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Jul 08, 2009


Christopher Johnston

Obama isn't the King, he cannot make proclomations and change things. Change does take time and it IS coming. If you saw his speech at the PRIDE event he had in the WHITE HOUSE, he IS going to do what he promised, but there are much more pressing issues than marriage equality that he has to spend his political capital on. Healthcare reform will do more for the LGBT community than any hate crimes bill or repeal of DOMA or DADT. Not that they aren't important, but I disagree that he has failed or disappointed us. And in the interest of full disclosure, I am an officer in the Democratic Party, HIV+ w/no insurance, and I was kicked out of the Air Force before DADT. Like the song from Dreamgirls said "Patience, for a brighter day"


That may well be...and we can only hope you are right. But like LBJ, we need to keep the pressure on so he can act. LBJ himself said that he needed the pressure of the Black Civil Rights movement to make the changes he made. I think the same is true of Obama. On one point I do disagree, though: he could, with the stroke of his pen, by executive order, just like Truman did, suspend DADT and stop people from being drummed out of the service, And purely as a matter of national security, given how many Arabic interpreters we're losing. Marriage equality is the least of my concerns, personally. I happen to think that's not one of the most important things, either. Granted, it is a matter of constitutional rights and equality, but there are other, more important things that relate specifically to the GLBT community that could be done.


I seem to remember that DADT is federal law now; the result of Congress solidifying Clinton's policy into law. The Executive branch can't strike down law. The Judicial branch can. Obama can't suspend DADT either. However, he can get around it in a very radical way by invoking the "stop loss" powers he is granted in wartime. We have been in a state of war for many decades, with these expanded powers in place. This "stop loss" provision was recently used to keep people in the military past their tour of duty dates, too, but not by Obama, as far as I know.

It's up to Congress to get rid of DADT, not Obama. Yet he did promise to get rid of it. And the Democrats in general have promised many things that even still, have yet to change, though they hold the Presidency, and a filibuster-proof Congress.

Very little has changed, even when those changes would be simple, easy changes. I'm not yet convinced he's anything more than a marketing campaign. And my patience has no bearing whatsoever on that.

I'm not convinced that the Dems or the Repubs are anything more than marketing campaigns. And capitalism, despite belief, is not inexorably bound to Freedom (or democracy).

I think we need to march! But not just for lots of self-interested issues that keep us divided. We need to march for true change that will shake the very foundations of Washington: a government that instead looks to its People!

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