“I Believe in Marriage Equality” – Barack Obama

Today was quite depressing to wake up, to find that yet another state had decided to embed hate in its constitution, but it wasn’t unexpected, North Carolina is hardly a place in which equality is valued.

There’s already a law on the books banning marriage equality, but now they’ve stripped the rights, recognition and protections of all North Carolinian families who are unmarried. Now its not all bad news, all the rumblings from within the Whitehouse about marriage equality, something wonderful happened.

Now you can be cynical all you like, but finally, later than he should Barack Obama has stood up for the equal rights of lesbian and gay americans.

Sadly of course he recently refused to sign an executive order protecting employment rights for millions of LGBT americans working for US government contractors. Its still a good step forward, hopefully the first of many more.

Its time to make queer rights a bridge issue to get republicans to vote for Obama

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In 2004, the republican party used hate against queer people to help drive a wedge between independents, blue dog democrats, moderate republicans and the Democratic party. Its sad to say but it was a successful campaign and highlighted the fact that despite many improvements in queer rights and acceptance there was still an undercurrent of hatred for queer americans.

Its now 2011, and its so different from attitudes 6 years ago, and we should recognise that fact, as should the Democratic party. The majority of the country wants not only basic respect for Queer americans, but also marriage equality.

Currently the only viable republican candidate has refused to sign NOM’s hate pledge which includes calling for witch-hunt investigations of Queer rights groups who’ve attacked anti-equality organisations by calling them Hate Groups. Jon Huntsman has refused to sign the pledge, but in his view marriage equality is not on the cards, he’s a supporter of civil unions, but he makes it clear that they are second class relationships. Huntsman doesn’t even disguise the fact that he’s calling for “separate but equal” treatment of Queer americans.

Now Obama’s record on Queer Rights is far from great, he’s had opportunities to fight for true equality like ENDA and Repealing DOMA when he had huge majorities in the Senate and House, but he’s now supporting a limited marriage equality bill that he knows has no chance of coming law. However under Obama, despite his lack of action, hate for Queer americans is no longer the explicit policy of the US government which is a huge improvement. Under any of the republican candidates, the lives of Queer americans will get worse, varying from HHS rules forcing hospitals accepting medicare and medicaid funding to allow partner visitation rights, to the recent “consideration” DHS is now applying to binational queer couples as far as deportation is concerned.

Forty years ago, Harvey Milk said, that we had to step out of the shadows and be heard, that we could no longer be closeted from our friends, our families and our coworkers. Across the US, in a wave that was not unlike the “Great Awakening” in True Blood, Queer americans stepped out of the shadows, and started to find their voices.

Now we’ve become a generation of Good Queers, who’ve accepted that our republican and independent friends cheerfully vote for people like Bush, McCain, and others who relish the thought of hurting us. The republican party has chosen to make hate part of their platform. Barack Obama has been a centrist President, and I’d challenge anyone to argue with a straight face that any of his policies have ended up being anything but centrist, if not center right. So its time to go out and tell your friends and families about the hate they are considering voting for.

“A vote for a republican president, is a boot stamping down on the faces, lives, families, and livelihoods of your Queer friends and family members”

Thank you for that little crumb Mr President….

So apparently the President has commented on the Minnesota “lets screw LGBTQIA couples twice” amendment blocking marriage equality.

I’m mildly surprised that the supposedly fiscally focused Republican wave of 2010 seems to care nothing about fixing the budget, and only concentrates on social issues. In truth I always knew the Tea Party was just an especially rabid variant of conservatism on all stripes dressed up in the clothing of fiscal conservatism.

However thats beside the point, the president could call for an end to DOMA, use that bully pulpit to argue for marriage equality. We want DOMA struck down, but lets have a federal marriage equality law that repeals every single one of those disgusting state amendments from Proposition 8 in California to Texas’s Proposition 2.

I know the President thinks he can get away with empty platitudes and still carry the LGBTQIA vote just by the fact that he’s not an openly homophobic republican wingnut, but I’m actually sick of his cast offs and empty promises. So I know you aren’t listening but please President Obama, unless you are actually doing something real and significant on LGBTQIA rights, then please stop pretending you give a crap about us.