It feels like there must be an unwritten rule of journalism that we can only write pretty much the exact same story so many times (unless it’s about Lilo returning to men, obviously), but the fact of the matter is we just cannot figure out what we think about Obama, can we? Until he either gay marries two people himself or becomes a card-carrying member of Westboro Baptist, it feels like we’re just going to keep asking ourselves “Has he really done enough? Where does he stand? Or have we not given him enough time?”
David Mixner at Live From Hell’s Kitchen apparently feels similarly.
“Remember when you used to drive with your family on a long road trip that seemed to have no end? Sitting in the back seat of the station wagon you would constantly ask, “Are we there yet?” The refrain from the front seat was an unbelievable “Just be patient, we are almost there.” Neither our hearts, souls or bladders believed our parents. That is, I believe, exactly the current state of relations between the Obama administration and LGBT rights.”
It’s hard because we only have a few facts to work with — that Obama’s been in office over a year and that DADT and DOMA still exist. We have no way of really knowing what he’ll do in the future; whether he really is just stringing us along or whether he’ll smack down DADT tomorrow, and we’ll all feel sheepish for having questioned him. But Mixner brings one insight to bear in the will-he-or-won’t-he debate – he points out that even leaving DADT and DOMA aside, Obama hasn’t even passed the Domestic Partners and Benefits Acts that he promised as long ago as January 17. As he says, “this should have been a slam dunk to get passed.” Would passing a bill that allows health insurance and pension benefits to queer employees and their partners maybe have been a more effective way to reassure the gay community than opening for Lady Gaga at the HRC dinner? (@livefromhellskitchen)
Pam’s House Blend complicates the picture with their piece on the Obama administration’s reluctance on DADT — while Obama has promised to repeal the policy, his administration just fired a brief against it. (@pamshouseblend)
Queerty says that the evidence used by the DoJ for their brief is stuff they know is false: they’re relying on General Colin Powell’s stated position even though he’s since revoked it, and Palm Center director Aaron Belkin says that “they completely misrepresented my statement in the deposition. They were not being truthful about my statement because they said that I claimed that there is a rational basis for the privacy arguments, and I claimed no such thing.” (@queerty)
Maybe I’m reaching, but did watching health care reform pass feel a little bit like it’s November 4 all over again? Watching everyone around you celebrate and watching your own political issues fade into the background of public discourse? Don’t get me wrong, health care reform was good for queers too, but it’s getting a little frustrating to watch everyone else high-five over the triumph of American values while Dan Choi is over here chaining himself to the White House gates.
Dr. Tiller’s murderer has been sentenced to life in prison; Salon talks about justice and what this will mean for the future of abortion and its providers. “‘Roeder spending his life in jail doesn’t stop the continuing acts of terrorism against providers and their staffs,’ continued Burkhart, who worked closely with Dr. Tiller as a grassroots organizer and clinic spokesperson and, after his death, founded of TrustWomenPAC. Indeed, Roeder apologists would have been galvanized by either sentence: the lesser justifies their cause; the maximum makes him a martyr. (@salon)
This seems so crazy it should be an April Fool’s joke but it isn’t: a Vatican spokesperson has claimed that the Pope is immune from testifying in any sort of trial on pedophilia and sexual abuse in the Church “because the Vatican is a sovereign nation and Ratzinger is its head of state.” (@joemygod)
Maybe they hoped this would fly under the radar after their “lesbian sex club” scandal? If so, no such luck. “Days after the Republican National Committee came under fire for paying for a $2,000 night on the town at a racy West Hollywood club comes news the organization sent out fund-raising fliers intended to look like U.S. Census forms with a callback number that leads to a phone sex line.” The RNC communications director has since claimed it was a typo. (@theadvocate)
Caster Semenya’s official gender test results still haven’t been released, and in the meantime the International Association of Athletics Federation is telling her she cannot compete in races. The test results should be out by June. (@queerty)
Wonkette has the scoop on hi-larious conservative media April Fool’s Day jokes. “Ha ha, April Fools, look what this wacky conservative wingtard webzine did for today’s unfunny celebration of banal hate disguised as Jokes: “[T]here will be a few changes to the site. The pictures at the top will be replaced by photos of Ghandi, MLK, Linda Chavez, Michael Steele, and hip-hop Republican Cleo E. Brown.” Coloreds, all of them! That’s insane, this is a white person’s site.” (@wonkette)