Add To The List Of LGBT Goals For President Obama

ObamapinWhile appointing an LGBT person to the Cabinet or as an ambassador to a G-20 nation would be nice, Joe Sudbay and Paul Yandura have laid out a few other, more pressing goals for President Obama's second term, including an executive decision on workplace discrimination.

Via their piece at Huffington Post:

1. By the end of this year, President Obama needs to sign the executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This executive order has been awaiting his signature for over two years now. He could do it this week, and it would be a historic first step toward federal employment protections. We can no longer wait for employment protections that the president promised us and should have put into place on his first day on the job four years ago.

2. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) needs to make good on his promise to bring up an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) for a vote early in 2013. We deserve a Senate vote on ENDA, having not seen concrete progress since Democrats took control over six years ago. We want a floor vote. If Republicans want to filibuster it, let them. We want them on record. The American people are with us. When we push the GOP to show their bigotry, they lose.

3. Same-sex couples should not be forgotten or excluded when immigration reform finally gets debated and passed. And don't tell us that you will come back later for us, or that we need to be in a separate bill that can be appended later. We have been there and done that.

Sudbay and Yandura are also asking readers for suggestions on how President Obama can address persistent LGBT discrimination during his second term, so offer yours in the comments section.


  1. Rick says

    ENDA will not pass in its current form for the next half-century. And by then, America–if it even still exists as a united country, which I think is highly unlikely–will have become an overwhelmingly non-white, non-Western society and its values will reflect the homophobic values of non-Western cultures. That is the long term.

    In the short term, the disappearance of moderate Republicans and the hostility of gay activists towards gay Republicans means that Republicans have lost any reason at all to cooperate or moderate their position as a party–they would only be hurting themselves with their base and the minorities that constitute the majority of the Democratic base–and that Republicans want to attract–are mostly hostile to gay rights to begin with. Indeed, you can expect the Republican appeal to Hispanics to be very focused on social conservatism, appealing to “family values” and religious values.

    So you are basically wasting your time trying to get it–or any other gay rights legislation–passed, going forward.

  2. Rick says

    And all of this means that men like me, who are in our fifties and are not fully Out yet, will never be able to come out. So I’ll have spent my entire life waiting for a manly revolution to come, only to have it never arrive because you Lady Gaga fans are so busy being happy, and protesting against things, and going to Pride, and marching in parades, and seeing Madonna and Adam Lambert, and none of you have done anything to help closeted adults like myself who hate effeminate men and brown people.

    So thanks for nothing, you liberals. You think you’re so great, but nothing you’ve done has helped old white men like me who are still too scared to come out. It’s the fault of liberals that gay men like me don’t come out, because we don’t want to be associated with you. God I just want to shoot myself in the head sometimes.

  3. Rick says

    “So thanks for nothing, you liberals. You think you’re so great, but nothing you’ve done has helped old white men like me who are still too scared to come out”

    No, Kiwi, it was men like me who came out in the 70’s when it was actually dangerous to do so who gave those of you who are in your twenties whatever freedom you now enjoy.

    But the America which allowed us to challenge the status quo was an America deeply rooted in Western European traditions of intellectual advancement and enlightenment.

    Indeed, look around the world today and the only countries where even a slight dent has been made in homophobia are countries in Western Europe or those with population bases that are largely Western European in origin.

    Everywhere else, homophobia remains entrenched and absolute–even in eastern Europe, where it seems to be strengthening rather than abating.

    So when you good little liberal gay white boys find yourselves lost among a sea of dark faces 50 years from now, among people who are overwhelmingly hostile to you, you will get no sympathy and certainly will get no “credit” for having been part of some “coalition” in 2012….and you will have no traction and no ability to eradicate the homophobia all around you.

    You will have destroyed the very culture that made what modest gains we have made possible in the first place.

    Good luck to you.

  4. Derrick from Philly says

    LOL@ “So when you good little liberal gay white boys find yourselves lost among a sea of dark faces 50 years from now”

    Ha! You’re reminiscing about your years on the streets of Cairo cruising teenage boys. Those Cairo boys should’ve carried around daggers to deal with lecherous Western sex vultures who preyed upon but actually held contempt for boys with “dark faces”.

    You remind me of Sebastian in Mr Williams’ “Suddenly Last Summer”. Why don’t you go back to North Africa to hunt for boys with dark faces? Maybe your story will have the proper ending this time.

  5. HM2 Matt says

    How about married same-sex couples in the Military? I want DOMA gone yesterday but can’t something be done for the men and women putting their lives on the line who are a stark example of the inequality we face in this country even as we defend it?

  6. says

    Ah @Rick, it’s always amazing how many things you can get wrong in a single comment. (The parody, however, is spot-on.) It’s the Republican party that won’t exist because the people who support the backwards values of the current Republican party will be dead. If they want to exist, they’re doing to have to evolve, as the Democrats, including President Obama, have. If they don’t, they’re done.

    And there is every reason to believe that Obama will want LGBT rights progress in his next term, because he knows where history is headed and he will want to be part of it.

  7. Rick says

    @Ernie No, Ernie, where you are wrong is in believing that the racial minorities who comprise the majority of the Democratic Party are anything but homophobic–as every referendum has demonstrated.

    In the same way that the Democratic Party cobbled together a majority coalition in the early part of the 20th century of populist Southern and Western whites and “progressive” Northeasterners by the latter turning a blind eye to Jim Crow for the sake of holding that coalition togetther……in the same way, the Democratic Party of the early 21st century has cobbled together a bunch of disparate groups who don’t really like each other very much–or trust each other–by taking advantage of the fact that they all see the Republican Party as being hostile to their interests…..

    It is all held together by a band of white liberals, whose numbers are shrinking–outside the Northeast, they are decidedly in the minority–indeed, Romney won a landslide in most of the country, geographically speaking. Indeed, even Pennsylvania and upstate New York were overwhelmingly red, right up to the fringes of the Philadelphia and New York metropolitan areas.

    But as those white liberals decline in number and lose influence and as the racial minorities that dominate the Democratic Party demand full control of the party apparatus as a consequence, gays will fall to the wayside and will, AT BEST, be ignored

    Of course, I personally do not believe that it will ever come to this. I firmly believe that the entire Hearland of the country will, rather than secede, re-constitute its own country and partition off the Northeast corridor and leave it to become the sort of non-white, non-Western, “multi-cultural” entity it seems to want to become–and do the same with California, eliminating the vast majority of recent immigrants and the white liberals who coddle them to do whatever they want to with themselves.

    It won’t happen in the next ten years and probably within the next twenty years, but a few more election cycles like this one and this movement will begin in earnest…..and the process will, I think, be complete within the next half-century.

  8. says

    Rick, are you closeted because you’re scared of straight white people thinking you’re a pole-smoker or are you closeted because you’re scared of Brown People?

    learn something from the gay people you loathe – stop living in cowardly fear.

  9. UFFDA says

    That KIWI noted a “BLOODY good parody” means he’s the central instigating creep, and probably the only one.

    Moving on: I think RICK is being an alarmist hereabouts. Quoting a favorite writer “Broad sweeping generalizations about the future are the most disreputable form of public utterance. We have no idea where we’re going.”

  10. Rick says

    “Rick is saying more people of color = bad, because white people are superior.

    Got it. More evidence of Rick/Jason’s racism.”

    Well, the great thing about the coming decades is that you and other good white liberals are going to get a chance to prove your contention that the only reason the Nigerias and Haitis and Guatemalas and Ecuadors look the way they do and are at rock-bottom in everything while the Denmarks and Japans and Germanys and Canadas look the way they do and are advanced societies has nothing whatsoever to do with the composition of the populations of those countries.

    Because your own country is about to have a demographic base that looks more like Guatemala and Nigeria than Denmark oand Japan (both of which are countries, by the way, that have stringent immigration policies that deny admission to just about everyone).

    I am sure you are all eager to prove yourselves right and sure that you are totally confident that you are right, aren’t you?. LOL.

  11. says

    As fascinating as Rick’s psychological issues are and what people like him mean for the broader movement, let’s get back to the actual question.

    Obama could end the ban on gay blood/tissue/sperm/marrow donations.

    He should keep up Clinton’s initiatives at the U.N. and speak out about the plight of LGBT people around the world. The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty should include LGBT people in labor and human rights protections.

    Obama and the senate dems should reform the filibuster so we can start filling all the empty seats in the federal judiciary with non-homophobes.

    The problem of rape in prisons needs to be broadly addressed, but especially for gay and trans people who have huge targets on their backs. This means fighting discrimination in arrests, investing in a social safety to reduce survival crimes, training prison staff, amending contracts with private prisons, providing segregated cell blocks (especially for trans folk), and letting trans folk stay on their medication – even if they didn’t have a supportive doctor willing to write a prescription before.

    Do we even collect statistics on same-sex sexual assaults in the military? I somehow doubt it.

    The nation’s social studies and history textbooks need to be revised. They’re currently written by a bunch of psycho-bigots in Texas and/or an improving group of allies in California. LGBT have been systematically erased from history, and that’s just B.S.

    We should fight for holistic, self-affirming sex and sexuality education in schools. Abstinence-only education hasn’t worked for gays any better than straights.

    The Violence Against Women Act reauthorization is STILL waiting to be passed. The GOP opposes it because it adds protections for same-sex partners, Native Americans, and immigrants. This bill was Biden’s baby; he should really shove it into the GOP’s mouth (especially in the senate – another filibuster reform issue).

    I think cabinet/U.N. appointments would be great. Especially for trans folk.

    He should protect/increase funding for state’s HIV/AIDS drug assistance programs. It’s a public health issue. We need to help keep everyone living healthy, productive, full lives for as long as possible. Keeping everyones’ viral loads down will also slow the spread of HIV.

    Speaking of HIV, we should strongly consider carrots and sticks to encourage porn actors to wear condoms. We should mandate testing for sex workers.

    We should prosecute sex traffickers instead of sex slaves.

    We need more homeless shelters for LGBT youth and veterans. We need to provide these people with viable pathways back into society if they can’t go back home.

    We need to fight the high rates of cigarette use and alcohol abuse in the LGBT community – we should go after the corporate marketing.

    Anything else?

  12. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Rick,

    Don’t you even read the news? Mexican-Americans and Hispanics in general are more supportive of gay rights than any other demographic, with the possible exception of American Jews, whom I believe you also hate. This has been shown by every recent exit poll or opinion poll you can name. You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. Now piss off, troll.

  13. says

    well met, Kyle.

    i’m continuously stunned by the anti-Choice movement also being utterly against safer-sex education. Bristol Palin’s mistake wasn’t forgetting to be abstinent, but forgetting (or not knowing?) to be RESPONSIBLE with sex, and use protection. It’s not just about pregnancy, it’s about protection from STIs.

    now, is the proper plan Executive Orders, which can (and would?) be undone by an elected Conservative, or the best process to go through the legislature?

  14. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Rick,

    And a response to my mention of data-based exit polls and opinion polls would be nice. Not that I expect that from an intellectual coward like you.

  15. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Rick,

    And by the way, insulting Mexican-Americans, other Hispanics and American Jews, you’re insulting the groups who are by far the most supportive of gay rights. What is that called? Oh, I remember. It’s called BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU. Stick that feather in your cap, asswipe.

  16. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Rick,

    And thank you for reminding us what a terrible mistake gay activists have made by not kissing up to the Republican Party. I think that “mistake” is called self-respect, but it seems the racism that you admire in today’s Republican Party trumps self-respect.

  17. HM2 Matt says

    @KYLEC We do keep track of same-sex sexual assults but they are woefully under reported, especially male on male. The stigma of being assulted as a male in the US Military is still daunting, not to mention that we are barely over a year out from no longer having to fear over losing our jobs if it comes out we are gay (the vast majority of male on male sexual assults in the military are straight on gay).

  18. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ HM2 Matt. From your comment: “the vast majority of male on male sexual assults in the military are straight on gay.” I’m sure you’re right, but that really does call into question the rigid categories of “straight” and “gay,” and how the Religious Right stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the diversity and fluidity with which human sexuality manifests itself.

  19. Nat says

    “and how the Religious Right stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the diversity and fluidity with which human sexuality manifests itself.”

    Actually, I would argue that’s part of the problem: the religious right subscribes to a fluid version of sexuality; they simply think much of it is immoral. Ex-gay endeavours are borne from beliefs of sexual fluidity. Indeed, I suspect many of our most prominent opponents struggle with their own sexuality, and automatically assume that others similarly struggle.

  20. says

    Nat, that’s the only logical conclusion from the “it’s a choice” folks.

    They’re attracted to members of the same sex/gender and “don’t act on it” and thus say it’s a choice.

    or they’re somewhere in the middle of the Kinsey scale and can’t reconcile it. look at heterosexual pornography – while designed for straight men it’s still very much phallically-focused.

  21. Mary says

    As someone who has been on both the anti-gay AND pro-gay sides at different points in her life I’d like to offer an opinion on this issue. I’ve also heard about the studies that those who are most anti-gay get most arroused when viewing gay porn. But I’m not sure this suggests that they have same-sex attractions. It may be more a questions of their psyches playing a trick on them. The anti-gay movement is divided between those who have an extremely anti-gay environment around them (hard-core religious people, especially those who work for religious organizations) and those who view the issue of gay rights philosophically and take a more Burken stance that doesn’t lead to apocalyptic fears about the future. People in the first group are so focused on sin in general that they may be exacerbating in themselves the natural human desire to “taste a bit of the forbidden.” My guess is that once gay rights is a done deal and there is far less opposition to it, those who opposed it would test differently. Human emotions are complex. Of course there are some anti-gay activists who truly ARE closeted. But somehow I think the most logical thing for them to do would be to ignore the issue of gay rights completely, or be as quiet as possible in their anti-gay efforts so as not to draw attention to themselves. Especially with all this talk of “gaydar.”

    Just a thought.

  22. Lazlo says

    I agree completely with everything Kyle has posted, especially comprehensive sex education. I would also like to point out and I really hope this get’s more media attention; we need more research and development of new antibiotics. I know, I know, your asking yourself what does this have to do with gay rights. This is a major health care issue and effects us all. The super bugs like MRSA and the like are becoming deadlier. We need new antibiotics to protect our partners, our families, our children and those affected my HIV/AIDS.

  23. Johnny says

    The writer of this article and those who commented on topic forget just one detail. This worthless idiot Obama will be impeached. And even if he escapes, you guys are dreaming if you think he is going to do anything else for the gay community. He had to be shamed and embarrassed to get ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” done ~ that was his token response to hold onto the gay voting block. Good luck chasing this world class fraud and loser.

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