Obama Will Not Sign Executive Order Banning LGBT Workplace Discrimination in Near Future

President Obama will not sign an executive order barring workplace discrimination against LGBT people in the immediate future, according to reports emerging after a high-level meeting at the White House this afternoon. Among those attending were Winnie Stachelberg, of Center for American Progress, Rea Carey, of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Tico Almeida, of Freedom to Work, Joe Solmonese and David Smith, of the Human Rights Campaign, and gay Democratic lobbyists Steve Elmendorf and Robert Raben, MetroWeekly's Chris Geidner reports.

ObamaThose attending the meeting have been pushing for months for such an order from Obama.

HRC's Solmonese released a statement:

Earlier today, we were told that the Administration is not ready to move forward with a federal contractor nondiscrimination executive order at this time.  We are extremely disappointed with this decision and will continue to advocate for an executive order from the president. The unfortunate truth is that hard-working Americans can be fired simply for being gay or transgender. Given the number of employees that would be covered by this executive order, it represents a critical step forward.
 
Ten years of HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, as well as the research of our partner organizations to include the Center for American Progress and the Williams Institute, demonstrate that there is ample rationale for this kind of order. No similar executive order has ever had this kind of extensive research or factual basis established. While we believe that further study is unnecessary, we will continue to engage with the Administration to ensure that the case is made even stronger for workplace protections.

The White House said it had alternative plans, though the details were not disclosed:

Of the White House effort, Stachelberg says, "The White House will instead launch a multipronged effort to better address workplace discrimination against gay and transgender Americans. However, just as Congress should pass ENDA now, the President should now use his executive authority to extend existing nondiscrimination requirements of federal contractors to include sexual orientation and gender identity."

The proposed expansion of the federal contractor nondiscrimination executive order to include sexual orientation and gender identity had reportedly been approved by the Labor Department but according to Geidner, the White House is unwilling to take that step before the election.

Said White House spokesman Shin Inouye in a statement: "The President is dedicated to securing equal rights for LGBT Americans and that is why he has long supported an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit employers across the country from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The President is committed to lasting and comprehensive change and therefore our goal is passage of ENDA, which is a legislative solution to LGBT employment discrimination — just as the President pressed for legislative repeal of DADT."

StachelbergStachelberg issued a statement expressing disappointment in the White House decision:

Today’s news that the White House will launch a multipronged effort to address workplace discrimination against gay and transgender Americans, rather than immediately issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to have sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination polices, is disappointing.

These types of policies are supported by nearly 75 percent of Americans, many of the nation's largest and most prominent Fortune 500 corporations, and nearly two-thirds of all small business owners, based on findings from a 2011 Center for American Progress survey. It has been shown time and time again through research conducted by this organization and others like the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Williams Institute, that gay and transgender people face disproportionately high rates of discrimination in the workplace and that policies that protect employees are also good for business and the economy at large.

Just as Congress should pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act now, the president should now also use his executive authority to extend existing nondiscrimination requirements of federal contractors to cover workers who are gay and transgender.

NOTE: MetroWeekly reported earlier that the White House would not sign an order before election day. They've updated their story and no time frame was named.

Comments

  1. jack says

    The left should not try to push Obama further to the left before the election. He is a smart politician who knows he has to win re-election in what is a largely center-right nation. The most important thing NOW is not to rock the boat. Concentrate on holding the White House, increasing the number of dems in the Senate and regaining the House. Right wing billionaires are going to spend millions to convince Americans that Obama is an extreme leftists, a socialist etc. Do nothing to help them. Just remember what great presidents Humphrey, Mcgovern, Dukakis, Kerry and Gore were and how they advanced the progressive agenda. I voted for all of them but the right was able to convince Americans that they were too liberal. Let us do nothing to repeat those mistakes.

  2. toddinsf says

    By all means, let us not make waves. Let’s just sit in the back of the bus & be quiet. Of course they’ll do the right thing after the election… or the midterms… or the following cycle….

  3. Matt says

    Continue on the path you’re on, Obama. Do as Carter, and alienate everyone you possibly can.
    The weakest possible contender Republicans can come up with, and slowly but surely, it’s looking like he can defeat you. And with actions like these, what loss would it be for us?

  4. says

    Another slap in the face of GLBT Americans…totally unacceptable. Obanma does not deserve the votes of GLBT Americans. We can and should vote Green Party, or write in someone who is willing to embrace full equality. Obama should be ashamed of himself for refusing to issue an executive order banning discrimination against LGBT Americans, and for not supporting marriage equality.

  5. jack says

    If Obama loses in november, LGBT people will be in for some mighty lean years. Fortunately he is not making the mistakes that many liberal democrats have made in the past and helping the opposition paint him as an extremist.

  6. Tone says

    I didn’t mean to sound callous earlier. It’s easy for me as a non-American to see things in a less somber light than the US LGBT community. I would feel betrayed by this too.

  7. Rick says

    Obama really did not want to proceed with DADT repeal in the lame-duck session, either, and just stood by passively as others got it done…..signing it in the end because he really had no other choice.

    So his record remains nearly perfect on gay rights–all lip service (usually just before election time and when funds are needed) and no action, unless virtually forced into it.

    That said, the 75% figure quoted in the article may apply to the public’s views on discrimination against gays in the workplace, but I am sure it does not apply to their views on transsexuals…..and the latter would no doubt become the focus of opponents (and Obama’s political enemies) if he went forward……and that would be severely damaging indeed.

    How much longer are activist organizations going to continue to sacrifice advances in gay rights that apply to tens of millions of people on the altar of including a tiny, tiny number of gender-confused people who are not even gay in all legislation effecting us, virtually ensuring its defeat in every single instance?

    Absolutely pathetic on every level imaginable.

  8. jack says

    If you vote for the Green party which has no chance of winning, you are voting for Romney. You will be just like the liberals who voted for Ralph Nader and elected Bush.

  9. kpo5 says

    Forget his record on gay rights and think about the SCOTUS judges he’ll appoint versus any conservative. That alone should get him your vote. It’s where we’re going to win our equality anyway.

  10. Rick says

    Those gender-confused trans clowns and the effeminate diva-loving queens are the real problem. Also, I fart when I bottom because I have a big stinky hole that can’t close anymore. I used to use manly and masculine adult-diapers, but now I find that it’s more effective if I just shove some tampons up inside me. That’s why I’m so angry. Because I have a fistful of tampons shoved up my @ss.

  11. Rick says

    And just so we’re clear, it doesn’t make me a transperson just because I shove lots of tampons up inside my anus. Every day. I simply have a very loose anus and what is commonly known as “rotten bowel syndome” – I’m sick of trans people and effeminate queens singing Lady Gaga songs and acting like everything is a parade, when I end up getting dirty looks at the pharmacy when I buy my boxes of extra-jumbo tampons for my leaky pooper. If more of you queens acted more like real men then the girls at the checkout line wouldn’t assume that I’m like you stereotypical limp-wristed sissies when I’m buying boxes of tampons for my droopy-poopy hole of stench.

    It’s all transexuals’ fault, clearly.

  12. Rick says

    And the impostor that just posted under my name demonstrates exactly what kind of individual is responsible for including the gender-confused in proposed legislation–crude, hate-filled (particularly with hatred of themselves), twisted, and incapable of functioning in mainstream society.

    The only way this movement will ever see a victory again is to purge these people entirely from it.

  13. Rick says

    To prove that I’m not like that pathetic impostor I’m going to not prove it, because facts and proof are for limp-wristed effeminate sissies that make manly gay men like me look bad.

    Men should act like men, and if you want to know what men act like then look at the majority of men and see and do exactly what they’re doing.

    This explains why I’m a vegetarian, because America’s manliest manly men are all vegetarians and everyone knows that only some hippie-sissy femme gender-confused freak would eat meat of any kind. This is why most football-loving American men would prefer a broccoli-quiche over a steak or hotdog. Real America-loving football-playing masculine men prefer vegetables.

    And yeah, we need to purge transgendered people from society. Purge them. Because such a thing is possible.

    The reason these bills don’t go through is because of weak effeminate gender-confused people who aren’t the manly vegetable-eating masculine men that we’re supposed to be. And to prove I’m that, I’m going to remind you that my name is Rick, and it takes at least 7-8 jumbo tampons up my pooper in order to stop me from releasing noxious fart-clouds every time I break into a light jog.

    Also, I’m so ugly that when my dad molested me he was thinking about my brother.

  14. Rick says

    Well, it seems that impostor can’t go away. The only way this movement will ever gain traction is if you gender-confused freaks learn from the rest of us and pretend you’re not gay when there are straight people around. It’s worked for me for 53 years and if you want to be as successful as I am in mainstream society you should do the same.

    Also, when I was 16 I was caught blowing a neighbor’s dog and she ratted me out, which just goes to show how much you bleeding-heart liberals know about thinking women are your allies. They’re not. If they were my neighbor would have seen that I gave her dog the best head it had ever had.

  15. GeorgeM says

    Personally I don’t think he should sign it. Any order that can and Will be overturned by a republican should not be signed. When it came up the first time he should have said NO! Does this suck YESSSSSS! You want work place protections? Your fight is with Congress!!!!!!!!
    How many of you write or meet with your members? Has any one? Who knows where their members stand? I do, both my sens and my rep are for it. It’s Your job to fight them and know where they stand. We need ENDA, this way NO state can refuse and no president can overturn it.

    What about hospital visitation rights, any of you repubs think mittens will keep that? Or will that be the republicans first anti gay prize. People really think the grass is greener on the right, Have at it but if they win because you have a hair across your a$$ don’t cry when the Sh-t hits the fan.

    Vote green vote sage whatever but Think before you vote. Any vote other then a vote for the president is a vote for a republican, don’t kid yourself

  16. Mary says

    Jack, that post was wonderful. But if you keep talking like this people will accuse us of being the same person! Seriously though, glad to see that some people here agree with me about making Obama’s life as easy as possible until after the election.

  17. terry says

    He won’t stand up to the Republicans and his version of a compromise is giving in to the opposition. Now he’s giving teavangelicals a reach around while ignoring a large number of voters who got him where is is in the first place because he knows the LGBT community has no where else to take their votes. Sorry folks but Obama just isn’t into us as much as he’s into being President.

  18. Rick says

    “Concentrate on holding the White House, increasing the number of dems in the Senate and regaining the House.”

    ENDA did not pass when there were overwhelming Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress before

    What some of you just don’t understand is that when either political party believes that a group like gays has no other option but to remain loyal to it, then they take that group for granted and ignore their issues, confident that they can do so without suffering any consequences….which is exactly what the Democratic Party has done and continues to do.

  19. says

    Rick obviously had a few too many Brandy Alexanders with dinner.

    DADT happened because a Democrat was in office. If a Republican is in office no progress on gay rights will be made, and, most importantly the Supreme Court will tilt even more activist conservative with several marriage cases potentially working their way towards judges who have the future of gay civil rights in their hands. It doesn’t surprise me that Obama isn’t planing to sign executive orders heading into an election, and it doesn’t send me over to the Romney camp or, ridiculously, to the Greens, who are powerless in the US. Legislative gay rights progress, particularly in the states, but also federally, will only happen when Dem’s are in the majority. And Obama will have no choice, as a mainstream Democrat, but to support non-discrimation and marriage equality when he’s reelected. To do otherwise would put a historical stain on his legacy. Romney, on the other hand, is bound by his Mormonism and Republicanism to remain anti-gay for the rest of his fading political career.

  20. Neal says

    I don’t know why there are so many shortsighted people. I would rather wait till the election finishes. I do agree that signing the ENDA ” on this time” is not a wise step to win the election, unfortunately.

  21. good luck with that says

    Disappointed by the Democrats? Then why don’t you go to the GOP and get them to sign some decree in favor of gay rights? Maybe even put it in their party platform? Why stop there — have Romney declare himself in favor of gay marriage, gay work place rights and gay equality.

  22. johnosahon says

    the executive order will simply be overturned by the next republican candidate. if he signed it, the issue will be forgotten, better we put pressure on the congress, just like DADT.

  23. Macmantoo says

    First lets get him re-elected. Then get CONGRESS to pass legislations making it illegal. If Obama makes a proclamation, it’s only good while he’s president. When the Republicans win again, and eventually they will, it will be recinded. So do it as an Act of Congress, not proclamation.

  24. GeorgeM says

    Your right Rick, I hope that’s the real Rick lol
    If the other posts are really you, you’d be One sick bastard

    Dems couldn’t get it through with both houses but we didn’t get much help from the right. It’s never going to pass with out both sides. I bet more republicans sign on after the election because they to play politics too.

    No ENDA order just like a DADT order would have been a bad idea as well

  25. Mary says

    Although Obama is far preferable on LGBT issues, a Romney victory probably wouldn’t be a total loss for the gay community. Romney was friendly toward the gay community when Governor of Massachusets (from what I’ve heard) and he is not in his heart of hearts a social conservative. His political traditionalism is more pragmatic than anything else. If a more moderate group emerges in the Republican party, there’s at least a chance that a President Romney might go more socially liberal, especially if he thinks the political demographics are moving in this direction. Also, taking office at age 65 there’s a chance he could easily be a one term president due to health issues. This would give him more flexibility to go with his heart on social issues.

    It could happen. There’s a reason that the social conservatives don’t trust Romney.

  26. GeorgeM says

    As a gay man… I’m not willing to chance it Mary. You have a right to think that I just think you’re way off base

    I’ll stick with the president

  27. jack says

    @MARY: If Romney is not now a social conservative, he is one champion LIAR. He has been traveling around this country for over a year telling us he is a social conservative.

  28. says

    Mary, Romney can’t be moderate on social issues whatever his secret personal views. He’s a Mormon Republican who has dug himself into a rightwing hole from which there is no escape. His SC choices would be disastrous for gay people and for women who aren’t anti-choice. Fortunately, he satisfies no one so we’ll probably be spared a Romney presidency, but make no mistake whose pocket he’s in, and it ain’t a moderate’s.

  29. Tony N SF says

    (1) What material electoral advantage does the White House gain by punting on this? I’m not talking about conjectural advantage. I’m not asking about trivial or even small advantage. I’m asking about material advantage in the general election. I don’t see what the White House gets by punting except resentment and frustration among gay voters and their allies. Lord knows the tea partiers and fundies won’t ever vote for him, and “undecided” voters have been shown to be a fractured group whose tribal allegiances are greatly varied. Is it all a flash back to the Rovian “gay marriage” campaign tactic that conservadems still believe was the deciding ruse in Dubya’s re-election?

    (2) On the other hand, I have to ask: how many LGBT workers would (a) enjoy new protections that they don’t already enjoy under state or local law and (b) actually need to exercise their rights under the executive order? Maybe the White House’s rationale is that, as a practical matter, the proposed order would benefit relatively few people. If that’s the case then I can see why the issue doesn’t seem so urgent.

    (3) I’m still voting for Obama, but I deeply resent having my vote extorted by the White House.

    (4) I eagerly await to see how our great gay elites respond to having their requests rejected.

  30. Tony N SF says

    Oh, and one other thing: Obama ended DADT, so he’s gonna get painted as a pro-gay by the Republicans anyway, so why not sign the executive order? Is it because some federal contractors are “religious” and they will object that treating gays fairly is against their religion? Wow, that’s a fight I would think Obama would love to take on.

  31. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    But, but, but…he’s “evolving”. Yeah, just enough to tease more money out of the GAY ATM for another four-years or more.

    It’s really the fault of the G/L Left for failing to give “enough” money to the DNC, ….right. Just another bait-n-switch by the Obama White House and the DNC.

  32. toddinsf says

    Re: voting Green = voting Republican.

    I live in California. I’ve voted Green for president in every election since ’96, after Clinton signed DOMA into law.

    OMGZORZ! I handed CA to the Republicans!

    Um… except CA went to the Democrats in every one of those elections. What I actually did was demonstrate that there’s a portion of the electorate unwilling to accept the ‘new liberal’ (i.e. old conservative) centrism of the Democrats.

    Furthermore, the accusation of ‘shortsightedness’ leveled at those unwilling to vote for someone in whom they don’t believe (because – oh no! that might lose a single election!) not only misses the entire point of living in a democracy, it rises to near Orwellian levels of irony.

  33. vanndean says

    Please tell me why any gay person would want to make the job of re-electing Obama to the Office of the President of the United States any more difficult than it already is going to be. What we should be worried about is making sure that democrats are elected to the House of Representatives, and to the Senate of the United States. We should be working to defeat as many Tea Party members and prominent Republicans. By increasing control i9n the Senate, we can insure that President Obama has the majority that can have a serious effect on the judicial system by getting federal judges in place and by his appointments to the Supreme Court of the United States. Executive orders are nice to have but they can be thrown out by the next Republican occupant of the White House. Securing the Senate and the House insures legislation such as ENDA passing and it takes legislative repeal to do away with by the next Republican administration. It takes more than a penstroke to repeal legislation. Leave the man alone about marriage equality which only riles up evangelical voters. You know how he is going to evolve to a position of acceptance once he has argued about jobs, and infrastructure, and jobs, and abortion rights, and contraception, and jobs. We need to get him to the prize once again so that he doesn’t have to worry about what they are going to try to do to him in the next election. Taking your ball and going to the house or voting for the Green Party is a vote for the Republicans. The GOP shouts with glee each time a gay person wants to split the vote and cast a wasted ballot for a third party. Stick to the course, pass the pennies forward and cast your ballot for the candidate that has not told you that he is going to propose a constitutional amendment to stop gay citizens from ever being allowed to be married in this nation. Play this smart and stop trying to shove your agenda to the forefront and causing the rabid right to crawl hand over fist to the polls to stop those queers from getting married. We went through this once. Did we not learn anything from the experience? The more that Carl Rove can get the evangelical base stirred up about gay marriage, and the more lies Maggie and Brian can spin with their AFA buddies, the more votes they will slice off of Barack Obama’s totals. Let’s win the election and then make some more significant changes. We need the House, the Senate, and the Presidency to effect changes that will have consequences for the next 50 years because Roberts will be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for at least 40 to 45 more years.

  34. says

    Obama will have no choice, as a mainstream Democrat, but to support non-discrimation and marriage equality when he’s reelected. To do otherwise would put a historical stain on his legacy. Romney, on the other hand, is bound by his Mormonism and Republicanism to remain anti-gay for the rest of his fading political career.

  35. Bill Perdue says

    Not unexpected from Obama, the bigot who not only pigheadedly opposes marriage equality but sabotaged it in California in 2008. ‘Gawd’s in the mix.”

    Obama is the bigot who refused to push for the passage of ENDA or the repeal of Democrat Bill Clintons DOMA. Obama and Romney and the Democrats and Republicans all represent the politics of bigotry.

    On Tuesday November 6th vote left, write in gay-antiwar hero Brad Manning or just sit it out. Instead of obsessing about participating in the non-existent US ‘democracy’ build the union movement and the Occupy movements.

  36. mark says

    President Obama, taking the Pledge….10/22/2010

    “You need to know things will get better.

    With time you’ll see that your differences are a source of pride and a source of strength.

    You’ll look back on the struggles you face with compassion and wisdom.

    That’s not just going to serve you but it’ll help you get involved and make this country a better place.

    It’ll mean you’ll be more likely to help fight discrimination.

    Not just against LGBT Americans, but discrimination in all it’s forms.”

    Dude!

  37. says

    It ain’t getting better! But it’s better then a Republican in the White House. Remember the next President will be picking several Supreme Court Justices… so let’s not rock the boat before the election.

  38. uffda says

    Jack, Ernie, Vanndeen, Mary and even Rick (the Real Rick which is what he should change his name to, the other is a total sicko) make the best sense. Be cautious, be smart, don’t push it, our time is on track (bide it), go for more Dems and liberal judges. For God’s sake forget about the Greens. This election is going to get really ugly on the gay issues alone, and especially around the incomprehensible transexuals (as they often are to Joe the Plumber et al).

    And who else is so relieved that Little Kiwi has posted nothing, maybe he finally had to get a job.

    This Captcha is awful.

  39. kpo5 says

    Thank you, Jerry.

    This all boils down to the Supreme Court. President Obama has put two phenomenal individuals there and November’s victor may have the opportunity to nominate 2-3 more.

    Etch-a-Sketch is hard to read on LGBT equality, but he’s most likely going to appoint hardcore conservative judges that make Citizens United type things a reality – a Kennedy-type appointment at best.

    We’re going to win our equality in the courts. Let’s do what we can to get the best people there. That means voting for President Obama. Not Green Party, not a nobody, not staying home.

  40. says

    “Oh, and one other thing: Obama ended DADT, so he’s gonna get painted as a pro-gay by the Republicans anyway, so why not sign the executive order?”

    There’s the presumption that the Obama administration is only not signing an executive order for political reasons–that it’s only defense against Republicans. A mistaken presumption. Certainly politics play into any decision a President makes in an election year, but there are also valid arguments against executive orders–which, by their nature, are not permanent and invite genuine criticism of a President overreaching without Congressional support.

    It’s easy–and simplistic–to say the President’s claim of preferring “a lasting and comprehensive change” (i.e. ENDA) is campaign BS, but that has always been his strategy–consensus on DADT and behind the scenes preparation via his DOJ on dismantling DOMA, the latter probably the most important step his administration has taken in favor of gay rights and it’s received hardly any attention.

    Making progress on gay rights either with consensus or off the political radar screen is very smart–it just means you’ll be criticized for doing too little or nothing by people who are less smart.

  41. Dback says

    For all we know, Obama’s re-election team might be playing hardball behind the scenes with gay activists, especially the well-monied ones who attend HRC events and whatnot: “OK, I’ve signed the Hate Crimes Act and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell–two pieces of legislation that have been fermenting for around 15 years. I’ll sign ENDA and do something for marriage equality in the second term–but I need you guys’ financial support and assistance NOW, because the Republicans are going to come at you, me, and us with a billion dollars worth of ugliness, and unless I can get the White House back, all of this conversation is moot.”

    I freely confess that I’ve been ignoring Obama campaign callers during dinner and haven’t yet donated to the re-election campaign; this weekend I’m going to send in a few bucks, because I feel like I’m now in the “put up or shut up” place. And yes, I agree with the above posters: please, for the love of God and the Supreme Court, don’t vote Green in this election. The overwhelming success conservatives have had in the past 20-30 years has largely been due to 5-4 decisions from the Supreme Court (Bush vs. Gore, Citizens United, the new right to strip search arrestees for ANYTHING), and it’s only been Obama’s appointments of Kagen and Sotomayor that have kept the bulwark in place. If Scalia, Alito, Thomas, Ginsberg, or Stevens step down, it’s potentially a whole new ball game–and these are the people who may rule on same-sex marriage for the next few decades. A vote for Obama is a vote for the Supreme Court recognizing our rights.

  42. Rick says

    @Ernie As I have noted before, you are a partisan Democrat and if push comes to shove, you will place the interests of the Democratic Party before the interests of gay people….not that you are the only one.

    DADT repeal actually happened because the Pentagon feared a lawsuit that would force it anyway, without them having time to prepare for the change. But for that, Obama would have done nothing, as has been the case with every other gay rights issue.

    Your (and others’) point about the Supreme Court is just an implicit acknowledgement that neither Obama nor the Democrats in Congress will ever take any action on gay rights unless there is a situation such as existed with DADT repeal. And I have news for you and others: There is no way on earth that Thomas, Alito, Scalia, or Roberts would retire if Obama is re-elected, so, at best, the only difference he would make in the ideological balance on the court would be if Kennedy retired–and I doubt he would, either–he is basically a conservative and knows that if Obama replaced him, it would shift the balance too much. So that argument holds no water, either.

    All that aside, though, the larger bottom line is this: In the 50-60 years since the gay movement began, Democrats have done virtually nothing to advance gay rights at the Federal level, this despite having had control of both houses of Congress for most of that time….and there is no reason to think they will do anything if they were to re-gain control again (which they are not going to anyway in 2012).

    There needs to be a viable gay presence in both parties for clout to really be exercised–and that is why those of you who hammer away at gay Republicans for trying to build that presence in the other party are severely misguided. When both parties have to compete for the votes of a group, they pay attention to that group. But when one party owns that group, they can take them for granted–and the other party can attack that group without any fear of consequences, since they have nothing to lose by doing so–which is exactly the situation that exists now.

    Politics is like life in general–people will only do something significant for you if they either love you or fear you–and unfortunately, gay people are neither loved nor feared by the general public or by the political parties……and if you don’t find a way to make them do one or the other, we will see another 50 years of apathy from the Democrats and hostility from the Republicans.

  43. Rick says

    One other point re: the staying power of Executive Orders. Lyndon Johnson’s executive order barring racial discrimination among Federal contractors a) survived Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and both Bushes, and b) was arguably far more effective than the civil rights legislation prohibiting racial discrimination in employment that passed later, in part because it was more enforceable (no lawsuits are needed to enforce rules applying to Federal contractors, whereas they are when it comes to violations of civil rights laws)

    So those of you trying to rationalize away Obama’s failure to act really do not have all the facts on your side–ENDA executive order vs. ENDA act of Congress is a false dichotomy….there is no reason why one should be considered a replacement for the other…..and that whole line of reasoning is really a big cover-up on the part of activists who have been unable to get either to come to fruition, but who want to make excuses for the Democrats’ refusal to act.

    P.S. @UFFDA I am sure the impostor is Little Kiwi.

  44. DRG says

    1) An executive order on gay discrimination in the work place is a two prong re-election problem. First, executive orders can just be overturned and can be seen as usurping the power of the legislative branch and giving it to the executive branch. Though every president uses them, it will be sure fire ammo for the GOP to knock Obama as a totalitarian socialist who has no regard for the US constitution. And why is he usurping legislative authority? To further the left-wing gay agenda while ignoring the dire economic issues that the middle class and poor are facing. (This is what they will campaign against…it will have traction with the independent voters in the swing states, I promise.)

    2) Obama has never been in support of executive orders, federal gay marriage, or of pursuing civil rights achievements from the executive pulpit. He has always been for leaving the repeal of DOMA and DADT to the legislative branch of government. He has always been for leading congress down the right path for all civil rights legislation. He isn’t anti-gay marriage. He stands for states’ rights on dictating marriage laws (which is how “straight” marriage laws are governed) and leaving it to the courts to solve unconstitutionality. You know, the way our government is set up by the US Constitution. We can’t on one hand decry our being treated unequally and then turn around a demand special treatment. Federal recognition of Marriage (notice I didn’t say gay) should be the same for all citizens no matter sexuality, race, creed, etc… DOMA needs to be repealed by congress to stop defining marriage as man + women and the federal government will have to accept all state legalized marriages. As for states that ban gay marriage, I’m afraid it’s up the US judicial branch to overturn unconstitutional legislation…just like most other civil rights issues.

    3) Without a democratic led executive or legislative branch all of this is impossible. The amazing progress we have made as a community will suddenly stop like the wheels of the American economy in 2008. It will be a great recession of our civil rights movement with a pro-GOP (led by Romney puppet) federal government. The biggest setback will be Kennedy (the swing vote) and Ginsburg (the true liberal) being replaced by conservative judges that will serve for life. Good by marriage equality.

  45. DRG says

    Plus…..gay rights isn’t our only issue here. If you are really an american, i would think you might give thought to the many other issues effecting our nation. the GOP sucks for these as well.

  46. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    Anyone who thinks well of Romney really needs to click on this link:

    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/11/16/368369/romney-flashback-homosexuality-is-perverse-and-reprehensible/

    This is Romney revealing his soul to a very private gathering of friends and fellow congregation members, far from the prying eyes of the media. Too bad at least four of his fellow congregation members ratted on him, and his long, anti-gay tirade about how being gay is “perverse” and “reprehensible” landed on the pages of the Boston Globe, much to Romney’s chagrin.

  47. Jack says

    Don’t want to hear any of the “wait until next term” baloney. He ran on promises of being a “fierce advocate” and hasn’t lived up to those promises yet. What the hell reason do I have to believe that he will do so if he gets re-elected?

    I voted for you, and I expect you to live up to your word NOW, not say “wait 4 years and if I get re-elected then you can have what you want.”

    He’s no different than any other partisan career politician. He’s in it for power and personal gain. I don’t trust his “evolving views” any more than I trust a priest in a day care center.

  48. says

    Rick, sorry, but you’re out of touch with current political realities. All pro-gay civil rights progress at the state and federal level is due to a Democratic majority. It’s true in my home state, where we have full equality at the state level, and it will continue to be true for the foreseeable future. And we’re at a tipping point. President Obama will support our issues in his second term because, as a mainstream Democrat, he will have no choice; to ignore the civil rights issue of our time will put an unacceptable stain on his legacy. The political landscape has changed remarkably in the last decade, even the last 5 years–but only in Democrat-majority states.

    I’m an unapologetic Democrat because on the issues I care about, Democrats are close to my positions, Republicans are–with a few rare exceptions–not. I would never “hammer away” at the few Republicans who support gay rights. On the contrary, I–and most smart gay people–would go out of my way to support them, even if I disagree with them on other issues. The handful of pro-gay Republicans in states like VT, NH, NY have generally been shunned by the right wing of the Republican party and have been embraced by moderates of both parties.

    The fact remains under a Republican president DADT would not have happened, the DOJ would still be vigorously defending DOMA, and the Supreme Court would further tilt towards the activist right. Contrary to your daily assertions, the culture is rapidly changing, and a majority of the current Democratic party is evolving with the culture, whereas a majority of the current Republican party (with a few welcome northeast exceptions) is devolving into a make-believe return to the 1950s.

    Partisan, you bet! For good reason. But any Republicans, including all those former closet cases who worked against us for years before they started working for us, who are gay-supportive, whatever their past histories, are welcome in my world. I just don’t want to marry them, but that’s ok.

  49. Javier says

    I agree with Obama. Now is not the time to push anything that does not appeal to the middle, specifically Independents. He accomplished a lot on gay rights, and now is the time to woo the middle. It’s not time to focus on divisive issues that may alienate voters in swing or Heartland states. The second term is for bold actions, not now. Well played, Mr. President.

  50. Rick says

    “President Obama will support our issues in his second term because, as a mainstream Democrat, he will have no choice; to ignore the civil rights issue of our time will put an unacceptable stain on his legacy.”

    Nothing but wishful thinking, there.

    And a mis-reading on your part of how most people feel about gays.

    Hardly anybody who is not gay, himself, cares passionately about gay rights–and that is a reflection of the deep ambivalence of even the most “progressive” individuals when it comes to homosexuality.

    Even those who favor gay rights as a matter of principle often experience a fair amount of discomfort with homosexuality on a personal level, as they do with race.

    And that is where the “love”/”fear” point comes into play. We are not a beloved group of people, even among liberals….and we are not feared the way blacks or other racial minorities are (unlike them, gays are not going to riot in the streets if we don’t get our way.)

    And that is why it is so hard to bring about change, made even harder when trans people are brought into the equation, who cause extreme discomfort for almost everybody, including most gays.

    At the end of the day, Obama is, at best, ambivalent in his feelings towards gay people, so, with the pressure off in the second term, I expect him to do even less than he did in his first term, which was not much.

    Regardless, as you know, I believe the real road to change lies in changing the male culture to bring about more emotional and sexual freedom for men (and independence from women, critically)….which entails eradicating the gay culture of effeminacy, which is a huge obstacle to bringing about such change. That matters far more in the long-term than partisan politics.

  51. says

    Well put, DRG.

    Rick, it’s not at all wishful thinking, it is my reality, the reality of lgbt people who live in equality states. We didn’t mis-read how most people feel about gays. Just the opposite. We understood very well, and we brought the right legal cases and elected the right people, and got our laws changed. We successfully brought about change where we live, and we–along with many others–will do the same in the US, most likely through the Courts, because the constitution is on our side even if the Bible belt isn’t.

    Your mis-reading of the changing political and cultural landscape may have to do with your personal circumstances. Closeted lives don’t see change, open lives do. But that’s not for me to figure out. And addressing your personal insecurities around masculinity is a perpetual losing cause, so I won’t even try.

    You are correct that gay issues aren’t a top priority for the President. To make them so would be crazy in these economic times. But we’ll have to disagree about his 2nd term. The historical trajectory is clear. A Democratic President in the years 2012-2016 will want lgbt non-discrimination laws and marriage equality as part of his legacy. Not wishful thinking, rather educated thinking, as someone who’s been involved in lgbt politics for a long time. The Democratic governors who got marriage equality passed in their states know very well they’ll be on the right side of history, and being on the right side of history matters to politicians. A few Republicans are just waking up to the fact they’ll be the George Wallaces of the future if they stay on their backwards homophobic course–most remain oblivious.

    What can I say, Rick? We’re on different pages. But, hey, I support your vegetarianism, so there’s common ground, just not on gay issues.

  52. uffda says

    Rick or Rick – yes, of course it was Kiwi. I should have known a trail that filthy. Even if it wasn’t he should be credited for his past alone and just to help people watch where they’re stepping.

  53. says

    If we keep settling for backstabbing candidates like Barack Obama, the Democrats will surely give us more of the same, each one worse than the last, until (maybe?) it finally becomes clear that there’s a thimble’s worth of difference between the Democrats and Republicans on LGBT issues. Not to mention other important considerations like the economy, big Pharma and the military industrial complex.

    I have it on good authority that party affiliation is not a good predictor of support for Gay Rights. I’m told that some of the biggest hetero-bigots reside on the left side of the aisle, and I’m convinced Obama is one of them! LGBT Enabling third parties is the solution, folks . . . as long we volley back and forth between two parties like shuttlecocks, we’re begging to be taken for granted.

  54. GeorgeM says

    Executive orders do get over turned, ENDA should not be an order it should come from congress. the republicans have not been worth shopping for and they have nothing to entice us with. But I agree getting them there is a great Plan, we just disagree on how to get there.

    Jack who do we vote for then? 3rd party? (lol)
    O and jack he never said it would be done in 4 yrs

    Rick the dems are not great but what has the republicans offered?

  55. Jack says

    GeorgeM:

    4 years is how long you are elected president for. You don’t get to assume that you will have a second term; you EARN it by keeping your promises. It is SO arrogant to assume that a second set of 4 years is coming.

  56. GeorgeM says

    Every president thinks another 4 is coming. Hell they prob want 12
    No president completes everything they want or say their going to do, that’s life in politics. Let’s face it heath care was his top.

    But really tho who should the community vote for?

  57. Jack says

    Personally, I’m keeping all options open. The fight over gay issues is dwindling as public opinion shifts fairly dramatically. I have concerns other than gay issues, and we will see who can address most of them.

  58. ratbastard says

    This is simple to understand: Gays are ghettoiszed politically. Their [our] eggs are thrown pretty much all in one basket. The Dems and POTUS aren’t dumb, they know gay advocates have nowhere else to turn and have to put up with anything. If the election gets really close and POTUS’s team determines he could get a lift from endorsing he’ll do it, if not, he won’t.

  59. Jack says

    @Ratbastard:

    Which is exactly why I’ll consider voting R in the election. They’re no better. Popular opinion is such that a national attempt to strip rights is unlikely to succeed. Gay issues are really the only reason I even consider voting D to begin with. If they are just going to throw table scraps, I’ll make em pay.

  60. GeorgeM says

    Your one vote won’t make them pay but you could do something good like calling them out on things and holding their feet to the fire. If gay issues are the only reason you vote D then you should move on, go do something good with the R’s someone should

  61. Mary says

    Rick (the real one, that is) and UFFDA:

    I’m not sure the fake Rick is Little Kiwi. Kiwi’s style is distinctive. It wouldn’t be fair to accuse him just because like fake Rick he sometimes writes about poop. I mean, “innocent until proven guilty” right?

  62. Bill Perdue says

    If you’re in a union or an Occupy group move to oppose the candidacies of Obama and Romney.

    On November 6th, if you took one too many demented civics classes and feel you just have to vote then refuse to waste your vote on bigots like Obama and Romney. Vote left, write in Brad Manning or just sit it out.

Leave A Reply