Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

“I Could Care Less About You Gays!” UPDATED

Ok, everyone is pissed about Rick Warren at the inauguration. Except apparently me, who could care less who gives a prayer at the thing. Means nothing to me. I have my reasons that I don’t care. For one, I tend to trust Obama and what his friends believe isn’t necessarily want he does. Also, I’m not in favor of silencing opinions I don’t agree with. I’m interested in outdebating them. Silencing opponents is what Bush did.

It’s slightly entertaining to see some in the blogosphere turn on Obama on this. I guess I’m the only one not surprised. MyDD meanwhile is infested with the return of the PUMA’s glorifying this event as their “I told you so” moment. Honest discussion does not fly there.

Anyway, I’m not surprised the LGBT community is offended by this move…but as someone who took to the streets in the past for gay rights…I’m not surprised and I’m also not expecting the outcry to lead to anything. Frankly, outside us in the LGBT community, few could care less about gay rights.

I found in my travels and canvassing, there are two types of people…hardcare opponents of all or some gay rights, and the ambivalents. Outside of our community, it’s hard to get someone who’s not directly effected by homophobia all roused up for gay rights. It’s not something that will ever effect them and it’s not something that ranks high on their list.

Right now most people are concerned with the economy, where that’s going, with the war, with jobs, etc. No one is really worried about whether or not Prop 8 will be overturned or Iowa will legalize marriage equality or what LGBT rights bill lands on Obama’s desk.

They never really did. I used to stand on Manhattan street corners and stop people, asking them to support our case and few did. We got some people who were like “gee that sucks, I hope things work out” and no one willing to stand up and march with us.

Even our Senators, one of them being Hillary Clinton, refused to do any more than show up at a parade or two (where I somehow never saw her, but apparently she was there). At least she voted the right way…but our request to appear at rallies for her, for Schumer, for many of our big named Congress members…denied.

I would also imagine similar situations in Illinois with our President-elect. I’m not exonerating him either…but this is the leadership we have. Marriage equality is not popular nationwide. It couldn’t pass in California. Our elected leaders are not going to take on a controversial issue…we need our unelected leaders to do it…the problem is, we don’t have unelected leaders with enough clout to do it. We don’t have our Martin Luther King Jr. We need one.

In the meantime, I’m willing to give our government a pass if they don’t exactly run around waving a rainbow flag. It’s tough out there for us, I know, I’ve been there.

UPDATE: I exchanged e-mails with an old co-worker of mine back home in New York…a very liberal person who believes the 2004 election was stolen in Ohio, marched with Code Pink and donated to Cindy Sheehan’s congressional campaign.

Her response; “Who cares? This isn’t a big deal”

She’s not a blogger around here, but this is exactly my point. Who cares indeed? If this was the KKK or some anti-semetic person/group, there would be outcry because huge masses of the population would feel offended, but sadly huge masses of the population don’t move on gay rights. It’s a secondary issue at best for them.


  1. spacemanspiff

    I am dissapointed in Barack’s choice but I am not surprised. It’s really the symbolism behind the act and what it means to so many of us. The majority of America might not feel passionately about this but many of us do and it stings. I know the P-elect will do things that will piss me off and I will call him out on it when he does. That doesn’t mean I have lost faith in the vision that he is putting forward.

    As far as MyDD goes. I was just over there. I don’t get it. I haven’t been over that much and hadn’t even gone once today. The place is a ghost blog and the only 2 threads with a lot of action are people taking the trolls bait. KnowVox? C’mon now.  

    I got tired of moderating that place. I especially got tired of all the fucking drama.

    I won’t be going back there anytime soon.

    After a couple of months this place feels like home. The Moose is my main base now and we’ve got the best batch of comments and commenters around ( I’m biased like that). It’s a slower pace but it gives you time to really have great conversation. Feel free to rant or ramble here when you please fellow Moose!

  2. your argument doesnt make sense to me.  because you suspect obama doesnt share these views its okay to have selected (out of a pool of many) a aggressively homophobic person to participate and lead a prayer at his inauguration?

    even though obama most certainly doesnt share these views it was a dumb, dumb political and moral move.  period.

  3. Jjc2008

    of this being about “PUMAs” returning for an “I told you so” moment seems bitter and divisive.  How is it that any criticism of Obama gets back to a “It’s the fault of Hillary and/or her supporters.”  That’s nonsense.

    If Hillary was the president elect and chose Warren, she too would have been heavily criticized, labeled a DINO or a triangulator or both by the very people now screaming the “How dare they criticize Obama.”

    Elected officials will always get criticized heavily by all..and that is a good thing. The gay community is angry.  It feels wrong to many.  Many people fed up with the pandering (for years by most elected officials, right and left) to the religious right are angry.  

    There is no such thing as a perfect human being and no such reality of an elected official doing 100% of the things in a way as to appeal to 100% of the people, not even for 100% of those that voted for them.  But to bring back the old “it’s the PUMAs; it’s the Hillary voters” is a canard that is getting old and silly and petulant. Was/is John Aravosis a PUMA?  He wrote a scathing article on BO about this on Huffpo.  This is a man who could not appear on the pundit shows without making sure he got his hateful digs and diatribes toward Hillary out….for me he was Andrew Sullivan lite.  

    So let’s get real. Obama has made choice that displease some and will continue to do so.   It’s what happens in a democracy.   If there were no voices of dissent, there would be no democracy.

  4. GrassrootsOrganizer

    I think the choice is a carefully calculated one designed to disarm those who would paint Obama as a knee-jerk “liberal”.  And when you step back and look at it, if he does feel the need to set that sort of “balance” what better way to “pander” to the religious Right than with the choice of a preacher.  

    Really, think about that for a moment. In theory, the Left and the gay community are not all that damn religious to begin with.  All other things being irrelevant, the choice of the inauguration preacher would be as significant to the Left as the pattern on the dinnerware.  But to the religious Right?  Regardless of any political stance, the choice of the preacher is a HEADLINE.  

    And sure, this guy offends the gay community and those looking for clues to Obama’s commitment to liberal values.  But to most other Obama supporters the guy is relatively benign.  Black Baptists and Latino Catholics might even appreciate the fact that he’s strongly anti-abortion and all about defending traditional marriage AND they probably will actually listen and believe in the prayer the preacher offers!

    When it comes to gay rights the proof will be in the policy and appointments, not in the beliefs of every person asked to somehow participate.  When Obama names Rick Warren his Special Advisor on Gay Rights Issues, THEN I’d say we have a problem.  

    Until then?  He’s reaching out to folks who didn’t support him and placated a significant chunk of the people who did.  He’s also (clever guy) diffusing a mass of lingering Rev. Wright bad mojo.

    I hope this doesn’t come off as callous or a sell-out of GLBT rights BUT the American house in on fire here.  Obama has a war to end, a prison camp to close,  an economy to save from the brink of ruin, millions of Americans out of work, losing their homes, unable to finish school, choosing between life saving medication and food, and a world to save from global warming.  It will take consensus, a mending of the cultural divide and the trust of even Red State Americans to achieve what critically needs to get done in the next 12 months.  Gay rights will be fought for and won IN THE COURTS, not on a podium on January 20.

    I know it has to hurt, but the Left has to stay focused on the big picture.  Anybody remember who offered the blessing at Inaugurations past?  Yeah, me neither.  Did a one of them “set a tone” yet alone shape public policy?  

    Again, I’m surprised to most on the Left this choice is as significant as what dress Michelle will be wearing.  

  5. DeniseVelez

    where folks are screaming and ranting about this, that there have been virtually no diaries on Obama’s LGBT  appointments.

    Or about the marching band 🙂

    Obama names 7 gays to transition team

    Gay groups considering Inaugural events

    By LOU CHIBBARO JR, Washington Blade | Nov 19, 8:48 AM

    Officials with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team this week named at least seven openly gay people to transition panels assigned to review federal departments and agencies. Three of the seven gays named to the transition panels – businessman Fred P. Hochberg, former San Francisco Supervisor Roberta Achtenberg, and labor attorney Elaine Kaplan – held high-level positions in the Clinton administration.

    The Obama officials also named President Bush’s former ambassador to Romania, Michael Guest, to a transition panel assigned to review issues pertaining to the State Department. Guest became the nation’s second openly gay ambassador when Bush appointed him to the Romania post for a term lasting from 2001 to 2003.

    Several national gay rights advocacy groups, meanwhile, were said to be considering whether to hold one or more gay-related events during the week of Obama’s Inauguration on Jan. 20. During President Clinton’s inaugural festivities in 1993 and 1997, gay groups, including the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund – held as many as a dozen events, including a gay inaugural ball.

    Obama transition includes LGBT community

    President-elect Obama is making good on his commitment to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as he prepares to enter the White House. His transition team features seven LGBT people, he’s set to name a lesbian to a senior position in his administration and an LGBT marching band – which includes two Minnesotans – will provide entertainment during his inauguration.

    Obama’s transition team includes seven openly LGBT people: Michael Guest, former Clinton ambassador to Romania; Fred Hochberg, former Clinton Small Business Administration leader; Elaine Kaplan, who headed Clinton’s Office of Special Counsel; Thomas Soto, who was appointed by Clinton to serve on an international commission involved in conservation efforts with Mexico; Rick Stamberger, president of an online gay news collection website called SmartBrief; and Brad Kiley, a deputy assistant for administration at the Clinton White House.

    Additionally, more than 1,300 LGBT-identified people have submitted applications for a spot in the administration.

    Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Nancy Sutley, a lesbian born in South America and now a U.S. citizen, will likely head up the White House Council on Environmental Quality, making her the highest-ranking LGBT appointment so far.

    Obama also selected the Lesbian and Gay Band Association to perform at the inaugural parade in January. It will be the first time a LGBT group will be involved in inauguration festivities at that level. President Clinton allowed the band to play on the side of the route. Obama is giving them center stage.

    When he does good things – no one says a word.  Folks are taking the Warren thing out to lunch – meanwhile no mention of Rev. Lowery, who is giving the benediction.

  6. rfahey22

    But, at the end of the day, I don’t know if it’s anything else.  Since the Warren issue does not speak directly to my situation, I have no right to judge the feelings of others about it.  However, there has been an attempt at other places to co-opt the issue and use it as a basis to refight the primary wars, which is just pathetic.


    First of all, who gives the invocation has not been a big issue for those of us on the left.  We have always been more concerned with the political ideology of those actually in the government and those making the decisions regarding our country.

    Secondly, evangelicals don’t care so much about political ideology but are just determined that our President is ‘saved’ so the person who gives the invocation is extremely important.  If a bone is to be thrown to the evangelicals, this is a good bone to choose.

    One last point, the evangelicals have been bamboozled by the rightwing corporatists for quite a while now.  We on the left (that would be anything left of Mussolini) can’t understand why they consistantly vote against their best interests.  We discuss regularly how we can woo the more rational of them over to the party we know will better serve them.  The truth is, if you have had an opposing viewpoint all along, it is hard to get the opposition to even listen to your point of view.


    1)  As an adult try to convince a teenager to change behavior based on your vast experience in life

    2)  As an atheist try to convince a fundamentalist that their position on evolution is not logical

    The person who has a better chance of changing someone’s mind is one of their own peers. People who base their opinions on their feelings listen to other people who are like them.  If a popular Evangelical preacher seems to be saying ‘give this guy a chance’ it will carry tremendously more weight than anything any of us could say.

  8. Michelle

    Rick Warren runs one of the largest evangelical churches in America.  I’ve read his Purpose Driven Life book, and I thought it was terribly trite.  But I’m glad I did it because I understand a bit more how that mentality operates.  Do I agree with it?  Hell no.  Does it make me a homophobic bitch because I read the book?  Absolutely not.  And I don’t think Warren is anywhere near as overtly offensive as James Dobson and his cult-like followers.

    Warren reached out to BOTH parties at the start of the GE.  Like Obama, he used a moderate tactic rather than just shutting him off in a Bush/Rove style.  Obama is trying to build a consensus in America.  We NEED to work together, come together, because after 12 years of being divided and carved up, we are going down in flames like GRO said.

    I am pissed as hell about anti-gay rights ballot measures passing, and I am not gay.  I could care less who gives the invocation at the inauguration because we still have separation of church and state.  Obama is not going to be able to fix all the shit that is wrong with this country in 4 years, folks, and he will have to pull evangelicals to his side unless we want another Republican president.  Is Obama caving to their agenda?  NO!  He is using his brilliance again to invite someone to his table where diversity reigns.  I never had a seat at the Bush table.  I trust that Obama will extend the invite and hold fast to PROGRESS, which, let’s face it, moves like a turtle, slow and steady.

  9. and I’m beginning to see something I don’t like.

    Obama preached about inclusiveness beginning with his 2004 convention speech. One America, not a red America or a blue America – we are all Americans. That, along with his opposition to the war, was probably the thing people liked best about him. When he shows that he meant what he said, people get upset. How strange is that?

    The argument from the LGBT community is that they shouldn’t be treated differently under the law just because they are different from the majority in one way. The Gays want to be included. I believe they are right.

    What strikes me as wrong is the attitude towards Rick Warren. Inclusiveness means accepting people’s participation even when you disagree with them on some issues. What I’m seeing is, “Inclusiveness is good, but not this person or that group.”

    I’ve got an idea. Let’s only include people we agree with. Let’s only allow “real Americans” to participate. That will show them.  

  10. louisprandtl

    Equality of all humans is a core liberal/progressive value.

    For those who are willing to compromise on that core principle, sorry folks, you’re neither a liberal nor a progressive.

    For those calling for some of us to be tolerant of the intolerant homophobes, sorry you can do better.

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