Friday, April 20, 2012

Obama campaign touts (and slightly embellishes) LGBT progress

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The official President Obama campaign has put out an infographic boasting about the current administration’s track record with advancing LGBT rights in the last three years (excerpt below):

Excerpt from infographic: “Progress for the LGBT Community” timeline
My transcript: (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []

> OCTOBER 1 Awarded a grant to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center to work with LGBT foster youth

> OCTOBER 21 Recorded “It Gets Better” video to support LGBT youth experiencing bullying

> DECEMBER 21 Led a United Nations measure to restore “sexual orientation” to the definition of human rights

> DECEMBER 22 Signed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”


> FEBRUARY 23 Declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and announced the administration will no longer defend it in court

> MARCH 10 Hosted first-ever White House Conference on Bullying Prevention in America’s schools

> MARCH 31 Completed an Institute of Medicine study on LGBT health, the first of its kind

> MAY 27 Issued guidance to foster safer working environments for transgender federal employees

> JULY 19 Endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act, a legislative effort to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act

While that is an impressive list of achievements, it’s sad that they felt the need to repeat the falsehood that the Obama administration has officially renounced DoMA, when all they really did was declare they would no longer be defending it in one single judicial circuit (the Second, to be precise), and even then, only so far as it applied in two specific court cases. For all intents and purposes, DoMA is still absolutely the law of the land in the remaining 12 circuits and is actively enforced there, as evidenced (to name just one example) by the numerous deportations threatening to tear binational gay couples apart. As superficially reassuring as the DoJ’s decision sounded, it effectively changed nothing at all for any other such court cases around the country.

The rest appears to be all fine and dandy, though the seasoned observer will remember how unnecessarily long it took for President Obama to make good on his early promise to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, not to mention how he continually claims that his views on same-sex marriage – which he was all for as a senator – are now “still evolving”. Of course, there’s no doubt that the President personally supports marriage equality; it’s just frustrating that he refuses to be open about it, instead playing such pointless political games in the vain hopes of appeasing some of the bigots on the Right.

In short, the Obama administration has done a great amount of good, but there is still a long ways to go, and the President doesn’t seem too keen on speeding things up anytime soon.

(via Joe. My. God.)