1. Sargon Bighorn says

    Kushner has a point. Obama has a huge mess to clean up. But there are a few things Obama DOES have the power to do right now and yet stalls for what reason? He’s not taking a stand on important issues like Bush did. He’s still the community organizer that wants us all to hold hands and get along. That’s not the DC way.

  2. Wayne says

    Ugggh! This victim mentality that seems to permeate throughout sections of the gay community has really past the pathetic stage and moved into Full-On DESTRUCTIVE. Its sad to see so many gay men with no pride willing to sell off not only their dignity but our equality as well, just so they can bow down to the alter of Obama worship. Until we view ourselves as truly equal and demand to be treated as such – Equality will not come.

  3. says

    No Tony it’s NOT obvious that he’s in favor or same-sex marriage. it’s screamingly obvious that President “God is in the mix” ISN’T.

    “The HRC — an organization I have a lot of problems with”

    But he doesn’t.

    WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!!!!

  4. qjersey says

    The liberal elite ($$) has spoken. Thanks but no thanks Tony.

    What people like Mr. Ku$hner fail to understand is that there are many more middle and working class LGBT folks for whom equal treatment under the law (health care, etc), would improve their standard of living. But guess you don’t mix with many of those folks, do you?

  5. Jeff says

    Kushner’s a smart guy– his points are salient. I too am losing patience with the people already screaming from his head. And, it’s so NOT “screamingly obvious” that the president is anti-marriage equality. Even when he said that he thought “marriage” was between a man and woman, he added the caveat that he might be wrong about it. If anything, he’s been playing it safe.

  6. says

    David, he’s awake. He just doesn’t have the courage of his convictions.

    The left didn’t turn on Obama’s administration. The administration turned on us.

    To quote the late great Molly Ivins, “Ya got to dance with them what brung ya.”

  7. Drew says

    THis is the view more of us should take… we have FOUR YEARS. Eight if we’re lucky. He will come through.

  8. Wayne says

    I wonder if the queens that were getting beat down and thrown into the police paddy wagons during the raid on the Stonewall Inn in 1969 had just decided they were “inclined to extremely patient” instead of fighting back, would we even have had a modern gay rights movement? The time for playing pathetic victim and playing the apologist game is long since past. History has proven equality must be DEMANDED. It is the only way.

  9. Wayne says

    Obama’s playing it safe? So ignoring every single state fight on marriage equality and refusing to advocate at all on the issue of equality, let alone be the “fierce advocate” he promised to be, is now what they call “playing it safe”? And I here I thought the term “cowardly betrayal” was far more apt.

  10. Shane says

    He’s an idiot.
    I always think of this when I read this Dem-worship crap: “This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” From MLK’s Letter From a Bormingham Jail

  11. Rodney says

    I’ve been arguing for patience for the last nine months (complaints about Obama failing to move on lgbt issues first started coming out last summer!). Unfortunately, more than half the country (most all Republicans and a large share of Democrats) is REACTIONARY and will be against ANYTHING & ANYONE that hasn’t moved in favor of their issues. For example, a Republican just won the Senate seat from Massafreakinchsetts.

  12. David B says

    Having second class citizens in a country where we are suppose to be the land of the free should be TOP priority… I still do not understand why gay democrats like this guy, he has said over and over he is against same-sex marriage, yet u still voted him in….

  13. says

    The problem with Kushner’s statement is, it’s not just the LGBT community President Obama’s failing, and it’s not just the left. His proposed flexible spending freeze will hurt a lot of ordinary Americans in favor of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. I was willing to cut Obama some slack on LGBT issues while he got the economy going again and fixed health care. The stimulus may have stabilized the economy, but the focus has been away from neccesary infrastructure projects and unemployment continues to rise beyond the “lagging indicator” timeline. Meanwhile, Obama has allowed his health care plan (which wasn’t all that great to begin with) to become eviscerated and even THAT is unlikely to pass.

    Repealing DOMA is not just some bone to be thrown to political contributors. It affects the lives of ordinary citizens. Both my partner and I make a decent living. We are living the American dream — to the extent that we can in a country that does not recognize our relationship: we bought a nice fixer-upper in a decent suburb, we can take a moderately priced vacation once a year. Nothing fancy, no McMansions, no circuit weekends. Our nest-egg took a hit in 2008 but is slowly recovering. But without the benefits that are conferred to heterosexual marriage, if one of us dies, the other is absolutely screwed financially. The dream will become a nightmare.

    We elected Obama to help us and he has largely failed to do so. And history shows that Presidents need to get the controversial items enacted within the first two years of their administration or nothing will happen.

    In short, he’s taken the goodwill he was swept into office with and pissed it away.

  14. Riverdal says

    May I call your attention to your own, Angels in America? Where is your rage now? Are you saying we should sit patiently by as we are denied our civil rights, stand silent as soldiers face careers destroyed, and as Uganda cries out for genocide, while Obama, with his full plate, keeps his mouth shut? Proctor, your character in Angels, screams and fights with all his strength against how he is treated and he rallies the heavens until he is heard and never shows the slighted bit of patience as he fights for his life. Does your play still carry relevance to our lives? Silence=Death. Remember?

  15. Derrick from Philly says

    Well, gay people are NOT a monolith, are they, now?

    If you’ve got some of your leading gay artists, thinkers, politicians & community leaders disagreeing about how to approach this President & his party, and the “next phase” in the push for gay civil rights, then we’ll have to respect (or atleast accept) diverse opinions among gay folks on how to proceed.

    So, drop the term “self-hating gay” when another gay person disagrees with you about direction of the gay civil rights movement. The phrase don’t mean shit… except that you’re judgemental and…uh, easily excitable.

  16. Thomasina says

    @Riverdal: That’s Prior, not Proctor. Although Roy Cohn was as much of a witchhunter as any of the elders in “The Crucible.”

  17. Derrick from Philly says

    “Oh, David,”he said in his best Barbara Stanwyck immpersonation, “I can think of some gays I’ve learned to hate much more than me.”

  18. Trasker says

    “If anything, he’s been playing it safe. ”

    He should be doing the right thing, not the safe one.

  19. Yeek says

    >>So, drop the term “self-hating gay” when another gay person disagrees with you about direction of the gay civil rights movement. The phrase don’t mean shit…

    Totally right, Derrick. That phrase is the mark of somebody who can’t be bothered to face an argument on its own merits.

    As for Obama, I’ve given up, and it actually feels GREAT. The choice we have (if we’re lucky) is obsequiously debasing ourselves in the hopes of change versus hoping for (and getting) nothing but keeping some dignity.

    I’m going for the latter, because the first option just isn’t worth it. Strangely liberating and scary to give up expectations, but good in a lot of ways too. I wish Obama the best but will no longer support him, and accept that he feels the same way about me. We’re both on our own.

  20. jamal49 says

    Dear David E., as usual it’s you who is the asshole. I’m sure you’re used to getting everything your elitist ass wants. I–working-class, struggling in an economic depression, nearing retirement with most of my savings and profit-sharing gone, most of my life-long friends dead from HIV, and on no one’s A-list–still think that Barack Obama is our best hope. Some things take time. As one person here stated, he/we inherited 8 years (30+ if you count from Reagan onward) of an unmitigated, republicon disaster. In my lifetime, especially during the late 1950s, 60s and 70s, when I struggled–as have millions of gays and lesbians–to reconcile my most profound feelings that I am as I am and nothing can change me with the attitudes of a hostile, ignorant, religion-obsessed and reactive society. And now, we as a nation are having debates on equality for gay and lesbians Americans–an equality that logic, history and the force of our community will surely achieve. That we discuss our right to marriage, that some states in our Union actually permit same-sex couples to marry, is so astonishing to me–still–that at times, when I read comments left here by the wide variety of men and women who care enough to leave their written thoughts, I am thrilled, humbled and sometimes get very teary-eyed simply because we ARE here and we ARE queer and, I think, society WILL get used to it. We have struggles ahead, but I seek not to separate myself from the society I live in, even if that society at times has tried to isolate me with its bigotry and hatred. Therefore, I, too, will be patient and give President Obama all the benefits of the doubt. I am still working, reduced hours for less money with no retirement program, but my neighbors have lost both their jobs, have not been able to find anything to replace what they lost, their daughter is ill and they cannot afford to get the medication needed to help the little girl and are now going through this humiliating red-tape to get minimal assistance from the government. 60% of my fellow-workers lost their jobs due to outsourcing to India. The owners want it to be 90% in the next year. The town I grew up in has lost nearly every manufacturing job that was there when I was growing up. All such jobs have moved to Mexico, Vietnam, China and India. I worry that my son, who now works three jobs to keep his wife and 2 boys afloat, will work himself into an early grave, but he says “Daddy, what else can I do. My boys have gotta eat and have clothes to wear and a roof over their heads. So, we all struggle together and there are so many people of good will who want the gay and lesbian community to have full equality under the law. And, I believe we will. So, to those cranky, selfish, spoiled-brat, impatient bone-heads who want everything NOW, I say, “Patience”. It will come, this change. It will come quietly and gently but it will come. And, one day the world will wonder what the fuss was all about. I will stand with Mr. Obama for the rest of his first term. We shall see where he gets to. Godspeed, Pres. Obama.

  21. NIck says

    BO was never part of the left and never pretended to be -that is why I couldn’t vote for him. He is a centrist but in the world we live in now -Republicans define everything politically—they cast him as some leftist, socialist, progressive.
    He has never been anything like that.
    That is why so many progressives DID NOT vote for him. I wish him the best however-but never had any expectations he would do anything extraordinary-like demand equal rights- for LGBT folks. Wasn’t going to happen and won’t happen.

  22. JT says

    I don’t hate Obama, but…………to Kushner : go back to writing another mediocre play you effete ghettoized Manhattan know-nothing.

  23. JeffRob says

    I would rather live in Obama’s America than the Land of Towleroad Commenters anyday. If you had any sense of historical perspective whatsoever your self-obsession wouldn’t be so crushingly tragic.

  24. Paul Nelson II says

    To me, it’s obvious that Obama is not even thinking about gay issues or doing anything with them. If you do the research, he has lied to the public with all of his promises. If he wanted to do something about the unemployment rate, gay rights, and the “war”, then we would already be seeing progress. If he supported gays, then he’d have signed an executive order to stop discharged under DADT until something could be done to eliminate it. If he cared about how we treat the Middle East and how the ME sees us, then we’d have started de-escalating the “war” instead of sending in over 30, 000 more soldiers. And if he cared about jobs, then he would not be giving more power to Wall Street, the White House would not be full of people FROM Wall Street, and the Federal Reserve would have already been audited. He’s just a puppet controlled by vested interests – interests which make lobbyists here look like nothing. He’s not in it for the people, but for the great financiers of the world and those who are REALLY in charge. Look beyond the mainstream media, and you will see the TRUTH. He’s not going to do anything for gay rights; it will be the Congress that does so if it happens. We have crap in the Senate, but there is hope in the House of Representatives. Don’t place all of your eggs in one basket with the puppet Obama. Push your elected officials. Obama was lost before the cause began.

  25. candideinnc says

    Uh–bullshit. What precisely, qualifies a playwright to be a political expert? Okay, even if you just take his opinion for what it is, his opinion. And I believe he is wrong. Obama has to be judged by more than just his stand on gay rights (which is pitiful). The president is a man without strong principles who has shown a limited grasp of the issues, and has surrounded himself with a bunch of corporate sellouts. One term Obama. Look for someone to challenge him in ’12.

  26. says

    Regardless of your feelings re: Obama, he can’t do anything alone. Call and write to your Senators and Congressional Reps. Let them know they need to move on: DADT, ENDA, and DOMA.

  27. says

    Sorry to have to wake you up from the coma you are apparently in, David R. Or have you been lost at sea where there was no opportunity to learn about the option Obama has TO ACT UNILATERALLY that has been discussed for months.

    Yes, Obama cannot repeal DADT except by signing a bill involving repeal passed by Congress but there IS a way he could, as it were, stop the bleeding himself until the doctor arrives.

    Under a law passed by Congress in 1983, the President can suspend ANY law…including DADT…and stop the discharge of ANY servicemember that he believes is in the interest of national security…something no less than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [hardly a radical] has URGED HIM TO DO!

    Ironically, and to his personal embarassment which it would seem he’s incapable of, the Commander-in-Chief isn’t even listening TO HIMSELF as when he stated TWICE last June that dischargeing gays otherwise fit to serve “WEAKENS NATIONAL SECURITY.”

    As for repeal, charter DADT opponent and Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin has said that it is impossible without LEADERSHIP from the President.

    So, yes, pressure Congress, but the buck, as always, stops at the President’s desk.

  28. BCLance says

    @Wayne: You’re comparing apples and oranges. Activists, citizens, and elected officials play different roles in creating legal change.

    @jgm22: Out of touch and complacent? Perhaps it’s merely that Tony Kushner understands the difference between allies and enemies, as well as the roles of political activists versus elected officials.

    @JT: Wow, you really told him, didn’t you? Let’s hope he does write another play. Perhaps it will have as much of an effect on the culture at large as Angels in America did. But yeah, let’s dismiss successful and intelligent members of our community in an ad hominem manner, that’s a great plan.

  29. BCLance says

    @JT: Oh, yeah, and way to go for calling him effete! That’s an advisedly thoughtful locution for commenting on a gay blog! Perhaps you could have just called him a fag and saved some space?

  30. JT says

    No, BCLANCE, I won’t call him a fag. Because a number of the effete Manhattan dips are heterosexual. Then again, I guess they ARE fags too.

  31. TANK says

    This guy’s such a fag. Sometimes I’m glad that no one speaks for the “community”. This is one of those times.

  32. Rey says

    I concur with Tony. My rage and impatience from the 80s and 90s doesn’t translate into today-speak – even less so than it ever did. (And we see how far that got us.)

    Kushner is right. We have an ally more now than in the past 8 – or arguably 12 or 16 years – whether or not anybody chooses to recognize it.

  33. says

    Kushner is partly right, but he has totally drunk the kool aid. He repeats the far left song that the Clinton’s were Reaganites. Please. Look at the stats, darling.
    My problem with Obama isn’t that he hasn’t moved quickly enough on gay issues, or that he’s too right wing. Gay issues are not everything for me, and I’m sure in his heart of hearts that he’s a true liberal.
    The problem is that The O is strategically weak. He’s wasted a year on bulls–t bipartisanship, and dug us deeper into a debt we pay interest on, instead of using the promised fiscally responsible Clintonomics. Billions for Wall Street with no regulation and no equity position. And no healthcare reform.
    I don’t think he can do much about queer issues until we start acting strategically ourselves. But the community has been controlled by the victim complex crowd for thirty years, who’ve given us losing tactics and shouted everyone else down. It doesn’t look like that’ll change any time soon.

  34. says

    @DAVID E: I know you’re pissed, but, you’re better than that type of writing.

    Btw, I am a hardcore Dem and willing to give him some more time (it’s been a year fer chrissakes and most LGBT of color that I know aren’t anywhere near as mad as the white guys seem to be), but, I am watching the next few months, not years, very closely. I think my attitude should probably frighten the Pres a lot more than those who are already spewing hate. Dem though I am, I too am just about at the end of my patience with being second class and when he loses me, he really has problems because there’s a lot of mes out there with limited patience left.

  35. boris says

    I am willing to be patient. But really… At present Mr. Obama’s position on gay rights is Rick Warren doing his inaugural invocation, a DOJ brief likening gays to child molesters and bestiality, and a cocktail party for the Gay elite, along with a definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. Wow, so busy, such a fierce advocate for gay rights.
    He should take his lead from Coretta Scott King who said clearly that gays have the same rights as everyone else, the civil rights movement is not complete.

  36. boris says

    correction: Coretta Scott King’s position was that “until gays have the same rights as everyone else, the civil rights movement is not complete”.

  37. Chuy says

    Sorry, gays, it not always about you. I agree with you Tony K. Patience. Obama himself said during his campaign that it will get worse before it gets better (economy). And just because you are not getting what you want right away doesn’t mean it won’t come.

  38. walter says

    How long must we wait ??? Angel’s in America
    pushed for change and promoted protest because the government failed to take the lead in pursuit of a cure. the government is now failing to lead to secure civil rights for LGBT citizens not the time to stop pushing sorry been 2nd class citizens too long

  39. Rodney says

    Well, Walter “Angels in America” was written after four years of inaction by the Reagan administration. Obama has only been in office one year.

  40. CHRIS says

    Well when you motherfuckers find a President who is Atheist. Then give them all of your support!

    God will always be in the mix ask many gasy who believe. God isn’t the problems queens. MAN is!

  41. Ingmar says

    >>To quote the late great Molly Ivins, “Ya got to dance with them what brung ya.”>> The problem is gays aren’t the only ones “what brung ‘im” and some of the other groups that did aren’t such great fans of gay folk. Yeah, I’m frustrated, and yeah, I won’t give any more money to dems until they show some spine. BUT… a huge flaming bag of dog shit awaited Obama at the White House door when he showed up. And while we might think marriage equality and full civil rights for LGBT is our top priority, the fact is that it isn’t for most of America… and I’d venture to say it isn’t for the dems’ base either. So what’s our choice? Become self-loathing Log Cabin Republicans? Show our hate for Obama at the delight of the right? We have made amazing progress. I never dreamed marriage equality could happen… let alone in my lifetime. It’s not enough, but if you really thought the world would transform overnight with the election of a president, you are amazingly naive. It will take multiple strategies targeting many audiences and legislators to win this game. Targeting Obama is just one small piece of the puzzle.

  42. walter says

    Rodney does that mean we have to wait for the three more years to complain the inaction of this administration because the way it is going right now they won’t be here in three years what then start over with a new administration, if African Americans had followed this advise they would still be sittting at the back of the bus

  43. Vincent Cotugno says

    You would think that the author of “Angels in America” would have more smarts when it comes to politics and gays in this country. How naive can Tony Kushner be???

  44. NR says

    Like it or not, the fact is that the Obama administration inherited a massive set of messes to slog through, figure out, and resolve. It comes down to priorities, and gay folk are tired of being low on the list of priorities. We all get that. Given the massive amount on Obama’s plate, who’s to say what the correct priorities are? You bet I want equality, and I think ultimately he will deliver. But if none of us have jobs because the economy collapses, what good is that equality in the soup line? C’mon folks – we’re smarter than that. Yes I want equlity, yes I’m tired of waiting, and yes I want a job and yes I want universal health coverage as a matter of citizenship and not a matter of which employer I happen to work for. And yes, I want it yesterday… I also want energy independence, the US to be out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and climate change for the better. All of those issues are urgent. He’s working on all of those things because he has to…so he has to prioritize. Personally, I’m not in complete agreement with this priorities, but that’s ok. He’s a smart guy and he will deliver in the best way he can.

    We are on the right side of history – we will prevail. Keep the faith.

  45. SF Political Consultant says

    Glad to see Tony is maintaining class solidarity with the rest of the rich folks.

  46. Mort says

    The problem is that Obama isn’t cleaning up the mess:

    Insufficient stimulus package

    no banking reform yet

    tens of thousands more troops sent overseas

    no health care for the working poor (who won’t get any help from the Senate version–which is yet to be watered down AGAIN)

    nothing done (or mentioned) to specifically help those who’ve fallen into poverty, homelessness, etc during this recession

    nothing done at all

    Quit campaigning. Quit smiling and talking. Start acting like a President or get out.