Yesterday a federal judge ruled that banning gays from the military is unconstitutional under the first and fifth amendments. President Obama had campaigned on repealing "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" and lifting the gay ban, but he stayed silent on a plan for repeal throughout the first year of his presidency. Then, Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa) started working to get the votes for repeal himself. When he was one vote shy of passing complete repeal with a non-discrimination policy, the President decided to get involved.
Now, we have a bill that sucks.
The current bill is waiting for the Senate to take it up, hopefully before the election. Otherwise, it may not even get passed and we will be stuck with the policy until we get 60 70 75 votes – whatever the new bar will be for getting things through the Senate. Democrats aren’t getting this done, and yesterday, the GOP quite possibly ended the policy.
And I’m just stunned.
It wasn’t enough to just stay silent on the California and Maine ballot initiatives, and it wasn’t enough to stay silent on the Prop. 8 trial while the other side was using the President and Democrats’ words against those fighting for equality. It wasn’t enough to have David Axelrod go on TV and say that the President still doesn’t support same-sex marriage, after a Reagan and Bush-appointed judge ruled that ban unconstitutional. It wasn’t enough to just sit idly by while half the GOP is making their support for same-sex marriage known and not only that, but they’re working with AFER and other groups to stop the government punishment of banning marriage for gays.
No, none of that made the Democrats stop and think that maybe they should say something. Now, the Log Cabin Republicans may have just overturned the ban on gays in the military. So, I ask again, Democrats, what are you doing? . . .
Last I checked, there’s an election coming up. Democrats should maybe consider the possibility that it looks quite bad to let Republicans beat you on LGBT issues, of all things, given their history of outright hostility and hatred toward the LGBT community. This is a party that was still pushing statewide same sex marriage bans just four short years ago. Are you really going to hand gay rights victories over to them?
Someone needs to step up and say something. I want the President to write an amicus brief in the Prop. 8 trial. Even if he stubbornly won’t change his position on same sex marriage, he should still tell the Court that he opposes discriminatory bans like the one in California. Democrats need to be out there talking about all of these cases. In the past few months, bans on same sex marriage were ruled unconstitutional, the Defense of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional and now Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the ban on gays in the military have been ruled unconstitutional. And not a peep from the Democratic Party on this.
Where are you? Why aren’t you saying anything? Why aren’t you taking the fight to the GOP? Why aren’t you countering their insane attempts to woo gay voter by passing pro-gay legislation and watching as they vote against it? You could win this fight if you did that. You could show that this is just a strategy for them – they hate gay people, they just see that it’s not longer a viable electoral strategy to keep hating us so openly. Democrats, for all their faults, don’t hate us. But sometimes it sure as hell seems like it when they pretend we don’t even exist.
What are they trying to accomplish with this strategy? Don’t they know how to fight?
Scottie Thomaston (indiemcemopants) is a 26-year-old Alabama blogger who has written about politics on various blogs since age seventeen. A disabled, ‘out’ gay man, his principal themes have been LGBT rights, torture, NSA spying and the challenges of disability. His pieces have appeared on Daily Kos (where he also moderates a community series on disability), Firedoglake; and on his own blog, "Ignorance is…" The quality of his writing earned him a 2010 Netroots Nation scholarship from Democracy For America and a citation in the New York Times Opinionator column. He is actively building his career as a professional new media journalist.
You can find him on Twitter: @indiemcemopants
[photo: Lost Albatross via Flickr]