Suddenly, since some LGBTQ issues have again been hi-lighted in the national media, the LGBTQ community is angered that President Obama hasn't come to the rescue. "He said he was going to repeal 'DADT!'" "He was supposed to be FOR same-sex marriage!"
Hold it folks. . . he never said those things, and holding him accountable for it now is unfair. Our community projected those ideologies onto him, and he was smart enough to let us believe what we wanted. Thanks to this, we helped him get elected. Many of us helped him defeat Hillary Clinton for the nomination, then most of us helped him (some by default) to defeat Republican John McCain. He never really sought our support, we generously thrust it at him.
Take, for example, the insistence that he "promised to repeal DADT (don't ask, don't tell)." He never made such a promise. Here's what was said: "There's increasing recognition within the armed forces that this is a counterproductive strategy - ya know, we're spending large sums of money to kick highly qualified gays or lesbians out of our military, some of whom possess specialties like Arab-language capabilities that we desperately need. That doesn't make us more safe. . ." Then, he followed with the general disclaimer: "What I want are members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who are making decisions based on what strengthens our military and what is going to make us safer, not ideology." Read more here.
He allowed us to hear what we wanted to hear. . . that he didn't approve of DADT. He also, very conveniently, allowed us to let his disclaimer slide. So let's stop whining about Obama's failure to intervene in DADT.
I'm also amazed at the number of my fellow LGBTQ members who think he either explicitly or implicitly supports same sex marriage! Were they listening to the same campaign rhetoric as I? All I ever got from Obama was that 1. He considers same-sex marriage a states' rights issue, and 2. He personally believes that "marriage" can be defined as being between one man and one woman! But again we as a community heard what we wanted to hear.
Here's just one example of his views: (Click for LOGO video) He makes no attempt to address same-sex marriage at the Federal level, only that it's up to the states. Also, he explicitly states that his personal beliefs call for something not called marriage. . . "perhaps Civil-Unions. . ."