So the title might be a bit out there, but has anyone really taken the time to look at all of those empty promises we’ve gotten from Barack? The Obama campaign was based around one word, “change,” something the LGBT community hasn’t seen much of.
“I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law,” Obama said while campaigning in 2008. “That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination.”
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – A federal law passed on September 21, 1996, defining marriage (according to the federal government) as between a man and woman. Additionally, the law states that no state (or political subdivision) should treat any same-sex relationship as marriage. DOMA currently remains in effect.
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) – Introduced in December of 1993, this federal law restricts openly gay individuals from serving for the United States Armed Forces. According to the law, restrictions are placed against individuals who “demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts.” The major concern of allowing homosexuals into the armed forces is simple; “it would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.” DADT is also currently in effect.
Let’s review, shall we? DOMA is still in effect, Don’t Ask Don’t tell still exists and LGBT people continue to wait on the equal rights promised in Obamas campaign.
Though little has changed in the last year, some critics believe President Obama may soon become more active in fighting for LGBT rights. Obama recently defended the gays and lesbians at the Fellowship Foundation’s National Prayer Breakfast earlier this week. .
“We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are,” Obama said.
Could this mean a change in the way equality is addressed in the United States? Maybe. I think it’s time our president stood by his word and fulfilled his promises to the gay community. Every American is entitled to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ It’s about time the LGBT community experienced that happiness.
— Christopher Clevenger, associate managing editor