Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

OK, Democrats. You Want Our Change? Give Us the Change!

(Also at OC Progressive)

In case you haven’t been paying attention, there’s an uprising going on. LGBT progressives are sick and tired of being taken for granted. We were promised “change” by candidate Obama, but all we’ve seen so far from President Obama & Congress has been more requests for our change ($). Seriously, this needs to change.

Apparently just two days before the scheduled “LGBT DNC Fundraiser Extravaganza” that’s losing donors so fast the DNC & Obama White House are in full panic mode, Fundraiser Co-chair Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) announces that he will introduce a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) as his colleague Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) will soon introduce a repeal of the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). And pay attention to what they have to say.

“I’d like to make it a rule: No yelling at the president until you show me a letter you have written” to your House member and two senators, says gay U.S. Rep. Barney Frank.

As lawmakers prepare to head home for their July 4 recess, key congressional allies emphasize that every member of Congress needs to hear from constituents passionate about passing legislation to move gay Americans toward equality. […]

What does gay-friendly Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the Judiciary subcommittee on civil rights, need voters to do to help him pass the anti-DOMA bill he’ll soon introduce?

“Call your representatives. Meet with them. Pressure them,” Nadler told me.

Nadler hopes to quickly get a Senate companion bill. Already, a House bill to repeal [the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT) military service ban] has been introduced. A Senate version is likely shortly.

OK, I get it. Frank and Nadler are trying to deflect criticism of President Obama by telling us to contact our members of Congress. Fine, then. Let’s call them on their bluff.

I mean it. Honestly, the lack of progress so far this year isn’t just Obama’s fault. Bills need to be introduced in the House and the Senate, and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid need to whip the votes in support of crucial legislation like DOMA & DADT repeals. If the bills will be introduced, then we might as well lobby our Congresscritters like hell to get them passed.

President Obama promised to be our “fierce advocate for equality” before he was inaugurated, and Congressional Democrats promised legislation and action some time shortly after “The First 100 Days”. So why wait any longer? The President himself has told us that we should hold him accountable, so we might as well do just that.

The House web site has an incredibly easy tool for you to contact your local Representative. Same goes for the Senate. And while you’re at it, you might as well send a copy of your note to “Mr. Fierce Advocate” himself.

We helped put them in office. We gave them our money. We gave them our time. We definitely gave them our votes. We absolutely have the right to keep petitioning them and not relent in doing so until we achieve full federal equality.

And when you’re writing your note to your elected officials, please remind them not to forget anyone in our big and beautiful queer family:

– Repeal of DOMA for full federal marriage/partner benefits

– Repeal of DADT for open military service

– Passage of a fully inclusive ENDA (all LGBT Americans covered) for full protection from workplace discrimination

– Passage of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) to reform the immigration code and end the discriminatory break-ups of LGBT families

– Passage of the Matthew Shepard Act to protect LGBT Americans from violent hate crimes

– Full inclusion of LGBT families in the universal health care bill

Perhaps this sounds a little “demanding”, but that’s only because we’ve been waiting far too long for action. And if anyone complains that we need to “wait our turn”, tell them that we’ve been doing just that for 16 years and now is the time to end the wait and help us achieve full equality.

While I understand that Democrats are almost always far superior on LGBT issues than Republicans, they can no longer get away with taking our money and time then refusing to act and telling us to “wait your turn”. The wait is over. We demand full federal equality now!

OK, then. Legislation is being introduced. It’s a start. Now, we actually want them passed and we want our families to finally get the respect they deserve. If Democrats in Congress and The White House want our change ($), then it’s time for them to deliver on that “change we can believe in”.


  1. Health care is an important issue for me. I have written my rep, the rep in an adjoining district, and both of my senators about health care. Pressure has to be brought to bear or nothing gets done. As long as enough people voice their preference then Congress will pay attention. Otherwise, they will go the easy route pushed by lobbyists.  

  2. DTOzone

    reminded me why it would be a horrible idea for the President to suspend DADT by executive order.

    Sodomy (basically sex other than vaginal penetration) is illegal in the military…and while the Military courts ruled that Lawrence v. Texas applies to the military, Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Justice can still be enforced when “factors unique to the military environment” which, although meant to mean fraternization, rape, public lewdness, etc…reads vague and is generally enforced concerning sodomy in general.

    Article 125 would need to be changed by Congress and that would be done under Tauscher’s bill repealing DADT.

    DADT was meant to prevent gay soldiers from being put on trial, imprisoned or court martialed under sodomy laws, which, although more difficult in the wake of Lawrence, still would happen if the President suspends DADT by executive order.  

  3. vcalzone

    I think too often the movement has worked in a very confrontational way that makes it hard to get behind. Part of this is simply that we have a different, younger electorate now than we did even two years ago.

    But that has changed since Obama got into office. There is no excuse not to move on this issue. The polls are moving in line, and they’re extremely unlikely to move in the other direction. Obama owes the LGBT community a lot. He has, so far, delivered very very little in the way of action, either direct or indirect. There is no real excuse for it. He needs to make this stuff happen or get it near done by the end of the year at LEAST.

  4. and that’s a big part of getting them addressed.

    To various people’s points in this thread I would agree: the key is appropriate pressure.  I maintain that there seems no chance of these issues not being resolved eventually – history is on our side – the right amount of the right pressure can only make it happen more quickly (inversely the wrong amount of the wrong pressure could delay it a bit).

    Keep the issue out there, ATD.  The administration and Congress are definitely on your side, they just need to be continually pushed.

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