Obama Gives the Gays Their Own Page on WhiteHouse.gov

In preparation for his 2012 re-election campaign, Obama has been sprucing up his web page to highlight his major accomplishments as president. For the first time ever, LGBT issues have gotten their very own landing page. AND IT’S CALLED WINNING THE FUTURE.

The page is also part of Obama’s celebration of LGBT Pride Month. He also made a proclamation about Pride, which ends with “I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.” It’s some good reading, if you’re into that sort of thing.

On WINNING THE FUTURE (all caps necessary), Obama lists the many things he has done for us so far, which Pam over at Pam’s House Blend was patient enough to type out (the list is in PDF format, unfortch). Obama mentions a lot of things, but the main categories are:

+ Preventing bullying and hate crimes against LGBT Americans
+ Supporting LGBT families
+ Ensuring equal access to housing for LGBT families
+ Supporting LGBT health
+ Supporting job creation among LGBT-owned businesses
+ Setting precedents in hiring and business for LGBT people
+ Repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
+ Providing global leadership for LGBT Americans
+ Honoring LGBT history
+ Supporting LGBT progress

Check out the individual issues listed under those topics over at Pam’s page (linked above) or by downloading the PDF here.

Obama signing the DADT repeal in December

The comments on Pam’s article about this were almost entirely negative, picking apart Obama’s list of accomplishments, asking why more was not done, expressing disbelief that this actually means anything. Find fault where you want, his record isn’t perfect, but President Obama has done more for the LGBT community than any other president in history. The last guy who was supposed to help us out ended up signing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act into law. Even if Obama had never lifted a finger, it would have been better than Clinton’s presidency.

But he did lift a finger. He worked really hard on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. It took a while because he spent a lot of his momentum on the health care bill, but honestly, that’s completely fine with me. There are other things I care about beyond LGBT issues, just like there are other parts of my identity beyond my sexuality. When health care was done, he turned to DADT and he got it repealed. I wish that repeal was taking effect more quickly, but he has the House to deal with.

Obama telling Americans It Gets Better

Then Obama started attacking DOMA. In the past few months, his position went from “my office has to defend it in court because it’s my job” to “we won’t defend it in the Second Circuit” to “we actively support its repeal in Congress.” If Obama can advance that far on DOMA so quickly, who knows what he’ll be fighting for by 2016.

Obama is not perfect. There are important things that he has not done, and marriage equality is not the only LGBT issue that matters. But he has gone a long way toward erasing the damage done by Clinton, and he becomes a stronger LGBT advocate every day. Finally, we have a president who is willing to call himself an ally. He has stopped undercutting that with mutterings about religion or with concessions to the religious right. He is on our side.

So yeah, this is just a silly web page that he launched to cater to LGBT voters. But I say, bring on the flattery. What other president has ever been so willing to vocally support us, to tell the country that LGBT Americans are worth his time?

In a world where I am forced to vote for the Democrat every time because the Republican party wants to string me from a flag pole and strip all of my rights, it is nice to be able to vote for a candidate that actively supports my equality. I’m tired of putting up with Democrats who are just less evil than the other guy. Obama is not simply the better choice, he is a good choice.

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Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 130 articles for us.

31 Comments

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      What is everyone’s problem? SERIOUSLY OBAMA HAS DONE MORE FOR THE LGBT COMMUNITY THAN ANSY PRESIDENT!!!!!! BUSH WASN’T FOR THE LGBT COMMUNITY NEITHER WAS CLINTON OR McCAIN!!!!! NOR IS RICK PERRY!!!!! SERIOUSLY GET THE FACT STRAIGHT AND BE THANKFUL!WHY EVEN BLAME OBAMA FOR THE LACK OF MOVING THE LGBT MARRIAGE RIGHTS ITS ACTUALLY CONGRESS THAT DOESN’T LISTEN!! REMEMBER CONGRESS MAKES THE LAW AND THE PRESIDENT EITHER PASSES IT OR VETOS IT. HE CAN ASK THEM TO MAKE THE LAW BUT ITS CONGRESS’ MOVE TO WRITE THE LAW. BLAME THE REPS NOT OBAMA! AND ANOTHER THING WHO GIVES A SHIT WHAT HE PUT ON THE PAGE!! REMEMBER OBAMA IS NOT THE ONE WHO MAKES THE WEB PAGES HE HAS STAFF FOR THAT!!!! I HATE WHEN IGNET PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND SO MANY OTHERS IN THIS COUNTRY BLAME EVERY FKIN THING ON OBAMA. HE IS DOING HIS BEST!!!!!! AND THAT’S WHAT MATTERS!! OSAMA IS DEAD. DADT IS GONE. HE IS TRYING TO MAKE JOBS (CONGRESS ISN’T HELPING). HE IS AFRICAN AMERICAN AND PROVING TO THE WORLD THAT ANY BACKGROUND CAN BE AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT. I’M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN BUT I’M EVEN PROUDER TO HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO LOOKS LIKE ME. PLEASE IF YOU WANT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OBAMA JUST VOTE IN 2012 AND LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS UNTIL AFTER ELECTIONS. BUT I KNOW FOR A FACT HE WILL WIN! AND YES I DO VOTE AND PLAN ON VOTING FOR HIM! I’M A PROUD AFRICAN AMERICAN LESBIAN FROM TEXAS WHO PLANS ON SPREADING THIS MESSAGE IF IGNET PEOPLE SUCH AS SEBASTIAN CONT TO SPREAD MESSAGES SUCH AS THAT. AND WHEN I SAY ‘IGNET’ I MEAN IGNORANT. IF YOU CAN READ THIS WHOLE MESSAGE AND FEEL MOVED OR INSULTED VOTE 2012! RRRRoger that.

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    Oh also, and golly I hate being this guy, and like most people I love any opportunity to use the phrase “the gays,” but the page is for the LGBT community which includes more than just the gays. Maybe: Obama Gives the Gays and Trans* Folk their own page?

    It’s just a common thing to substitute LGBT for gay and vice-versa and most trans people don’t identify as gay (like me!).

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      Totally fair point, Sebastian. I dislike substituting gay for a bunch of reasons, and normally I just say queer or LGBT. I did say LGBT in the excerpt, I think? But gay is a lot more effective in headlines because of Google. We can have a gigantic conversation about how googlability sucks and shapes language in weird ways. But sometimes we have to accommodate it so we can infiltrate Google News with our queerness. I could add in trans* people, but then that feels like it excludes a host of other identities, as well, and to include all of those would take up too much space. Idk, I hate the internet sometimes.

      The point is, I didn’t mean to exclude anyone, it is just a concession to some Internet robots designed by straight/cis people who don’t understand that we aren’t all gay.

      But I don’t think I used gay as a blanket term in the text of the article itself? Let me know if I did, and I’ll change it.

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        Ah, I see. There are definite limitations to internet, language, and now I understand to Googlability. Thanks for explaining Sarah – totally didn’t want to be a queer narc on what is a lovely bit of info

        (and nope not in the text)

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          Also, I’m so on board with this:

          So yeah, this is just a silly web page that he launched to cater to LGBT voters. But I say, bring on the flattery. What other president has ever been so willing to vocally support us, to tell the country that LGBT Americans are worth his time?

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          No worries, thanks for bringing it up! I’d much rather explain it than have anyone feel excluded.

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    I totally agree, I am getting tired of Democrats complaining the Obama hasn’t done enough for them/us. He’s done more for civil rights and social programs than any other president in recent history.

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        true- the Obama Administration’s attitude towards access to information, & their complete clamp down on whistle-blowers truly scares me.

        Obama will get my vote again if he can explain WTF he was thinking in how he handled the banks.

        but in the end, i do honestly believe Obama is not evil, & that makes him a very rare type of politician in my book. also heck, i just really think Michelle would be hella cool to hang out with.

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        I don’t think she said that didn’t do anything against civil rights, just that he’s done more pro-civil rights stuff than recent presidents. Which is true.

        But, yeah, the re-authorization of the Patriot Act made me sick to my stomach. And Obama can’t act like he doesn’t know how wrong that thing is. He was a Constitutional law scholar. That’s what really gets at me about him.

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    i like all of these things, and i support obama (however much that means, as i am canadian), but i’m wondering why it’s unforch that the list is in pdf format? i opened it and could copy-paste everything to a word doc identically am i just abnormal?

    /technologynitpicking

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    THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT sounds better (like it gets better stuff, rather than a charlie sheen rant)

    And it’s pinkwashing if I ever saw it.

    Like ‘I just stripped Americans of their basic civil liberties (including the fourth amendment) for another few years but hey I like the gays!’
    Or ‘I just engaged us in yet another endless war with ground troops where I said there wouldn’t be ground troops but hey I like the gays!’
    Or ‘I’m not doing squat to protect Medicare from the vultures but hey I like the gays!’

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      Yeah, that’s the awful, shitty thing about the American political system. Third parties are just not a viable option and probably never will be, so we basically have to choose between “Corrupt on V,W, X and Y but decent on Z?” and “Virulently corrupt on everything but proud of it!” It sucks.

      And especially with Obama, who, unlike Bush, understands the Constitution and that the Patriot Act blatantly violates it. I don’t know how he sleeps at night.

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        The ‘Constitutional law professor’ part makes it a hundred times worse, I completely agree.

        Besides, he used to openly condemn it, saying it wasn’t necessary to ensure national security :/ What changed his mind?

        On the other hand, don’t worry; I’m French and we might have a lot of parties, we’re still screwed too ;)

        I’m looking for my Jed Bartlet (though I think Kucinich would be pretty decent as a US Prez)

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    Not a big deal, especially since this is a gay friendly site, but I really don’t like saying “the gays” instead of gay people, or queer people.

    Linguistically, nounification of adjectives or adjectification of nouns is often used to dehumanize. E.g. “illegals”, “jew bankers”,

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      hi ryan! of course that’s a valid point, but because this is a queer website (not just gay friendly! but like, actually gay), we assume the readers know that we would never dehumanize ourselves or them. also the phrase “the gays” is used in this context to make fun of typical homophobic hatespeech.

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    DaveInSF posted this regarding the White Houses’s website on another blog yesterday. I think it’s relevant:

    DaveinSF [http://funnyoddthing.blogspt.com] says:
    Yesterday, 3:38:36 PM
    “It’s election prep season, the White House is in FULL SPIN CYCLE mode being ever so careful to say they support Gay Rights, but not TOO loudly, all while giving that sly “Oh you know we really do.. but cant say too much” -wink.

    The new website is a wonderful piece of online fan-fiction. As Obama 2012 tries to schmooze its way up to the gAyTM with another worthless check of bounced promises and stolen credit for the work of progressives in Congress.

    The focus of the LGBT and Progressive Communities in 2012 needs to be on Congressional races NOT the Presidential Race. Obama 2012 will have over $100 Million in the bank before this race even gets warm. Most every sane potential GOP challenger has figured out that the President IS going to be re-elected, and is sitting 2012 out.

    But the dark lining in the sliver cloud is, his victory will have little or no coat tails.

    You want marriage equality? You want inclusive ENDA? You want immigration equality? Then don’t spend time and money worrying about the Presidential race. Get involved with the race to control Congress. We need to elect a progressive congressional majority who can get the job done.

    President Obama will never step up to the plate. He has said very clearly and repeatedly he does NOT believe in same sex marriage. But as we saw with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, he WILL happily follow Congress if they do all the work ( and take all the political risk…) Then he will gladly step up to the microphone and claim “Victory” once all the hard work has been done.

    There will never be presidential leadership on LGBT issues. He will be glad to follow, but never lead. That would require courage and progressive convictions, neither of which the Obama Administration has.

    The best thing you can say about Barack Obama and LGBT Rights, is he is, and will continue to be better than any Republican. But you know what? That really isn’t saying much…

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    Did anyone really think we’d get marriage by now? I never was under that impression- the voting population is still way too old. My best case scenario is still putting it at like 10 years from now. I’m not the biggest fan of all of his work (His education policies make me want to cry in a corner), but I think anyone that’s mad at him for not giving us marriage is a little bit naive.

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    I absolutely agree about Obama- no, he’s not perfect, but he’s a whole lot better than what we’ve had before.

    Also, now starting every day by announcing that I am WINNING THE FUTURE.

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    “…LGBT parents “should be considered” as foster and adoptive parents, a sentiment that has been hotly debated by state legislators across the country.

    “[LGBTQ kids] need all the protection we can provide,” Samuels told The Huffington Post. “That was what the memo aimed to do — to give people immediate, practical strategies that they could take to better serve this population.”

    Samuels said he has received no push back over the memo. “We’ve got nothing but positive reaction. Nothing,” he explained. “I have traveled around the country and met social workers who came up to me and shook my hand and said, ‘finally, finally, finally.’”

    Under the previous administration, advocates couldn’t recall the phrase LGBTQ being uttered once. It was as if those kids just didn’t exist.

    “Literally in the last administration you were not allowed to talk about this,” explained Gerald P. Mallon, a professor at New York’s Hunter College School of Social Work who began researching LGBTQ kids in the mid-’90s. “If you put ‘lesbian’ or ‘gay’ in a workshop, you were guaranteed it wasn’t going to be approved. It’s night and day.”

    The feds are intent on making up for lost time — and not with memos. The Obama administration is spending millions on a pilot program in L.A. County aimed at assisting LGBTQ youth in the child-welfare system, Samuels said.”

    http://tinyurl.com/3z6xc8v

    People who are bashing Obama on gay rights need to look back on the previous 4 administrations. As the article states, it’s night and day. Even though for some reason people expect Obama to wave his presidential pen around and solve everything overnight it just doesn’t work like that. Especially not now with a republican controlled house.

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