One of the many communities to support candidate Obama only to be left disappointed with their victory is the LGBT community. The community by and large was willing to look aside as he ironically supported the separate but equal notion of “civil unions” over full marriage equality but cheered his declaration that the time was long overdue for a repeal of the discriminatory practice of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military. We’ve seen President Obama largely ignore this pledge only to trot it out conveniently with the caveat that Americans just need to wait a little longer.
In what can only be described as Joe Lieberman’s “Halley’s Comet”, the senator has introduced a piece of progressive legislation that is aimed at the repeal of DADT (probably because no corporate interests were offering to pay him to fight against it). This comes after the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, has stated he is for the repeal. And since then General Petraeus has voiced support, saying he has served with homosexuals in the military and that troops in Iraq and Afghanistan wont mind serving with openly gay peers (which is backed by polling). Despite all this Republicans (of course) are not willing to relent in their homophobia and anti-equality stances to strengthen our national comity.
John McCain, usually a whisper of reason within his party, reversed a pledge of his stating that if military leadership called for repeal of DADT that he’d be willing to follow. Now he stands against this modicum of equality, seemingly putting his electoral future ahead of his morals. Unsurprisingly though, this reversal seems to be because of an opponent to his right this primary season by the name of J.D. Hayworth. Mr. Hayworth has recently equated same-sex marriage equality to marriage between a man and a horse and not wanting to be outdone McCain has shifted to the right. Why is it that so many Republicans seem to equate same-sex marriage with fantasies of bestiality? Rick “Man-on-Dog” Santorum has put forth the idea that the JCoS have been brainwashed into believing that DADT should be repealed!
Yet the city in the center of all of this, Washington D.C., has begun to perform marriages for same-sex couples – joining the ranks of states like Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the Coquille tribe in Oregon. One can only hope that these legislators will see that this institution does not cause their city to slide into the ocean and will become more socialized to this idea.
While the prospect of the repeal of DADT and increasing numbers of states performing same-sex marriage is encouraging for a country that declared its independence with (and has struggled to uphold since then) the idea that all men and women are created equally, we still hear stories like the one from Alabama in which a local school has canceled its senior prom instead of allowing a lesbian student bring her girlfriend as a date. However long overdue changes like these are, they are only going to be enacted by organizing and exerting extraordinary pressure on our representatives and even then will be given only begrudgingly. Separating us with petty issues like this only serve to distract us from what our leaders actually get away with. If we break down these barriers and further unify, our ability to enact change that means more than an election year catchphrase becomes ever stronger.