Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A gay agenda

Although President-elect Obama opposed Prop. 8 (not very loudly, but that may have been the California "No" campaign's fault), he doesn't support same-sex marriage. And that's too bad, as legal gay civil marriage is almost certain to win in time, despite recent setbacks.

But for any discouraged LGBT activist, the laundry list of measures leading to equality that he does support according to the transition website is no less than breathtaking after years of surviving rule by Republicans who hyped ignorance and bigotry. Here's an abbreviated list of those planks:
  • Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: ... Barack Obama [has] cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability.
  • Fight Workplace Discrimination: Barack Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions.
  • Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage.
  • Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited.
  • Expand Adoption Rights: we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation.
  • Promote AIDS Prevention: Obama will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. Obama also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users.
  • Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: Barack Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.
Not for the first time, reading this list gives me an astonished awareness that somehow we've elected a President who lives in the same world I live in. I wish he dared get on board with same-sex marriage. I know that we won't actually win all of this unless we can generate the political pressure to keep these issues front and center. But what a list!

I say a prayer for that man's safety. People get killed for being half this sane.


Kay Dennison said...

I hace long contended that our society gas lost three things that are important and used to be key to our mentality: common sense, common courtesy and common decency.

Every one of the things you listed falls under at least one of those categories.

I wish we'd wake up and realize that.

Anonymous said...

wow, thanks for posting this, jan. it really is a pretty amazing list.
- emily h

PeonInChief said...

Trinity UCC (Obama's former church) is known in Chicago's African American community for its commitment to GLBT rights. Rev. Wright was a major force for good here.

janinsanfran said...

PeonInChief: I am not surprised to read this about Rev. Wright's church. Aside from some of his misconceptions about the origins of AIDS, the tidbits we were exposed to of Rev. Wright's thinking seemed healthy and sensible to me.

libhom said...

Obama's fondness for conservative cabinet appointees such as Hillary Clinton makes me more than a little bit skeptical. I hope he really does support what he says he supports.

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