Thursday, December 17, 2009

With Friends like These...

GLBTQ people are a very diverse group covering all classes and political backgrounds, but most GLBTQ people will tend to vote Democratic because of the perception that Democrats support our issues...and Democrats have no problem allowing that perception to stand as long as we donate money and vote. Lately however, our "fierce advocates" have been anything but fierce.

We entered this year with a shopping list of promised hopes and dreams for the GLBT future, made to us by our incoming President. Backed by a Democratic majority we had every hope that these long put off wishes would come true. Among the list of wishes we had hoped to find under our tree this year was, A comprehensive hate crimes bill, The Employment Non-discrimination Act, and a repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell,...of these, only the Mathew Sheppard Hate Crimes Bill was passed, and that...only because it was stapled to a Defense Department order for camo-colored screwdrivers. ENDA and DADT have both been shelved until a later date with the promise from the democrats being that we will likely see them in 2010....(begin holding breath here)...

So it came as no surprise when I came across an article in Queerty siting an article in The Hill featuring private comments from Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi saying in effect, that the house will not take on any "controversial bills" until the Senate acts first.

Believe me...if a bill has any wiff of "gay" on it, it gets labeled "controversial".

From the article in The Hill, Pelosi is reported to have said: (emphasis mine)

The Speaker recently assured her freshman lawmakers and other vulnerable members of her caucus that a vote on immigration reform is not looming despite a renewed push from the White House and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The House will not move on the issue until the upper chamber passes a bill, Pelosi told the members.

But according to Democrats who have spoken to Pelosi, the Speaker has expanded that promise beyond immigration, informing Democratic lawmakers that the Senate will have to move first on a host of controversial issues before she brings them to the House floor.

“The Speaker has told members in meetings that we’ve done our jobs,” a Democratic leadership aide said. “And that next year the Senate’s going to have to prove what it can accomplish before we go sticking our necks out any further.”

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), the president of the freshman class, said that Pelosi came to last Wednesday’s freshman breakfast to deliver that message, and that it was met with wide spread approval.

“I think freshmen, particularly, are not enamored of the idea of being asked to walk the plank on a controversial item if the Senate is not going to take any action,” Connolly said.

Pelosi’s promise could dim the prospects for other White House priorities as well, including the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) — known as “card check” — and the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” prohibition on gays serving openly in the military.

So...done your jobs eh?...Not on the report card I have here. So while you guys in the halls of power are arguing about how to best cover YOUR butts...My husband has been on the phone trying to help a guy recently fired from his job on the basis of being gay. Also, as you continue to recall troops to see service in Afghanistan, more gay troops are being discharged every day. So, while you play politics...we bleed out. Some fierce advocates.

I understand that Speaker Pelosi's comments were intended to shield junior House members who have more to lose...but...what she seems to miss, is that what for her is a strategy to preserve power, is a real life loss for thousands of Americans...not only the gay ones. Out the window with our issues goes a host of others that are just as vital to the everyday lives of all of us as Americans....But I guess Camo-colored screwdrivers are easier to get approved.

I hate to not support Democrats, knowing what the other guys are likely to do with us, but perhaps it is time to turn off the pink cash machine.


  1. The gAyTM has been turned off at my house. Not another dime will go to Democratic incumbents who refuse to keep their promises. Not another dime will go to national Democratic Party organizations.

    We're no longer paying for promises. If you want our money, show us what you have done for us. Don't tell us what you plan to do. Show is what you HAVE ALREADY DONE.

    Until you have some actual accomplishments to bring to the table, the flow of money is cut off. Your votes in our favor are not enough. If the bill fails, the money flow stays dry.

  2. In New York Senate, 8 Democrats voted "No" on same-sex marriage issue, and that was enough to lose it.

    They are no better than Republicans, they are worse, because they lie about supporting us, they lie to our faces, even the President lied, why not the rest of them? When he mentioned gays in his presidential speech (I still have it somewhere on my computer), there was a last hope for me to see what they (Democrats) are made of. Now I know. Thank you, President Obama, you opened my eyes wide enough. At least, Republicans have a decency to hate us openly, and we always know what to expect (no offense to those Republicans who support gay rights, I know there are those out there, kudos to you!).

    No more gAyTM, as our Anonymous friend mentioned in the comment above!

  3. Why are they all so afraid of being singled out by a fundamentalist backlash? They need to grow some balls. Either that or people need to start seeing through the lies that accompany a christian backlash.

    Why would she say something like "won't stick our necks out" in public. She does know she is a legeslator?

  4. Perhaps I am looking at life through rose colored glasses but I think that people would be more apt to vote for someone that DID stick their neck out for human rights. I would say to the freshman class.."GO FOR IT!"" Maybe there is a new leader there in the class instead of the wishy-washy representatives we have now.

    Or, am I just being delusional???

  5. No Jim, I think your just expecting them to do the job they were elected to do and actually work for the needs of the public

  6. Isn't their supposed willingness to tackle tough issues like this why Obama and all these Dems were voted into office? Shouldn't they be more worried that they're NOT tackling these issues? It sure would be nice to have a realistic third option.

  7. The electorate in America isn't sufficiently left-leaning (the enormity of the Moral Majority, and other large right-wing religious and non-religious groups ensures that) to allow a lot of your politicians to challenge the status quo as much as many democrat supporters would like. It breaks my heart that your government is run by a two-party system of politics, and even moreso that your electorate is so evenly split... the rivalry between the parties is only matched by their desperation to gain another thousand votes.

    Those thousand votes may like to hear that they will one day be allowed to openly joint he military (homosexuals). But another thousand votes would be pushed away if homosexual equality was put at the forefront of the agenda, because they are on-the-fence on the issue, and people tend to be conservative rather than liberal in their voting behaviour when they are unsure.

    The democrats know that they will not lose the voting support of homosexuals. For exactly the reason that Bryan pointed out, "I hate to not support Democrats, knowing what the other guys are likely to do with us..."

    Homosexuals are to the democrats what the mainstream protestant American church is to the republicans.

    Pull your support - all of it - and perhaps the democrats will miss your support, and lose a couple important elections. But we all know, including the leaders of the democrats, that you don't want the other guys in.

    And we all know that, despite being a justice issue, there are far too many fence-sitters in most of the world to push this when party support is so evenly split.

    Breaks my heart, Democracy. It breaks my heart.

  8. Their inaction makes sense, when you consider their goal: They want to keep their high paying job. If they don't hurt any bigot's feelings, then they'll get reelected.
    For things to actually work out, you need people who actually care enough to take the risk of becoming unpopular. A real leader takes risks and gets things done.

  9. @Coconut, case in point! I've been saying that Obama is a coward for a while now: he's completely happy with being the first black President, so he doesn't feel the need to be the one that freed the gays, though it would be poetic because some other President so many decades ago freed the blacks. I guess, he doesn't have what it takes.

  10. The Dem's allegience is to the Party, not to glbt interests. The Party -- not families who donate -- deals out six-figure appointments and lucrative grants. Allowing one's vote to be taken for granted guarantees inaction on the issues you care about. Both parties fight over the Cuban and other Hispanic votes because, depending on the year and the presentation, it can go either way. Unfortunately, self-appointed leaders, such as HRC, are rewarded for delivering block votes to Dems, not for changing lives for the better. Most glbt organizations go postal when a Republican stands up for an equality issue because this screws up their fund-raising playbook and threatens to lower the percentage of votes they can guarantee to party bosses. Change is not good when you rely on donations for your lifestyle. I know it's not this simple; however, many movers and shakers in the non-profit world have one true agenda: great seats at an Awards Dinner and the chance to have drinks with a celebrity. ;)