." The question we're grappling with is "should" it.

      So while he may believe it could, he's saying it shouldn't.

      When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:31:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Has he explicitly said this? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        deMemedeMedia, nickrud, Deep Texan

        In legal terms, that is.  I know he has trumpeted the "civil union" meme because it polls well.

        And I stand by my belief that he won't veto an overturning of DOMA or other legislation that explicitly allows same sex MARRIAGE.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

        by zenbassoon on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:37:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have a question (3+ / 0-)

        If I said to you, I don't believe in marriage but I do believe in civil unions, would you find away to frame that to say I don't think gays should be afforded the same rights as straight couples?

        Truth is, I don't believe in marriage, I thinks it's archaic and downright dumb and if asked my definition of marriage, those are the words I would use to define the institution.

        Trying to get me to change by mind or belief would be a waste of time. It's simply not going to happen.

        Seems to me, instead of trying to get the President to change his beliefs , we need to focus on getting him to change his message.

        His beliefs should not enter into the equation. His willingness and acceptance of allowing all couples, to have the same rights in a civil union, should. IMO

        Now with that said, I think it's sad people turn beliefs into political weapons but that's the way of the world these days. There are a lot of things I believe that would piss off a lot of people of but I don't let my beliefs interfere with the rights and beliefs of others.

        I may not agree with another persons belief, may not even like it but as long as that belief doesn't interfere with my rights as a human being and citizen, I'll get pissed and get over it.

        I'm not trying to start a fight with you or anyone but if we can't change the President's beliefs, (and I think it's a waste to try) wouldn't it make more sense to change the approach. It would take away the cover many politicians hide behind and it would put more of a focus on equality for all.

        I will Not give up, I will Not give in, I will Not quit!

        by JupiterIslandGirl on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:16:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I fully agree with your statement. (3+ / 0-)

          From what I remembered, Obama believes in equal rights, but "Marriage" is for the Church.  He believes everyone could participate in "Civil Unions" including straight people.  But he doesn't believe he should change the constitution to define marriage or who should get married.

          His Church "Trinity" did conduct gay marriages, and he wasn't against it per se.

          •  Then Obama thinks we should (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, ohmyheck, CajunBoyLgb

            abolish legal marriage for straight people? That means losing approximately 1,054 federal  rights.

            I don't see that ending well.

            •  I don't recall him ever saying that (0+ / 0-)

              and I'm not saying it either. Although abolishing the word marriage would work for me but that's not the issue.

               I'm talking about re framing the message. Put the focus on rights for all.

              People need to come to grips with the fact that sexual orientation is none of their business and doesn't interfere with their rights, one way or the other but equals rights is all our business and does affect us all.

              If you take the focus off of the definition of marriage, take the focus off of sexual orientation you start to force people to deal with the real issue which is, equality. At least that's how I see it.

              I will Not give up, I will Not give in, I will Not quit!

              by JupiterIslandGirl on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 02:20:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  MARRIAGE IS CIVIL, NOT RELIGIOUS (18+ / 0-)

            When will people get it through their thick skulls?

            Marriage was a civil act LONG before religious involvement. By CENTURIES.

            Marriage was the social, political and economic union of two FAMILIES until fairly recently in time. In polygamous cultures, marriage became an act of acquisition of status and wealth and/or breeding stock-- let's face it, that's why Joseph Smith said it was cool back when he was tripping and making up Mormon doctrine.

            Churches got involved initially because they provided a convenient place for people to announce their marriage and publicly declare the participants were off the market. Then the churches figured out they could host a ceremony to solemnify the marriage and claim that God blessed it-- and they could collect a fee therein.

            Marriage for love? Practically unknown until Victorian times.

            The confusion in the US is because we let religious officiants execute marriage licenses. That is, the STATE lets them. For a religious officiant to do that, the STATE has to confer temporary notary powers to them.

            Note that religious officiants have NO power to dissolve legal marriages. That is for the COURTS to do.

            Marriage is first and foremost a LEGAL partnership. It is a CONTRACT between two consenting adults to form one unit in legal and financial matters, as well as an agreement to provide care for each other and, if they come along, their children.

            Marriage is NOT religious. Otherwise atheists couldn't get MARRIED.

            What's done in the house of worship is the WEDDING-- the God-themed "Princess Perfect and Her Attendant Trolls in the Ugly Dresses" costume party. But it doesn't constitute a marriage if the STATE doesn't give the officiant that notary power. Until that license is executed, a marriage doesn't exist. A simple administrative act is all it takes.

            And I want MY marriage to have full legal standing on the Federal level as well as the state (which it does have in California). In fact, I demand it.

            FULL EQUALITY FOR LGBTQ CITIZENS. NOW. And BOYCOTT CHICK-FIL-A and ITS ASSHAT, FUNDAMENTALIST, ANTI-GAY, ANTI-WOMAN FOUNDERS!!

            by CajunBoyLgb on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 02:32:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  civil unions (11+ / 0-)

          do not confer Federal benefits, specifically because of the DOMA, and there are many. they are inherently 'unequal' to marriage, as the law currently exists in the US.

          •  I understand that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PsychoSavannah

            but my point is to focus more on the rights and less on the definition of marriage. Arguing over the meaning of marriage doesn't put the focus where I feel it should be.

            Now if you want to abolish the word marriage, I'm down but I don't see that happening.

            I will Not give up, I will Not give in, I will Not quit!

            by JupiterIslandGirl on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:50:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  um, not sure (5+ / 0-)

              what you're referring to. I am talking about rights, and nothing but. civil unions do not confer equal rights, so saying you favor them does not equate to saying you favor same sex marriage. favoring civil unions over same sex marriage means taking the anti-gay rights position.

              •  I don't believe in mariage period (3+ / 0-)

                I don't care what the couple configuration is. But I do believe any couple who chooses to enter into a legal union should have the exact same state and federal rights. Whatever rights I have as a straight person should be the same rights for all. Sexual orientation should have NOTHING to do with it. Which is another reason I would like to see the message  re tooled.

                Anti gay, NO I am not....anti marriage, dayum skippy but my beliefs do not change the fact that whether a couple is gay or straight they should all be awarded the exact same benefits.

                I don't have to believe in everything you believe in to know that all people on this earth deserve equal rights. That's a given in my eyes, not a belief.

                I will Not give up, I will Not give in, I will Not quit!

                by JupiterIslandGirl on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 02:07:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Going beyond that... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            musing85, craigkg

            the expression "civil unions" is literally without meaning of any sort at the federal level.

            Were federal legislation to be introduced which  SERIOUSLY proposed doing away with "marriage" as a civil institution and substituting "civil unions" in its place, an enormous body of law (statutes, codes, regulations, and so on) would need to be re-written.

        •  Seriously, which is easier: (12+ / 0-)

          1) Give marriage rights to gays and lesbians
          2) Take marriage away from straights

        •  My wife and I are married. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          katynka, T100R

          I can't think of any reason to trade in our marriage for some newfangled civil union thingie just to appease a few bigots.

          The US Supreme Court ruled that "marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man".

          Hell, we don't even have anything called civil unions here in Iowa.

          We never have.

          That ain't going to change.

          violence is the status quo...nonviolence is the revolution

          by ehrenfeucht games on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 11:15:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  many politicans have taken that exact position (0+ / 0-)

        on abortion rights -- Mario Cuomo and John Kerry come to mind.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:18:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  LOL .... in short .... (12+ / 0-)

      he will not veto any legislation that is not likely to arrive at his desk if he doesn't provide leadership on the subject.

      it's time for LGBT Americans to put some First Amendment remedies into place.

      by emsprater on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:02:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This doesn't make sense. (15+ / 0-)

      And I say that in the nicest way possible.  I simply can't understand what you've written.

      But here are a few facts.  As Clark points out, in 1996, Obama said unequivocally that he favored legalizing same-sex marriages.  No "shoulds" or "woulds" or "beliefs" involved.  At Rick Warren's homophobic church, he said he "believes" marriage is between a man and a woman.  He has also said that he doesn't support same-sex marriage, although his position is supposedly "evolving."  

      In addition, he clearly believes that the government may constitutionally discriminate against same-sex couples in the area of marriage, because his administration continues to defend DOMA in court.  If he were convinced the statute were unconstitutional, he wouldn't be doing that.

      Finally, whether he'd veto a DOMA repeal isn't particularly relevant, since without aggressive political leadership from the White House and congressional Democrats, repeal legislation has no chance of passage.  While it's nice that he hasn't declared his opposition to DOMA repeal, that doesn't tell us very much.  We had hoped that the president might advocate "fiercely" for the same-sex couples, but from all that I can see, this just isn't an issue that he cares very much about.

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

      by FogCityJohn on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:04:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary (33+ / 0-)

    Let's be blunt, Obama's position on marriage equality is hurting the LGBT equality movement. It is not a neutral, middle ground position. It is a club to the knees. it provides cover for fence sitters to never have to answer the question or address the issue. Democratic and Republican cowards alike can hide behind Obama with the words "My position is no different than the President." Several prominent LGBT activists and bloggers have been saying for a while that Obama's segregationist position isn't going to fly in 2012. I think now is absolutely the time for the LGB community to apply the pressure to get Obama to "evolve," or re-evolve after devolving, faster to a position of marriage equality. We've seen that an all-carrot strategy with Democrats doesn't work. All carrot and no stick makes for fat donkey that doesn't move and my guess is that if we're going to bring out the stick, Democrats would, given the choice, prefer it now rather than the middle of the 2012 campaign when it could really blow up in their faces. Granted they'd prefer it never, but that is not an option. Democrats had a golden opportunity from Jan 2009-Jan 2011 and blew it. The only two legislative accomplishments were a non-repeal "repeal" of a policy a super majority of Americans opposed and a hate crimes law that the administration has yet to use once on an anti-LGBT hate crime. All the other moldy crumbs of bread thrown our way by the president were 1) insignificant and/or 2) easily reversible by a subsequent Republican President.

    "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 Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:32:20 PM PST

  •  Great to see you becoming very active (14+ / 0-)

    here on D4.

    I'm in a quandry of how to influence Obama.  I feel reasonably certain, given his liberal religious history, that he's using religion here to attempt to duck the issue.  The continuing problem is how to exert pressure on the Democratic leadership as a whole so that they begin to address the specific problems with discrimination and hate toward the idea of marriage equality.  They don't have to directly advocate it yet, but they do need to point out how it is legally, ethically, and humanely wrong with specifically illustrative instances and details, rather than generalized, ambiguous references.

    Humankind cannot stand too much reality. T.S. Eliot

    by blueoasis on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:36:04 PM PST

  •  You push him (14+ / 0-)

    politely, and with respect, but you keep asking, pushing and not letting him off the hook without undermining him.

    Where are we going and what are we doing in this handbasket?

    by Julie Waters on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:38:02 PM PST

  •  I have decided I don't (6+ / 0-)

    care much personally, but I think after the next election he will eventually support it, at least rhetorically whether or not he wins reelection.  I do not think he is personally opposed at all, even if he says otherwise, or he wouldn't have previously supported it, nor put out the "evolving" meme.  That doesn't however mean that is passionate about it, nor that he and his administration aren't remarkably tone-deaf and sometimes indifferent with the LGBT community.  I do not believe it has anything to do with religious belief on his part at all, but is pure, cynical political "caution".

  •  Sadly (12+ / 0-)

    too many of the answers of this WH seem to be "lawyer-like" evasions of answers.

    Let tyrants fear.-Queen Elizabeth I

    by Virginia mom on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:43:32 PM PST

  •  of course there is no "triangulated sweet spot" (13+ / 0-)
    But the White House is still waffling around in the middle, searching for the triangulated sweet spot between full equality and bigotry.

    There is no coherent or principled middle ground here.  I think Obama already knows what the right thing is, and for whatever reason he just won't do it.
  •  I like that you keep pressing (8+ / 0-)

    forward...  I think it's on us to keep working towards equality on a national level and to keep the pressure on.

    Notice I haven't updated my tagline just because we've gotten a semblance of a health care bill and a repeal of DADT.  We're not done... Not by a long shot!

    We've got serious work to do. Health care and civil rights for all, please!

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:45:26 PM PST

  •  It does not matter what the President (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JohnB47, erush1345

    does or does not believe.

    In the end this will be decided by the courts, not the President and likely not by congress either... so who gives a fuck what  the President or Huckabee thinks?

    "We cannot have peace among men whose hearts find delight in killing any living creature." - Rachel Carson, American Author and Marine Biologist

    by GlowNZ on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:50:41 PM PST

  •  Here's a hint (7+ / 0-)

    Whenever folks in America start routinely using violent rhetoric and resort to using murder as a means of dealing with the politics of parts of your base, stop conceding ground.

    Who cares what Obama believes?

    We shouldn't be running policy through the prism of personal belief in this country. People are slow to believe in the rights of segments of society that are oppressed. Way too slow.

    All Obama needs to know is that the law is being unequally applied, and full civil rights protections are being maliciously denied gay men and women in this country. Those are facts. On those grounds he should oppose efforts to uphold status quo or enact laws that do further harm to justice.

    •  re: "Who cares what Obama believes?" (4+ / 0-)

      Maybe the more than 50% of Americans who think he's doing a pretty good job leading the country?

      When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:34:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Be that as it may (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, CajunBoyLgb

        It's still the wrong way to go about legislating for a diverse nation of over 300 million people.

        I think Obama means well by trying to align himself with the "I'm evolving" crowd. Nobody wants to wrong and offensively so. But when the dangers are as real and the material harms as devastating as they are, he would serve the country better by taking a stand for justice. Lead the way to balance instead waiting for all of this to become so alarming that even the reluctant see the need to recognize the inherent dignity on people they don't have much in common with.

    •  See my comment thread (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimberley, musing85, Predictor
      •  Good points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TrueBlueMajority

        I can't know this for certain but I don't actually think Obama wants to deny gay men and women the right to marry. I think this is a calculated hesitancy because he perceives himself as a leader to all, including people who do. I see it as classic triangulation.

        As a political strategy in dealing with this issue, however, it's terrible leadership to allow people who have made it perfectly clear they are willing to use violence and malicious legislation to oppress gays to believe this President agrees with them--to a point. Whether it's true or not, it just shouldn't be done.

        What the hell would I know though? This is not an issue that directly affects me but through several of those very dear to me.

        Bottom line, I'll support whatever you all decide.

  •  I guess sticking your finger up to (4+ / 0-)

    check which way the winds of change are blowing in The Village does not help much to tell which way it is blowing in the rest of the nation.

    The village bubble is blowing that way:
    >>>>>>>>

    While in the rest of the nation and the world there is an epic storm building and it is blowing this way:
    <<<<<<<<

    ePluribus Media
    Collaboration is contagious!

    by m16eib on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:52:49 PM PST

  •  Clark.... don't underestimate.... (21+ / 0-)

    ...Huckabee.  Of everybody the Republicans could put up in 2012, he's the most dangerous.  He's convinced a hell of a lot of people that he's a lot more moderate than he actually is.

    Remember, if you smile and don't raise your voice when you tell people they're sodomites and going to hell, and only imply that they should be killed instead of openly saying it, you're a moderate.

  •  Fantastic diary, clark... (11+ / 0-)

    Well done. Tipped and recced for marriage equality. Long fucking overdue.

    Breathe. If you can, you ain't dead yet.

    by Socratic Method on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:53:24 PM PST

  •  Are the politics changing on this? (9+ / 0-)

    We see more Democrats openly supporting marriage equality and ending DOMA etc. It appears Obama is either evolving in this in a personal way or political way.

    Either way, it is hard to have a Democratic president who is unsure about offering equal civil rights to all Americans.

    I say, keep asking, over and over. And try to get Dems in Congress to ask too.

    ~~~~ Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 12:58:23 PM PST

    •  Obama is now... (11+ / 0-)

      ...not only outside of the mainstream of his own party, but outside the mainstream of the U.S. Recent polls are showing a plurality of Americans favor marriage equality despite Mr. "God is in the mix" providing cover to the cowards that refuse to answer the question. He's become the biggest headliner for the bigot brigade opposed to marriage equality. Would there be any question his position is bigoted if he used the "God is in the mix" excuse to defend miscegenation. As has been pointed out above, Obama's parents could not have married and his father could well have been jailed (if not found hanging from a nearby oak tree) for the unspeakable crime of loving and marrying a white woman. I sincerely doubt the President or any other civil rights leader of the day would have found it acceptable to advocate for civil unions for interracial couples.

      Can you imagine if JFK or LBJ had said blacks should be allowed to marry whites because "God is in the mix," but we'll let you form couples via a separate but "equal" institution? The President is basically saying fags can eat at this eating establishment, but they have to sit in the fags only area, but don't worry, all the food comes from the same kitchen so there is nothing wrong or derogatory about sitting in the fags only area. We just can't call the fags only area a restaurant because God has reserved the term restaurant as an eating place for heterosexuals.

      "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 Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:13:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  oh, for a thousand recs for this: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, katynka, kimoconnor, Clarknt67
      Either way, it is hard to have a Democratic president who is unsure about offering equal civil rights to all Americans.

      A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Sir Winston Churchill

      by liberaldemdave on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 02:55:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll never understand why Obama waffles on this. (7+ / 0-)
    It's an unpleasant reality, but sometimes in life, you really do have to choose a side.

    Exactly. For someone to support civil unions but oppose gay marriage is just ludicrous to me. I'm not even sure I understand the difference. It certainly disappoints me that a man who is the product of a marriage that was once considered illegal would not have complete empathy about this. Come on, Mr. President, get with the program.

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." -- Chief Joseph, native American leader (1840-1904)

    by highfive on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:03:30 PM PST

  •  Obama isn't a "stay the course" imbecile (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimberley, Lawrence

    ...like the guy he replaced.

    I predict that Obama will say he changed his mind.

    I believe that he will say he was wrong about gay marriage.

    I believe he will say he was prejucided and bigotted about gays and has seen the light.

    I believe he will say that human rights for gays, including the right to kinship/marriage, is a Christian value.

    This is one thing he can do. One power that his Overlords do not control.

    I predict he will do it.

  •  might i just also add... (11+ / 0-)
    Of course, this is what National Organization for Marriage, the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church are all saying, the State has to respect that "God's in the mix." But this isn't a Church issue. No Church is being asked to perform any rituals that violate their tenets, any more than the Civil Rights Act compelled Catholic Churches to marry Jews.

    that the united church of christ, the denomination that obama has been a long-time member of (unless he's changed denomination affiliation), SUPPORTS MARRIAGE EQUALITY. maybe reverend wright, who also doesn't support marriage equality, has had an undue influence on this president's opinion on this issue.

    http://www.ucc.org/...
    (emph added)

    On July 4, 2005, at the 25th General Synod of the United Church of Christ in Atlanta, delegates voted to adopt the resolution, "Equal Marriage Rights for All". The resources below are provided to help facilitate conversations and study throughout the church and society on this complex and challenging matter which has important implications for individuals, families and the wider community. They are intended to get people of faith talking about the purposes of marriage, looking more closely at how marriage has evolved and changed through time biblically and socially, exploring the theology of marriage, and critically discerning the appropriate roles for the church and the state in marriage.

    The colleagues who worked together to prepare these resources join the Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ who, in calling us to this important dialog say, "let us explore our faith in relation to these issues: the meaning of Christian marriage, the blessing of unions among same-sex couples, the honoring of diverse expressions of loving and caring human relationships, being guided in all things by the love of Jesus. Above all, may these conversations be ventured in humility and prayer."

    http://www.ucc.org/...

    (full disclosure: i am a member of the UCC...and the Church's view on marriage equality is but ONE of many reasons.)

    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Sir Winston Churchill

    by liberaldemdave on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:06:48 PM PST

    •  I'm also a UCC member. (7+ / 0-)

      My pastor won't sign a marriage license until marriage equality is a reality.

      I thought Rev. Wright supported marriage equality.

      I'm gay and I'm pissed. I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in, I'm not backing down, and I'm not going away. I'm one of the Angry Gays. Deal with it.

      by psychodrew on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:16:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  nope. rev. wright does NOT... (6+ / 0-)

        ...i googled it long ago to see if there might be some insight into the president's position (not long after the inauguration was when i checked into it...).

        for all the good that congregation has done, it has lost a number of GLBT members over the issue.

        A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Sir Winston Churchill

        by liberaldemdave on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:48:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't know that. (6+ / 0-)

          What a shame.

          I'm gay and I'm pissed. I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in, I'm not backing down, and I'm not going away. I'm one of the Angry Gays. Deal with it.

          by psychodrew on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:55:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  a little more information: (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            musing85, shaharazade, Clarknt67

            trinity UCC, with over 8000 members, has also not taken any steps to becoming an O&A (open and affirming) congregation (although they are gay friendly, in a major metropolitan area like chicago, that's simply not enough)...wright refused the synod's invitation to be a signatory pastor on the policy.

            hopefully, rev. otis moss II, who replaced wright will be working to fully embrace the UCCs inclusion beliefs.

            NOTE: this is not meant to disparage the GOOD work done by both rev. wright and trinity UCC on hiv/aids and other issues of importance to the glbt community in chicago.

            A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Sir Winston Churchill

            by liberaldemdave on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 03:20:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  He does (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musing85, joanneleon, psychodrew

        Wright was always more liberal than President Obama.  There are LGBT groups and members active in his church.  Their  singles ministry  includes "Same Gender Loving" adults, among others.  

         

        "...after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

        by Alec82 on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 02:02:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  no he doesn't, alec... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musing85, Clarknt67

          ...with all due respect, supporting glbt individuals in their SINGLES ministry isn't the same as support for marriage equality...which wright has specifically opposed, most notably in his essay "maybe i missed something".

          i make no mistake about it, that wright AND trinity UCC are far more progressive towards their glbt membership, but wright does not support marriage equality and although the congregation welcomes it's glbt members, it is not one of the sanctioned "open and affirming" congregations of the UCC.

          trinity UCC has lost a number of glbt members over this inconsistency.

          A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Sir Winston Churchill

          by liberaldemdave on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 03:26:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Did he oppose it? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            musing85, Clarknt67

            I've read that the 2005 article suggests he dismissed it as a nonpriority.  But I haven't read the article, so I am not sure.  My impression was that he was in line with the UCC on this.  Maybe not.  

            "...after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

            by Alec82 on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 03:44:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  What I think they're thinking (0+ / 0-)

    (and by "they," I mean mainstream Democrats including and at least since Clinton)

    is that they can't politically speak out in favor of marriage equality, but that they're trying to push for the changes they feel are most possibly represented in the mainstream.

    I think that' especially true of recent (D) Presidents -- both Clinton and Obama. I think both personally support full equality. I think both have felt, rightly or wrongly, that because their "constituency" is the whole country, they have to represent a tilt or slow shift to the mainstream, instead of a full and clear advocacy. Incrementalism, in other words, but not solely driven by reelection concerns; also driven by a desire, I suspect, to represent the country as a whole as it is now, in order to slowly shift it onto better fighting ground for getting somewhere better.

    I think that's a mistake here, but I think that's the foundation they're working from. And it means that yes, to a large degree, it's poll-driven, even if I think that's about more than campaigning.

    Not sure where we take that. We can keep pushing for supporting the right thing, simply because it is the right thing -- but I think there, we run into the problem that they already think they're doing the right thing by tilting things to a better direction (civil unions). We can decide that this is an issue for the courts, but that disregards the strength of the Presidency as a bully pulpit for pushing social change alongside legal change; each effects the other. We can continue fighting on state lines, but while I don't want to minimize the impact there for real people, it also continues a framework in which full equality is not a fundamental civil right across the whole of America.

    I think it's all about multiple strategies. I think that ultimately, we shouldn't necessarily expect the kind of sweeping support from these Presidents that we'd like to see. Not because they can't, but because they won't -- I think they genuinely see their role as moving the ball down the field, not pushing for a real change in American attitudes and politics.

    Our (D) Presidents have tended for quite a while toward a weak Presidency, at least in domestic policy. Not that I'd like to see a "strong" authoritarian Presidency akin to Bush but from the left, but I also think that they've forgotten about the power of the bully pulpit to really press for larger change where the context allows it, instead of simply reflecting the sociopolitical "now" back on to itself with only small shifts in words or implication at all times.

    My copper coinage. None of which is practical, I realize.

    •  How to square that with his advice (10+ / 0-)

      to our Arab allies in today's Times?

         “...if you are governing these countries, you’ve got to get out ahead of change. You can’t be behind the curve.”

      When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:31:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, totally agreed (0+ / 0-)

        It's a huge mistake to not get out in front of change here in particular. The country is moving very fast toward marriage equality at this point, and I think the national Democratic folks keep winding up playing catch-up with that instead of actually voicing a call for the very set of changes that are already in the works, and that many of them seem to personally support.

        They seem to have walked away from the idea that they can provide a strong push for that change, instead of just sort of tacitly trying to not say much one way or the other and let it work itself out.

        We need Dems who will really make our case, especially when the real power of the Presidency in domestic policy is in really pushing the public rather than only the other way 'round. This president has consistently failed to understand that power, IMO. It's a problem on any number of fronts.

  •  I don't understand. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadieB, gustynpip, Clarknt67, Keori

    Why would you expect a moderate Republican to be for same-sex marriage?

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:15:46 PM PST

  •  I am a huge Obama supporter, (7+ / 0-)

    and an Illinois resident familiar with his history on this issue.

    First, thanks for the GREAT diary.  I wish every diary critical of the President would have the respectful tone, the facts, the logic, and the intellectual heft you've shown here.

    I was mystified at Obama's one man one woman statement during the campaign.  I chalked it up to the calculation that he had to couch his position (you might even call it a LIE), or that he had previously misstated his position, or that he was giving a lawyerly answer (as in, "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman.... according to current law.... in some states... but I wouldn't fight against the definition changing.")

    I think that the non-event that never occured after DADT may have given him much more confidence in dropping a little political capital on marriage equality.  It doesn't hurt that the GOP is viewed as nutzo on most social issues these days, so he's got cover.

    I know Democrats aren't supposed to lie or misstate their positions on issues, or deceptively omit relevant parts of their opinion to give a false impression when answering a direct question.  But his camp evidently made a political calculation.

    "What about the headless bodies, Governor?" --- Members of the press yelling after a fleeing Jan Brewer, 9/1/2010

    by Pangloss on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:17:52 PM PST

  •  There is a difference (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32

    between not supporting something and actively opposing something.

    Let's remember Reagan  not caring about AIDS, or Bush Jr putting a anti - gay marriage on the ballot in many red states in 2004.

    Obama knows he won't get primaried. So we get a glass half full with Obama, as opposed to an empty glass with the GOP in charge.

    Oh, look.....I get a tagline. I better not waste it. I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    by sd4david on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:20:26 PM PST

    •  Distinction w/o a difference (11+ / 0-)

      Whether Reagan openly denounced gays because of AIDS or sat by quietly while the disease spread is irrelevant. The only thing that would have made a difference is him actively supporting research and policies that would have prevented the spread. There is no neutral position on this. If you aren't actively supporting real, full equality, you are giving credence to the anti-equality position. This is a binary state. You are either pro marriage equality or you aren't. He can't be "partially pregnant."

      "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 Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:28:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, disagree (0+ / 0-)

        Obama would not get in the way of marriage equality like a GOP president would. I don't view it as binary. More like trinary. It's like saying you are either 100% pro choice, or 100% pro -life. And many people are pro-choice during the first 1 or 2 trimesters, and then want restrictions on abortions after that.
        Your statement " If you aren't actively supporting real, full equality, you are giving credence to the anti-equality position." Is the SAME as Bush's statement "You're either with us or against us" and of course there were countries that wee neither.
        I actually don't like Obama's position, but that is his "style" to appear "centrist" on almost every issue.
        We will NOT have a real choice in 2012 between a candidate who fights for marriage equality and one who fights against it. Our choice will be between  one who is "OK" with it, and one who is opposed to it. And there IS a difference between those two positions. If memory serves me right, Kucinich was the ONLY 2008 Dem candidate that was for gay marriage. Maybe gravel was? Most/all of the others were pro Civil Unions.

        Oh, look.....I get a tagline. I better not waste it. I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

        by sd4david on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 02:17:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In 2008, both Kucinich and Gravel... (0+ / 0-)

          ...supported marriage equality.

          In 2004, Dennis Kucinich, Al Sharpton, and Carol Mosely Braun supported marriage equality.

          It remains to be seen whether or not in 2012 even a single Democratic candidate for President will support marriage equality.

          If not, that will be a step backwards by the Democratic Party, having gone from 3 in 2004, to 2 in 2008, and finally all the way down to 0 in 2012.

          This is not the direction that the Democratic party needs to move in on this issue.

          violence is the status quo...nonviolence is the revolution

          by ehrenfeucht games on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 10:50:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  as long as he has a choice he is going to (0+ / 0-)

    take the easy road, you got to go "Tahrir" on him, pressure from the streets, using his own word..."Moral Force" will have an impact on the voters specially those in the middle, Obama can sway reluctant democrats with a liberal argument about being "your brothers keeper", but to sway the middle he needs help.

    organize a protest not on the white house but in front of Churches and Synagogue and even mosques...make the straight embarrassed about their hypocrisy, do on Sundays, Saturdays (Shabat) and Fridays (Muslim Friday prayer), ....you say...God is Love...well prove it, you say your god says love your neighbor...well here I am...

    if you sway the middle Obama will follow. but there needs to be new tactics.....it's good middle class weekend Christians/Muslims/Jews who are standing on your way...you need to reach out.

    this kind of protest have not been done before and each religious group would tray to avoid being labeled more bigoted than the rest...so you will get a reaction.

  •  I support Gay Rights but your title sucks (0+ / 0-)

    This president repealed DADT less than two months ago - a MASSIVE Civil Rights/Gay Rights milestone. So I don't feel like we have to do anything 'about' him. He's on our side, and he will fix marriage equality in his second term, IMO.

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:26:40 PM PST

  •  there is a difference (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alec82, ericlewis0

    At least the President supports Civil Unions.
    Huckabee does NOT

    http://www.queerty.com/...

    What to do about President Obama:  keep pushing him to the left.  He needs a "left anchor".  People change, people grow.

    I like the President and will support him in 2012.  But I'll keep after him on this.

    "Obama won. Get over it."

    by onanyes on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:27:05 PM PST

    •  Well I don't think anyone doubts.. (4+ / 0-)

      ...that there are differences between Huckabee, who proposed quarantining people with HIV, and President Obama.  The issue is that there is not nearly enough distance between them on this point.

      "...after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

      by Alec82 on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 02:03:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think he doesn't really care either way. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gshenaut, EdSF, Clarknt67, T100R

    I honestly think that Obama doesn't care if same sex marriage is the law of the land, protected by the constitution.  I think if tomorrow the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional for states to deny same sex marriage, he'd be fine with that.

    I also think that if tomorrow the Supreme Court declared that same sex marriage was NOT protected under the constitution, he'd be fine with that too.

    So he takes the expedient position.  He won't fight it, nor will he be an advocate for it, and I think in that way he is following the polls on peoples' feelings on that issue across the country.  He knows for instance that if he advocates for it, he might lose the religious black voters that helped him win primaries in the southern states.

    Now that's not to say that I think Obama doesn't care about GLTB issues, but I get the impression that in his mind, giving all the rights of marriage without the actual word "marriage" is equivalent.  I bet that's what you see him move toward if he returns for a second term.

  •  Obama voices the degree of support (4+ / 0-)

    that he feels will allow him to get elected and work toward equality, and yet still be honest.  I fully support him in that strategy.  I emphatically believe that an Obama is better than a McCain or a Palin.  And those were our only choices.   Next time our choices will likely be even worse.

    I understand your point.  

    But in general, I get frustrated when we attack our only congressional  allies so loudly and vigorously because they are not saying and/or doing things 100% the way we want them to be said and/or done, at the speed we, in our ignorance, think is possible.  In a two party system, there is no more self defeating action.  

    The "Obama is God" thing works both ways.  He is not perfect, but he is also not responsible for every little disappointment.  He has limited power - this is a democracy, not a dictatorship.  And sometimes it's best for all of us if he keeps his progressive side quiet.  In the present climate, I believe this is one of those times.

    Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction. Dennis Kucinich

    by keeplaughing on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:39:30 PM PST

    •  OK Then... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, craigkg, katynka, Clarknt67, T100R

      Your response to this diary is basically-- let me see if I get this-- "Shut up and get back under the bus, fairy, they'll get around to you whenever they feel like it."

      Pardon me if I'm not fooled and thrilled when I'm being shit on and they tell me it's Ghirardelli truffles.

      A few MLK Jr. quotes for you:

      He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
      History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
      In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
      The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.

      And this one underlines our frustration and anger:

      The time is always right to do what is right.

      How do we make the President do what is right-- NOW?!

      FULL EQUALITY FOR LGBTQ CITIZENS. NOW. And BOYCOTT CHICK-FIL-A and ITS ASSHAT, FUNDAMENTALIST, ANTI-GAY, ANTI-WOMAN FOUNDERS!!

      by CajunBoyLgb on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 02:50:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with you 9 words into the body. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gustynpip, Clarknt67

      And no further.

      sig deleted before the great DK4 deluge. you all know what it says anyway.

      by khereva on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 03:08:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary (3+ / 0-)

    I respect the fact that the President thinks he needs to walk a political tightrope here. I also greatly respect the community trying to push him over the edge in the right direction! He's already waffled on it, and I'm hoping that he'll do the right thing.

    Proud supporter of nuclear power!

    by zegota on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:46:06 PM PST

  •  Some real things that can be done (3+ / 0-)

    1) We (and I mean WE, I am a gay man living in Los Angeles involved politically) need to understand and accept that what the president believes, he believes, and is not the result of political triangulation.

    2) Once we are able to accept his beliefs as REAL, we can help change them.

    We need to convey to the president that:

    3) The inability of gay couples to marry severely harms their relationships and the ability of their relationships to survive.

    4) There is a VERY REAL distinction between "secular" and "religious" marriage, no one is trying to change "religious" marriage one iota.  Gay secular marriage, yes; gay religious marriage is up to the religion involved.

    5) There are many American religions that are more than happy to marry gay couples.  Why should they be discriminated against by those that don't?

    6) Although various religions have various procedures and practices regarding marriage, one of the prime focuses of marriage universally has always been property.

    7) [Canard warning] There are MANY, many biblical rulings that are moot in today's society.  Isn't picking and choosing which one's currently apply to support oppression an act that should be the purview of no reasonable government?

    President Obama is not an unreasonable man.  I do think that he can be brought over to "our side." He can be persuaded perhaps by discussion, but I don't think he is very responsive to pushing and shoving.

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:54:16 PM PST

    •  yes yes yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clarknt67
      There is a VERY REAL distinction between "secular" and "religious" marriage, no one is trying to change "religious" marriage one iota.  Gay secular marriage, yes; gay religious marriage is up to the religion involved.
      There are many American religions that are more than happy to marry gay couples.  Why should they be discriminated against by those that don't?

      "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
      I support Bob Massie for MA-Sen

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 08:37:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary but I'm not sure what (0+ / 0-)

    answer you're expecting. Most decisions on this will be in the hands of judges and state legislatures in the foreseeable future.

  •  What to do? Help him get to where (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DMiller

    he knows he needs to get.

    Hate the sin of opposing equal rights, not the sinner.

    I think it's pretty clear if he were a partner at a big law firm or Executive VP at a Fortune 500 company, he'd have no problem affirming his support for same sex marriage.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 02:17:21 PM PST

    •  Sorry but (0+ / 0-)

      I got enough of presidency-as-therapy-for-clueless-elites during the first Bush terms.

      •  He's not clueless, he's a politician (0+ / 0-)

        who's counting votes.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 03:05:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Alas (4+ / 0-)

          he's also counting on votes, the votes against the greater evil. And he can probably count on that.

          When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

          by Scott Wooledge on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 03:28:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes and no. (0+ / 0-)

            Yes of course one could argue that the Republicans are worse, and that his stance on same sex marriage is blatantly unprincipled and wrongheaded.

            But, at the same time, he has been behind several substantive policy advancements, including but not limited to DADT.  Whether that's out of the goodness of his heart or solely due to the pressure of activists such as yourself, or somewhere in between, it's true that he does represent the possibility of progress and good stuff happening, as opposed to merely not doing as much bad stuff.

            There are going to be a whole bunch of reasons to vote for Obama over Willard or Huckleberry or Trump or whatever parade of horrors the GOP runs.  Some hope-based, some fear-based.

            Of course, that doesn't mean anyone should cut him slack on his unprincipled and completely wrong opposition to equal rights.

            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

            by Geekesque on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 03:45:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The public option (0+ / 0-)

          was overwhelming popular, yet he killed it. Don't tell me this is about votes.

  •  The President's position (0+ / 0-)

    during the 2008 campaign for full disclosure.

    http://www.youtube.com/...  

    ...We have many more issues that bind us together than separate us!

    by ThisIsMyTime on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 02:29:35 PM PST

  •  Excellent diary Clark...stripping away all the (7+ / 0-)

    veneer it really does come down to:

    Do you stand with hate and discrimination? Or do you stand with us?"
  •  Good job. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    khereva, EdSF, Clarknt67, KroneckerD

    In Obama's SOTU, both last year and this year, he mentioned an equation that if you share in our "common values" you get something, such as equal rights.

    Abroad, America's greatest source of strength has always been our ideals. The same is true at home. We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we're all created equal; that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law you should be protected by it; if you adhere to our common values you should be treated no different than anyone else.
    So what are these "common values" he seems to be taking ownership of defining?

    Again here in this quote you included I see the same willfulness to define boundaries that don't include me, this time of Christian belief:

    "Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix."
    If he said, as a Catholic or as an Evangelical, I would have no problem, but as a Christian? No, he's wrong, biblicaly, his implication is wrong. He can't presume to speak for Christians in the implication that the sacred union of a couple and God can not be same sex or that laws should prevent such legal marriages.

    SO if I don't share these values of his, if my values are broader and more inclusive, where does that leave me? Left out.

    You've done a great job with what sadly is still a delicate issue.

    I see no chance of getting any progress before the re-election. Not a mention. But the President boldly discriminates against law abiding  Americans who share the country's common values, IMHO. He should never be able to walk away from that fact.

    Hey the more he disses us the more he cements his position in centrist territory.

    He has my vote, but if I ever had his ear I'd give him shit about these quotes.

  •  That's a tough question. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clarknt67

    On one hand, I see the stage set for a move towards full marriage equality for LGBT Americans after the 2012 election.  On the other hand, that's at least two years from now, and the WH has given no indication that they intend to pursue such a plan.

    I suppose you just need to keep the pressure on.  He'll probably continue to cynically waffle about marriage equality (I don't buy for a second that he's actually against gay marriage - that 1996 survey is proof) for the sake of what polls well among Is and Ds who favor "gay rights" but aren't really comfortable with homosexuality itself.

    Politically, is there anything that you can realistically do?  Primarying Obama carries more risks than rewards - no candidate could beat him so he wouldn't feel the need "move to the left".  If you do primary him or withhold your vote you're possibly enabling a Republican President who would like nothing more than to veto any legislation that helped LGBT folks at all.

    In short, I don't really know what you could do that would induce him to change his stance at this time.  I personally would advocate patience, but that's easy for me to say - I'm straight.

    In the meantime, keep hammering this framing:

    Many gay rights activist have set up their own binary choice framing. They're asking America, "Who do you stand with? Do you stand with hate and discrimination? Or do you stand with us?"

    It's simple and it works.  I think that the WH will come around after re-election.  If they don't, I'll be sorely disappointed.

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

    by KroneckerD on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 03:10:49 PM PST

  •  not to be nasty (0+ / 0-)

    but apparently excrement only exists in the anal passages of men, not women.

  •  Isn't the S.C. what it ultimately comes down (0+ / 0-)

    to in regards to gay marriage?

    If so, didn't the appointment Sotomayor and Kagan take us in the right direction?

    It freaks me out that I see so many Democrats forgetting the power of the S.C.

    "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

    by Lawrence on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 04:08:06 PM PST

  •  Sorry, but I can't agree (0+ / 0-)

    that the President and Huckabee have "essentially the same view." Certainly, neither men support the idea of gay marriage.

    But Huckabee opposes civil unions and adoptions by gay parents, and who knows what other basic human rights.

    http://www.ontheissues.org/...

    I think it's important to see the full context of the President's answer that you quoted from:

    WARREN: There’s a lot more I’d like to ask on that. We have 15 other questions here. Define marriage.

    OBAMA: I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix. But –

    WARREN: Would you support a Constitutional Amendment with that definition?

    OBAMA: No, I would not.

    WARREN: Why not?

    OBAMA: Because historically — because historically, we have not defined marriage in our constitution. It’s been a matter of state law. That has been our tradition. I mean, let’s break it down. The reason that people think there needs to be a constitutional amendment, some people believe, is because of the concern that — about same-sex marriage. I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions. I do believe that we should not — that for gay partners to want to visit each other in the hospital for the state to say, you know what, that’s all right, I don’t think in any way inhibits my core beliefs about what marriage are. I think my faith is strong enough and my marriage is strong enough that I can afford those civil rights to others, even if I have a different perspective or different view.

    Essentially the same? Sorry, not by me.

    I think it is unfortunate that Obama doesn't support full marriage equality for all Americans at present, but I think he is persuadable. Civil unions are similar to "separate but equal." Yeah, right.

    •  Wait, you mean (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clarknt67

      you can actually understand that mishmash? I couldn't make heads or tails out of it.

      "The reason that people think there needs to be a constitutional amendment, some people believe, is because of the concern that -- about same-sex marriage."

      It doesn't make any sense.

    •  Err... (5+ / 0-)
      Civil unions are similar to "separate but equal." Yeah, right.

      Civil unions were created so that nobody would have to let gays marry.

      And they don't even confer the same rights as marriage. It's actually a separate institution that's UNequal to marriage.

      So, yeah, right.

      "Surely, comrades, you do not want Jones back?" - Squealer, propagandist in Animal Farm

      by indiemcemopants on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 05:45:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I said their positions on marriage equality (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, katynka, T100R

      And they are. You are disagreeing with a point I did not argue that there is no difference between them on LGBT issues.

      I am aware Obama endorses a separate but equal strategy to remedy the inequities. I am not aware of anything he has done to bring about these civil unions that will remedy the Federal inequities. Perhaps you can tell me want he's done?

      When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 09:07:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mentioned them in a speech (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clarknt67

        once or twice. Which, for many people, is tantamount to making it happen. Except when "it" is something that makes Obama look bad. Then it's totally Congress's fault. (Or some other scapegoat.)

        All praise must flow to Obama. All criticism must flow...somewhere else. Oh, and we've totally always been at war with Eastasia.

  •  Why is it that almost all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prinny Squad

    the hate and prejudice in the world comes from those with a belief in some kind of Sky Daddy? Humans are not born knowing how to hate, that is a learned behavior. We feed children lies from cradle to grave and wonder why we seem to be spinning our wheels or heading faster down the road to hell depending on your viewpoint. I really wish that the founding fathers had used the term "freedom FROM religion".

    There are no profits in ensuring human rights so don't expect your government to do so.

    by The Green Nugget on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 04:39:14 PM PST

  •  To equate Obama's and Huckabee's views (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yuriwho

    is misleading at best.  

    Yes, they share the same view that they do not personally favor gay marriage.  And yes, I disagree with the views of both men on this narrow issue.

    But does Obama:

    -support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage?  Does Huckabee?
    -oppose inclusion of sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws?  Does Huckabee?
    -support the right of LGBT persons to serve in the military?  Does Huckabee?

    etc.

    Once you answer these questions, then you can decide whether Obama's and Huckabee's views on homosexuality are equivalent.

    Do you support our president and the Democratic Party? Then www.democratsforprogress.com is for you.

    by darboy on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 05:48:53 PM PST

    •  To pretend that Obama's views and Huckabee's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psychodrew, Clarknt67

      are not similar is disingenuous at best.

      But does Obama:

      -support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage?  Does Huckabee?
      -oppose inclusion of sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws?  Does Huckabee?
      -support the right of LGBT persons to serve in the military?  Does Huckabee?

      1. Tacitly, yes (See Proposition H8, which he didn't lift a finger to oppose--and proponents used his image and his own words in their campaigning for the measure.)

      2. He has done nothing to promote federal laws that protect GLBT Americans against discrimination, either in the Senate or since becoming president. So again, tacitly, it appears he does oppose it. Which makes his position functionally similar to Huckabee's. His inaction has the same effect as Huckabee's action, so no pass on that point.

      3. Obama not only did nothing to allow LGB (not T, BTW) individuals to serve openly, he actively stonewalled until circumstances forced his hand. It was his administration that killed the Murphy bill that would have simply and cleanly ended DADT, and which actually included anti-discrimination language that would have prevented the Pentagon from finding other means of kicking out lesbian, gay, or bisexual servicemembers. Instead, we got this watered-down almost-but-not-quite repeal at some future unspecified date and lacking any non-discrimination provisions. Only time will tell whether or not Obama's position (as represented by the legislation he signed, which misguided partisans here and elsewhere still try to pass off as outright repeal that actually ends discrimination against LGB servicemembers) produces a different result from Huckabee's position.

      •  respectfully (0+ / 0-)

        I think you are grasping at straws.

        Not taking, in your opinion, sufficient steps to support a particular cause is not conclusive evidence of opposition to that cause.

        Your arguments reminds me of that old Chris Rock movie where he plays a presidential candidate.  His opponent runs an ad that says: "Chris Rock did not attend the Rally against Cancer last year, therefore he is FOR cancer."

        It's also like saying if someone criticizes a black president, that person is a racist.  

        Do you support our president and the Democratic Party? Then www.democratsforprogress.com is for you.

        by darboy on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 04:17:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Respectfully, you're 100% wrong (0+ / 0-)

          The one grasping at straws is you, as you seek to plaster over the obvious defects in Obama's LGBT rights policies. I particularly enjoyed your last sentence, since that is precisely the attitude taken by that small, dwindling, but highly vocal minority of folks hereabouts who insist that teh ghey only get to sit quietly at the back of the bus and accept whatever crumbs the heterosexual majority chooses to offer them, as and when they are offered.

        •  Respectfully, you're wrong (0+ / 0-)

          As I have demonstrated previously, the only difference between Huckabee's positions and those of Obama is rhetorical, not substantive. Indeed, that has been the problem with most Democrats (and the Democratic Party) for most of my adult life. They say nice things about teh ghey every few years when there's an election in the offing, but that's the extent of the tepid, lukewarm, not-exactly support that they're willing to offer. At least with the Republicants, you know up front what you're getting.

          I particularly enjoyed your last sentence, since that's exactly the position taken by any number of commenters here who feel that teh ghey should sit quietly at the back of the bus and be grateful they're allowed on it at all, instead of being tossed under it as it careens full-tilt toward the right.

          •  DADT passed permanently (0+ / 0-)

            as he wanted, hospital rights done.  

            Your being a bigot about this, look it up.

            •  Wrong, wrong, and wrong (0+ / 0-)

              Not that I'm surprised.

              •  Uhhh sure (0+ / 0-)

                The rest of the world will wait for you Sarah.

                •  Let's see (0+ / 0-)

                  1. Obama did not pass DADT. That was Bill Clinton.
                  2. Obama did not pass permanent DADT repeal. In fact, Obama has not yet passed DADT repeal at all. What Obama signed (after stonewalling for more than a year, and permanently undoing actual repeal legislation) was a possible conditional future repeal. It is in no sense permanent--there is nothing that would prevent a future president from issuing an executive order (or a future Congress from passing a law) to put it back.
                  3. "Hospital rights" are an administrative rule. They can be undone by the stroke of any future Republican president's pen, or by any Congress so minded.

                  Never mind the self-evident fact that even the lame advances Obama has made do nothing whatsoever to affect the second-class citizenship that is still all GLBT Americans can expect.

                  So why don't you take your smug assertions and shove them someplace the sun doesn't shine?

    •  I learned a while ago (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      darboy
      Hidden by:
      jpmassar

      that unless you are 100% agreed this diarist, you will be attacked for your views. This is the fist of his diaries I've clicked on in in a while.

      Sad really because I am pro-gay marriage but I am marginalized because I do not agree with him that Obama is actively fighting him on the issue.

      IMO Clarknt67 and his fans hurt their cause as much as they help it.

      •  OH Boy, Embarrassing typo (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure to get roasted for that one.

      •  I am sorry you feel marginalized and attacked (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musing85, yuriwho, FogCityJohn

        I think it's unfair for you to characterize passionate engagement as "attack." If I truly attacked people, I think my comment history would show a history of hiddens, which it does not.

        But maybe feeling "attacked" you can understand a little bit about how it feels to have discrimination codified into law? Or to be physically assaulted on the subway for giving your date a goodnight peck. I know these experiences.

        I feel misunderstood myself. I most certainly did not say Obama was actively fighting us. I was observing how in endorsing a discriminatory status quo he is impeding progress to eradicate it.

        Of course his Justice Department IS actively fighting attempts to put an end to DOMA and DADT (which is still the law and in effect).

        IMO Clarknt67 and his fans hurt their cause as much as they help it.
        Am I "hurting myself" in this specific diary, or is that a generalized observation?

        When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

        by Scott Wooledge on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 10:58:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In a dairy of yours (0+ / 0-)

          about 1-2 months ago, I expressed my honest opinions about the current state of affairs regarding same-sex marriage politics. I was attacked by you and several of your fans. This is the first gay marriage related diary I have peeked into since then. I felt like despite my support, I was not welcome since I was not 100% on board with your damn the torpedoes, in your face style. I was discouraged from even posting a comment about it on DKos. About the same time, the crazy shit was happening in the Black Kos community and then Deoliver wrote an amazing diary about community dynamics and I commented that the same thing was happening in the gay community here.

          Here is her diary: http://www.dailykos.com/...

          In real life, I am the straight guy who is constantly making fun of my friends who drop anti-homosexual slurs without noticing. I usually attack them along the lines that they are not secure enough in their own sexuality that they need to make fun of others like playground bullies. I do what I can. I am not a crusader, although my friends who know little or nothing about this issue think I am a closet homo. I do understand what you are up against though, and I know it's a tough slog. One that will take many friends/frienemies & allies to win. Personally I think the battle needs to be one family/friend at a time.

          I support your goals, but I feel unwelcome here.

          If that makes any sense.

          •  I don't recall the incident (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            musing85, craigkg, T100R

            and don't much wish to rehash history.

            I have noticed a pattern.

            Sometimes a person expresses an "honest opinion" that is, intentionally or not, filled with institutionalized homophobia.

            When the gay community unites to post refutations and challenges, the conversation takes a turn.

            Rather than contemplate the possibility that the many gay people may have a point, or may actually know what they are talking, the person posting the offensive comment doubles down. And then declares the gay people "a cabal" or "a gang" for being united in their perspectives. Note how  you refer to posters who agreed with me as "fans," as though they are middle schoolers that have pictures of me taped to their lockers. Not as though they were full-grown adults engaged in a political debate and have opinions that they have formed by watching these issues evolve over years.

            In this way the gays' opinions can dismissed wholesale as groupthink, rather than considered as a thoughtful consensus that many people have arrived at independently of one another.

            These tactics often come from heterosexual people who may be nice and well-meaning. But they are often arrogant enough to presume to lecture gay people that only they know what's best for the gay people and the bay people better listen. It usually involves gays waiting quietly and patiently for the very same rights the lecturer has conveniently taken for granted all their life. Coming from people who never once contemplated suicide or the hurtful homophobic world we live in, or lost a friend to same.

            I would agree that I don't feel welcome at Black Kos. I haven't engaged since Joan Mar posted one of the most homophobic diaries I've ever seen on Kos and it was recced enthusiastically by many from Black Kos.

            But I don't feel any quarrel with that community and don't wish to be drawn into the conflict that exists.

            There are several posters that are popular in the at community that have made it a regular habit of trolling my diaries posting homophobic stuff and getting rec and support from that community.

            When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

            by Scott Wooledge on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:47:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

              •  That's it? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                musing85, Clarknt67, T100R

                That's all you've got?  Clark posts a detailed explanation of what he's talking about, and you can't write past the subject line?

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

                by FogCityJohn on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:17:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  If you feel attacked by that (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                musing85, FogCityJohn, T100R

                I think you are over-sensitive and not really up for debating potentially contentious political issues.

                I don't presume, aspire or believe anyone can write to "all audiences" and a universal consensus. Clearly you and I have have disagreements, though here today you've only taken issue with my "tone."

                I don't appreciate your belittling my followers at "fans" as though my popularity on this site is an expression of childish hero worship.

                I think other popular posters who you agree with, like say Deoliver, you would probably say their work resonates because they are good writers who make good arguments that resonate with people.

                But when you disagree with a popular writer, you label those who agree with them as "fans." It's very diminishing. And could well be construed as an attack as well.

                When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

                by Scott Wooledge on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:25:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Here's one problem I see (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            musing85, Clarknt67, T100R

            You may view your positions as supportive of LGBT rights.  But real-life LGBTs may not have the same view of your positions when you express them.  Sometimes straight people just don't "get" the fact that their thinking is skewed by societal homophobia.  This shouldn't be surprising.  We gay people have to struggle to free ourselves from internalized homophobia, and if we have a hard time with it, I'd imagine it's even harder for straight people, who aren't forced to confront the issue of sexual orientation every minute of every day.

            For example, I recently had a disagreement with some straight Kossacks who kept saying that LGBTs can "choose" to remain in the closet.  They simply couldn't see how wrong this statement is, or how it could be offensive to gay people.  But as any gay person knows, one never "chooses" to remain in the closet.  One remains in the closet under duress.  One hides one's true self out of fear of the consequences straight society may impose if one comes out.  To claim that this is a "choice" amounts to a denial of the existence of homophobia, and it ignores the fact that for LGBTs, the closet is one of the primary instruments of oppression constructed by straight society.

            Don't know if that helps explain it, but thought I'd add my two cents.

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

            by FogCityJohn on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:34:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  In fact, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musing85, FogCityJohn, T100R

              a similar dynamic may well be in play in issues of race. A white person may say, "I voted for Barack Obama, I fully condemn racism and hate what I see on Fox News and in the tea partiers."

              Does that mean that white person has a full understanding of racism? Does that mean that person never inadvertently expresses institutionalized racism? Does that mean that person never makes clumsy comments that are offensive or could be seen as racist? And if they do, their comments should not be addressed because on the whole they are "on right the side?" And addressing their clumsy comments are "counter-productive" and doing more harm than good?

              When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

              by Scott Wooledge on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:48:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It happens will all minorities . . . (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                musing85, Clarknt67, T100R

                or oppressed groups.  People who are not subject to the particular form of discrimination are far less conscious of what the discrimination entails.  Indeed, they may be unaware of it at all.  This is one of the characteristics of what we call "privilege" -- be it white privilege, male privilege, heterosexual privilege, or able privilege.

                I'm actually trying to write a diary about some of this, but knowing me, I may never finish it.

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

                by FogCityJohn on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 09:41:18 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  HR'ed for a blatant lie, as per FAQ (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FogCityJohn
        unless you are 100% agreed this diarist, you will be attacked for your views
      •  rec'd (0+ / 0-)

        I haven't been attacked but disagreement is certainly not a positive option.  They are shortsighted and that is only eclipsed by their memories.

    •  REC'D (0+ / 0-)

      They are being shortsighted on this in the face of clear evidence of where Obama and the country is headed.

      Hospital rights
      dadt

      Can't ignore the facts

  •  Marriage = one man + one woman; (0+ / 0-)

    one man = one woman;
    0 = one woman - one man

    Marriage + 0 = one man + one woman + (one woman - one man);

    Marriage = one woman + one woman.

    Marriage - 0 = one man + one woman - (one woman - one man);

    Marriage = one man + one man.

    Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

    by nsfbr on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 05:52:12 PM PST

  •  Here's the problem (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, Clarknt67, T100R
    I frankly don't envy the White House as they head into election 2012. I know they don't want to present a marriage equality candidate to ask for the Electoral Votes of North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Indiana. I don't think anyone can reasonably say that the right wouldn't relish making him a punching bag on that issue.

    What in the hell is so hard about saying "I believe in equality under the law--period, full stop.  That is a fundamental American value that my opponent clearly does support.  What other individuals does my opponent believe are less than fully human and deserving of less than full human rights?  People with different skin tones?  People with different religious beliefs?  I stand for equality under the law and the traditional American values that made us a great nation."

    Don't be a punching bag, punch the 'baggers.

    We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

    by Mosquito Pilot on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 06:44:39 PM PST

  •  Excellent diary (0+ / 0-)

    One little thing though...

    "These are not merely "issues" to many folks, but firmly held beliefs, and the pursuit of tangible benefits."

    These aren't "firmly held beliefs" for me or any LGBT person, regardless of how "into" marriage or the marriage debate they are. It's our reality.  

    Thank you for putting all of this together. The choice for the President is clear.

  •  i cannot defend the President on this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clarknt67

    He is wrong.

    OTOH, I'd rather have him as President than John McCain, and any Democrat who came out (pun intended) in favor of marriage equality would have lost big in 2008.

    The country is changing though.

    Is it changing fast enough to make marriage equality a viable platform position in 2012?  I have no idea.

    But then again if you had told me that Iowa would have marriage equality before New York, I would have bet my (nonexistent) life savings that you were wrong.  So what do I know?

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    I support Bob Massie for MA-Sen

    by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 08:11:05 PM PST

  •  How does one convince a politician (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, Clarknt67

    to take a stance ? Barack Obama did take a stance, once that was right on this issue, as you pointed out, in 2002.

    Politicians do what they think is best politically for them. I guess the question is, how do you make a politician decide to do what is right, not necessarily what is right for them at the time.

    Anyone who can answer this gets a cookie.
    And the 'keys to the kingdom'.

    Republicans totally abandoned conservatism in the 1980s ..

    by shpilk on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 08:16:52 PM PST

  •  You said it in your post. (0+ / 0-)
    I frankly don't envy the White House as they head into election 2012. I know they don't want to present a marriage equality candidate to ask for the Electoral Votes of North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Indiana. I don't think anyone can reasonably say that the right wouldn't relish making him a punching bag on that issue.

    Show me a poll (hint, Markos, hint) in JUST the swing states of likely voters on where they stand on gay marriage.  Call me when that number gets above 50%.

    Until then, he won't change his position, because that's the quickest way to ensure we have President Palin in 2013.  Doesn't matter how bad/good the economy is, the GOP has spent decades convincing people to vote against their own economic interests in order to help out the very wealthy at their own expense.  Unless you want to argue that people in those states won't be fooled again by the GOP grasping at other issues (Gays!  Mexicans!  Muslims!  FEAR THEM!!!!!), when it's worked so well since... well... forever, then... yeah.

    •  See you took to a conclusion (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, craigkg, T100R

      I wouldn't go to:

      because that's the quickest way to ensure we have President Palin in 2013
      Just because the right would try to make it an issue doesn't mean it would resonate. Obama can fire back. We saw a lot of that in the 2008 fight. And we still see  flashes of brilliance  from him, from time to time. If they chose to make an issue, and he chose to passionately engage, I don't think the voters would vote for Palin.

      When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:31:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        craigkg, Clarknt67

        I actually think that the GOP making 2012 about gay marriage would be helpful to Democrats because it shows how uninterested they are in actually working for the American people.

        I'm gay and I'm pissed. I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in, I'm not backing down, and I'm not going away. I'm one of the Angry Gays. Deal with it.

        by psychodrew on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:40:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I could see even in purple states (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musing85, psychodrew, T100R

          a net win in the middle by replying to attacks on the gays with "Candiate __ doesn't want to talk about important things. He wants to make this issue about silly, unimportant things that people don't care about. Federal staff employee __ [use an example like Kevin Jennings or prominent LGBT] is married, s/he comes in every day and works hard for America. That's what we value. This is an old tired playbook that America is rejecting."

          When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

          by Scott Wooledge on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 08:31:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I guess we just have to confront him (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musing85, Clarknt67

    until he does the right thing. Just like with progressive taxation and his attempts to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.

    "This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it." -- Keith Olbermann

    by allergywoman on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 09:49:04 PM PST

  •  Framing the issue (0+ / 0-)

    Equating homophobia with hate speech is an effective, argument to make. It is also true, a condition that must be present or no argument will hold. But I'd like to raise some questions regarding strategy---Re: Lakoff:

    We must remember, that how we frame an issue can direct the flash of its lightning, the discharge of its energy, into cathected areas of our social pathology, and keep us from the goal we seek.

    Take for example, the gay marriage question. By directing the issue at hand to this, the right wing (e.g. Huck-a-bee) will inevitably gas on about god and the bible-- inflaming their constituency to act out their repressed motivations.

    I wonder sometime if we might do better to frame the issue ONLY as a civil rights and human rights question--instead of fighting the particulars (e.g. gay marriage).

    What we need is a constitutional amendment declaring that the equal protection clause applies to all people regardless of race, belief, color, gender, or sexual orientation. Let's get it done in one sweep of action.

    Once this becomes law, fighting the particulars becomes easier. Gay marriage discrimination, job discrimination, real estate discrimination, etc., are part of the larger human rights, civil rights questions. And let us not forget that women (who are the majority of the population) do not yet have equal rights in our society. Bringing everyone on board all at once, may be easier than bringing folks on in separate groups.

    People, often, are able to see and act responsibly on the large issue of fairness and quality, but their own hidden pathologies and conditioning with regard to the particulars (often cathected and unexamined sexual issues) prevent them from acting as they might otherwise. In fact, sometimes the acidic verbiage coming from members of the right wing regarding the issue of gay marriage and homosexuality in general reveals more about what it conceals about them than formulates any kind of legitimate or even coherent argument.

    I suggest that, perhaps, focusing the laser of discourse on gay marriage is not the way to succeed, for now. It leads the fearful into zones of inadmissibility. I should add and insist, that in the long run it is absolutely necessary for the health of our community, to examine these questions directly. And for that reason--

    I might conceed, at the expense of my own argument, that THIS is the best strategy.

    Just like the next fella, I am spoiling for a fight--but I want to put it off till later, when the law is on our side. That fight will be a long one.

    Let me ask this question: did the equal rights amendment for women fail on the merits? I would say no. It was well on its way to passage, till the issue of equal rights turned to the sensitive particulars, and most involved questions of sexual comfort. E.g. Does the equal rights amendment mean that women MUST register for the draft--just like MEN. They just can't do that! It will rob us of our manhood, etc. Of course, some particulars are not that cathected among us: for that reason, granting women the right to vote was less difficult than giving them, what is their essential right and condition, FULL equality--though that  was very difficult.

    If during the fight for legal rights for people of color, we had allowed the right wing to FRAME the issue exclusively along sexual lines of hyperrational fear, we wouldn't have got past, do you want your pure daughter of the South to marry a black man? Yes the law is not the end, but the beginning of a collective struggle--as the times so piteously bear witness to.

    But, I don't agree with those who say the civil rights laws have not changed things. What changed was the ground on which the struggle takes place. Before it was "THE OTHERS" problem only. They were outside the circle of common identity. Now, by law, with regard to color, there is no OTHER. It is now within the community as a whole--it is a shared question of truth, even as sectors work to deny this.

    In short, I think it's a question of when to address the underpinnings of "sexual" fear within the society at large. I prefer to say, equal rights for all, period, and add nothing.
    This is the fundamental truth. There is no "OTHER" and everyone is inside the circle, even HUCK-a-BEE!

    Later, there will be plenty to say and more than we have thought of. But the process will be from inside the house. Everyone, will have a chance to have a say. That will begin another long struggle toward health, since no one will be given a powerful means that previously has permitted them the luxury to ignore what is going on inside themselves, at the expense of truth.

  •  Do we not recognize the difference (0+ / 0-)

    in the verbage?

    •  You think there's a substantive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, T100R

      difference in the verbiage between statement 1 and statement 2?

      Marriage = one man + one woman
      "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman."

      When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 09:53:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the difference is clear (0+ / 0-)

        It's basically the difference between a flexible and inflexible thought.  

        One is an equation 1+1=2
        The other is a belief
        "I believe in Santa Clause" Age 5
        "I don't believe in Santa Clause" Age 10

        As disappointing as it may be to people that want the President to make a more affirmative statement, it's a stretch to put that statement in the same category as what Mike Huckabee said.  

        Huckabee knows marriage is between a man and a woman, whereas Obama has demonstrated that his personal beliefs can be sacrificed for political purposes. This time it may work to your benefit and he should not be compared to someone who won't even give that issue the time of day.  

        •  Are you (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musing85, katynka, T100R

          saying the beliefs of the man who overwhelmingly won the Presidency and remains enormously popular have no effect on the public conversation about this issue? That his siding with opponent has no sway with state legislators and voters on ballot initatives?

          When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

          by Scott Wooledge on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 11:02:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Come on Clark (0+ / 0-)

            let's not do this.  Asking me what I'm saying with such specific rhetorical questions isn't going to get you any answers.

            You asked me about the distinction between the two and I told you I thought it was pretty easy to tell the difference.

            You are putting the president, who has on several occasions proclaimed his flexibility on this issue to someone who has none and will not be increasing his flexibility ever, and I think Huckabee would be comfortable in my making that statement on his behalf.  

            Obama has proven time and time again that he believes in a process which lead to the end of DADT from a legislative standpoint.  This is how he does things and it's your right to push him, but what is going to end up happening is BS like this, where Obama, who is someone who clearly is on a different side of the tracks as Huckabee gets lumped in to the same group because he isn't doing what someone wants when they want it.  

            If you truly don't see the distinction, that's fine, if you think he could do more that's fine too, but you don't get to play the "Are you saying..." game.  The fact of the matter is that Obama's flexible and I dare say(not fully informed opinion) is more likely than not to be in line with the majority of the country(this is where you provide some poll that says I'm wrong, right before I say look at the voting results).

            Be happy you have someone that is at least willing to have a flexible thought about it and continue the conversation, which is far less than you will have once he is gone.  

            It's a bit of a cheap shot to put him in there with Huckabee and I believe most people, understand there is a difference betwee a concrete equation like the one Huckabee put out and expressing ones beliefs.  I also think it is a bit disingenuous to not post some of Obama's words, which clearly point to him keeping an open mind about this very issue.  It's not hard to find.

            •  No. You come on. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musing85, T100R

              As long as the President is being quoted by our opponents as supporting bans on gay marriage, as was done was done today in New Hampshire, I and many others will draw attention to the fact that he's not helping. I'm sorry that offends you.

               

              So long as he remains silent, that he is "better" than Huckabee will be cold comfort to the LGBT couples who are poised to lose their right to marry. He allows the conservative fundamentalists to "misrepresent" is position,  as also they did in Prop 8 in ads and robocalls. His silence is endorsement and consent to their activities.

              Do you think it unreasonable to ask him to break his silence on the NH marriage equality fight?

              When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

              by Scott Wooledge on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 01:21:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Your ENTIRE point is (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musing85

              “he’s not as bad as Mike Huckabee," which I readily concede. But there’s nothing more to your point.

              My point is he’s not good enough. Yet.

              A point I suspect you’ll never concede.

              When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

              by Scott Wooledge on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 01:39:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I already conceded that point (0+ / 0-)

                but the problem is that even though you agree that he is not as bad as Huckabee you are still arguing that he is somehow in the same group.

                You're not even being realistic.  If I tell you his opinion is not fully informed, as I did in the post you so readily rebuked, does that not display any understanding at all?  Furthermore does it not show you that I already conceded a point you said I would never concede.

                How honest are you being if you recognize what I'm saying as true, but say there is no difference between Obama and Huckabee in your thread.  

                We call that lying in MN?

                You're not drawing attention to the fact that he isn't helping in general.  You're drawing attention to the fact that he isn't helping, the way you want him to help.  

                I doubt you appreciated the way he handled DADT but guess what?  It got passed and will stay that way.

                You can push him all you want but when you are dishonest about who he is, then it just doesn't work.  

                Obama's comments and Huckabee's comments are a piss poor comparison and it's really disturbing that even though Obama is getting these social issues taken care of,(medical visitation, dadt) he still gets lumped in with idiots like Huckabee.  I'm kinda used to it by now.  

                When DOMA gets done, you'll thank him for two seconds and then it's back to the bashing and that's what this is.  It is Obama bashing and tweet quoting and just not an argument that you would be able to hold up, if he was standing in front of you.  It's easy to do here, where you are a recognized contributor but if Obama was standing right in front of you, he'd bat this BS argument (of him being in the same boat as Huckabee) down like a fly on a cold window.

  •  I guest if I don't believe in what you believe in (0+ / 0-)

    that I'm wrong and you are right, because your agenda is more important than anyone elses.

    •  I guest in other words, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, craigkg, psychodrew, T100R

      gay people should just sit down in the back of the bus and be quiet. If someone is on the wrong side of an issue, no one, especially not gay people, should challenge them on it. Because "there are more important things to do." We should accept that Gov't is capable on only doing one thing at a time.

      Inequities in LGBT martial rights will be addressed after all the wars end, the economy is thriving, poverty and hunger are eradicated, global climate change has been reversed.

      And the Mars colony is self-sustaining.

      Thanks for your support. It's a shame to me you see the political process where if a leader disagrees with you the only option is to wait quietly for one that agrees to be elected. I was under the impression Democracy worked best when people provided feedback to their representatives.

      When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old - I know it is.--Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:27:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What I don't get is (0+ / 0-)

        how you people keep using civil rights era references yet have no perspective on how this shit gets done.  

        Back of the bus was several hundred years down the line from where we started and Obama probably knows that better than you and the two posters below, yet you talk about him like, he's the one oppressing you when the only reason this is on the table is because he is president.  

        It just sounds so shortsighted and immature.

    •  So the uppity fags should just (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, craigkg, Clarknt67, T100R

      keep voting and donating and wait until Obama decides that we deserve full equality?

      I'm gay and I'm pissed. I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in, I'm not backing down, and I'm not going away. I'm one of the Angry Gays. Deal with it.

      by psychodrew on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 07:38:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is basically (0+ / 0-)

      the point because, equating Obama's comments with Huckabee's is total BS and on top of that it ignores how Obama has been the president that has ushered in more laws that benefit LGTB(GLBT) community further in two years than anyone could honestly hoped for, honestly being the key word.  

      This agenda is a low priority to the American people as a whole and Obama still got it done and what's he get.  "What have you done for me lately. as in the past month?"

      It took uppity ni&&ers 400+ years to get to the bottom of the barrell, a little perspective from the uppity f@&$ would be welcome.

      Under what administration did people get the right to visit their loved ones in the hospital?

      Under what administration was DADT repealed?

      But somehow him and Huckabee are one in the same.

      B effing S

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