Saturday, April 4, 2009

White House Responds to Iowa Ruling

The official White House statement:

"The President respects the decision of the Iowa Supreme Court, and continues to believe that states should make their own decisions when it comes to the issue of marriage. Although President Obama supports civil unions rather than same-sex marriage, he believes that committed gay and lesbian couples should receive equal rights under the law."

I couldn't agree more with Pam Spaulding over at Pam's House Blend that the statement is nothing but "tepid." (Pam reports that the original statement had to be amended by the White House to the above to include "equal rights" - oops). I know this statement contains nothing new from President Obama, but it's almost offensive how little he acknowledges the historic advancement this ruling does for LGBT equality.

It's hard for me to believe for a second that our "progressive" President actually believes that the marriage debate should be left to the states. One, there's federal benefits being extended to straight married couples no matter where they're married, so that automatically involves the federal government. Two, even if a state decides a gay couple is married, as it stands, the federal government still won't recognize it, so how is that "equal rights under the law." And three, how is it "equal" if in one state a couple can be married, drive for an hour to another state, and NOT be married?

Is President Obama kidding me?!

With the latest news that the Administration has delayed taking on Don't Ask Don't Tell, and ENDA seemingly still another pie in the sky, this tepid "response" from the White House seems anything but a sign of progress at a time when we can really need it.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that the president has to be cautious - he wants to be everyone's president, have everyone "at the table." Problem is, he's elected now. He has to make stands. He may be one of those types who don't like it when people are mad at them, but guess what? You're the president. You're going to make people mad. In order to make "change", you have to make tough decisions. Decisions that will piss people off. However, it seems like we're the ones who are going to be pissed off. Again.

I for one have a hard time believing that Obama truly has faith in the White House statement. I think what he really believes in would piss off the right-wing, not us (of course, I'm fantasizing here). That is, the LGBT community has the right to marriage. As he himself has said to The Advocate, "I'm the product of a mixed marriage that would have been illegal in 12 states when I was born."

The LGBT community has been screwed over and over by officials they helped get elected. Helped by donations, time, sweat and tears. Real change would be sticking by us. For a change.

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