Friday, May 1, 2009

UPDATE: Erases 6 of 8 Promises to LGBT Community

UPDATE: undeleted many of the promises that vanished from its site yesterday. However, a sharp eye caught the changing of the language in regards to DADT. It went from "repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell" to "changing Don't Ask Don't Tell." Policy change or poor editing? What're your thoughts?
Unite the Fight reported when President Obama's new administration launched the new and its list of promises to the LGBT community.

I was cautiously stoked at the time and agreed with Queers United's comment under my post, "We should take a screen shot and print out the page. So when he runs again in 4 years, we can use it as a checklist."

Unfortunately, we don't have to wait four years. Joe.My.God made the stunning discovery that the eight promises listed were narrowed down to two.

This is what is listed now versus when the site first went up.

See the difference?
For Matt Algren, this just makes President Obana's response to the passing of the Matthew Shephard Act in the House even more trite.
President Obama released a statement right under the wire encouraging both houses of congress to pass this year’s version of the Matthew Shepard Act. It was a nice gesture. The President’s statement is presented below in its entirety.

"This week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on this important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance – legislation that will enhance civil rights protections, while also protecting our freedom of speech and association. I also urge the Senate to work with my Administration to finalize this bill and to take swift action."

That’s it. That’s the entire statement. Three sentences. Eight-nine words. The night before the House was scheduled to vote, after even the Religious Right had already conceded that it would probably pass.

So on LGBT issues, I would have given President Obama a D yesterday. (I was in a generous mood.)

A "D." And he was in a good mood. Yikes. But I have to say, I'm feeling his disappointment.

In response to an email he sent about the website, Joe of JoeMyGod received a letter from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:
Hi Joe,

I wanted to let you know that Rea Carey contacted the White House directly about the issue today after you alerted us to your post. Rea was told that they are changing the White House Web site to turn it into a more governance-focused site to reflect progress, as opposed to a campaign and transition site. They said they have taken out many such points throughout the site (not just on LGBT policy issues) as part of this changeover, and are apparently modifying the site over the next few weeks. We will be keeping an eye on it, but if you see changes before we do (or a lack thereof), please let us know. And thank you for calling this to our attention.

Warm regards,

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
So what do you think? Just a bad PR snafu? Or another sign that President Obama is unable to keep the promises that got him his job in the first place? That would place him in the long list of "ordinary" politicians who don't keep their campaign promises, especially promises made to the LGBT population.

How would you rate President Obama's performance specifically in regard to the LGBT population? Are the first 100 days in office to short a time to evaluate?

For me, I'm disappointed. Not because no bills have been passed - that takes some time. Or that they keep pushing the repeal of DADT into the unknown future without any plans to address it. But because President Obama has said very little about his efforts to bring full equality to the LGBT population. Very little in fact.

Saying little implies we're a topic to avoid. Which drives home that fact that we're unequal and Obama's not sure what to do with that. Other than avoid it.

With all the major, historical advances being made in Vermont and Iowa, and possibly soon Maine, New Hampshire and New York, as well as the Matthew Shephard Act finally gaining traction, you would think he would have more to say, from one member of a minority group to another. Even a few words of encouragement. He may not support marriage equality, but he is for equal rights (not sure how one can hold onto both beliefs - that's always been a sticking point for me, not to mention his expert, eloquent use of words without really saying anything.)

However, I must remain patient. We're in historical crisis mode and he's got a lot on his plate. Right? Like I said in my original post about the White House website:
We are equally responsible as this administration, however, to not become complacent, not to let someone else do the work, and to not let history repeat itself, which is full of promises to capture votes, and when push comes to shove, nothing happens.
I among many others work very hard every day to remain responsible for our equality, doing hands-on work. In the end, I just expect a little encouragement from the Commander-in-Chief that promised "Change."

Yes we can? Sure. With or without President Obama's help.


  1. The list wasn't exactly narrowed from eight to two. You have to read each list to see that those eight points were condensed into two larger agendas. The "Strengthen Anti-Discrimination Laws" point now includes five of the previous topics and the "Lead Criminal Justice Reform" point refers to hate crimes, as well as many of the non-LGBT topics posted on the old version of the site. The only thing that isn't mentioned are the two AIDS topics. Maybe we should be fighting for those instead?

  2. Grow up people. There are more important things than gay rights now. Move to Canada or Sweden if you want to get married so badly.

  3. yeah! Grow up! Really! If you were looking for equal rights in this county you just can't have them! You should just move to very sensible...

  4. What a dick he's turned out to be. I don't care about the hate crime laws though. I wanna know who the haters are. Let them speak and spew...