AIDS/HIV | Barack Obama

26 AIDS Activists Arrested Protesting Needle-Exchange Waffling

3596771280_d746936b6f The Obama Administration went back on Candidate Obama's pledge to end a ban on needle-exchange funding, with a spokesperson saying, "We have not removed the ban in our budget proposal because we want to work with Congress and the American public to build support for this change."

In protest, 26 AIDS activists chained themselves together in the Capitol Rotunda this morning, causing quite a scene.

All were arrested and booked on charges including disorderly conduct, loud and boisterous behavior and unlawful assembly.

As AmericaBlog points out, the scenario of a campaign pledge put off for an indeterminate time while garnering support (with no signs of action) might ring a few bells.

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  1. We are all fearful that Obama has not lived up yto his billing......but let's get serious; McCain/Palin as an option ? Get real guys !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jul 10, 2009 1:42:18 AM

  2. If McCain hadn't chosen Palin as VP, I think he would have been a legitimate option for those who agreed more with his economic policies and the like. On the gay issues I don't see that there would have been any difference from what we have now.

    Posted by: JT | Jul 10, 2009 1:52:08 AM

  3. Let's hope that the Progressive Wing of the Dem Party will agitate for a challanger to Obama in 2012. Should they not, perhaps it's time to look to a third party option.

    Posted by: mike shackleford | Jul 10, 2009 4:57:22 AM

  4. What fucking economic policies? He (McCain) admitted he didn't know much about the economy. So we would have been in even worse shape!

    This sconomy has not been like this since the great depression. So who really has an answer? Big Business doesn't. All they want is tax breaks and will still send the jobs overseas.

    I just think Pres Obama needs to be upfront about why he has back tracked on some of his promises, and have a little more back bone on LGBT issues.

    But calling him all these names and even if more of you don't vote for him in 2012 I really don't think it will advance the LGBT cause at all.

    Posted by: DUPREE | Jul 10, 2009 5:38:21 AM

  5. "Just remmeber 21% of you queens voted for McCain the highest ever for a republican. And look where that shit got you."

    Well Dupree, if it gets us no where in 2012 we certainly will not have lost anything gained by the current adminstration now will we?

    I am still hopeful that Obama will do the right thing on LGBT issues. However, with the dems in control of everything, and I mean everything, and we do not achieve civil rights then when will we?

    I hope that Obama does bring real and lasting change. I want the right wingnut stranglehold of the repub party shattered and with any hope I will stop hearing how the "dems are always better for us" from the gays. At this point we are no further than we were under the last administration. And NO I NEVER VOTED FOR W! Even as a repub. Having recently left the party I am not signed on as a dem either. As I have said so many times, neither party is on our side! Now we have proof.

    Posted by: RB | Jul 10, 2009 9:55:47 AM

  6. Needle Exchange is no longer so controversial. In the 2009 Texas legislative session, it passed in the Senate 23-6 (Republican controlled). The Chair of the House Commttee said passage was the "Christian" thing to do. The only reason it did not pass in the House this year was that it was the victim of extended debate on bills before it and time ran out. So, if there is bipartisan support in Texas, then we can get support at the national level.

    Posted by: Paul Scott | Jul 10, 2009 10:27:53 AM

  7. Here we go again: At least Bush had balls. At least McCain/Palin openly despised us instead of being sneaky about it. I told you so and I wasn't the one to drink the Obama Kool-Aid, blah blah blah.

    McCain is not president, thank god. We have 3 more years to pressure Obama on needle exchange and on a host of gay issues. That's an opportunity. We have Dem's in Congress who want to work with us. So we can get busy trying to influence those who HAVE made us promises, or we can delude ourselves into thinking that openly antagonistic Republicans would have somehow had our best interests anywhere on their radar screens. Get real.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 10, 2009 11:49:08 AM

  8. Wow, ignorance abounds! Needle Exchange IS a gay issue because HIV/AIDS is a gay issue.
    needle exchange decreases the rate of HIV transmission by 80%!!!!!! And yes, there are many(!) lgbt individuals who are using IV drugs. Gays can be/are drug addicts too.

    And on a side note, the ignorance and arrogance of so many of you gays on this site is a shame and you do much more harm to us than anyone else. The vitriol spewed at each other here is worse than on many right wing sites.

    Posted by: Mr. E | Jul 10, 2009 12:05:39 PM

  9. The fact is that politicians aren't keeping their LGBT-related promises because health care, energy/climate change, and especially the economy are the top items on their plates right now. If they spent too much time on "social issues," they'd be pilloried by all sorts of people, and they don't see any point in spending that political capital. (I can basically hear Rahm Emmanuel arguing this point.)

    And the fact is, they ignore us because there aren't that many of us, and many among us don't even bother to vote. And they take us for granted, because we vote Democratic in such huge blocs. Politics is ugly.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 10, 2009 2:38:05 PM

  10. OK, the ban has been reversed for the moment by House Dems:
    (Though it's still possible the Repubs will attempt to stop it.
    For those of you praising McCain et al, please note that it was Dems FOR lifting the ban and Republicans AGAINST.)

    Sometimes I wonder if Obama's strategy is to stall on selected issues until people get mad and do things themselves or through other channels, so he doesn't have to spend political capital. Politics suck, but the important thing here is the results. Maybe getting mad and demonstrating changes the context (public opinion) enough to make changing things like DOMA and DADT easier.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Jul 10, 2009 7:27:28 PM

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