Do Mad Do Mad DO MAD
DOMA – Declare Obama Missing in Action
I received yet another email from President Obama, in receipt of which I am sure I am not alone, asking for support on his health care plan. I am not lending my support to anything, nil, zilch, nada, not until the promised repeal of DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act) and DADT (‘Don’t ask don’t tell.’) As selfish as it indeed is, not putting the rest of America’s ailments at the fore, I have little left but to succumb to my heaving gut. How long are we the LGBT to continue to be victim of our own endeavors? Why are we not banding together and demanding our rights? The time is NOW! Are we going to breach the importance of this current synchronicity, yet again? Who are our leaders? Where are they? Are we going to continue to accept piece meal tokenistic crumbs?
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens provided unconditional support to the Obama Campaign and probably would have done so regardless of any campaign promises. We worked avidly to get President Obama elected. Now with the democrats in control and the promise of rights, we have become nothing more than a mere acknowledgment, with the only progress being the first recognition of our de facto existence. But what about our legal rights; we need leadership in the Senate and Congress where we are perceived as priorities rather than under the radar bats hovering between hell and hope, trying to sneak a few signals here and there and lost hungry hounds gorging on scraps around the trash can.
Look at us: Clinton, our President signed DOMA while we looked on and continued to provide our financial and electoral support to his administration. Now what have we done played ourselves for fools again? I would not be this angry but for the recent Department of Justice Brief , demonstrating that if we have homophobic legislation then we can expect homophobic behavior, by the government that enacted it; if you have discriminatory legislation then expect discrimination. If President Obama does not find a way to immediately eradicate such legislation, then his administration is compelled to enforce it and for as long as that goes on the President is in effect endorsing the very legislation he promised to rid us of.
Marty Rouse, the Human Rights Campaign’s National Field Director, pulled his attendance from the DNC $1,000 a person gay fundraiser because the Justice Department brief equated gay marriage to incest.
Picked up off the blog www.GayPolitics.com, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin released a statement regarding the Justice Department’s filing in a DOMA case that brought condemnation from LGBT advocates: “Last week the Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of DOMA. I was profoundly disappointed by this action, particularly coming from this administration. I still take President Obama at his word that he is committed to the repeal of DOMA. I also recognize that he cannot do it alone. Congress has the responsibility on its shoulders to pass legislation that would give the opportunity to the President to keep his word and ensure that all married people, including those in same-sex marriages, enjoy the same rights under federal law.”
Congressman Jared Polis also stated his outrage at the language of the Justice Department in its filing in the case involving the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The brief infuriated gay rights groups when it came to light late last week. In a statement released this afternoon, the openly gay congressman stated: “I was shocked and disappointed to learn that President Obama chose to defend DOMA in federal court, especially given his campaign promise to call for a full repeal of DOMA. My sadness turned to outrage when I read the Justice Department’s brief that not only defended this hurtful law but seemed to embrace it. Comparing my loving relationship with my partner, Marlon, to incest was unconscionable coming from a president who has called for change. … Since this filing, I have called on the President to issue a statement or give any sign that would clarify his position and am disappointed in his lack of reply.”
The following day the President responded with what I perceive to be a slap-in-the-face-gesture, when he announced that he will be providing federal benefits to Lesbian and Gay federal employees (excluding medical benefits?- oh dear!)
My further thoughts about this are clearly expressed in my blog at http://oblogdeeoblogda.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/i-do-not-work-for-the-federal-government-and/ where I remind the President that millions of us are NOT federal employees and that it is the duty in any event of an employer to provide benefits to employees and their families. I remind the President that this does not touch on LGBT rights in the citizenry sense, but rather shows that he is a very nice employer. But now its time to be a nice President, if you get my drift!
As I continue to receive letters from the Democratic party and my Senators and Move On Org, et al, asking for donations and my support of a myriad of issues, I have decided that no one, and no issues (except LGBT) will get any support from me until I am treated with dignity by being given equality under the law of my Country. I am asking for nothing more, nor anything special, only equality in every respect for me, my spouse and my children.
I am doing this because the Democrats have a majority and we have a President who made promises and because I am entitled. I believe that an administration looses its authenticity if it cannot perform its promises; and while I understand there may seem to be bigger and more important issues, what on earth can be bigger than civil rights? If our administration cannot recognize its own citizens as equal then it has no place preaching human rights, family or democratic values to any other country.
When I heard Mr. Julian Bond (NAACP) testify at the UAFA hearings this month, where he asserted that LGBT equality is a CIVIL RIGHTS issue, I felt empowered and validated. As silly as this may seem to some, especially to our President, there is a significant comparison between Apartheid in South Africa (1949-1990) – (I should know I practiced law there) – and Anti-gay measures in the USA.
The fact that there are laws that EXCLUDE a group is institutionalized discrimination and that is prime in the definition of apartheid. This occurs in the USA through DOMA and DADT, and the State enactment of proposition 8. At no time should a legislature take away inherent rights, least of all amend a constitution that serves to protect the very rights being taken away by the amendment.
Mr. President I do not have my basic civil rights, hence neither do my children. I want the discriminatory laws of this Country to end. I want federal law that applies to all Americans and their families; I want the opposite of DOMA, federal law that curbs discriminatory law in the different States. To say you will leave marriage to the States is a cop out. In the same way that States cannot enact slavery, I expect States to be unable to enact exclusionary laws. If Marriage it is a concomitant of civil law, it is an inherent right for any couple and if it cannot be utilized equally then it ought not to be at all. This exposes the true essence of the difference between Church and State, for the only possible legitimate reason to thwart same-sex marriage would be on religious grounds. No matter what I do, I cannot become straight to earn my equality or acceptance of my family by the laws of this country. It must change and I demand my rights now! So I ask you not to send me any letters or requests for support about anything except about MY RIGHTS and the validation of my wife and our beautiful children.
Again I say and I will everyday until the repeal of DOMA and DADT -” Mr. President my name is Melanie and I am a real person and these are my children.