four panelists – [gay-activist Lt. Dan] Choi, immigration reform supporter Felipe Matos, America Blog writer John Aravosis and Fire Dog Lake Founder Jane Hamsher – said they are planning to hold the White House’s collective feet to the fire for its decisions on civil rights, whether it would hurt Obama’s reelection chances or not.
I’m sorry, I don’t mean to chuckle. I realize these are serious issues, and in no way do I diminish their importance. But being threatened by the adolescent malcontents of the utterly insignificant, whining teapot-tempests of Americablog and FireDogLake is like being under fire from the Italian infantry, circa 1943. One scarcely notices.
Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded existing United States federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability – the first positive federal LGBT legislation in the nation’s history
Signed repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell
Signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act
Reversed an inexcusable US position by signing the UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees in 2009 and, further, in 2010
Lifted the HIV Entry Ban effective January 2010
Issued diplomatic passports, and provided other benefits, to the partners of same-sex foreign service employees
Committed to ensuring that federal housing programs are open to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity
Banned job discrimination based on gender identity throughout the Federal government (the nation’s largest employer)
Eliminated the discriminatory Census Bureau policy that kept gay relationships from being counted
Instructed HHS to require any hospital receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds (virtually all hospitals) to allow LGBT visitation rights
Required all grant applicants seeking HUD funding to comply with state and local anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT individuals
Adopted transgender recommendations on the issuance of gender-appropriate passports that will ease barriers to safe travel and that will provide government-issued ID that avoids involuntary “outing” in situations requiring ID, like hiring, where a gender-appropriate driver’s license or birth certificate is not available
Extended domestic violence protections to LGBT victims
Extended the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover employees taking unpaid leave to care for the children of same-sex partners
Issued guidance specifically to assist LGBT tenants denied housing on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity
Cut back authority to discharge under Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell from hundreds of generals to just 6 civilian appointees, effectively ending discharges while working toward a permanent end to the policy.
Launched the first-ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the rental and sale of housing
Determined that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional, that discrimination against LGBT citizens should be subject to “heightened scrutiny” and that it will no longer defend this portion of the law in court.
Vacated a court order that would have deported a gay American’s Venezuelan partner
Endorsed the Baldwin-Lieberman bill, The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009, to provide FULL partnership benefits to federal employees
Released the first Presidential PRIDE proclamations since 2000
Hosted the first LGBT Pride Month Celebration in White House history
Appointed the first ever transgender DNC member
Testified in favor of ENDA, the first time any official of any administration has testified in the Senate on ENDA
Hired more openly LGBT officials in its first two years – more than 150, including more than 20 “Senate-confirmables” – than any previous administration hired in four years or eight
Named open transgender appointees (the first President ever to do so)
Emphasized LGBT inclusion in everything from the President’s historic NAACP address (“The pain of discrimination is still felt in America. By African American women paid less for doing the same work as colleagues of a different color and a different gender …. By our gay brothers and sisters, still taunted, still attacked, still denied their rights.”) … to the first paragraph of his Family Day proclamation (“Whether children are raised by two parents, a single parent, grandparents, a same-sex couple, or a guardian, families encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things”) and his Mothers Day proclamation (“Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by two parents, a single mother, two mothers, a step-mom, a grandmother, or a guardian. Mother’s Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate these extraordinary caretakers”)
Spoke out against discrimination at the National Prayer Breakfast (“We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are – whether it’s here in the United States or, as Hillary mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda.”)
Dispatched the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to call on the Senate to repeal Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell
Publicly invited the shunned Mississippi high school prom student to the White House
Successfully fought for UN accreditation of IGLHRC (the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission) – against Republican attempts to block it
Awarded $13.3 million to the LA Gay & Lesbian Center to create a model program for LGBTQ youth in the foster care system
Hosted first-ever White House transgender policy meeting
If you’ve had the misfortune to visit PL sites recently you’ll have seen how much the ‘Obama-is-a-Homophobe!’ crew hate “the list” (as they call it) because …. um ….. dunno ….. maybe because it just proves they’re a bunch of lying turds? Or maybe they just think a McCain/Palin administration would have done so, so much more for LGBT rights?
Wouldn’t it be nice if Dan was honest? eg “Sorry guys, I have no choice but to ignore the facts and continue labeling Obama as a homophobe who is the worst President in American history when it comes to LGBT equality – despite his record being pretty remarkable – because if I did I wouldn’t be a professional left hero any more and my media invitations would dry up. Hey, gotta stay in that spotlight!”
But hey, he’s a ‘progressive’!
November 2010 – C.D. Kirven (co-founder of Get Equal Now): An appeal to Dan Choi: Stop the gender baiting – Dear Dan: As a member of the LGBT community fighting against bigotry, I understand the depth of your passion….
….A large number of those targeted by the policy (DADT) are women. In 2009, women made up 14 percent of the Army, but accounted for up to 48 percent of DADT’s discharges.
Your comment after the failed DADT vote in the Senate last month – “Harry Reid is a pussy. … He’ll be bleeding once a month” – is almost too insulting to take seriously….
…. I’m a woman before anything else, so I refuse to tolerate anyone publicly demeaning women. Personally, I’m very hurt and disappointed in you as a leader. This truly breaks my heart.
Unfortunately, this type of misogynistic behavior is nothing new in the LGBT community …You should lead our community by opposing gender baiting and understanding that those kinds of comments are unacceptable.
…As efforts to improve race relations within the LGBT community are almost non-existent, and as sexism slowly leaves the shadows, you as a leader will hopefully seize the opportunity to unify us instead of dividing us along gender lines.
My plea will most likely go unanswered because I’m a middle-class lesbian of color who can’t afford to pay to play….