Why the gays are angry at Obama

I won’t deny that I am absolutely angry with Obama:
But not just with Obama, with many people right now. I must preface the rest of my blog with three points of import.

The first being that I don’t speak for all of us, this is my opinion and it’s greatly steeped in the injustice that I’ve seen and the homophobia and bigotry that has been slung my way over my life time. Not to mention the even greater acts of bigotry, violence, bashing, bullying and murder that have been committed against my fellow LGBT Americans.

The second being that, I do not claim to be and expert in civics but I know what I know. If you find anything logistically incorrect where that is concerned, feel free to correct me or point me to where I can find the information to correct myself.

The third being that this was actually constructed as a reply to a twitter user who wrote the following:

@atxthumper that’s true but I believe instead of getting angry at Obama why not either let it work it’s way through the courts, which will ultimately end up at the Supreme Court or pressure your Congressmen on supporting repeal. Personally I think many gays are angry at the wrong person. Obama stated he wanted to work with congress to repeal it, he said this from day 1. He did not set a timetable of when this would be done.

That having been said, this is why I and many other members of the LGBT community are angry with Obama.

This summer and early fall, several things have happened that gave me and many other members of the LGBT community a spark of hope, only to be later let down by our president. I’ll focus on just 2 of the major events.

DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional: google link
If you don’t know, the “Defense Of Marriage Act” was passed in 1996 which basically made it legal for states to discriminate. From that point on, several states have added to their own state constitutions language that bans same-gender couples from marrying one another and partaking in the, over 1,300, Federal Rights, Protections and Benefits of Marriage. The courts ruled. The Obama administration so badly wants to try to work through congress on this issue that, rather than allow the ruling itself to stand, decides to continue to fight the ruling which should have been yielded to to begin with. Unconstitutional is, in fact, unconstitutional! We could have legalized marriage in every state fairly quickly if the administration would have just left well enough alone.

DADT Ruled Unconstitutional: google link
If you’ve been locked in a closet somewhere (pun intended), you may not know that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT – full text link) is a law that keeps LGBT Americans from serving our great nation and NOT one that protects them in any way.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a misnomer. The phrase is a summery of 1 of the three points of policy. The law itself allows the chain of command to actually seek out information about someone’s sexuality simply for suspecting that they are LGBT. In truth, and to the credit of many military units, there are quite a few units who do not investigate unless they were presented with evidence or unless they were told by the soldier. However, many is not all. There are over a thousand cases to date where a soldier wasn’t asked and didn’t tell but their command investigated anyway.

In these cases, the lives of soldiers who wanted nothing more than to defend our great nation have been completely ruined. In those cases, the discharge is not necessarily an honorable one. Under any discharge that is not honorable, those soldiers will find it difficult, if not impossible, to find work in the civilian world. They also become a burden on society as many of them end up in our welfare system.

Now that DADT has been declared unconstitutional, Obama is doing all that he can to keep the courts from enforcing a lift on the ban so that he can continue to work with congress. Meanwhile we still have people who would gladly give their lives for our defense, still suffering under this law.

So, why are we angry at Obama? It is his duty to uphold the constitution, it says so right there in the oath that he takes. Every minute he spends working with congress on repealing these items is another minute that our LGBT Americans are suffering. It is another minute for those who wish to continue to see this suffering to come up with another way around it.

Unconstitutional is unconstitutional. It’s as simple as that. Now that we know for certain that these policies are unconstitutional, they need to be repealed. They should have been repealed the very second that those judges made those rulings. At the very least, there could have been a moratorium on booting soldiers out of the military while all of this is happening.

We are calling congress, we are rallying, picketing, protesting and boycotting on a daily basis. We are working as hard as we can. We are simply asking that our leader puts as much work into is as we do.

In short, we are angry at Obama because, rather than put an end to the suffering of our families, friends and soldiers he chooses to roll the dice and try to work through a system that can just as easily work against him than for him.

I know that my friend who wrote the original tweet might disagree with me on these points and that’s fine. I’m not going to like her any less for having her own opinion. I just wanted to share mine with her and with you all.

Obama can easily defend the constitution by removing these unconstitutional laws. He has the court’s blessing to do so. When will he stand up, be accountable and lift the ban on inequality?

Till next time, I’m out.
Ed

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About Michael Diviesti

I'm a brother, a son, an uncle, a musician, a software engineer and hopefully soon the law will allow me to be a husband!
This entry was posted in DADT, DOMA, LGBT. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why the gays are angry at Obama

  1. Amber says:

    Thanks for sharing that..I somewhat understand where you’re coming from but my stance has always been that Congress is the best place to repeal DADT or let it work it’s way through the courts, which could take yrs. It seems to me a lot of gays I’ve talked with about this issue would like Obama to sign an executive order to end DADT enforcement but an executive order does nothing to repeal a statutory law which DADT is.

    We need to think in the long term. What if Obama does in fact sign an executive order and Congress then fails to act before the end of his term, then the next President could easily reverse the executive order and we’re right back at square one. The executive order feeds our insatiable need for instant, if less fulfilling results..that’s it. I see this as Obama dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s the way a responsible President should do.

    • Hi Amber,
      First, thank you so much for the reply here and for the conversations that we’ve had in other realms. You haven’t yet met me in person. I know that both you and I stand for some of the same things. I also realize that we disagree when it comes to how to achieve those things.

      I’ve always kept it my goal to allow free thought on my blogs, walls and twitter feeds. I welcome debate on anything, whether it be procedural, political, religion or otherwise. I feel that we all have a story that we are dying to tell and an opinion that comes from it. I have a lot of respect for you for what we’ve discussed so far and for your answer here today.

      Having said that, I do agree with you that congress or the courts (or both) should be the vessel that bring about change. Many of us would advocate for an executive order, especially on the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell issue. I am one of them. I will tell you why.

      The chances that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will NOT be repealed within the next 2 years is extremely slim. The issue that many took with the repeal attempt was simply that it was on the Defense Authorization Bill.

      I was a soldier from 1997 to 2001. While I personally was not kicked out because of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, I know many people who were. I saw how it effected them, their units and their families. It’s heart breaking. It’s almost impossible to bounce back from.

      Oh, I suffered discrimination in many other ways personally because I was gay. If it weren’t because of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, I could have actually brought it to someone’s attention. I was serving my country because I love my country.

      There are currently an estimated 70,000 LGBT soldiers in the armed services. They are serving both here and on the front lines. They are watching these cases in hope that they will soon not have to watch everything they do and say so as not to be suspected of being gay. If they didn’t have that worry on their minds 24/7, how much better of a soldier would they be? I submit, they would be much better soldiers.

      It is an amazing time that we are living in, watching this all unfold. It’s just not happening fast enough for many of us. Obama, at least in the case of DADT, really should lift the ban on gays in the military. He would be a hero to us all. It would almost certainly gain him another term as president and, it’s in his power to do so. He can, and should, fast track the cases that his legal department are going to have to defend so that it can go through quicker.

      DADT has no legal leg to stand on. They knew that when they signed it into law and they know it now.
      Thanks again!
      Ed

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