Tag Archives: lgbtqia rights

We Don’t Have To Be Afraid of Michelle Bachmann

Michelle Bachmann
Is this our Nemesis?

For a few years, those who watch the extremist wing of the republican party have seen Michelle Bachmann as an example of one of the scariest and most worrying examples of the term “Right Wing Nut Job”. She called for investigations of members of Congress, claiming that there were “anti-american” members in both houses. She also is paranoid of gay people demanding basic rights, and has advocated the old chestnut of a Federal Marriage Amendment, and using that to enforce repeal of marriage equality in the states that have it.

Most recently she advocated destroying the EPA, because it dares stand in the way of unethical business. In her mind, America was far better during the time of the robber barons….

So the idea of a Bachmann presidency is terrifying, not just on social, and economic issues, but given her fanatical christianity I’d be hoping there was a psych test before she were allowed near the nuclear football. One thing that has got everybody a bit jumpy is that she went from 4% in the republican polls, to 19% after her debate performance, and people are thinking she now has a real chance of being the Republican candidate.

We look at the republican party, and for the most part we see a group of right wing nut-jobs who are climbing over each other to win the “who can do the best iranian president impression”, and Michelle Bachmann is probably winning that competition, closely followed by Rick “please don’t google me” Santorum. However most people including most republicans don’t actually want to live under the Christian equivalent of the Ayatollah.

Now there is a kernel of die hard fundamentalists in the republican party, which I would guess is somewhere around the 20% mark. Michelle Bachmann just came on the scene, they saw her, they loved her, she now has their support, but can she bring the rest of the Republicans into the fold. Honestly even though primary elections do swing towards the extreme, can she garner enough support from the sane wing of her party, who have to know that she is unelectable.

So yes she’s scary, and if she were to become president, then it would be more terrifying than Zombie Reagan coming back, but she is less likely to win the presidency than Zombie Reagan turning up on the campaign circuit. We can all breath a sigh of relief, and get our kicks by google bombing her off the internet. I suggest “Michelle Bachmann” and “Haldol” .

We can’t assume any victory is final

In Manhattan, Kansas we had a small but important victory. The city commissioners in February passed equal protections for LGBTQIA people across the board from employment through to housing. Ordinance 6880 should be unnecessary, but it is good to see cities stepping up to the mark and defending LGBTQIA people.

The people who stood for equality were, the Mayor Bruce Snead, and town council members Jim Sherow and Jayme Morris-Hardeman. However the local hate groups of Kansas Family Policy Council and Awaken Manhattan, worked to campaign to unseat the council members with their typical lies and bigotry.

So sadly on May 17th before the ordinance even came into effect, they killed a move for basic human rights protections for LGBTQIA people in Manhattan.

The battle has been lost, but the war is not over, we will have equality, but we all need to remember be it in New Hampshire with Gay Marriage, or Manhattan, Kansas with basic rights, is that the haters will always try to drive us back into the closet. We cannot rest, we cannot stop, we have to keep up the good fight.

At the start of Pride Month, how does President Obama’s Score Card Look

I found this on the Whitehouse blog along with the President trumpetting pride month, so I thought I’d take a look through and offer my thoughts on how the President has done, given the mandate and huge majorities during the first congressional session of his term.

Obama lgbt fact sheet

Hate Crimes against LGBT Americans

On this, signing the Matthew Shepard Act, and supporting anti-bullying efforts I feel the president has actually done a pretty decent job. I think he’s done as much as could be asked here.

Supporting LGBT Families

The Medicare and Medicaid trojan horse hopefully has made things easier across the country for LGBT families and its a welcome move.

However the State department saying that “we may allow certain trans people to update their passports” is unacceptable, its nice a step forward, but without a “you are a diagnosed fulltime transperson, here is your new passport” policy the situation is open to abuse by state department officials. I suffered similar behavior because of the prejudices at the UK embassy in Washington and eventually had to go over their heads to the Passport Office in London.

The actions to help LGBTQ youth (their recognition) in foster care, homelessness and recognition of LGBT families on the census all help out both provisioning of care, and also providing the vital support to the most vulnerable of all of us.

Ensuring equal access to housing for LGBT families

If you are a HUD program, you are no longer allowed to discriminate against LGBT persons, once those regulations are passed and enforced, it will mean a big change for poor LGBT americans.

Supporting LGBT health

Work on AIDS is nice and all but ignores many of the issues still facing LGBT americans. A real universal healthcare plan would have helped all americans, and made partner healthcare benefits redundant. However we got a weak health reform law, that included specific provisions preventing trans americans from getting coverage for surgery under the healthcare law. Of course the Trans contingent isn’t important enough to fight for, so one of the many compromises given to the republicans, was stabbing us in the back.

Setting precedents in hiring and benefits for LGBT Americans

Its rather nice that the president made it so federal agencies are not allowed to discriminate against transpeople, and that federal employees now can give their partners their federal benefits, but outside the Federal government, its still as bleak and scary for transpeople as before… rather than talking about ENDA, maybe the president could have used some of his political capital to actually get it passed while he had the votes in the house and senate…

Repealing the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Law

The law has yet to be repealed, and seems to be being spun out for as long as possible. It was nice that it was officially repealed, but Dan Choi still cannot rejoin, Katie Miller cannot re-enlist, and LGB troops are still forced to lie.

Even when the law is repealed, transgender troops will face the same discrimination, despite the fact that every other western military has active duty transgender troops in it with no detriment to their operating efficiency. Again the lack of clout that transgender americans have, comes to the fore.

Providing global leadership on LGBT issues

Revoking the ban on HIV positive immigrants was a good move, as was lobbying in Uganda, and other countries, however no such lobbying occurred with Saudi Arabia, Egypt or any other US ally who persecutes LGBTQIA citizens.

The UN support for an anti LGBT violence resolution was a good move, certainly one that the Bush administration would have vetoed. However it falls hollow when the very administration that claims to support respect for LGBT families, is breaking them up due to the discriminatory immigration laws they still enforce.

Honoring LGBT History

The president did honor significant LGBT history moments, and while many would like his support for a Harvey Milk national holiday, its not as critical as many other legislative things.

Supporting LGBT progress

It was a nice political move to stop defending DOMA, but he had 2 years with massive majorities to pass a marriage equality bill through the Congress, and did not. The refusal to defend DOMA feels more like a scrap thrown our way, than a concerted effort towards marriage equality.

ENDA, and the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Acts would be lovely, and I’d have loved to have seen them in the 111th congress, but again no move there.

Its nice to see the president talk about a safe and supportive environment for LGBT students, but how can he hope to have that, when there is still official discrimination at the hands of his discrimination.

Conclusions

As far as grade goes, I feel the president deserves a D minus. However the only reason it is above an F, is that at least in tone the president has made it clear that discrimination is no longer the official policy of the Federal Government. He’s not a crazy republican nut job, and he’s done some good, he just should be doing a lot more. Not next year, not next month, not even next week, Today.

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.