Obama Opposes DADT, Again

In case you'd forgotten, Barack Obama still opposes the ban on gays in the military. Here's the President tonight, in his first State of the Union speech:

This year -- this year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It's the right thing to do.

If your heart still flutters at the sound of words like this, you should really get it checked. 2009 was a squandered year for gay equality. Now 2010 starts with a pledge to "work" on the problem. It can't really be fact-checked and can't easily be broken.

15 Comments for “Obama Opposes DADT, Again”

  1. posted by Scott on

    I’ve been surfing across the various gay blogs and Facebook. I never cease to be amazed at just how many people are swallowing his pandering hook, line and sinker. Again.

    It reminds me of Battered Spouse Syndrome.


    He ain’t gonna do it for us, people. There’s trouble in River City, and this Music Man will keep on selling us a bill of goods as long as we are willing to buy into it.

  2. posted by DragonScorpion on

    Some of the cynicism on this is understandable. But some folks are also, apparently, living in a delusion.

    When I voted for Barack Obama, part of my vote was due to how strongly he supported the civil rights issues of homosexuals. He wasn’t the most outspoken in favor of homosexual equality of all the Presidential candidates, but he was the most outspoken of the viable candidates. For this reason, and others, I voted for him. And I voted more enthusiastically, I must say, than I ever had for any other Presidential candidate.

    Mr. Obama made certain promises that I expect him to keep. But I was under no illusions that he’d keep them all of them in the first year. I don’t really understand why so many in our community have been so quick to write him off. Do you honestly think we’d have achieved more by now under John McCain and Sarah Palin?

    A while back I predicted that DADT would likely be the only homosexual civil rights issue that the Democrats would take on this year. The President has now laid it out as a formal agenda in his State of the Union.

    Cynicism is understandable. I would have liked to have had more results by now. I’m disappointed that more hasn’t been done. But I am also well aware of the political realities that surround these issues. This is no excuse for these politicians not to take on our issues and see them through, but supporting us comes at great political expense. Convenient or not, this is a reality. It’s going to take time. More than we’d prefer to wait.

    What did President George Bush give us? The Republicans gave us 30 constitutional amendments on same-sex marriage and tried hard to impose a national ban on same-sex marriage. What did President Bill Clinton give us? DADT and DOMA come to mind…

    We now have a President who has promised to get rid of both, who supports the end of employment discrimination against homosexuals, and both the Congress and the President enacted legislation to add sexual-orientation (and gender, etc.) to the 1969 Federal Hate Crimes Act. Have we forgotten so soon?

    One can honestly claim that President Obama and the Democrats in Congress haven’t done enough for us, but one cannot honestly claim that they haven’t accomplished anything for us over the past year. With all the cynicism running rampant these days, do we need to pile on more? And after one year? Is there some better option to furthering our agendas that we tossed aside? If so, apparently I missed it…

  3. posted by Tavdy79 on

    Of the four main legislative issues (DADT, DOMA, ENDA, Matt Shepard Act) DADT was the easiest for Obama to move on – he could have effectively gutted it through an executive order on the day he was made president. He didn’t. He’s had over 365 days of opportunity since then, and he still hasn’t. I’ll believe Obama when he puts his presidency where his mouth is.

  4. posted by Debrah on

    “If your heart still flutters at the sound of words like this, you should really get it checked.”



    That’s funny; however, so many will still get all warm inside with expectant desire, no doubt.

    To be perfectly candid, I always knew that Obama had his game going, but I wanted him to win.

    He was raised by very down-to-earth Midwestern stock and even though his father was apparently a type of ner’do well, fathering numerous children out of wedlock by numerous women, Obama seems to have benefited enormously by the no-nonsense methods of his late grandmother and her family who raised him.

    When he “threw her under the bus” by comparing her views on race to that of Jeremiah Wright, calling her an “average white person” in an attempt to ameliorate his 20-year connection to the anti-Semite and racist Wright, it was clear that he had more than a passing acquaintance with self-service of the moment.

    Personally, I wanted Obama to be president to take the “race thing” off the table so that the old excuses for everything under the sun from the black community could be neutered.

    However, we have since learned that nothing will ever be enough for those tethered to the grievance schtick from the cradle to the grave.

    Most voters have a positive opinion of Obama as a person.

    It’s just that his role as president isn’t quite measuring up.

  5. posted by Bobby on

    “What did President George Bush give us?”

    1. Waterboarding for terrorists which prevented future 9/11s

    2. Pride in our country instead of apologizing to europe.

    3. A strong economy for most of his administration.

    4. The first openly gay ambassador and his partner in Romania.

    I’m sure other republican websites have more things Bush gave us.

  6. posted by Jorge on

    I’ve considered George W. Bush a strong civil rights president ever since his first Attorney General John Ashcroft moved aggressively to prosecute the double murder of a lesbian couple. Bush also muscled through the No Child Left Behind Act and resisted anti-gay activists by placing gays in prominent roles in his administration. His public statements on homosexuality affirmed their civil equality as American citizens while at the same time acknowledging his personal/religious views.

    In contrast, current Attorney General Eric Holder stopped a Voting Rights Act prosection against the New Black Panther Party, whose members loitered at a polling site carrying weapons, just as they were about to get a conviction. Obama prejudicially weighed in on the racially charged circumstances of Professor Gates’ arrest without knowing all the facts. Obama talks a good game when it comes to legislative issues important to the gay community, but the game is all legislative and reduces us to a special interest group, not a community with real problems and dreams. I’ll be happy when we get back to being a minority community.

    Civil rights is not just about equality legislation. It’s about the tone that is set from the top about how important all communities are. Politics is one thing, but in the end I think in the end Bush will have made a greater difference for good than Obama.

  7. posted by BobN on

    Bobby, the first openly gay ambassador was James Hormel, appointed by Clinton.

    Yes, Bush did appoint a gay man as ambassador to Romania.

    In the category of other things Dubya did, the 2004 State of the Union:

    In the State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, the President defended the sanctity of marriage then said the Defense of Marriage Act may not go far enough in protecting marriage. The President said:

    Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. On an issue of such great consequence, the people’s voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process.

    And let’s keep in mind that that Amendment would have banned same-sex marriage in all states, overturned them in states in which they already existed, and denied federal recognition of civil unions, as well.

    But don’t let that stop you from luvin’ the guy.

  8. posted by BobN on

    You guys are just delusional.

    Dubya great contribution was to not undo what his predecessor did. He took two weeks to consider withdrawing civil service protections for gay people before extending Clinton’s prior executive order. His administration then went about dismantling any effective process for guaranteeing those civil service protections.

    He supported, and still supports DADT.

    He opposed, and — as far as we know — still opposes SSM and federal recognition of civil unions.

    He opposed and still opposes civil unions in his home state.

    He opposed and — as far as we know — still opposes workplace protections.

    Etc., etc.

    Luv him if you want to, but luv his faults, as well, and be honest about them.

  9. posted by Bobby on

    Wow Jorge, I give you credit for defending Bush. I agree with what you said.

    “Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. On an issue of such great consequence, the people’s voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process.”

    —Well, he told the truth. Bush is a federalist, he believes in state’s rights. He believes some issues should be handled by legislators and not judges. That doesn’t make him an enemy of gay people, read what Jorge wrote.

    In fact, if we manage to abolish DADT through congresss nobody’s going to be railing about activist judges and we’re gonna look better.

  10. posted by BobSF_94117@yahoo.com on

    A “federalist” does not push a federal constitutional amendment that would undo same-sex marriages in states that have already established them and prohibit a state from enacting same-sex marriage at a later date.

    Like I said, delusional.

  11. posted by DragonScorpion on

    I’m not sure what the first 3 of Bobby’s suggestions has to do with homosexual civil rights, and that is, afterall, what this article and my comment above was referring to.

    It was a bit off topic and I won’t add to it except to say: 1) I don’t condone torture, least of all by my own country, 2) I expect my country to account for its mistakes, including apologies from our leaders (that is a sign of humility. Never admitting your wrong, even when you are, is willfully arrogant), 3) the “strong economy” under Bush was propped up on a housing bubble that imploded on his watch taking much of the economy with it, he added over $4 trillion to the national debt, and more than doubled the trade deficit, all while the cost of living, housing, insurance, etc. increased, and wages overall stagnated, household income declined.

    As for appointing openly homosexual officials, that’s fine and shows a willingness to set prejudice aside, which is encouraging. However, I believe government positions should be based on merit, not on their minority status. I’m not an advocate of affirmative-action, so I don’t keep an active count of how many homosexuals there are working in the government.

    While I hope the Obama administration will include many homosexuals among it, I also would want them chosen by merit.

    What I think is more important than giving people jobs because they are homosexual, is enacting and enforcing policies that do not discriminate against us. Unfortunately, the Bush administration had a very bad record in regards to this. The Clinton administration didn’t fare much better.

    We’ve seen some progress with the Obama administration, but it remains to be seen how much more will be accomplished between now and 2012. I’m not holding my breath on it, especially considering the current political climate, but I’m not writing The President off as a sell-out to us, either. I’ll save my conclusion for 2012.

  12. posted by Jorge on

    I’m under no delusions I’ll presuade anybody. George W. Bush was a very divisive president, and no explication of facts is going to change that, even if I think his detractors are unfairly one-sided. I just thought it was necessary to answer DragonScorpion’s question in a strong way by pointing to some of the value assumptions behind the divisions.

  13. posted by Aubrey on

    I don’t know that Obama opposes DADT.

    But I do know that he can’t undo DADT by executive order. It is a congressional law. He can sign a ‘stop loss’ order, which would prevent the miliatry from kicking anyone out on the basis of sexual orientation.

    But then why would congress act to change the law, if the exec order was in play?

    And that order could be reversed by another president.

    So, as difficult as it is to accept, a change by congressional law is probably the best policy.

    Still, Obama could be leading a little more forthrightly. He needs someone in his corner right now.

  14. posted by Jorge on

    If Obama “needs” someone in his corner right now, it’s because he hasn’t done what he has to do to win people’s loyalty.

  15. posted by Debrah on

    “Still, Obama could be leading a little more forthrightly. He needs someone in his corner right now.”


    I wish someone—anyone!—could explain this sentiment to observers.

    I mean, explain it in such a way that will not provoke knowing laughter.

    We have all been guilty of looking over Obama’s glaring faults and contradictions in behavior.

    It’s about time to SNAP OUT OF IT and begin treating him as we have all other presidents.

    Unless of course, he, too, needs to benefit from a kind of “specialness”……

    ……fully understood only by those who live inside such a bubble, themselves.

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