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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Actions Speak Louder

Damn, guys. The more I think on all this, the more I'm feeling like I have really been played for a sucker. And if I was, I don't have anybody but myself to blame: I heard him say, back in '07 and later, he didn't believe in equal marriage; and since the election, I've been acutely aware of his silence, apart from a few squeaks when absolutely necessary, on gay rights.

Have the straight boys pulled a fast one - again? Too bad it's the weekend, I can't wait to hear what Maddow and Olbermann will do with this story. Two more comments from Sullivan, then I've got to put my mind on something else and diffuse this nauseated feeling.
#1 -
But the zealous defense of DOMA - including repeating countless spurious and unnecessary slurs against gay people - need not be a lawyer's duty. It is a choice by his political superiors. It is not the fact of this brief, it is its contents and rhetoric that sting. They did not have to go this far.

In trying to understand why the Obama administration would seek to go to such lengths to make arguments embraced by James Dobson I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt. I was probably wrong. The more I learn the clearer it is that this was a conscious decision by Obama's DOJ to use every conceivable argument to kill any constitutional attack on DOMA. At the same time, they are clearly committed to doing nothing in the foreseeable future to enact any redress for those couples currently denied their civil rights. On top of this, they obviously did nothing to prepare gay couples or any gay leaders for this swipe at them. Why? Are relations that broken? Some judicious explanation ahead of time would surely have been in everyone's interest. But again, one gets the impression that for the Obama administration, gay people are a burden, a distraction and a bore.
#2 -
After this back-and-forth today, I think we can summarize: the brief is (just about) defensible; its full contents are way over the line; someone in the DOJ must have understood that and decided to file it anyway - without even consulting anyone in the gay community. The deployment of arguments that refer to our relationships as equivalent to incest, that demand that we simply marry someone of the opposite sex if we want our civil rights, that implies federal recognition of our civil marriages would mean taxing some Americans to pay for something they abhor: this is simply salt in the wound, and it will be deployed and used by every far right gay-hater in the future, and cited as endorsed by the Obama administration. In the context of Obama's failure to fulfill any of his pledges to the gay community since he took office, this is terribly deflating. [Deflating ain't the word for it, Sully - Russ.]

We are asked to be patient, and that is fair enough. But we should not be asked to be attacked in this gratuitous manner, shut out of dialogue beforehand, and applaud. We did that for eight years under Clinton. Never again.
Is this bigotry and prejudice ever gonna end? If all this makes you sick to your stomach too, tell the man how you feel.

P.S. - expect some Obama flunky to give a stammering press conference today or tomorrow, mumbling and fumbling about "this Administration's commitment to equal rights" (while nothing about the DOJ brief will change at all, not an iota), vainly trying to paper over the gaping hole that just got ripped in the side of the S.S. Obamic.

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