A dear friend of mine who happens to also be a gay moderate Republican, thought that the upside of Obama would be that some social issues like gay rights would actually gain ground. As the past few months have passed, I have to wonder what my friend is thinking now.
The New York Times has a very strong editorial taking the President to task for not doing enough on the subject of gay rights. The Justice Department supported keeping the Defense of Marriage Act in place using reasoning that one would not expect to hear from a Democrat.
Because Democrats are all for gay rights, correct?
As a gay Republican who has had to withstand the many slings and arrows of gay Democrats, it would be easy for me to make fun of this development. But the fact that gay rights are being impeded, makes it hard to laugh. Actually, one wants to cry.
In some way though, the gay community has no one to blame for this than ourselves. For years the rhetoric has been to let the Democrats take care of securing gay rights. So, gays have voted for Democrats and the result has been...well not much.
I'm not saying that the Republicans would do a better job- I'd have to be on drugs to say that looking at the current state of the GOP. But I am saying that if gay Americans want to be treated as full and equal citizens, then we are going to fight for them ourselves and not outsource it to the Democrats.
If gay Democrats are upset at Obama's performance so far (and many are) then now is time to pressure the White House to stop acting like cowards. It's time for gay couples to be treated as equals by Uncle Sam and for men and women to be able to serve their country in our military without fear of being discharged for being honest. If a nation like Israel, hardly a wimpy nation, can have gays serving openly in their military, then so can we.
It's way past the time that the gay community starts hittin' the streets to demand equality and not simply be told to be patient.