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A Poll To Freep for LGBT Equality

By: Clarknt67 Saturday February 12, 2011 8:47 am

Public Policy Polling is asking folks to weigh in on where they should poll next? The choices? Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Washington. 

The Poll is here.

I'm recommending you surf over and click "Rhode Island." Here's why:

It's a very easy way for our community to put good (free) data into the hands of the advocates in that state to make their case to the legislators. It's been seven months near as I can see since we've had reliable polling in Rhode Island on the issue of marriage equality. In June 2009, National Organization for Marriage was up to their usual dirty tricks. They commissioned a poll that allegedly showed 43% opposed and 36% support.

Of course, this is NOM's usual nonsense and lies. The sample pool was probably culled from a Tea Party Convention. The last poll I can find was commissioned by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research in July, 2010. A survey of 502 likely voters showed very, very different results:

"Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally?"

Favor: 59%
Oppose: 31%

As the vote heats up in Rhode Island, surely NOM will be quoting their fake poll left and right. Unlike, National Organization for Marriage, however, Public Policy Polling is a well-respected pollster with creditability. If they were to release similar results at this time, it could well resonate with lawmakers who are on the fence about this issue. Fresh headlines of support can only help move that vote in our favor and marginalize the opposition.

Now, there's no guarantee that Public Policy Polling will actually ask anything about marriage equality. But with the battle looming large in that state, they'd very remiss if they didn't include a question. 

I've been assured that last time they conducted such a survey, they did indeed go with the popular vote winner. 

The Poll is here. It take just a moment to click on it. It ends Monday.


DADT: White House Packing Spoon for Gun Fight with GOP

By: Clarknt67 Wednesday November 10, 2010 8:56 am

Example 3,623 of fierce advocacy from the White House can be seen in today’s National Journal’s “Need to Know” column (scroll down, front page):

DON’T ASK. White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer told National Journal that repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military is “at least worth a shot” in the lame-duck session of Congress that starts next week. But lawmakers would have to hang around longer than some might like: The military’s study on the proposed repeal isn’t due till December 1.

Wow. Can you just feel the fierce advocacy?

The GOP is going to be attacking this vote with non-stop stories of all the enormous consequences of soldiers being raped in the shower rooms and how the gays will spread AIDS through the troops and how they will prey on straights during all those “intimate” nights of “sleeping alongside of one another.” (Oh wait, “our side” gave them most of those talking points…)

Anyway, nothing says resolve and sure-footed commitment to doing the right thing like declaring it is “at least worth a shot.” That’s the way you going into a fight demonstrating your a winning spirit and a take-no-prisoners attitude!

H/T to GayAmericaBlog. Cross Posted at Pam’s House Blend.

Senate Makes Plans To Dump DADT Repeal

By: Clarknt67 Sunday November 7, 2010 3:16 pm

Kerry Eleveld at the Advocate has posted a new piece, DADT: Signs of Hope, Doom, wherein she describe backroom negotiations are already underway to ditch the effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the lame duck legislative session:

Over the weekend, observers of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” debate began cautiously acknowledging that an effort is in the works to potentially move a stripped down version of the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act that would exclude repeal.

A person close to the process said Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is looking into a deal with Sec. Gates that would cut ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ out of the Defense bill in order to smooth its way to passage.

“Levin is making calls under the premise – we can’t afford to waste time on a controversial provision, so we’ll strip out the controversial provision and be able to get the bill on and off the floor in the available amount of time,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network responds:

“We welcome Secretary Gates call for the senate to act on repeal in the lame duck session. Indeed, the senate should call up the defense bill reported out of committee and pass it before it goes home for the year,” Sarvis said. “Any talk about a watered down defense bill, whereby the ‘Don’t Ask’ revisions would be stripped out, is unacceptable and offensive to the gay and lesbian service members who risk their lives everyday.”

This is pretty much the fat lady singing folks. Democrats are preparing to abandon the fight. We will see them, once again, as they did on LGBT initiatives in healthcare reform, as they did when they passed DADT and DOMA, and Bill Clinton signed them, they take a big crap on the gays. In time, they will come to us and say, “Well, what else could we do? We had to.”

Don’t you believe it. You tell them, “You could have fought for it.”

Cross-Posted at Pam’s House Blend.

Obama Hides Behind Partisan Games on LGBT Issues

By: Clarknt67 Sunday October 31, 2010 9:16 am

The Hill reported yesterday: “Obama fires back at AIDS protesters, tells them to hassle GOP.” A group of protesters interrupted Obama’s speech chanting “Fund Global AIDS.” He is reported to have said:

“I think it would make a lot more sense for you guys to go to the folks who aren’t interested in funding global AIDS and chant at that rally,” Obama said. “Because we’re trying to focus on figuring out how to finance the things that you want financed, all right?”

No. It really wouldn’t make more sense to anyone familiar with the issue. But that’s what he’s banking on. And it’s a good bet that most Americans aren’t paying attention.

Obama has taken this rhetorical tact of “Go protest the Republicans” on several occasions and when he employs it, he’s counting on most people’s simplistic understanding of LGBT issues and policies. For most of America the understanding is thus: GOP = Bad for gays. Dem = Good for gays. Look no further. But what if we did?

If we did, we’d see it’s a sloppy dodge Obama’s making to distract from addressing the real issue.

Let’s put aside that protesting most of GOP is pointless to the LGBT community. They will videotape the protests and play them on an endless loop for their supporters. Let’s also overlook that GOP never asks for money, time or votes from the LGBT community. Protesting them is pointless as they have no interest in our community’s support anyway.

Let’s look at the lie Obama is telling. The protesters were protesting, specifically Obama’s policy of global AIDS funding. About the only nice thing I can say about Bush, is for some reason he made funding AIDS medicinal programs in Africa a financial priority. Obama has walked that back.

So, not only are they protesting a very specific act of Obama, they are longing for a return to the GOP policies of George W. Bush. Obama is playing partisan politics to hide his actions and policy decisions that were his administrations alone. From AVERT, an international HIV and AIDS charity, based in the UK, working to avert HIV and AIDS worldwide, through education, treatment and care.

In 2009 Obama pledged $48 billion for HIV/AIDS over a five-year period, as part of the Global Health Initiative. The total funding request for FY2010 for global HIV/AIDS was $6.7 billion. Funding for 2009-2010 was effectively flat-lined in contrast to the much higher previous year-on-year increases in funding, especially from 2006-2009. In effect, 2010 was the first year US funding for PEPFAR did not increase. Obama’s proposed 2011 budget includes almost $7 billion for PEPFAR, representing a 2.2% increase. However, according to some AIDS activists this slight increase is actually a ‘step backwards’ due to inflation and increasing demand for treatment. The flat-lining of the PEPFAR budget means, so far, the proposed $48 billion target is far from being reached.

But don’t take my word for it, I’m just a noisy gay. Here’s what Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu has to say:

Under the Bush administration, about 400,000 more African patients received treatment every year. President Obama’s PEPFAR strategy would reduce the number of new patients receiving treatment to 320,000 — resulting in 1.2 million avoidable deaths over the next five years, according to calculations by two Harvard researchers, Rochelle Walensky and Daniel Kuritzkes. Doctors would have to decide which of the 22 million Africans afflicted with H.I.V. should receive treatment and which should not.

Of course, it much easier to just brush this issue off as some unreasonable homosexuals who will never be pleased.

Update: By the way, it should be noted, the Hill article makes no reference to the issue of Obama’s policy on global AIDS funding. He has been targeted for some time on this issue and it really isn’t so hard to have researched the issues the protesters were attempting to draw attention to. But apparently it was too much work for them.

Gracious thanks to FogCityJohn for the links. He blogs at The Body.