Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Obama and the Gays

In my view, Obama's planning some pretty decent reform when it comes to gay civil rights in the United States (or, as Republicans would call it, THE GAY AGENDA!!!!!). The timing of all this, however, is wishy-washy. There are no specifics as to when all this will take place:
The plan the Obama transition team posted on its website last week addresses family issues, such as marriage and adoption, as well as employment discrimination and health concerns. It reconfirms that Obama does not support same-sex marriage, but that he opposes a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

The plan says Obama believes the federal government should repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which mandated that states do not have to recognize same-sex marriages, and approve legislation that would give gay and lesbian couples in civil unions the same legal rights as married couples.

His plan proposes expanding adoption rights for gay couples, saying the president-elect believes “a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.” Obama also favors repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
The article goes on to note that Obama will expand hate-crime statutes and anti-discrimination laws to cover homosexuals who are unfairly targeted because, well, they're homosexual.

The only thing Obama seems to plan to do within a specific time frame is create a national HIV/AIDS prevention program for agencies of the federal government. He wants to do that within a year.

With the shitty economy and other, much more wide-ranging issues that are sure to take precedent (energy, etc.), I'd be thrilled if all this stuff gets done in Obama's first term. There have already been rumblings that Obama will wait until at least 2010 to repeal DADT, which is probably a good idea, as he doesn't want to use the momentum he'll have right out of the gate on an issue that affects relatively few people. That's obviously not to say it's not important, because it is, but I'd be the first person to advise him to focus on other things first, and, well, obviously I want to repeal DADT.

It will be nice to have a Democratic president in office for a variety of reasons, one of them being that it's simply refreshing to have someone who doesn't think homosexuality is a sin (gee, imagine that). Although the gay community must watch Obama like a hawk and make sure he follows through on everything he's promised. Remember: Bill Clinton was a Democrat, and he gave us DADT and DOMA. Obama still doesn't believe in same-sex marriage and you also get the feeling (again, probably rightfully so) that gay rights reform is not one of his top priorities.

I just want it to happen while he's in office. 2010, 2011, 2012... whatever. Just ASAP, please. We're all tired of waiting.

No comments: