Friday, August 29, 2008

OBAMA AND GAY RIGHTS


"'I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination." [Barack Obama at his speech at the Democratic Convention, August 29th. For the full article, see here.]

We are to make no mistake: It might be better in the long-run for the advancement of Gay rights if McCain wins the Presidential election than if Obama wins it!

Obama is against same-sex marriage, tacitly affirming that "separate is equal," and also tacitly affirming that same-sex love lacks the dignity sufficient to equate it with heterosexual love!

As long as same-sex couples are denied marriage equality, there is no equality! "Equality" doesn't come in increments! People have it or they don't!

In the unlikely event that Obama wins the election (See my August 25th post), and he, like Clinton, defects from pursuing Gay rights (Remember, it was under Clinton that DOMA was instituted, and DADT was also instituted as a politically expedient compromise to the more draconian policy in the military that previously existed.), liberals might well make excuses for his defection from pursuing full and equal rights, and thereby give him a pass on that defection.

However, should McCain win the election, his clear and upfront discriminatory attitudes toward Gay people and same-sex marriage, may well help to set a tone where more homophobia will be given permission to surface to the point where what LGBT rights now exist might well be even further threatened or removed, and thereby be more likely inflame even further outrage among LGBT people and allies to the point that far more motivation for meaningful political activism will be evidenced in pursuing full and equal rights.

I'm not a fan of Obama's, and certainly not a fan of McCain's! I'm going to vote for Obama because of the likely types of Supreme Court appointments he'll make, although I'm not even sure about the fact that they'd be all that different from McCain's appointments.

I see Obama as being merely a charming, charismatic, shell, a chameleon who lacks much substance! I don't see McCain in any better light at all, save for his greater consistency in articulating and making known his "values."

The choice of candidates between the two parties is pathetic, and one day there might be a viable third party that transcends the seeming collusion between the Democrats and Republicans in pursuing virtually the same agenda, despite rhetoric to the contrary.

For merely one example, in 1947, Harry Truman said we should have universal health care. Since that time, the Democrats have controlled Congress more often than not, and we still don't have such health care. Don't you think that if the Democrats really wanted universal health care, we'd have had it within the last 60 years?

We must also remember that most all Democrats in Congress affirmed the Iraq war; Congress, not the President, passes laws and affirms U.S. Supreme Court judicial appointments.

My point is that I think that the Democrats and the Republicans are engaging in one big shell game, where the rhetoric seems to significantly differ, but the outcomes are virtually the same! I see no reason to believe that the same will not hold true regarding Gay rights!

Should Obama win and continue to withhold full equality from Gay people, LGBT people and "liberals" are likely to make excuses for him; should McCain win and help set a tone where homophobia is given permission to accelerate, there will be no likelihood of such mystification or rationalization concerning the lack of equality!

As long as Obama doesn't speak out in favor of marriage equality, I have no reason to believe that LGBT rights will improve one iota under an Obama Administration!

"Equality" is like pregnancy! You either are or you aint!
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4 comments:

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

Obama's refusal to endorse the right of Lesbian and Gay couples to marry, as well as his macho response to a question about AIDS testing some months ago tell me all I need to know about his so-called commitment to Gay Rights. Your comment likening being equal to being pregnant is highly quotable. Expect me to quote it!

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks Don Charles. You have my permission! :))

Anonymous said...

We had a very strong lesbian and gay rights movement even under the worst of Republican administrations. Men in office right or left, it's still men in office. I don't hold out much hope for men being able to get the kinds of rights that only lesbians seem to fight for these days.

Obama is like most liberal straight men -- add gay and lesbian to the laundry list, but don't really go the extra mile for full equality. So what else is new?

When was the last time you got thousands of so-called liberal men in the streets protesting against woman hating pornography, and male entitlement to rape women's bodies? Yeah sure the guys will give lipservice, but I don't see much action.

Gay men, not much help with a lesbian agenda, and the gay male Obama supporters are VERY openly sexist and in your face.

If I hear men trashing Gov. Palin, that is going to be my cue. It's about patriarchy guys and men's collusion with it.

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Anonymous: There can be no question that patriarchy is alive and well in the U.S. and elsewhere. However, I don't see antipathy by men (or women) toward Palin to be based on patriarchy as much as it is her record on civil rights that is onerous to both men and women. Regarding liberals not protesting the things you mention, or merely paying lip service, you're absolutely right. However, I don't see liberals, men or women, protesting much of anything else either unless they perceive their own ox is being gored, and even then the critical mass to get that kind of activism seems to me to require a far higher threshold now than occurred in the 1960's and 70's.

I think it would be unfortunate and short-sighted to vote for Palin because she's a woman, as her "agenda" is entirely antithetical to the quest for full and equal civil rights. Moreover, "trashing" Palin shouldn't be seen as being caused by misogyny but by her helping to seek to significantly set back LGBT civil rights.

The unfortunate truth is that each minority group seeks to get civil rights for itself, even to the extent of throwing one or more other minority groups under the bus to achieve that goal. We certainly saw this phenomenon at work with ENDA!

To the degree that those we count on to help press the fight for equal rights, be they men or women, all too often also engage in political expediency in the often futile attempt to achieve their goals, thereby creating a war of all against all among minority groups, and even subcultures within those minority groups, to everyone's disadvantage.

And although I think that misogyny and patriarchy, along with Reaction Formation, go a long way toward explaining homophobia (and, of course, hostility toward women), there are justifiable grounds based on Palin's civil rights record alone (to say nothing about her lack of domestic and foreign policy experience) to justify not supporting her by those who care about equal rights for LGBT people.