Friday, May 15, 2009

Obama Promised Us NOTHING!

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. . ."


  1. When Obama was way behind in the polls and did not seem to be a likely candidate, he produced an "open letter" to the LGBT Community. In that letter he stated, "I have also called for us to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell..." Obviously, it can be argued that his calling on us to do it doesn't mean he will do it, but I think there are many more indicators in that Feb, 2008 letter that would make any rational person think he is "promosing" certain levels of protection.

    Very much like Bill Clinton - use the gays to get enough votes to secure the democratic ticket then forget you ever knew them and back track on your promises. Seems those that need to learn are the LGBT activists - instead of accepting these politicians at their word, should we demand a sworn account in their own blood?

    If your interested in the text of the letter, here's a link from Alex Okrent:

  2. Thanks for your comment, as well as for the link, Jay!

    I happen to disagree with your interpretation of Obama's letter, though. Throughout the letter he remained vague in his convictions for the future, only outlining those things he'd already done. . . implying that these past efforts would carry forth into the future. I NEVER took anything in that letter to be a promise of future action on his part, and reading it as such stikes me as (no offense intended) rather naive. It was more a promise of non-interference in states' rights issues, dressed up to possibly be construed as campaign promises. And, oh-BOY he's good at that.

    And, in defense of Bill Clinton, his Presidency was nearly derailed during his first week in office because he FULFILLED his campaign promise of ending the witch-hunt style prevelant in the military against gays. It brought-on an unforseen fire-storm from Congress and the Joint Chiefs, and in the end he had to settle for the compromise of DADT, or the situation for gays in the military would have ended-up worse than before. Bill Clinton did his level best to fulfill all promises he had made to the LGBT community.