Home / General / Gay Rights: The Single Thing in this Country Getting Better

Gay Rights: The Single Thing in this Country Getting Better


Obama endorses repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. Good for him. Let’s see if it happens. It will soon, if not in 2011.

Also, it’d be nice if Democrats realized that the strategies behind the gay rights movement–pushing for a program with refusal to compromise long-term goals, grassroots organization, building support among the young–would probably work for other parts of the Democratic agenda.

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  • wengler

    I actually don’t think the gay marriage lobbying tactics will work well with other issues. This lobby worked very similar to corporate lobbies- a core group of activists, many with deep pockets- giving and withholding support based on one issue. And unlike say, trade policy, the media was largely positive and the splits have been largely generational.

    Apply this to ending free trade with slave wage countries or ending the many, many wars and you will get no traction. These aren’t issues on the state level where gay marriage activists have been successful, nor are they supported by people with deep pockets. Unfortunately, there are many broadly popular leftwing issues that fall into this category.

    • Kurzleg

      Not to mention that donors don’t (for the most part) stand to gain or lose big bucks depending on the outcome the way they might with free trade policies.

  • Incontinentia Buttocks

    Also: unlike equal rights for gays and lesbians, many other parts of the supposed Democratic agenda tend to step on the toes of the Sane Billionaires who drive the actual Democratic agenda.

    • Uncle Kvetch

      Sadly, yes.

    • Ed

      In regard to the press, you have only to look at the NYT’s strident support for gay marriage in contrast to the “moderate” tone it tends to take on economic issues and matters such as cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Also, Democratic politicians can point to their support for gay rights by way of deflecting liberal criticism in other areas, specifically economic issues.

      Also the gay marriage cause now has bipartisan support from rich Republican donors who regard the issue as a monkey on the party’s back and are willing to help screw the party’s base in order to get rid of it. This will also help affluent gay people justify to themselves voting their pocketbooks.

      I expect that Obama’s evolved position will continue to evolve.

  • Joe

    “pushing for a program with refusal to compromise long-term goals”

    An example would be helpful where “long term GOALS” were compromised as compared to half-measures taken that are seen as steps toward said goal.

    For instance, in Vermont, the gay and lesbian community accepted the civil union law was a compromise. Their long term goal of true equality not compromised.

    Per some regarding the oh so horrible (in the minds of some) PPACA, perhaps they shouldn’t have supported this measure akin to those who wished those with pre-existing conditions* or along the margins who now will have health care unlike before to agree to rejecting said bill, since it “compromised” by treating same sex couples as not quite equal.

    The same might be said about the other things such as appealing to the young.

    * A recent episode of the Lifetime show Drop Dead Diva concerned someone who was going to go to prison even given it was a ‘third strike,’ because he could not get health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. A civil lawsuit against the privately run prison where he got sick addressed the situation. Of course, the law addressed just this situation. Not that many on both sides seem to know it has such “things getting better” qualities.

    • For instance, in Vermont, the gay and lesbian community accepted the civil union law was a compromise. Their long term goal of true equality not compromised.

      Recently in Rhode Island, the local gay rights groups opposed the passage of that state’s civil unions law.

      At least in public.

      In that time and place, that was probably a good public stance for them to take, to set the table for the next advance.

      • Joe

        The RI law was opposed in part because the exceptions allowed is seen as a step backward. A civil union bill w/o such exceptions would be somewhat different.

        • That’s just an excuse, though. None of the exceptions change anything – they just allow discriminatory groups to keep doing what they’re doing.

          My read is that that argument is just a hook to hang their hat on, so they can keep the heat on for full civil marriage.

          Which, again, is probably good strategy.

          • Joe

            I can’t say that I read the RI law closely but the fine print of these sort of things aren’t simply fungible.

            As with certain states whose anti-gay efforts turn out to also burden different sex couples in non-marriage type arraignments, I would not be surprised if this law had more troubling exemptions.

            The show “Gay USA” discussed various civil union laws as well as the NY marriage law with has religious exemptions. RI was singled out as particularly heinous. Unless they and others are in effect misleading people, I’m not going to assume otherwise just yet.

            • efgoldman

              Well, our little bigoted corner of New England does proudly carry the label of “Most Catholic State in the Country”(tm).
              As long as Linc Chaffee is governor, though, the LGBT community does have a strong ally in the State House.
              I give it another couple years. Plus we’ll have to see where the Prop 8 lawsuit ends up on appeal, which would invalidate, for instance, the ME rescinding of SSM.
              Sorry, don’t see any way DOMA gets repealed any time soon. Certainly not while the godbotherer GOBP runs one house and can filibuster in the other. In fact I’m still waiting for someone to jump out from behind a wall and say “HAH! DADT repeal was just a fantasy!”

      • PhoenixRising

        The issue is that a CU law allowing anyone with any pretext–including hospitals run by Catholics– tom discriminate against CUed couples IS regressive. It leaves married same sex couples, of whom there are a LOT in RI, worse off than they were before the CU law.

        Which makes it an example of Erik’s point. Set a goal (legal equality for gay couples and our kids) and support any action that advances that goal, while resisting steps backward.

  • Obama endorsed repealing DOMA years ago. It was one of the positions he took during the campaign.

    CNS News highlights the radical agenda Barack Obama has for marriage, the American family and our society in general.

    In a statement on homosexual issues on Obama’s campaign website, Obama says we should “fully repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples.”


    This is just the first time there has been a specific bill for him to endorse.

  • Also, it’d be nice if Democrats realized that the strategies behind the gay rights movement–pushing for a program with refusal to compromise long-term goals, grassroots organization, building support among the young–would probably work for other parts of the Democratic agenda.

    The work of an issues-advocacy organization and the work of running the government are two different things.

    • Of course, but isn’t that the point? Like I was saying yesterday, the grassroots support and build up of a movement over years or even decades creates the space for politicians to support a program and eventually creates fear of political consequences if they don’t. But Democrats don’t have, and many don’t value, those kind of organizations for most of its policy goals.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        Can I try to split the difference here?

        Political parties (at least the two major political parties) cannot be expected to do the work of issue advocacy groups. In the last couple decades, the “left” has spent relatively too much time and energy on electoral politics, and relatively too little on issue-based advocacy, which in turn has made many electoral victories for the “left” rather pyrrhic.

        • the “left” has spent relatively too much time and energy on electoral politics, and relatively too little on issue-based advocacy

          Perhaps legal challenges as well.

      • A major party in a two-party system works to become the majority.

        This is just a division-of-labor issue. The Democratic Party itself has one job to do, and issues advocacy groups have another.

      • I would have thought there is room for a division of labor here. The Democratic Party is a machine for getting elected. It exists to gather in the median voter with the most plausible coalition of people who disresemble the core Republican group of nopoor white Christians.

        The brokerage party can do its thing and movements for advancing the interests of its potential consitutencies can do their thing.

  • soullite

    And it helps all of 2-5% of the population, none of which includes me. So forgive me if I don’t applaud other people’s lives being made better while mine gets turned into shit.

    • That is the worst comment I’ve ever seen you make. And you’ve made some pretty fucking stupid comments.

      • elm

        I think it’s the best comment he’s ever made: he come straight out and admits that since he himself doesn’t benefit, he doesn’t care. The subtext has become text.

        • Malaclypse

          I can’t really call it “best.” He comes straight out and says his life is shit, while at the same time implying really strongly that he has no, or very very few, friends. So I find it kinda sad…

    • Actually, that’s also a very Republican argument you’ve made there. If it doesn’t help me, fuck ’em. Nice rationale for a better world there.

    • Solidarity!

    • Malaclypse

      You know, if other people’s lives get better, and it does not directly impact me, I’m still happy, as the world is better for those people. In fact, I am better off simply living in a better world.

      If something “only” helps 2% of the population, then statistically, it helps several people I think of as friends. If something “only” helps 2% of the American population, that is over 6 million people who now have lives better than before, even forgetting about people who are now touched by their happiness. Helping 2% of the population, while hurting nobody, is a fucking excellent win.

      No Man is an Island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a Clod be washed away by the Sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a Promontory were, as well as if a Manor of thy friends, or of thine own were; Any Man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

      • Joe

        The “butterfly effect” of such provisions go much beyond the 2 mil, as you and others realize.

        The family and friends of the people involved alone expands things much beyond 2M. Equality also alters gender politics, expands freedom of alternate sexual arrangements in general and so on.

        OTOH, perhaps our new honeymooner said it best:

        “Have fun and don’t feed any trolls while I’m gone!”

      • DrDick


    • DK

      Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

      • Malaclypse

        What did MLK ever do for soullite?

        • Not to mention the women’s suffrage movement.

          • Malaclypse

            soullite: the potato in Marx’s proverbial sack of potatoes.

            • DK

              What happens to LGBT kids and young adults is wrong. When any group or individual is discriminated against based on identity it is destructive of who we are as a people.

              Richard Trumka

              • mark f

                Hey, I don’t see Richard Trumka bitching in any internet fora; what the fuck has he ever done for people like soullite?

    • NonyNony

      Jesus soullite – none of your previous posts ever gave me the indication that you were a moral monster. And yet here you are – making a statement that tags you as at best an amoral monster if not an outright immoral one.

      Congratulations I suppose. You do know that you don’t have to be a moral monster to be a troll right? Though i suppose it does help.

      • mark f

        April 14, 2011:

        I’m not gay, or a minority, and I don’t care about abortion or hate anyone who isn’t rich. As far as this political system is concerned, I don’t matter or exist.

        I liked Obama in 2008 because he promised to be different, and I’m a fool for believing him, but he’s a damned filthy piece of shit for conning me. He could still buy my vote back, if he gave me something worth voting for, but I’ll never believe in him, the Democrats, or this country ever again.

    • dangermouse

      What impresses me here is that the OP goes out of its way to acknowledge that this is one isolated issue on which progress is being made compared with many in which we’re losing ground or barely holding onto it but here you are spitting teeth about it anyway. That’s commitment, is what that is.

    • MPAVictoria

      Soullite has made similar comments before in regards to abortion rights. So while he may be an asshole at least he is a consistent asshole. So you know… There is that.

      • DrDick

        Thought I remembered that as well, though I generally try to ignore his excreta.

  • Like it says in the movie Contact: “Small moves, Ellie. Small moves.”

  • M.

    To build support among the young, you’d have to be liberal — not centrist. And grassroots in a general context is just a euphemism for ‘poor.’

    Not gonna happen.

    • Happening all around you man. You don’t see it because the establishment isn’t involved, so it gets no press and even when you notice it, you write it off because a slick madison ave campaign isn’t behind it.

      Every revolution comes as a shock.

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