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President Obama's Failing Grade on Gay Rights


Dan Savage appeared on MSNBC yesterday and told Andrea Mitchell he'd give Obama an "F" on gay rights nearly four months into his first term.

And who wouldn't agree?

Andrew Sullivan also wrote up a scathing piece yesterday:

"I have a sickeningly familiar feeling in my stomach, and the feeling deepens with every interaction with the Obama team on these issues. They want them to go away. They want us to go away. Here we are, in the summer of 2009, with gay servicemembers still being fired for the fact of their orientation. Here we are, with marriage rights spreading through the country and world and a president who cannot bring himself even to acknowledge these breakthroughs in civil rights, and having no plan in any distant future to do anything about it at a federal level. Here I am, facing a looming deadline to be forced to leave my American husband for good, and relocate abroad because the HIV travel and immigration ban remains in force and I have slowly run out of options (unlike most non-Americans with HIV who have no options at all). And what is Obama doing about any of these things? What is he even intending at some point to do about these things? So far as I can read the administration, the answer is: nada."

Watch the MSNBC clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. It is now time for everyone to face facts and start speaking truth to power. NO MORE EXCUSES! Stop giving Obama a free pass. He has backtracked on every promise he made and yet most in the gay community keep treating him like a hero.

    Posted by: Wayne | May 14, 2009 9:17:42 AM


    Posted by: dards | May 14, 2009 9:21:00 AM

  3. Why is this even news? Did anyone honestly believe that he was going to make things better for gay people. It wasn't and isn't going to occur. Some baby steps might occur -if it is politically expedient for him-otherwise-not so much. He appreciates the queer vote but doesn't intend to go beyond meaningless verbiage.

    Posted by: Nick | May 14, 2009 9:25:24 AM

  4. Straight Politicians are all alike.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 14, 2009 9:30:48 AM

  5. It's sad that there isn't a better spokesperson then a sex columnist in free newspapers to speak for us.

    Posted by: Timmy | May 14, 2009 9:31:13 AM

  6. Martin Luther King came to Lyndon Johnson and said, “We need this Voting Rights Act. You know, we need your help,” and Johnson turned to him and said, “I wanna do it. Make me do it.” He wasn’t just gonna do it. He needed to be made. He was telling Martin Luther King to get out in the street and make it happen.

    I'm glad we're doing that.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | May 14, 2009 9:40:03 AM

  7. I give the son of a BITCH an F-

    On a number score that would be -60

    However Im not gonna just attack President Obama NO that would not be fair.

    I am also calling out all the STUPID,IGNORANT,UNEDUCATED Gay people who are bitchin about Obama 24/7 and saying that they are going to vote republican next time.What I have to ask


    First off,I want names of republicans who fully 100% supports civil rights for gays THAT INCLUDES MARRIAGE EQUALITY.I WANT NAMES BITCHES.By the way One or two names dont count.

    Secondly lets say Sarah Palin is running for the 2012 election are you Jackasses planning to vote for her.

    This BITCH made it quite clear that she is TOTALLY AGAINST gay people.She even thinks we can be converted or cured.If any homo has been paying close attention last election you would have caught that one up front.

    Third,if not Palin who is to say that the next Republican presidential candidate is going to be for civil rights for gays.Since some of you think you actually have all the answers I want them.Keep in mind I dont want just a lousy opinion,I want the facts that back them up.

    And dont give me that "atleast a republican would be honest about their opposition to gay folks and gay rights" bullshit
    You have got to be a fucking moron if thats the kind of philosophy you plan to use at the voting booth.My suggestion:


    Ive read this blog and its comments many times and the only thing that stands out is the stupidity and ignorancr of most of its readers.


    Trashing Obama all the freakin time is not gonna change the man's mind on where he stands on gay issues,so why not shut the hell up and take action.

    Im angry that Obama has done nothing for our cause too,but unlike some of you people I dont waste my entire day trashing him like my words will reach the White House and change his mind.If you really feel that strongly as much as you claim how about writing a personal letter to the white house clarifying your feelings,thoughts,rants,raves,suggestions.Or even personally go down to the white house and stand outside with a sign and shouting so he can hear you.

    Although I am angry at Obama for his lack of support for gays,I am even ANGRIER at the hypocritical Homos who think that Republicans are more in favor of gay people than democrats are.THIS JUST IN: No one party has any major support for our rights and well being.You may find those individuals on either side who do support us,but how vocal about it are they?

    I hear more speaking out against us than for us.Although most of the more vocally against us come from the republican side.

    What I see are a bunch of whining bitter queens who dont want to admit that one of the key elements to the lack of support and lack of action being taken is that there are not enough gay people willing to get up off their lazy ass and take action and make some moves for our own cause.In other words (and heres the biggy) APATHY

    Not to mention we havent had the best and most organized leadership here.Do I have to go down that Prop 8 road again?

    So while I agree that we should be pissed off at the president and many other politicians and even those BIGOTED religious groups.Some of us fail to look at another important thing.


    Posted by: Pissed off | May 14, 2009 9:58:59 AM

  8. @ Timmy: Why not volunteer yourself as a spokesperson? A bitchy asshat would be an improvement over a sex columnist, so you'd be a natural. And do yourself a favor. Before you pop off about someone's qualifications, you might want to Google them. Sex columnist is Dan Savage's day job, but there's a lot more to him than that.

    Posted by: MikeMick | May 14, 2009 10:06:24 AM

  9. President Lyndon Johnson had the iconic Dr. Martin Luther King to "make" him do his job. Who does Obama have to make him be that "fierce advocate" for gay rights? There is no one with the stature of Dr. MLK speaking out on behalf the gay people.
    Where is the gay Dr. MLK? Where is he (or she)?

    Posted by: elg | May 14, 2009 10:09:27 AM

  10. @Pissed Off: sorry, but I'm not voting for another politician, ever, who does not believe in my equality or is not willing to fight for it. Barring any major changes before 2012, that certainly includes Obama.

    Posted by: Pender | May 14, 2009 10:10:32 AM

  11. If you want something done, you have to do it yourself. We'll get it done without him. Frankly, it'll probably be better for us to beat him than to plead with him to help us.

    Posted by: Yeek | May 14, 2009 10:10:39 AM

  12. @PISSED OFF,

    the only one who comes across as stupid, if not irrational and hysterical, is you.

    Posted by: nic | May 14, 2009 10:12:24 AM

  13. @ Pissed Off I hope people get your message (even if it seems a bit harsh in tone) because you are absolutely right. Republicans don't support us at all. Heck, the rationale that you highlight, that neither party truly supports our rights, is probably why we're so marginalized: we continue to support the Democratic party with our dollars and votes even though they continue to ignore us.

    Maybe we need to go beyond staying home; instead, we need to revoke our support entirely: no more money, no more votes, vocal opposition to the party and their candidates. Campaigns are decided by slim percentages and dollars: if politicians perceive that we are not firmly in their camp, they may finally do something to attract us.

    Posted by: George | May 14, 2009 10:13:47 AM

  14. Kevinvt must be looking into a mirror himself. When exactly did Obama ever demonstrate his support of the GLBT community? Was it the day he got a haircut and played basketball during the gay pride events in Chicago last year? When he stated his belief that marriage is for a man and woman only? Oh yea, it must have been when he gave credentials to Towleroad to attend the inauguration with badges! Folks, actions speak ALOT louder than words. He and Patrick Duval would have you think that words matter. I just love how Hillary Clinton is being lumped into the same mem as Obama with media stating her views are the same as his. Clinton has marched in many gay pride parades. Bill Clinton's first act as President was to allow gays to serve openly in the military. But they are racists dontcha know. Obama is black and must not be criticized. He has a secet plan to help the gays. But its a secret. SHHHHH.
    He'll tell us about it after the campaign for 2012 is over.

    Posted by: glennmcgahee | May 14, 2009 10:15:14 AM

  15. Yeah, I'm comfortable saying now that I won't vote for Obama in 2012 if his position on marriage equality doesn't change, and I 'm as big a supporter as they get.

    I'm optimistic, though, that that will happen. He knows how many people are pissed off at him right now, and he knows it doesn't matter until November of 2012. I still think he'll begin publicly supporting gay marriage before 2009 is over. I really fucking hope I'm right.

    Posted by: JeffRob | May 14, 2009 10:19:53 AM

  16. DOMA. DADT. The adoption of children.

    These are campaign issues.

    Fix the inequities, and, suddenly, the issues no longer exist as a campaign issue.

    Remember ENDA? Just last year? It was such an important issue the Dems, with absolutely no hope of ENDA being passed into law, make a huge fuss about it in both houses of Congress.

    With a change in the Presidency, why hasn't ENDA been resubmitted?

    Like every other president, Obama is going to do nothing about the day-to-day inequalities in our lives, except to promise those issues are "being looked at," and the "timing is just not right, now."

    In four weeks, the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall "riots" will be commemorated. So the time hasn't "been right" through Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and now Obama.

    And, still, some people are surprised.

    Posted by: Eric Payne | May 14, 2009 10:24:10 AM

  17. "Bill Clinton's first act as President was to allow gays to serve openly in the military."

    Nope. You are clueless.

    That never happened. He started DADT, which was totally cowardly.

    The Clintons may have paid gays lip service, but they threw us under the bus when it mattered. Remember DOMA, anyone?

    Posted by: K | May 14, 2009 10:24:52 AM

  18. Obama and no president in the next 100 years will favor gays. They think that we are third class citizens. He better get his head on straight and start thinking like a president because so so many gays voted for him.

    Posted by: francis | May 14, 2009 10:29:47 AM

  19. "republicans don't support us at all."

    And what are Democrats doing for you, at least the one sitting in the White House?


    For all the criticism that gay politicos continue to hurl at Bill Clinton for throwing gays under the bus in the early '90s, I still think Obama is getting it pretty easy from the gay community. There is a big difference in the social climate of 1993 and the social climate of 2009. Democrats control both houses of Congress and Obama's ratings for whatever reason are still very high. There was never a better time to make some progressive moves. 1993 certainly was not this amenable to change.

    I'm sorry, Bill Clinton may deserve some heavy criticism for his decisions in the early 90s, but being someone who actually remembers the early '90s, being gay was entirely different than it is now. Ellen wasn't on TV yet, there were no domestic partnership arrangements in states, much less marriage. Hell, Lawrence v. Texas had not even been decided until the Bush Administration. Gays could not even legally have sex with one another in dozens of states. I'm not excusing much of the pandering Bill Clinton did to gays, but he was the FIRST president to even discuss gay issues publicly and he gets a far worse rap than what he deserves and certainly a worse one than Obama, who to me, in 2009 with the political climate as it is, deserves ever criticism imaginable for his total and utter lack of concern for change when it comes to gays and lesbians in America.

    Posted by: Alex | May 14, 2009 10:30:14 AM

  20. cue the self-hating gay Obama apologists like NIC and 24PLAY in 3, 2, 1 . . . . Don't you luv the way Obama talks about the national economic crisis as his excuse for not dealing with human rights? What kind of value system does Obama and his administration have if their economic plan takes priority over fundamental constitutional rights for an oppressed group of people? Respecting the Constitution should be the paramount concern for any elected leader, and Obama would rather rant about hedge fund bankers than protect individual liberties for the LGBTQ community.

    Posted by: NOBAMA | May 14, 2009 10:47:31 AM

  21. I am thankful that I didn't drink the kool-aid last November!

    I left the Democratic Party (and re-registered Green) in 1994 because I realized that the Democrats (like the Republicans) seek to maintain the corporate class. Progressive social and environmental issues are simply window dressings that politicians like Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama will ignore to get re-elected. Does anyone remember the radio spots that Clinton played in the South touting his support of DOMA in 1996?

    Posted by: Randy | May 14, 2009 10:59:49 AM

  22. Romney/Palin in 2009!!!!!!

    Presidential terms are 4 months now, right?

    Posted by: PUMA roar | May 14, 2009 11:05:13 AM

  23. Yes, I definitely care what grade Dan Savage gives ANYONE. You know, cuz he called Black people out on their racist voting on Prop 8 based on the now infamously flawed, incendiary CNN exit poll, and then refused to apologize for his race-baiting remarks. He is a beacon of integrity and he should continue to be upheld as the spokesman for the gay "community."

    I got an "F" for you too, Dan.

    Posted by: Q | May 14, 2009 11:05:48 AM

  24. @Pissed Off

    Read them bitches, honey. READ!

    Posted by: soulbrotha | May 14, 2009 11:13:50 AM

  25. "Change! Change! Change!" Right. He didn't get my vote last year and never will.

    Posted by: BKDO | May 14, 2009 11:14:09 AM

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